Here's a handy box. Preamps are often necessary with piezo-based upright bass (and guitar, mandolin, etc.) pickups - mostly, it's a matter of input impedance. What's the deal? Check out our FAQ page covering the topic for more information.
If you're already convinced, and your search for a preamp has led you back here, you might want a preamp like the Schatten Mini-Pre for one of several reasons:
- It's inexpensive
- It's tiny and lightweight
- It's simple to use
All of those are good reasons! The Schatten Design Mini-Pre is about as simple and convenient a preamp as you can get; it's affordable, very small and light, and simple to operate. This miniaturized preamplifier will provide the impedance matching and gain boost that piezo pickups require - and that's about it. It doesn't have the added bells and whistles of the more expensive preamp options, or the added premium cost of those features.
So, if all you need is to buffer and boost the signal (and you're doing EQ, effects loops, and other tone shaping and I/O functions on your amplifier), then this could be the preamp for you.
The TWO-CHANNEL VERSION is just as simple; using a single TRS/Stereo input jack allows you to separately run two different pickups in, and control the volume of each pickup independently before it's blended at the mono output.
- Even, balanced response - all the crisp, clean sound from your pickup is passed through, uncolored
- Uses a single, convenient 9v battery, and features long battery life (Schatten reports up to 2000 hours with an alkaline battery)
- Single Volume Knob (for each channel) - simple operation!
- Trim pot (accessible without removing cover) for setting preamp gain from 0 to 20 dB
- Input Impedance: Up to 10 Meg ohm
- Output Impedance: Less than 3.5 k ohm
- Dimensions: approx 1" x 2.25" x 4.25" (including volume knob, box is approx 3.5" tall)
- Weight: approx 4.5 oz (including battery)
- Includes removable belt clip
- ¼" Input and Output Jacks (Single-Channel model uses standard mono instrument cables for both input and output; Dual-Channel uses TRS for input, Mono for output.)
- Built into rugged ABS plastic box - Schatten says it's tough enough to stand on (though I don't recommend it.)
- Made in Canada
If you need a preamp with EQ controls, a DI, effects loops, etc... this ain't the one. Check out some of the "related products" below for some other, more fully-featured preamps.
But if you want a simple, no muss/no fuss device to balance and improve your signal, send a better, hotter signal to your amp - this might be the one to get. You can even easily mount it to the back of your bass tailpiece using our simple instructions.