Hum and Noise Cancelling Preamp for Jazz Style Basses
The sound of the Jazz bass is defined by its single coil pickups but players know all too well about the hum and noise challenges.
Many players have converted to humbucker also called hum cancelling pickups but most find they do not sound and play like a real single coil pickup.
Audere has developed a new type of preamp which cancels the hum and noise from single coil pickups
without changing the tone or playability of your pickups.
Its operation is similar to what happens in a passive jazz with RWRP pickups where the 2 pickups cancel hum
when you max both volumes. The noise content collected by both pickups is mixed together out of phase and cancels.
The Audere preamp extends this concept to cancel the hum and noise at all volume combinations including soloed pickups.
A small noise sensor is installed in the routed space in-between the electronics cavity and the neck pickup where it collects
the same hum and external noises that get into your pickups, but it does not collect the signal created by the string's vibrations.
Next the sensor's output is mixed back into the signal path to cancel that hum and external noise from each pickup,
leaving the music created by the string's vibrations. It's simple - you get what you want and lose the rest.
Hear the difference in this Sound Clip
Below you can see where the noise sensor goes under a pickguard.
The noise sensor connects to the preamp via a third unique signal path, so your pickup's input is
untouched and still sounds and feels right.
Before ordering this new type of preamp:
- Verify that your bass has the routed pathway to set the noise sensor into
- Check that we have created a matching noise sensor for you pickups. There are two lists,
one for Fender/Squier pickups, and the other for After Market pickups in the
feature lists (open/close by clicking on the line) below the ordering table.
Which preamp configuration is right for you?
The Noise Canceling Jazz preamps come in 8 different configurations select the best version
for your playing style by answering 2 questions.
1) What Volume Controls do you want?
Both sound identical due to our active pickup mixing system but they suit different playing styles.
A) A single volume plus a balance control: one volume makes it easier to adjust your sound level,
the balance curve is flat with a center detent pot - this is the most popular option and is in the green table columns below.
B) Two individual volumes, this setup makes it easier to dial in very asymmetric ratios between the 2 pickups.
This version is in the blue table columns.
2) Do you want Active Tone Controls, or a Passive Tone like a traditional passive jazz bass?
A) Active Tone Control with 4 bands gives you the greatest flexibility, which makes it the number one choice.
B) Active Tone Control with a traditional 3 band is popular with players who have this setup on their other basses.
C) Active Tone Control with 2 bands offers a streamlined interface for a simple setup while on stage.
D) The Passive Tone versions makes noise cancellation available for traditional players.
The active tone control configurations all have the same passive sound in the 'neutral' position - the center detent.
Like a passive plate, the preamps with passive tone controls
may have less high frequencies in the output depending on what you are plugged into.
With the answers to these 2 questions, you can select your preamp by clicking its link in the last row of the table below.
If you don't know which one is right for you we recommend
our most popular combination: Volume, Balance with 4 Band EQ $169
Choose from 8 Different Jazz Hum and Noise Canceling Preamp Configurations
|Volume + Balance
|Volume + Volume
|Click to Select
All configurations include Knobs, LED Battery Meter, the Output Jack mounted on the plate, and a Noise Sensor to match your pickups.
The preamp drops into most Fender jazz type basses including:
Fender Squier Vintage Modified, American, Mexican...
The current American Fender Jazz Bass has a cavity that measures approximately:
1.19" wide at the top (some cavity narrow slightly at the jack
end), 1.27" deep, and 5.17" long.
When you check the size of your cavity, our preamp needs cavity dimensions
of: 1.1" wide, 1.2" deep and 4.8" long.
Most modern Fender Jazz Bass have a routed cavity in-between the electronics cavity and the neck pickup
which is required for the Noise Sensor.
This wire route is 3/8" or 0.375" deep which the critical dimension.
It is easy to see if a standard jazz bass has this feature by removing the 3 screws in the plate
and looking into the electronics cavity.
Note: Your bass will probably have 3 wires running through this area which we have removed for the photo
You can see the complete routed area if you remove the pickguard.
