1. Mark L
  2. Ask Sheldon
  3. Sunday, 11 July 2010
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My Z3 distorts with the boost above halfway. It's more pronounced in "Z2" mode, but is there in all settings. Back off the boost and it's OK. It seems to be nearly too much boost overall. It's always been sort of like trying to control an elephant...it's so powerful. Is there a better/more subtle preamp I should consider? I'm not sure which preamp I got, but I know mine was early, #3. (the batteries are new, BTW.)

Mark
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I know I'm not saying anything new here... but isn't distortion related to sending too much power to a component? Unless the onboard preamp distorts from too much input from the pickups, which is unlikely, your amp gets too much power. Lowering the gain might - theoretically - get you the same sound from a lower powered bass with gain up. So I guess it's more about your rig not being able to handle much input?

Again, it's the most obvious suggestion, after the change-your-battery chant, so I guess you ruled it out. On my AB-II with Aggie pre, I've had to lower the line output on my processor to about 40% so I don't distort/clip when recording.
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No, it's not the amp. It will distort using any amp, even at low volumes, if the boost is cranked. I have to confess that my Z3 has had very little stage time, so perhaps I'm not yet comfortable with how it works. My other active basses don't do this, however.

Mark
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Hey Mark,

Send an email to tech at dingwall. Give Jeff the serial number so he can look up the pre-amp. I'm pretty sure it's an Aguilar OBP-3 which has a lot of gain but shouldn't be distorting.
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Hi Mark,

I was talking to Jeff about this. He said that the only thing that can cause distortion is lack of power to the rails. Have you taken this to a tech to measure the voltage getting to the pre-amp?
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