"Legacy" Lane Poor Pickups

High Definition Pickups for Electric Bass
The lanepoor.com
Broadband Preamplifier Page
Originally posted (on this site) by The Lane Poor Music Company in 1999

Our new pre-amp utilizes surface mount technology. This upwardly compatible
pre-amp started life as a reduced size version of our 1 x 1 ac.
The "2 x 1 ac," is a 2 input x 1 output design with user adjustable gain settings.
The pre-amp can be configured as a single input, 1 x 1, or as a dual input, 2 x 1. It features variable gain of 2:1 thru 15:1 and is sonically invisible.
This pre-amp can also be configured with a two or three band EQ with a cut/boost of 8db with our upcoming optional plug-in module.
In addition, we have incorporated our Patent Pending "Check it" technology right on the board. This device allows you to Visually check the amount of power in your battery as you plug in! The readings are displayed by an LED mounted on the board and can be remoted by a fiber optic feed to the pickup cavity of your instrument.

This is what our local Mad Scientist has to say.

        Pickups, Preamps, Equalizers

        For years I've read things like "What does that preamp sound like?" or "All preamps have their own characteristic sound." To me a preamp shouldn't sound like anything. An output signal can match an input signal in terms of frequency response, transient response and the "magic" of "transparent". Not easily achieved. Lots of things to think about and deal with. Input impedance’s, deriving a good signal ground, bipolar supplies, bandwidths, capacitors in and out, integrated circuits vs discreet and on and on. I've lived with these questions for years.

        A good preamp should be virtually invisible. I'm ready to say I think we have a good one for basses and many other mid impedance devices. (Keyboards, guitars, go straight to power, tape or your hi-fi inputs.)

        So, we've been working on a preamp for about a year. We hand built a small number of 1 in 1 out preamps, small in scale, okay for a Jazz Bass cavity. The reaction was great, nice and clean, reliable over the long run. The Radio Shack output capacitor cluster was leaky, big pop with a bypass switch. Fixed.

        The other problem that I have always had with an on-board preamp is that the fear of losing power had necessitated the use of a by-pass switch. Admittedly by-pass switches are also useful for comparing the quality of the input signal to the quality of the output signal. I feel like I'm pushing against years of mediocre design, they are all too often different. However the feedback to date says we do well here. One of our favorite builders at the Nashville NAMM put it well, "I don't know what it's supposed to do, it just got louder!"

        Okay enter the Lane Poor Music Company 2 in, 1 out preamp. And yes it's transparent according to all the ears that have heard it.

        And it's useful for electric basses!

        Back to the bypass switch for a moment. Once the transparency question is answered the next problem that we all have with on board or external battery powered equipment is time based. How much is left. Enter Check It ©, (TM) and patent pending. The professor says it's an automatic primary cell charge indicator. In English it's a neat little device that automatically lets you know how much of a charge is left in your battery. When you plug your instrument or effect box in, there is an led that lights up for 4 seconds if the battery is full, 2 sec’s for 1/2, 1 for 1/4 and just a blip if it's almost empty. It behaves slightly differently for high, medium and low output impedance batteries. The stronger (lower) the impedance, the stronger the reaction of the circuit and the led. Check It (TM) handles the job well. The led on board the preamp can be electrically remoted via wires to a back plate or pick guard. It can also be remoted using an acrylic fiber optic light pipe. The pipe can be snaked through existing wire holes and brought out next to the surface of the instrument beside your pickup. We do have a really nice option for those of you with our pickups. You can drill a small hole in the pickup and remote the display flush to the surface of the pickup itself. See Check It (TM). If you would like this modification, PLEASE contact us for dimensions and location.

        What's a preamp???

        It has become common in our industry to call an electronic device that has a gain stage and equalization a preamp. To me that's a bit backwards. I like to say that we have a preamp, gain stage followed by equalization. It's reminiscent of studios. Input modules have pre/post switches for the eq. So, our preamp is exactly that, a gain stage. Our eq sections, (2 or 3 band) will be out fairly quickly. Our preamp is built with a small connector in the middle that will allow for a modular unit to be plugged in to the board for easy installs. Our equalizers are being designed with both bass/treble and bass/mid/treble controls. We keep the bottom usably high (100 cycles, I don't like 40, can do too much damage to a sound system all too quickly). Our mid control is board jumpered for 220, 440 and 880 giving players a wide range from dark to bright. The high end is still open for consideration, but it looks like it's going to end up at about 5k. Cut and boost, 8 dB. That's it. More than that and I think something else must be out. Like maybe the pickup.

        We manufacture broadband pickups, they don't require large amounts of eq.

        Tech specs. We don't have all these in yet. (We just got the first of the automatically built preamps in, they are being measured early this week.) What we do know is that they are quiet, fast and clean. Down 3db at 18 and 90k hertz. Ferrite is on board for in's, out's, and the battery connections. We are using an Analog Devices quad op amp. It costs us more than virtually all of our competitors pay for all of their components, but... it's the only one I have heard (haven't heard?) that I really like for everything that a bass can do. Clean slaps, full B strings, and very low on intermodulation distortion. (IM shows up instantly on a bass with tricky chords, like 9th's and 11th's.) Turn the gain up and go straight into a power amp or your home hi-fi!!! ("Oh no Lane don't tell people to do that!") Just watch the temptation of the loudness and bass controls.

        Physical things. The LP 2x1 AC preamp measures 1.5" long by 0.925" wide and 0.5" tall. Smaller than a 9 volt battery, fits in a Jazz cavity. All in and out connections are solder free barrier strips. There are 47 components on board, 20 on the front, 27 on the back (The little things are precision low noise resistors, 1/10th of an inch long!) Surface mount technology allows us to get a lot of components into a very small space. If this were built with "standard" components it would require roughly 8 times the space. Gone are the days of big boards here. Many many thanks to Wayne Mitzen for his patience and skills in taking our ideas and making them into a physical reality. Our boards were assembled by ISO 9002 certified Distron Corporation in North Attleboro MA. The preamps come with an output jack and battery clip already connected.