Normally the limiting factor for the electronics cavity size
is the width required to fit the battery which lays on its side as shown below.
Some Vintage Fender basses have a reduced cavity width toward the jack location but it normally is not a problem.
Many Fender single coil pickups sound and play great - Especially the AlNiCo versions.
As listed below, we offer noise sensors to match most of the current Fender Single Coil Pickups.
70s Vintage type 4 (AlNiCo - USA)
Current or Recent Fender Four Strings:
American Standard (AlNiCo - USA)
Standard (Ceramic Mexico)
Original (AlNiCo - USA)
Geddy Lee (AlNiCo USA)
Geddy Lee (AlNiCo Japan)
Marcus Miller (AlNiCo - USA)
Custom Shop 60s (AlNiCo - USA)
60s (AlNiCo Mexico)
62 Vintage USA (AlNiCo - USA)
62 Original (AlNiCo Mexico)
64 American Vintage (AlNiCo - USA)
75 Reissue (AlNiCo USA)
Current or Recent Fender Five Strings:
American Standard (AlNiCo - USA)
Standard (Ceramic Mexico)
Current or Recent Squier:
Jazz Bass 4 (AlNiCo ASIA)
Classic Jibe 60s 4 (AlNiCo ASIA)
Seymour Duncan Designed 4 (first Squier Vintage Modified) (AlNiCo ASIA)
Fender Designed 4 (current Squier Vintage Modified) (AlNiCo ASIA)
Affinity 4 (Ceramic ASIA)
Jazz Bass 5 (AlNiCo ASIA)
Seymour Duncan Designed 5 (first Squier Vintage Modified) (AlNiCo ASIA)
Affinity 5 (Ceramic ASIA)
After Market Single Coil Jazz Pickups that we have developed noise sensors for are listed below.
We continue to develop new noise sensors to support popular pickups so this list will be updated over time.
Antiquity II 4
SJB-1 Vintage 4
SJB-2 Hot Single 4
SJB-3 Quarter Pounder 4
SJB5-3 Quarter Pounder 5
SJ5 67/70 5
SJ5 70/74 5
NJ4 70's wind
NJ5 70's wind
Jazz 4 standard wind
Jazz 5 standard wind
J Bass 4 Type 1
J Bass 5 Type 1 (comming soon)
Hanson DB-J4 4
Over 95% of our jazz preamps have been installed
by players instead of techs but with this is a new design - we expect it to run around 80%
as it is slightly more complex to install and adjust.
If you have access to and can use a screwdriver and
a wire cutter & stripper then you can install your own preamp.
Audere JNC Install Video
Audere JNC Install PDF
All of our jazz preamps are complete units, including knobs and control
plate; and require no soldering, making installation easy.
The video is admittedly long but it is a complete installation so you can see exactly what is
required to install these preamps and we would recommend you view it even if you plan to have
someone else to do the installation.
Unlike other hum or noise cancelling technologies the true sound of your passive bass is retained when the Active Tone controls
are in their center detent.
Most noise cancelling techniques compromise the sound of a jazz bass in a variety of ways but our technology is very unique.
The noise sensor signal enters the preamp system on it's own signal path which is important for at least two reasons:
1) It allows the small coil to effectively behave exactly like the much larger pickup coil in terms
of external magnetic field reception.
2) We can retain the tone and touch response of the pickups because we have not not change the loading of the pickup input.
The result is you get your real single coil pickup performance but with hum and noise cancellation.
Additional advantages with the Audere preamp:
1) Distortion is exceedingly low - lower than whatever you have been plugging into
2) Our active tone controls are very flat in the center detent
We have worked very hard to keep all the small details and nuances of your bass intact through out the signal chain.
We get asked if we offer an Active/Passive switch by players who haven't used our preamps - let's talk about it.
Players want an A/P switch for different reasons but the top 3 are:
1) Most preamps do not sound like a passive bass due to distortion -
we have a more advanced design which eliminates this distortion.
