Welcome to Keen Electronics, LLC
Custom Electronics for Musicians
Custom Music Gear Electronics
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About Keen Electronics, LLC
Keen Electronics LLC specializes in custom electronics for musicians. The company was established in 2004 by Dave McKeen, Department Head and electronics instructor at Rogue Community College in Grants Pass, Oregon. In his prior life, Dave played guitar in various bands in multiple venues throughout the Pacific Northwest for nearly two decades. Dave's unique blend of experience as a musician and an electronics instructor give him an understanding of what players want from their instruments and the knowledge to create the products that deliver.
Keen Electronics LLC's preamps are built to give players the unique tone, volume, and effects they are looking for from their basses. We designed the "BEE Pre" for Fred Bolton (www.beebasses.com
) who has used our electronics in his custom Bee Basses for several years now. Brady Muckelroy, a star of the 2008 Bass Bash during Winter Namm, has this to say about the electronics in his custom Bee Bass: "I've gotten soooo many compliments on my tone. Thanks for doing what you do. It makes me sound great!"
Why use my electronics?
Why 18 Volts?
- I hand build and test every preamp I sell.
- Each one is customized to your needs... Overall gain, crossover frequencies, etc.
- I use the highest quality PCB board, electronics components, pots, and wiring
- All of my preamps are designed around an 18 volt power supply for adequate headroom.
With a nine volt system the signal will start clipping at about six volts (peak to peak). When you put any thumb into your bass, the peak voltages are higher than what any nine volt system can reproduce... period. In other words, if you are playing your bass the way a bass is supposed to be played, you are not getting all of your sound and punch to your amplifier.
Start with a fresh nine volt battery. Subtract .7 volts for the diode we have to put in series to keep from destroying your electronics if the battery is connected backwards. This leaves 8.3 volts. The operational amplifiers used in these designs will output about 2 volts less than the applied DC voltage. So, 8.3 volts minus two volts leaves you with a 6.3 volt maximum output signal with a fresh battery. Your maximum output will decrease from there as your battery voltages decreases with use.
Alex Watson of Watson Guitars (www.watsonguitars.net
) also uses Keen Electronics LLC preamps in his custom bass guitars. In his August 2008 review of the Alex Watson Single Cut bass (which includes a Keen Electronics LLC preamp with 3-band EQ) Jonathan Herrera, Senior Editor of BASS PLAYER MAGAZINE wrote:
Sound wise, the Watson was immediately striking for its outstanding evenness and balance. Whether played low beneath the B string's 5th fret or high up on the C string, the Single Cut's focus and clarity remained consistent. Each note rang with precise pitch definition, sharp attack, and generous sustain. I found the all flat sound bright for my taste, although as the strings mellowed, the brilliant highs lost some of their initial bite. Overall, the Watson was a delicate sounding bass that seemed most comfortable in sensitive settings that allowed the instrument's remarkably uncluttered, harmonically rich voice to shine. Chords worked particularly well, as even typically murky closed voicings spoke clearly thanks to the lucid string to string definition. The EQ was nicely voiced, especially the treble control, which ably took the edge off for a pretty bridge pickup fingerstyle tone.
Keen Electronics LLC has also customized preamps for individual bass players around the globe, including Al Caldwell, and the legendary Chuck Rainey.
Following is an excerpt from Bass Musician Magazine, The Sound (Part Two), 6/01/2008
by Al Caldwell
I've known Dave McKeen for years. He's the Mastermind behind the electronics in my Midi 11 and my Midi 9 string basses. I just heard some of his new pre amps and was blown away. When you record all the time in various studios, you don't have a clue what you're walking into. It feels great when you can trust your bass. There are tons of muddy sounding instruments with bright strings and poor pickups on them. I have tons of instruments because no one bass covers everything, or so I thought. His new preamps are so clear that all you add is the music!! I've fought for so long looking for speakers, amplifiers, wood combinations, and preamps. I think that I'm done with searching. I'm satisfied.
Jorg Schroeder of Schroeder Cabinets (www.schroedercabinets.com
) uses our electronics in his bass cabinets as well as in the JM Custom Bass line of jazz basses he and Miko Espanol are producing.
We have also collaborated with Schroeder Cabinets in the production of a rack-mount preamp, the prototype of which premiered at 2008 Winter NAMM with a debut performance in the Taylor Guitar venue upstairs. Check out the rack-mount and new preamp pedals at the Schroeder Cabinets and Keen Electronics booth at 2009 Winter NAMM, Hall C, Booth 4168.
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