Advice on Amps for RA Mouse
I've had my fretless Mouse for about a year or so now and I love it. Its pretty much my bass of choice although I might switch to active/passive jazz's for the odd song.
I'm playing old school blues rather than rock blues as well as a bit of jazz. There's also some rootsy stuff and overall sound is more 50's than modern. I aim for a reasonable approximation of a DB sound and like a warm, woody sound without mud.
Some songs I want to sit nicely in the mix, other perhaps more melodic material I want to cut through but still retain warmth. I like to hear the notes (in in spite of the odd intonation glitch - which I'm still working on).
I'm currently using an Ampeg 450H with a 4 x 10 HLF which gets me reasonably close but not quite there. Strange as it may seem, I preferred the mos-fet Ampeg to the valve ones. Anyway, I'm thinking of changing to light weight equipment to save my ailing back and I'd appreciate your input. I did have a look sometime back (before I got the mouse) and tried Euphonic, Mark bass, Aguilar and Phil jones and found them a bit clinical sounding. I found the same with a number of Neo cabs as well. I know things have moved on though so I'd appreciate any up to date input you might have. I have noticed some great deals with the Genz Benz stuff at the moment which made me wonder about suitability.
My thoughts at the moment are perhaps a GB Streamliner coupled with a Barefaced Super Compact although I wonder about the apparent lack of EQ on the Streamliner as well as ongoing support for Genz Benz with what has happened to them recently.
I'd appreciate your thoughts.
I've had good luck getting the tone you describe with my Rob Allen Deep 4 fretless (w/ Status black nylon tapewounds) and a TecAmp Puma 900. Here are a few jazz gig recordings, both acoustically recorded with an Audio-Technical 825 stereo mic in front of the band. My cabs were, respectively, Greenboy Fearless 110 and 210.
Hi Ukiah Bass,
Thanks for the quick response and the clips. Great tone and playing. I particularly like Song-Song. The venue looks great. Its been a while since I was over in that area of the US and I am just imagining sitting with a glass (or two) of wine listening to your music.. a very nice thought!
I hadn't considered TecAmp and don't know very much about them, but I'm certainly going to take a closer look. I would think it would probably match quite well with barefaced cabs as from what I understand they are similar to the fearless cabs. Although I might think about getting into cab building again and perhaps build a fearless.
Have you tried the Baer ML112 cab? My jaw dropped when I heard my Mouse thru that cab with my Thunderfunk. Mouse and Baer = great pairing.
Thanks Groove Doctor, I'll take a look at the Baer cab.
With Rob Allens, assuming the goal is to hear them as clearly and color-free as possible, I vote for TecAmp, Acoustic Image, and EA amps. My vote for cabs would be Greenboy Fearful/FEARLESS, nEarful and Barefaced. Just personal opinions as there are many great choices out there, including Baer and others.
Thanks JxBass, The TecAmp's do appear to have a very positive following. From what I read the EQ frequencies do seem to have a wide spread, but I guess this isn't a problem. As well as a good sound for the Mouse, how about with the Fenders?
I'm definitely considering a Barefaced Super Compact, pricing here in the UK is reasonable and reviews are also very positive. The one month trial is really good too - As we all know, there's no telling really until you try out in a live situation with a band.
I was considering the Streamliner because there's some very good deals to be had currently, but its no good if its not going to give me the sound I'm after and EQ does seem to be limited as far as some reviews are concerned.
I wouldn't go with a Streamliner - too much low-mid baked in that will tend to turn the RA sound into a sea of lo-end mud.
I run Monique/Minnie as my main amp, Puma 900 as backup. The key though is cabinets, and I find the Baer ML112 to be a particularly good combination. You need tight lows and articulate mids. Baer does that really well.
With the cab you have, the Puma900/500 would be my call. GREAT power at 8ohms, very good 'Mouse friendly' EQ (i.e., a low starting point bass shelving EQ to reduce the big low end of the buffered piezo without sucking all the balls from your low end, VERY nicely voiced midrange controls, and a very high shelving start point treble control to control the zing of the piezo, although that can be done nicely with the Mouse trim pot).
Also, the Puma900/500 has an master revoicing filter that automatically cuts deep bass and upper treble and brings out the 'mwaw' midrange freq's when you turn it in that direction.
