360+ Bass Preamp


This is my build of JC Maillet’s Acoustic 360+ bass preamp clone. You need to hear this played live, through a decent amp and speaker cabinet. It is spectacular, with lots of tone shaping controls/options and a groovy sounding fuzz section. Not too long ago, I had the opportunity to play my bass through an Avalon U5 in a nicely appointed recording studio. Not only was I blown away by the sound, I would put this preamp in the same ballpark. But, this has significantly more options for tone shaping, plus a great sounding fuzz. It’s sound is huge and pointy; deep, phat, crisp and sparkly all at the same time. As has been said of the U5, playing your bass through this will force you to become a better player, because every nuance of your technique will be reproduced with incredible clarity and fidelity.

Electric Guitar

Clean OD
Clean Bright
Fuzz Fuzz Morefuzz

Electric Bass

Clean Fuzz 1
Clean Fuzz 2
Clean Fuzz 3

I highly recommend building this one. Get the details at JC’s web site. I think he may have PCB’s and some kits available, too.

I made some minor additions when I put this first one together (yes. . . I’m definitely going to build another one. . . maybe in a 1U rack enclosure next time). I wanted to use a 3PDT stomp switch to simultaneously switch a clean/fuzz balance pot, the fuzz itself, and an LED/fuzz indicator. So, I ended up building the SPDT fuzz switch version. There’s probably a way to do all of that with a 3PDT stomp switch on the DPDT fuzz switch version (which grounds out the input to the fuzz section for a cleaner clean sound), but I grew impatient trying to figure it out. Maybe next time. . .


As you can see in the photos, there are two switches installed between the input and output jacks. The DPDT is a polarity reversal switch for the active/balanced output. The SPDT is the bright/normal switch. Originally, I had wanted the bright/normal switch to be done with a push/pull pot for the gain control, so I indicated that on the cover. But, I wasn’t able to get my hands on one right away, so I just put in the SPDT. I also didn’t have a drill bit big enough to install the XLR output jack for the active/balanced output so, for the time being, I just put in a regular 1/4″ jack.


Oh, BTW, this is housed in a large Hammond DD size enclosure. And, that white square in the photo of the board isn’t there to hide anything. It’s just a couple of small pieces of carpet tape on top of 2n1306 (fuzz) transistor to keep the metal case from shorting out against the enclosure.

I could go on. But, really. . . just go build one of these for yourself. . . . ’nuff said.