Finally put together a working rig!
Howdy folks! As some of you may know, I recently purchased a Shen SB80. I've been trying to make use of some items I've assembled over the years as a guitar and bass player, and have finally managed to put together a DB amplification rig that serves my purposes. First, I purchased some cheap Belcat piezos from Amazon for about $25 (EG-202). I encountered a problem with them generating a pretty mean hum, which I alleviated by wedging a small strand of copper wire between the pickup and the bridge and then wrapping the wire around all four strings after the bridge, effectively grounding the pickups to the strings, much like a BG or EG. I then have the Belcats running to a Behringer ADI21, which really is a nifty little box for $40. The blend control, if used in small doses really puts a nice rumble on the overall sound, which allows me to cut through with the 7 piece band I use it in. Finally, I have all that running into a self powered American Audio DLS-15P 300 Watt PA speaker.
Last night I was finally able to use it in a rehearsal situation with the band. Now, the band has quite an eclectic mix of instrumentation (1 amplified acoustic guitar/banjo player, 1 trumpet, 1 amplified mandolin, 1 keyboard player, 2 percussionists with cojon and djambes and myself). The rig cut through like nobodies business! It sounded like my bass but louder, with very clean lows and accurate mids and highs. While I eventually plan to get a K&K bass max with a GK combo and an FDeck, this rig is more than adequate for most venues, though it may be a little under powered for a larger outdoor venue.
I wanted to post this as proof positive that with a little creativity and know how, even the most unlikely components, when used together in the right combination can produce a really workable rig that not only sounds good, but is dirt cheap.
I'll try and post some pics over the weekend.
Sounds cool, man. Well done!
I was able to put it all to the test last night in a rowdy bar setting. The rig sounded great. The only thing I could've used to tighten up the sound a little bit would've been a parametric eq, as the second octave F# was a bit boomy, though that was fixed by just releasing the note a little sooner. All in all, I'm really happy with this cheap little rig. I was able to play with a drummer and an electric guitar and still be just right in the mix.
Pictures of the bass and pickups
So, here's a few pictures I was able to get of the way that I have installed the pickups. I hadn't seen a pickup placement quite like this yet, so I figured Id share what works for me.
I installed the Belcat EG-202's into the "heart" part of the bridge, rather than adhere them to either the top or the bottom of the bridge. I just couldn't seem to get them to produce enough umph without wedging them some how, and they were to small to fit into the wings on the outsides of the bridge. I noticed that I got a much more even, natural sound right there. I also had to place a piece of foam that i had trimmed in to a horseshoe in order to isolate the wires from the bridge wing cutout to avoid rattles and otherwise unpleasant sounds that would mess up the sound.
Here I simply used a zip-tie to install the output jack to the tailpiece, using a small piece of foam to wedge the jack assembly away from the tailpiece to eliminate rattling.
I thought it blends in alright from the audiences perspective.:bassist:
Seriously though, I didn't know a damn thing about DB's before I joined here a month ago, and this forum is a huge resource that I couldn't go without. Thank you all for your wisdom, advice and input as I've made the journey from wanting to play and dreaming of owning a DB, to purchasing wisely and setting up the DB and finally with providing the resources to learn the important differences between playing a BG and a DB so I could jump in with both feet playing with this big ole thing with my band. The DB as well as TalkBass have literally changed my entire outlook when it comes to music, from writing and performing to how I look at an instrument, whether it be a beat up Squire P-Bass, a Shen SB 80 or a Music Man.
/Why yes, I have been drinking a little bit
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