2) Many preamps do not sound like a passive bass due to tone control curves -
Our tone controls are flat in the center detent.
3) Players worry about the battery dying - We include a LED battery meter.
So we do not offer an A/P switch on the Jazz Preamps and do not recommend them for the module style preamps.
Our active mixing design provides a broader range of usable sounds as
you adjust the pickup mix
Our front end is a stereo design so the pickup signals are electrically separated from each other.
After buffering, the signals are mixed together by the balance control or the dual volume
controls depending on the preamp's configuration.
The balance (i.e. blend) pot is flat as you move across the range.
Our hum and noise cancellation system allows you to move off the setting of equal pickup volumes
and still get the hum and noise cancellation, often yielding a tone with more definition.
For lots of pickups we find that moving just off center creates a similar sound but has more definition to the note attack.
Interestingly you can move either direction and still get this improvement in definition.
The change with AlNiCo pickups is less than with Ceramic pickups but still present.
Players who preferred the equal volume settings in the past due to noise concerns are now free
to use the full range of volume mix as desired.
In all of the Audere Jazz preamps you can select either a 2, 3 or 4 band tone controls which all sound musical.
All active tone control pots contain a center detent where the response is flat, giving you the uncolored bass voice.
Our tone controls are different than most preamps in the following ways:
1) The boost/cut amount changes slowly at first off the center detent and then the action speeds up
as the knob is rotated farther from the detent.
2) Mid-range controls use wide bandwidths - the issue with narrow bandwidths is the phase shift changes too fast vs.
frequency and they sound artificial while our wide frequency mid-range controls makes them sound more musical.
3) The Bass and Treble controls are shelving which extends to lower and higher frequencies than other preamps.
The shelving control makes our specs look very different than most preamps. Our spec is at the 1/2 boost or cut frequencies.
You can think of our specs as all frequencies below 180 Hz or above 3.2KHz (for a 4 band example)
have a significant level of boost or cut range.
The frequency response points:
Bass shelving Hz - dB
|180 +/- 16 dB
|200 +/- 16 dB
|200 +/- 18 dB
|1st Mid Peak Hz - dB
|250 +/- 10 dB
|500 +/- 10 dB
|2nd Mid Peak Hz - dB
|750 +/- 10 dB
|Treble shelving Hz - dB
|3.2K +/- 18 dB
|2.5K +/- 16 dB
|2.0K +/- 17.5 dB
In summary, we design very musical tone controls that are easy to use and give you a wide range of sound control.
Passive tone control models allow you to change the Capacitor and shape the response.
Passive tone controls are a little more complex than commonly assumed.
At first the control rolls off the mid + higher frequencies.
Later the control only increases the reduction in the high frequency roll off.
Where these 2 effects start is set by the capacitor - so our capacitor is located in gold sockets allowing
you to easily change the capacitor and these effects.
We ship with metal film capacitors for a very smooth high end character to the sound -
if you prefer a different type of capacitor then you can insert what style you want into the sockets.
Metal films are the lowest distortion, ceramics are next (and much more commonly used because they are cheaper),
polar caps like tantalums or electrolytics have unique sound artifacts.
The output level when the tone controls are flat (in center detent) is slightly louder
than your passive bass in this preamp series.
But we still recommend that you connect a bass with an Audere preamp into the passive input on your amplifier.
Many of our customers know we do not like gain in our preamps but this one has a little gain because of the way
the noise cancellation system is configured; however the gain level increase is very modest compared to most bass preamps.
We do not include excess gain for several reasons:
1) It allows the preamp to run on a single 9 volt battery without distortion.
Lots of other preamps have added so much gain to the output that they are still clipping with 18 volts of power
which is why they never sound like a passive bass.
2) All bass heads work well with a passive jazz bass input level - there are still a lot more Fender Jazz basses
in the world that are passive than those with a preamp. When you plug into an active input on most bass amps they
simply divide down the input level (tossing away the extra gain) and then proceed through the amplifier like
you plugged into the passive input.
3) We want your bass to sound better rather than attempting to trick you.
