Hello folks. This is about a bass system that starts from a custom bass and ends at the cabs. It's an experimental fully modular system that uses a fully modular mindset and approach to putting together an electric bass system from top to bottom.
Essentially it begins at the bass itself. I'm in the midst of putting together a bass guitar that is as modular as I can design it. Using EMG pickup and electronics system in the bass itself, it won't have any type of onboard preamp of sorts, the pickups will have their own discrete output jacks. At most it will have volume controls for each pickup, and that's about it. I chose EMG basically for the ease of changing pickups. The experimental nature of this project assumes that the pickups will be changed to assist in the (insert huge dramatic reverb here) Neverending Quest for Tone
. So I wanted it to be very easy to swap out pickups and be able to easily mix and match them.
Out of the bass and on to the preamp. The preamps are a combination of analog modular synthesizer filters combined with Line 6 M13 models and Line 6 HD500 models as well. Also involved are several DIY overdrives, distortions, and compressors. The preamps are the heart and soul of this system, and the subject of this first installment in this thread. I will be adding info to this thread as the project progresses.
Out from the preamps and on to amplification. The signals hit a Mackie 1400i. I wanted to use "plain old power amps" in this rig so as to be certain the amps are doing nothing but making the signal louder without adding color if possible. From the Mackie the signal hits the cabs. One cab is an 8ohm Baer ML112. This cab is loaded with a 12" neo driver, and a 6" driver with a crossover network. The other cab (currently on it's way here) is a Carvin BRX10.2 in 4ohm. Since the Mackie can run different impedances per channel the disparity between the 8ohm Baer and the 4ohm Carvin ain't no thang.
So essentially that's the run down. The idea being to have the ability to run "stereo" or biamped, or mono. With the synth modules I can do some crazy signal splitiing and mixing as well. Onward ....
I started with a single 14space synth cab from a vendor in Canada that goes by Amherst Design. The cabs ship "flat pack" so shipping is less expensive. However it also means to must assemble it.
After assembling that first cab I coated it with Rustoleum Bedliner for coating pickup truck beds.
After some thought and early testing it was clear that 14 psaces were nowhere near enough to accomplish what I wanted to get done with this rig. So I decided to double it. A fabbed up a method to mount one cab on top of the other with a 1.5" gap between them. I cut large through-holes in the cabs to facilitate passing wiring in between them (such as power wiring and normalizing cables).
I handmade all of the brackets as well.
After the two cabs were screwed and glued together forming one single wooden structure, I started fabbing up an aluminum center strip out of 1/8" x 2" wide aluminum. The brackets were spaced pretty exactly, so the spacing between the mounting screws was uniform all the way across the strip. All of the hardware I used is Stainless Steel .. everything, including the nuts, flatwashers, lockwashers, dress washers as well as the machine screws and matching wood screws. Hole alignment is within 1/4mm. All metalwork was performed with a hacksaw and a file, all of the layout was done with a 16" steel ruler, all holes were drilled with a simple electric hand drill.
The center strip will be used to add roughly 20+ jacks and roughly 20+ switches to perform normalized control voltage wiring to reduce the amount of external patchcords needed to execute commonly used patches and connections. The gap between the upper and lower houses provides enough working space for plenty of components, and the center strip is completely removable. The end-gaps between the two housings serves as carrying handles.
So, after completing the cabs and applying five separate coats of bedliner spray (which took six days) I loaded the housing with the modules I had accumulated while I was building the cabs. Here's what we have so far (pardon the thumbprints on the aluminum) ...
Here's a couple of gut shots ....
I purposely mounted the power supply up on 2x2 blocks to allow room for the DC Squid (power wiring) to have room to spread out a little bit. Those blocks are glued and screwed to the cab's bottom, and the power supply is screwed to the blocks.
There is still a LOT of wiring left to be done. Many of the jacks in several modules must be reomoved and exchanged for prewired switching jacks to provide normalizing abilities. I designed a normalizing scheme that will allow various modules to be simply switched in and out of a patch with just the flick of a minitoggle rather than using more patchcords. All efforts to keep the patchcord jungle less dense in certain patches.
(next post) ...