The Ultimate Bass Preamp!

John East, bassist and studio tech, wanted a preamp for his vintage jazz bass. He did not want to touch the wood, so he built a compact unit with all functions - bass, high, parametric mids, pan and volume - located on three double pots and two mini switches, the battery sliding underneath the circuit board. 

jr top

The sound was great, and others wanted one, too! So John started working on it... meanwhile there is a Retro for any bass! The J-Retro fits vintage Fender Jazz basses with no wood working and soups up the sound, producing a stronger signal with more variety. The bass is easily reconverted to original specs when needed.

Retro Functions


The Retro preamps have always had a slight pre-shape, so when switching to active, you get a few dBs boost on the low and high end, very gentle EQ. Some people like this initial lift from the pre-shape, players who like Marcus Style or a fatter low end etc.

But some people like no difference when going to active, those who tend to like more bridge pickup & mid-range. They sometimes say they try to dial out the pre-shape. The retro pre-shape has often been criticized.

This started off strictly as a one-off request, then others heard about it.... So John East decided to make it a standard product - can be ordered now!

Retro Installation

Anybody who has ever taken the control plate off his jazz bass can install the J-Retro! Detailed instructions are included. No mods with most Jazz basses and copies. The J-Retro comes complete with all knobs and switches on a control plate and just has to be exchanged for the old electronics.  The pickup wires are conveniently connected to solderless screw terminals so you just have to solder the ground connection. 

J-Retro elektronik

You don´t need a separate battery box! No need to drill holes in your favourite vintage bass! The 9 volt battery fits into the electronics cavity, underneath the board. With normal use, the batter lasts eight months or longer.

pricing and hardware

  • J-Retro 01 Standard
  • Chrome - 289 €
  • Black - 305 €
  • Gold - 319 €
  • plus shipping to your country

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