If you turn up your bass sound intensity it sounds better due to how the human ear works
as demonstrated by the Fletcher Munson curves.
You hear the bass (especially) and the treble better when the sound level is louder as shown in the graph.
A lot of preamp companies use this to trick players into thinking the quality of their active sound is better by
simply increasing the sound level but if you back it down to an equal volume level you might not be very impressed.
Our design is different - it captures all the fine detail of your playing style and brings it
out so it really sounds better instead of just making it artificially louder.
The LED Battery Meter is simple but will give you plenty of warning that you need to replace your battery.
In this preamp series we could not include our traditional battery meter design due to space limitations
but still wanted to include this useful feature.
So we designed a new simpler feedback system that still gives you information on your battery strength.
When you first insert your cable into the preamp, it will power up and show you
the battery strength by how long and how bright the LED flashes.
If your LED flash lasts for more than 0.1 seconds then you are good for this gig.
Obviously you're not going to measure it but it seems pretty intuitive once you've see it.
If you need to retest the battery with this simpler system you must remove the cable for up to 1 minute to get an accurate reading.
Note if your battery level is high the system will recover in a much shorter time to show you a flash longer than 0.1 seconds.
In summary, the LED Battery Meter allows you quit worrying about the battery's status.
The Jazz preamps will run about 250 hours on a premium 9 volt battery.
Players sometimes are surprised that the battery lasts only 250 hours - well here is the trade-off -
you can have a longer battery life but you must either give up on sensitivity, distortion or noise -
this is just the way the physics works.
We demand excellent sound quality from all of our preamps and have used our power wisely to get to the 250 hour level.
Normally the battery is placed below the preamp in the jazz cavity but you can connect the preamp
to a 9 or 18 volt battery box if you have one installed in your bass.
Couple questions we get asked about other battery types:
1) Rechargeable batteries: Not recommended - their voltages tend to be different and they self-discharge faster
than normal batteries and when they die you get no warning.
2) Lithium batteries: Not recommend - they cost a lot more and do not work any better plus they have safety issues.
Chrome knobs are standard. Gold or Black sets are an additional $5.
Plates are only available in Chrome.
FYI - you can remove the preamp system from the plate and install it on a different plate
if the holes is drilled - add a 1/8" hole for the LED.
Sorry - We do not drill customer's plates as we are only jigged up to work with our standard units and the knobs
sets are sold in a single color not mixed; the photo is to illustrate the colors.
How long do I have to wait to get it?
How much is shipping?
Why so many Noise Sensor types?
The most common installation problems?
What is the difference between Noise Canceling Preamps and the Pro JZ3?
Theory of Operation
Pickup wires 1 to 5
What if my pickups loose low frequencies when both pickups are used?
What if I have a PJ configuration?
No Sound from the Pickup only Hum?
Turning off Noise Cancellation for a pickup?
Why remove the cable when not in use?
Where does the Battery fit?
Why does it pop when I plug in the cable into the bass with the amp power on?
What kind of finish can I get?
What are the 2 adjustment pots on the module?
How can I change my tone capacitor?
What is heat shrink and why would you include any with my preamp?
LED never comes on when I insert the cable?
LED keeps going off?
I have a vintage ...?
- How long do I have to wait to get it?
- Our goal is to ship in 1 business day but sometimes we run out of different models which will require
an additional 2-3 days.
Shipping is normally by USPS priority mail which is 2-4 days.
- How much is shipping?
- Add a preamp to your cart - the system will calculate the shipping
cost to you by different speed options.
Note in the US we recommend
Priority shipping as Express shipping is expensive and typically only saves you
a maximum of 1 day - sometimes it takes longer.
When shipping overseas the cost of Express is only a little more in many cases and here it can make a big
improvement in delivery time.
- Why so many Noise Sensor types?
- Unique noise sensors are not required for all the pickups in the lists, for example,
Fender in a few cases labeled a pickup differently when what changed was an added ground clip to a wire.
But we had to develop a lot of different types of noise sensors.
Pickups have a lot of variations in how they are made.