Edit: With the cab you have, the Puma500 would be PLENTY! Also, the Aguilar TH500 kills with the Mouse... a bit fatter and chewier and warmer than the Puma500.
^^^ the taste knob on the Puma is great with an RA. You can thin out the low end a bit and get the mids more forward if you want with just a single knob twist.
Thanks for your responses KJung and nostatic. I've read a lot of both your postings on TB and much appreciate your input.
I think I'm going to try the Puma and I agree that the 500 should be fine for me. I've had a listen to some clips on youtube but most seem to be poor quality recordings or rather focussed on a slap sound, which is not really my thing. Fortunately, I can source one on a no questions asked 30 day return so I'll be able to give it a good trial.
One of the question now is what should I replace first. The 450H amp or the 4 x 10 HLF. I'm not sure which of the two is the main culprit in not getting the sound I want. Unfortunately the guy who stocks Baers in the UK doesn't stock Tecamp and the Barefaced cabs are on a long wait if I do go that route. Probably best to get the amp and go try some different cabs I reckon.
I'm not sure how much value it is, but I've spent a couple of hours today playing around with the Ampeg gear to try and get somewhere near the sound I desire. Its funny, I used to be reasonably happy with this stuff, but I'm just not getting it now - I guess the Mouse has got something to do with it. I'd be interested to see if my settings correspond to the typical perceived shortcomings of my equipment or whether its my ears that are the problem.
For my passive Jazz bass:
Neck pickup on full/Bridge pickup at 3/4 - Tone pot just off max. Flats.
Bass - just backed off from flat
Ultra Mid - backed off at about 11 o clock
Treble - backed off at about 11 o clock
4 x 10 HLF - Horn just on - anything more is too toppy
Any more bass and I get mud and anymore mid and I get too much honk.
This is about as close as I can get to a rounded, warm tone.
For the RA Mouse:
Mouse trim pot set at about 1/3 on (clockwise) - standard flats
Bass - Flat
Ultra Mid - Flat
Treble - backed off at about 11 o clock
40 Hz - Just above flat
80 Hz - Rolled off a fair bit to remove mush - also seems to correspond with a mushy resonance at 5th position on the A string
150 Hz - rolled off a fair bit as sounds a bit tubby and also affects the resonance mentioned around 80Hz
300Hz - backed off a bit less - anything more and it sounds snarly
600 Hz - similar level to 300 Hz
900 Hz - flat - adds a bit more life
2 KHz - Flat
5 KHz - backed off slightly - adjusted to give a nice amount of finger noise
8 KHz - As 5 kHz
This gets me a reasonable low level thud without being too mushy although not as clear as I would like. The dip in mids is necessary otherwise I lose any acoustic quality and it just sounds like a fretless electric bass with honk.
The above adjustments were at home at relatively low levels. When playing with the band, the mids would normally be a bit higher to compete with guitars. Unfortunately when I do that, I get honk.
Anyway, I'd appreciate your comments and insight and if it is my ears, don't be afraid to say :-)
IMO and IME, with your bass and tone goals, the HLF would be the first to go for me.
Yeah, I'd probably ditch both ;)
I have only gigged that cab in a house back line once or twice so I don't have a lot of experience. In general though, with a RA I tend to cut low bass and add in some mid/upper-mid to get a bit more cut in a mix. If you are getting honk when adding mids, try cutting the low bass even more and leaving the mids flat. The Mouse in particular has a lot of booty and that can obscure the mids in a live situation, especially with a live room.
I'll get the Puma and take it to the shop with Baer speakers and give it a try.
You have to try the Baer ML112.
It sounds very nicely with both my Deep 5 and my Sadowsky 5.
About the head, even if the company get some bad reputation on CS, I love the Epifani UL501. It's just my taste.
My english is a bit poor to explain what I like in, but I would say this head bring a bit more an "heavy" tone.
I guess it will not be the first choice for many of bass players in this thread :D...
Reviving an old thread.
I recently acquired a Puma 900 and I will attest it does indeed enhance the mwah factor significantly. I am running it thru an older Berg HT/EX 112 rig. Would love to get a Baer to add to the mix, after listening to them at NAMM I can see how that midrange driver would be an excellent pairing with the Puma and RA M30
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