TCT Vintage 3-Band EQ Preamp

The original on-board bass EQ preamp

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SKU: TCT Category:
SKU: TCT Category:

TCT is the legendary original Bartolini on-board preamp. It has Bass, Mid, and Treble controls with very low noise and wide adjustment range. The TCT was briefly discontinued, but we brought it back due to high demand once it was known to be used by the brilliant Marcus Miller.
It has vintage FMV (Fender™/Marshall™/Vox™) frequency controls so each band affects the others and if all bands are set to minimum, the output is muted. This active tone control has the same tonal response as the early Fender™ amplifiers with Treble-Bass-Presence controls. The Bass and Treble controls give about 12dB boost or cut at 50Hz and 6KHz, respectively. The Mid control can cut up to 16dB at 300Hz, just like the original Fender™ Presence control. An MCT mid boost module can be added for boost of the mid for full 3-band control.
They include a boost signal that can be used by professional guitar technicians to further increase the output gain or shape the frequency response. Because they rely on electrical current feedback for amplification, the tone is very well suited for high-output guitar setups. The TCT delivers very satisfying frequency-phase shift and asymmetric tube-like distortion when overdriven.
Like all of our preamps, the TCT is internally shielded to reject electromagnetic noise and includes internal filters to block AM and FM radio on the input. Bartolini set the standard of fully sealing the sensitive electronics. We use professional double tin plated pure copper wire with durable semi-rigid insulation. This ensures the 5” pre-stripped wires don’t flop around in the cavity and the wires don’t cut through the insulation over time.
The TCT is a vintage, complex design with a limited yet loyal following. Most musicians prefer the ease and flexibility of our more recent products.

Ordering Details

Model Description UPC Price
TCT TCT Vintage 3-Band EQ Pre-amp with high-Q mid dip at 300Hz 682384503188 $115

Ordering Details

Model UPC Price
TCT 682384503188 $115
TCT Vintage 3-Band EQ Pre-amp with high-Q mid dip at 300Hz

TCT Technical Details

Preamp Module Size:
1.76" [44.7mm] Long,
1.02" [25.9mm] Wide,
0.54" [13.7mm] Thick
Operating Voltage:
9V - Prewired battery clip.
3dB - Average boost is preset. Additional boost can be added by an experienced guitar tech. See the wiring diagram for more info.
Input Impedance:

Bass Control

  • Boost or cut your low frequencies. The control is assymetric and somewhat affects treble response as well.
  • Bass: +/-12dB@50Hz

Mid Control

  • Thicken or thin your tone with mid control. TCT has native mid cut for classic slap tone. The cut depth can be set with an in-cavity trimmer.
  • Mid: -16dB@300Hz

Treble Control

  • The TCT provides ample control range for treble boost or cut. The control affects bass response as well.
  • Treble: +/-13dB@6KHz

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