A simple example is the change from AlNiCo to Ceramic magnets.
The steel pole pieces in the Ceramic pickup will greatly affect how the external noise is received.
For a more subtitle example, when the winding pattern in a pickup changes from a machine wind to a scatter winding technique
then the capacitance of the pickup changes.
This capacitance change affects the high frequency magnitude and phase response of the pickup -
so a different noise sensor will be required.
Making the noise sensors work exactly like the much larger pickups required us to
develop custom measurement techniques and to program up a CNC winding machine to make the noise sensors.
- Changing Pickups?
- Some players change pickups very often - once you find a pickup set you think are keepers based on their tone and
touch response (which we will not change) then
You can order a new pickup sensor for your preamp to match the new pickup type.
You will need to unsolder and resolder 2 wires to a set of pins on the circuit board and
insulate the joints with heat shrink (provided).
And of course you will need to readjust the Neck and Bridge pots for the lowest noise.
- The most common installation problems?
- 1) Trapping a wire or not getting the battery in the right place
(do not force fit it during installation).
2) Not connecting the ground wire to the bridge (causes increased hum while playing).
3) Not having a small enough screwdriver bit (causes damaged wiring connectors) -
we now offer an optional low cost screwdriver set when you order a preamp.
- Differences between Noise Canceling Preamps and Pro JZ3?
- The Noise Canceling Preamps remove the hum and noise from single coil pickups - they include a noise sensor in the route from
the electronics cavity to the neck pickup.
The Pro JZ3 changes the loading on pickups to get a wider range of sound and fits into a standard Jazz bass with
or without the routed area and are often used with after-market noise cancelling pickups.
- Theory of Operation
- The short answer is it works similar to hum cancelling pickups but uses a much smaller sensing coil in the wiring cavity.
If you are a Producer, Sound Engineer or Geek and want the longer answer read
- Pickup wires 1 to 5
- Pickups can have 2, 3, 4 or even 5 wires but most jazz pickups have 2.
• Every pickup has at least 2 wires, these are the Hot and Common
which must be connected to our board at the screw connector as shown in the installation
• If you think you have only 1 wire, it's probably a coax (center is insulated from the outer braid)
- the center is hot and the braid is common.
• If you really have only 1 wire (very rare), this wire is the hot and you must pull up the pickup
and find the wire connection to ground - disconnect it and run a longer wire back to the pickup common.
• If you have a 3rd wire and it is a braided shield that wraps around the
pair of wires, this is a Ground wire and can be connected to the Cavity Ground.
The configurations below are noise cancelling pickups -
if you use them with this preamp series then turn off the preamp noise cancelling system for this pickup input.
• If you have a 3rd wire and it is red and goes to the battery - Almost all active pickups are noise cancelling.
• If you have a 4 wires you have a dual coil pickup - see the manufacturer's site for how to wire for series mode.
• If you have a 5th wire and it is a braided shield that wraps around the
2 pair of wires, this is a Ground wire and can be connected to the Cavity Ground and see the 4 wire note above.
- What if my pickups lose low frequencies
when both pickups are used?
- You need to invert (swap) the hot and common wires for just one of
the pickups so they will be in the correct phase.
Then you will need to readjust the noise cancellation using the preamp trimmer for the pickup you inverted the wires to.
- Why remove the cable when not in use?
- Almost all bass preamps use a stereo jack where one side of the battery is connected to the ring terminal.
When a MONO cable is inserted into the jack the ring is shorted to the body and the preamp powers up.
So you should remove the cable when not playing which removes the power from the preamp and prevents battery drain.
But you don't need to remove your cable during breaks in a set, etc.
- What if I have a PJ configuration?
- The P will normally be a hum cancelling pickup - the J will normally be a single coil and will pickup hum and noise.
Select a Noise Sensor to match the J and only adjust this channel for hum cancelling
By default the Noise Canceling on P channel will already be disabled (that is the factory setting, if you need to reset
see the next question on Turning off Noise Cancellation).
- Turning off Noise Cancellation for a pickup?
