Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Taurus TM-2 Bass Preamp Downstream From Nordstrand P-J Pickups

Here she is, (note to self:  Will you name this one too?), just plugged into the SWR Workingman's 10 up on the file cabinet, ready for about a zillion scales while I listen to the notes.  No string buzz, no playing effort of note, everything as it should be.  Retune.  We have Pyramid black tapewounds on board here.  Nice feel.

The pickup specifics:  npj4SE set.  More information on the Nordstrand page.  Recommended!  Nordstrand stuff is designed and built with great intentionality.  If you are a fan of the P-J array, this is the one you want.   In my opinion?  Succinctly?  The best there is. 

Disclaimer:  I'm no expert on preamps--I have put a couple different ones in Barker Basses and played them for a few months.  Not much experience there for comparisons.  However, the Taurus has a nice feature which will aid in this report:  Pull up on the volume knob and you've got passive signal.  My A-B tests will be against the passive.  The SWR is set all flat.

Volume:  Does as it says.

Pickup Blend:  At the detent, the volume active is very close to exactly the same as passive.  If you move off the detent either way, there is a slight volume drop but not an important one.

Treble:  I don't get much variety with this pot.  The sound so far has too much treble for the particular sound I am seeking.

Bass:  This one makes my feet happy as I start to feel the lower frequencies like I want to.

Mid:  I think this is a scoop.  Lots of treble available here.

Conclusion:  The possibilities seem wider than I have encountered in other setups.  That said, personally I'm not interested in range so much as a certain woody sound for my JazCru casuals.  And that woody sound is very much there with the pre, not so much without it.

More about the Taurus here.

Later that same day, as they say in radio dramas, Craig Brown, first call bassist from nearby Bend, Oregon, came by to do his own testing.  His report:  "Sweet, man!" 

There you are--two reviews for the price of one!

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