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Author Topic: Replacing Larrivee Preamp. Help needed!  (Read 3751 times)
Bruise
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« on: March 26, 2011, 04:00:41 PM »

Hello everyone, I'm looking for a little bit of help here.  I bought my Larrivee OM-10E off of Ebay a few years ago.  Love it, beautiful looking and sounding guitar.  Here recently though, I started having problems when plugging in my guitar.  I get a muffled/static sound when playing.  It's not the clean sound it should be.  I've tested multiple cables and plugged into different systems so I know it's something with the guitar.  I took it in to my local guitar shop today and the guy told me he believed the problem was with the preamp.  The battery checked out fine and he told me he I probably need to replace the preamp.  So here's where I'm looking for some help.  I currently have a Larrivee Prefix preamp in the guitar.  Here's a picture:


Where can I find a replacement preamp like this that will fit into this size hole?  Should I just try and find an exact match or go with a different preamp?  Thanks for any help.  I've never had an issue with the electronics and don't really know much about this.
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CJ
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2011, 04:50:13 PM »

Had a similar problem with the preamp in my Yamaha. Priced a replacement pre-amp and decided to try cleaning the preamp first. Removed it, disassembled, cleaned the sliders and pots and mute/battery test push button with some spray can Tuner cleaner from Radio shack. Also cleaned the battery contacts, etc. Worked fine after that and unlike past repair jobs (lawnmower, car, etc.) I didn't have any parts left over when finished. 

About batteries, the Yamaha uses a type of press-fit cartridge battery holder. There's as much as a 1/8" difference in the length of a 9 volt battery - the shorter ones do not fit snugly in the plastic holder and so do not make a solid contact with the contacts at the base of the battery slot. That was fixed easily enough by making a shim of folded paper and inserting it between the battery end and holder. I've also had some frustrations with on board electronics and rechargeable batteries. Alkaline batteries seem to give me the best performance. One battery I use for all things electronic in the house, refuses to work in my guitar - the 9V 'Camelion' from http://www.batteriesandthings.com/ - it's an asian import. For guitars, I stick to Duracell.

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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2011, 04:57:57 PM »

You can measure the size and look for a drop in replacement.I have replaced a couple of older BBands with the newer Baggs with just a little adjustment to the openning.This kinda job I would suggest having a trusted tech/luthier do it.
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2011, 05:12:56 PM »

There are a lot better qualified people to answer your question than me but ... I have what I think is a similar system on my D 09, a Fishman Elipse Blend (internal mic and under saddle PU.)  It was doing the same kind of thing and it turned out it was not the preamp but the under saddle PU.  It was related to the humidity and a saddle slot that was too tight.  When the humidity rose to high, the bridge swelled and the saddle slot shrunk lifting the saddle off the PU and I got a sound that was similar  to what you described.  When the humidity went down it was OK again.  With my situation, if I slid the blend control all the way over to mic, the mic sound was OK.  I contacted Fishman, they helped me troubleshoot it, suggested I stabilized the humidity and/or take a little off of the side of the saddle with fine sand paper.  I did the latter, just a little bit mind you so that the saddle was still a friction fit but easy to pull out with my fingers, and it has been fine since.  Hope this is helpful.  At any rate, your system is a Fishman system is it not?  I would contact them to help you troubleshoot it.
Dave
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Bruise
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2011, 01:24:28 AM »

There are a lot better qualified people to answer your question than me but ... I have what I think is a similar system on my D 09, a Fishman Elipse Blend (internal mic and under saddle PU.)  It was doing the same kind of thing and it turned out it was not the preamp but the under saddle PU.  It was related to the humidity and a saddle slot that was too tight.  When the humidity rose to high, the bridge swelled and the saddle slot shrunk lifting the saddle off the PU and I got a sound that was similar  to what you described.  When the humidity went down it was OK again.  With my situation, if I slid the blend control all the way over to mic, the mic sound was OK.  I contacted Fishman, they helped me troubleshoot it, suggested I stabilized the humidity and/or take a little off of the side of the saddle with fine sand paper.  I did the latter, just a little bit mind you so that the saddle was still a friction fit but easy to pull out with my fingers, and it has been fine since.  Hope this is helpful.  At any rate, your system is a Fishman system is it not?  I would contact them to help you troubleshoot it.
Dave
I'm not quite sure honestly.  I thought it was a Fishman but it doesn't say Fishman anywhere on it.  Just has the Larrivee Prefix on it.
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Corky
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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2011, 01:29:15 AM »

I have seen those on E-Bay from time to time. People who seem to be parting out guitars.
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webberink
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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2011, 04:53:48 AM »

Bruise
Check and compare. http://www.fishman.com/products/details.asp?id=38
Check this trouble shoot page. http://www.fishman.com/support/techtips.asp?id=22.
Dave
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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2011, 05:41:11 AM »

That looks like basically the same as mine, but goodness that one is expensive...$289.  Are they usually that much cost wise?  I ask because I've never bought a preamp by itself before.
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AZLiberty
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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2011, 06:38:56 AM »

