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Thread: Preamp compatibility for a musicman Sabre restoration

  1. #1

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    Preamp compatibility for a musicman Sabre restoration

    So I got an 85 Sabre recently but some doofus switched out the preamp for some “faithful to 76” aftermarket thing for some reason. I’m wondering what will be compatible with the Sabre? I heard that a Sabre of that year can basically be compatible with almost any Ernie ball 2eq preamp, I just have to run the pickups through a toggle switch and hook them up to the right control plate(something I can have an artist friend craft from scratch). Is this true? Will hooking it up to for example a 3eq or a pre Ernie ball 2eq hurt it? Would it be able to run off of any old stingray eq set?

  2. #2

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    I wouldn’t of thought you would be doing anything any harm mixing and matching EBMM pups and pre’s.

    StingRay 4HH. SapphireBlack.2006
    StingRay 4H. Buttercreme. 2005.LE
    StingRay 4H. ”SunBlue”. 2005
    Bongo 4H. Sapphire Black. 2005
    Bongo 5HH. Firemist Purple. 2019
    GENZ-BENZ & ORANGE amps...

    https://www.facebook.com/DanSmithBassist/

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevins View Post
    So I got an 85 Sabre recently but some doofus switched out the preamp for some “faithful to 76” aftermarket thing for some reason. I’m wondering what will be compatible with the Sabre? I heard that a Sabre of that year can basically be compatible with almost any Ernie ball 2eq preamp, I just have to run the pickups through a toggle switch and hook them up to the right control plate(something I can have an artist friend craft from scratch). Is this true? Will hooking it up to for example a 3eq or a pre Ernie ball 2eq hurt it? Would it be able to run off of any old stingray eq set?
    Hey kevins.

    When the Sabre changed from toggle switch electronics to the newer lever switch (in the Pre-EB days) they also changed the older preamp to a Sting Ray Bass 2EQ preamp. For your 1985 Sabre restoration, the correct preamp is the Sting Ray 2EQ. EB Customer Service may assist with a wiring schematic.
    Last edited by Rod Trussbroken; 05-25-2021 at 05:22 PM.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Trussbroken View Post
    Hey kevins.

    When the Sabre changed from toggle switch electronics to the newer lever switch (in the Pre-EB days) they also changed the older preamp to a Sting Ray Bass 2EQ preamp. For your 1985 Sabre restoration, the correct preamp is the Sting Ray 2EQ. EB Customer Service may assist with a wiring schematic.
    That’s what I’m hearing, iirc the person at musicman said that a talented enough technician can wire the pre-Eb preamp into it, just at the expense of drilling new holes etc, but also that any Ernie ball stingray pre amp or any Ernie ball stingray classic 2eq would work, someone’s already modded the control plate so that’s already been done. Here’s to hoping the guy on reverb gets me that preamp, he said he has one left, and the representative at musicman says it checks out, it’s legit

    I’d honestly prefer to wire in the post eb preamp cause it’s guaeanteed

  5. #5

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    The Pre-EB 2EQ preamp as from 1978 onwards is basically the same as the Ernie Ball Sting Ray 2EQ preamp of today. So, any vintage is OK. If you can't get a genuine one at a reasonable price then there's some good after market ones eg John East. As to wiring the preamp and pickups, I have as sketch here (some where) I drew up for myself years ago.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Trussbroken View Post
    The Pre-EB 2EQ preamp as from 1978 onwards is basically the same as the Ernie Ball Sting Ray 2EQ preamp of today. So, any vintage is OK. If you can't get a genuine one at a reasonable price then there's some good after market ones eg John East. As to wiring the preamp and pickups, I have as sketch here (some where) I drew up for myself years ago.
    The one I’m replacing is the John east one. From digging around here I think sterling was saying basically all East did was make a fairly faithful copy of the 76 but at the end of the day it’s very simple technology so the minutia of difference between the pre-eb and post eb pre amps isn’t going to matter much. I know the John east one on this one does have a mid sweep so that’s tempting to keep on. If someone could clarify how much if any difference there is that would help! I’d imagine a copy would probably sound the same given what sterling said about it being simple technology and vintage voodoo stuff.

    I did locate an Ernie ball era pre-amp and someone at musicman confirmed it was real, if it isn’t real then it fooled someone who’s worked there since the 80s!

    I’m a little more optimistic about finding it now knowing that multiple goofballs are taking out their original post 78 pre-amps and that any 2eq preamp will work with this

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