- Remove the pickup wires for this pickup.
Adjust the pot for the lowest noise level.
Re-install the pickup wires.
- No Sound from the Pickup only Hum?
- If you lose the electrical connection to the pickup coil then the noise cancellation system will still function.
It is collecting the right amount of hum and noise to cancel the signal from the pickup which is not working anymore.
Check your pickup connections.
- Where does the Battery fit?
- The battery is normally placed in the bottom of the electronics cavity just below the preamp.
If you want to use a battery box then cut off our battery clip then connect our red wire to your red wire
from the battery box. Add a 2nd connection for the black wires.
- Why does it pop when I plug in the cable into the
bass with the amp power on?
- Due to the standard power switching used for the battery connection,
the battery is connected to the input of the guitar cable during the time the cable
is sliding into the jack.
Most players develop a habit of partially pulling out the other
end of the cable before inserting the connector into the bass jack.
Some players use a guitar cable with an integrated disconnect switch.
Planet Waves and others have cables with this feature.
Neutrik has a "Silent Plug" (NP2C) out that we haven't tried but it
- What kind of finish can I get?
- These preamps comes with a chrome plate and the knobs are available in chrome, black, and gold.
You can remove the knobs and replace them with your own if the ID is 6mm for the single pot and top
of stacked and 8mm for the(bottom of stacked, and if they have a set screw.
You can remove the preamp from the plate and install it on your own
plate also but you will need to drill 1 hole for the LED.
- What are the 2 adjustment pots on the module?
- Those are the noise cancellation adjustment system. They fine tune the cancellation to match your pickups.
The pot next to the Neck pickup wire side of the input connector adjusts the Neck's pickup cancellation and
the other pot is of course the Bridge adjustment..
The pots turn +/- 10 turns from the center position.
To adjust you rotate the pots right or left till you find the setting with the lowest hum.
- How can I change my tone capacitor?
- Slide it up out of the gold sockets.
Check your replacement capacitor's lead diameters to make sure they are the same.
Press the new one into the gold sockets.
- What is heat shrink and why would you
include any with my preamp?
- Heat shrink tubing is a plastic tube which is used to insulate
wiring. The tubing shrinks or reduces its diameter when you heat it.
You can shrink it with a hot air source (a match can be used
with care). Just be careful you do not apply too much heat to the
tube or other parts on your bass.
We supply you with a few pieces so you can insulate the crimp connection for the ground wires.
- LED never comes on when I insert the cable?
- Possible causes:
1) The battery is not making good contact with the battery clip or it is dead
2) A stereo cable was inserted into the jack - a mono cable must be used
3) The cable plug is undersized and not making a good electrical connection with the
4) The preamp is always on - most likely the jack is up against conductive paint on the sidewall of
the electronics cavity - insulate the wall with paper or electrical tape.
- LED keeps going off?
- If we kept the LED on it would pull more power than the preamp...
We flash the LED at power on to show you the condition of your battery and then turn it off to save power.
- I have a vintage ...?
- If you have a vintage bass then we recommend pulling the old control
plate as a single unit so it can be reinstalled for resale in vintage condition.
Since the old control plate will be
intact this is much easier to do...
For the curious, yes, there are many original early Fender Jazz bodies which now have Audere
preamps installed in them.
Another issue is some very old vintage pickups
were wound by hand and had little consistency.
Our vintage coil noise sensors are an average of multiple vintage pickups but if your pickups are very different
than our samples then the noise sensor will will not be a great match to your actual pickups which makes the
cancellation less effective.
Normally the cancellation will be still be very good but just less than ideal.
Our price is about 1/2 our competition's price.
Trade-offs we make to keep it this way:
- Limited advertising. We rely on our customers to tell their friends
- No spam in the various forums.
- Significant levels of automation are used to manufacture the product.
SMT Pick Place Video
- Professional tools and modern manufacturing.
Automated Wire Processing Video
- Key parts are purchased in commercial quantities.
- Web based order processing - significantly lowers costs.
- Automated Shipping.