That is almost certainly a Larrivee branded Fishman unit.  My guess is a Fishman Classic would drop right in.
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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2011, 02:14:58 PM »

The fact that is says prefix on it is proof that it's a fishman unit. Prefix is a trademark of  Fishman preamps. Do what weberink says before you replace. These are great preamps. Do the microphone only test that weberink said. If the noise goes away it is a tight saddle and needs to be humidified.. nice guitar
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« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2011, 06:17:07 PM »

The fact that is says prefix on it is proof that it's a fishman unit. Prefix is a trademark of  Fishman preamps. Do what weberink says before you replace. These are great preamps. Do the microphone only test that weberink said. If the noise goes away it is a tight saddle and needs to be humidified.. nice guitar
I tried it with the blend slid all the way over to the mic and I still get the muffled/static noise.  Is it safe to say I need to buy a new preamp?
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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2011, 08:22:43 PM »

I tried it with the blend slid all the way over to the mic and I still get the muffled/static noise.  Is it safe to say I need to buy a new preamp?

I would pop it out of the guitar and try using the tuner cleaner on it first. In your picture it looks like an awful lot of dirt (lint) has gotten in the slider area. Just hold it over your sink (or any safe place away from your guitar or any wood furniture) and spray the contact area of the sliders and then slide them back and forth which will clean them. If you can't get access to the contacts spray a liberal amount from above, again sliding the controls back and forth. If you don't have a Radio Shack most ACE hardware stores will carry CRC electronic cleaner in the automotive section. I've had radios and such just stop working and all they needed was cleaning. Good luck.   
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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2011, 09:33:37 PM »

I would pop it out of the guitar and try using the tuner cleaner on it first. In your picture it looks like an awful lot of dirt (lint) has gotten in the slider area. Just hold it over your sink (or any safe place away from your guitar or any wood furniture) and spray the contact area of the sliders and then slide them back and forth which will clean them. If you can't get access to the contacts spray a liberal amount from above, again sliding the controls back and forth. If you don't have a Radio Shack most ACE hardware stores will carry CRC electronic cleaner in the automotive section. I've had radios and such just stop working and all they needed was cleaning. Good luck.   
Thanks for the advice, and thanks to CJ who recommended the same thing.  I have a Radioshack around me, so I'll stop by on the way home and try it out.  Hopefully it will work. 
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webberink
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« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2011, 12:09:11 AM »

If that don't work, what ever else you do i would talk to Fishman before you pull it out.  They, and LR Baggs too, have always bent over backwards to help me out with trouble shooting and such.  I know they have often gone the second mile with repairs too.
Dave
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« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2011, 02:55:05 AM »

Can anyone give me a quick FAQ on how to remove the preamp?  I'm getting ready to try and clean it as suggested but I'm not real sure on how I'm supposed to get it out.  Thanks.
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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2011, 03:33:58 AM »

Undo the 4 screws and it should just pop out.After you spray the sliders move them back and forth,also spray the input jack out also.
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« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2011, 06:30:04 AM »

Undo the 4 screws and it should just pop out.After you spray the sliders move them back and forth,also spray the input jack out also.
Thanks.  After a long night of disassembling/cleaning the preamp ( I didn't clean the input jack...didn't know the best way to go about that.  Do I just spray it in the jack or do I need to remove the jack?) I just plugged it in with fingers crossed, but unfortunately I think I'm still having the same problem.  I'm still getting that muffled sound and it's really obvious when I record on my computer.  Not quite as obvious just listening through my amp.  I'm beat, headed to bed and will worry about it tomorrow.
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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2011, 02:12:42 PM »

Just spray into the jack,plug in a chord twist around pull it out wipe it down and repeat a couple of time's.Dumb question have you plugged it into any other amps?No trying to offend but if it sorta cleaned up there may be something else going on.It also may be time to have a tech/luthier check it out,couldn't hurt.
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« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2011, 02:45:40 PM »

Did you clean that phase switch and the knob controls or just the sliders? Those little switches like the phase type are notorious for having contact problems when dirty. Your description of crackling sound makes me think it is a connection problem so the first thing is to make sure all the contacts are clean. While it is plugged into the amp test every control one at a time and listen for any thing out of the ordinary, none of those controls should make any noise while you are sliding turning or switching them.
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Roger


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« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2011, 03:29:02 PM »

Just spray into the jack,plug in a chord twist around pull it out wipe it down and repeat a couple of time's.Dumb question have you plugged it into any other amps?No trying to offend but if it sorta cleaned up there may be something else going on.It also may be time to have a tech/luthier check it out,couldn't hurt.
Alright I'll try that when I get home tonight.  Yeah I have plugged it in to the system at my church and my amp at home, same results.  I can't really tell if there is a difference or not but when I can tell a difference between different settings on my preamp.  Like if I have the phase to one side and it set to pickup it sounds better than if I have it flipped the other way on mic.  I'll try to document my results and post them and see if that will shed some more light for some of you more technical people on here, because you all know more than me.  I might have to wind up taking it back to my guitar place and getting them to take it out and check it out themselves.
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