New EDB-2 and EDM-1 from Headway For Trial

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by rickwolff, Aug 16, 2013.


  1. rickwolff

    rickwolff Supporting Member

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    I am having Headway's new pre-amps, EDB-2 and EDM-1 (as well as 'The Band' bass pickup) sent to me for trial. My agreement with the distributor is to pass it along to the next person to audition it (That's assuming that I don't fall head-over-heals in love and send them the money and dare them to pry it from my cold dead hands). They would, of course, like (and expect) our impressions, thoughts, reactions etc posted here on Talkbass.

    I think it's incredibly exciting that there are such great products becoming available and am really looking forward to auditioning these from Headway.

    Fortunately there is another TBer here in town (BOLO), so I am going to ask him if we could get together and perhaps run this through some of the fine equipment he already has.

    I hope this may arrive as soon as tomorrow or Saturday and will, of course, be posting my reviews as well as hopefully some sound clips.

    Boy, are we havin fun now, or what?????
     
  2. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

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    Rick,
    That should be fun, Gordon sent me my EDB-1 when they weren't yet available in the U.S.. He's a good person to deal with. He also sent me out a replacement unit, when I was having an issue with the Channel 1 input, being to hot for the Realist. Since both boxes had the same issue, I got in touch with John Littler, and he modified my EDB-1, setting the Channel One input to "unity gain" That solved the issue with the Realist. So I can't say enough about the excellent service I got from both Gordon and John. Great people to deal with.

    I've been looking at the differences in the two boxes, and what it appears, is that they have used their customer base, to gather feedback on upgrades, that they have incorporated into the EDB-2. John has apparently found a way to lower noise lever of the new design, which is quite a feat for an 18 volt, Phantom Power Supply. The new box allows you to assign the notch filter to Channel 1, Channel 2, or both, this function is not in the feature set of the EDB-1. The same is true for the EQ section, which can be assigned to a specific channel or both. Phase Reverse can be assigned to Channel 1 or Channel 2. It also mentions in the new literature that you can have 0 Gain or up to 32 DB gain, so I'm hoping that that will eliminate the need for a padded cable (or modifying Channel 1 input) with hotter pickups like the Realist and Full Circle. They have also added the three way variable input impedance switch to Channel 2. All in all, that's an impressive array of improvements.

    We haven't heard from Bolo for a while, I'm glad to know he's still knocking around. He's a very common sense fellow.

    Sounds, like it.

    P.S. After carefully reading through the EDB-2 Manual I found another goodie, the power switch has a standby mode, inserted between the on and off settings to help eliminate that distinct pop that the EDB-1 has if you forget and turn your power amp on first.
     
  3. headway_gordon

    headway_gordon

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    Rick, the units are all packed and waiting for the mailman to come and pick them up. If the postal service is on their game you should have them tomorrow. Once you are through "havin fun" I think Ric would be the perfect second stop for this little Headway Talk Bass roadtrip. He would be able to compare the original with the new version. I know for a fact that quite a bit of Ric's input has been incorporated in the new design. I'm also keen to see what you all think of the new mini version...
     
  4. Roger Mouton

    Roger Mouton Supporting Member

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    Rick - Could you be a little more specific about the "unity gain" setting and/or why it was needed? I'm running a Realist through EDB-1, Channel 1 and have not experienced any "hot" issues that I know of. I do have a Planet Wave p/u on another instrument and it is definitely "HOT" but I haven't tried it through the EDB-1 yet to see if it mediates the situation.
     
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  6. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

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    Well, when this happened, I was using one of the original Copper Foil Realists, with the plain black 1/4" phone jack, not the newer ones with the Realist Logo Embossed in gold onto the connector. With that particular version of the pickup, I couldn't get the Channel 1 any higher than 3, because it had so much

    gain that it would begin to feed back.

    Once John's technician did the modification, the problem was solved for my particular situation. So, it's a modification, made to the components inside the box. There were a few other Headway owners here on Talkbass that experienced the problem, but they solved it by purchasing a special padded Planet Waves cable, that

    you can order directly from David Gage. My advice to you would be as the old adage says " If it ain't broke, don't fix it"! What the modification really helped me with, was balancing the gains between the Realist (older version) and a DPA 4099B so that you could get approximately the same outputs from both sources relative

    to their volume settings on the Headway. To the best of my knowledge, there were only a small handful of players, here on TB who ever experienced this.

    Ric
     
  7. Nathan Levine

    Nathan Levine

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    Very cool that Gordon is happy to send one out on trial and then let it make the rounds.

    Love my Headway but have stopped using it regularly because it doesn't play nice with my Troll. I had great success using it with the DPA though.
     
  8. Nathan Levine

    Nathan Levine

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    One? No three headway items! How very cool indeed. I bet you dig the Band. I think it just might have the most going for it soundwise on the piezo market. I was able to get a really true sound blending the Band and the DPA.
     
  9. rickwolff

    rickwolff Supporting Member

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    I found an older TB thread re: the 'Band'. Seemed everyone really liked the sound but many were not enamored of the 'bicycle tire' around the bass look. I'm half-way there already since I have a Gage bass bib that ties around the bass.

    I told Gordon that I am really liking my Lifeline so the 'Band' has pretty big shoes to fill - but I'm fully prepared to be blown away. If I do love it I might look into some fabric the color of my bass that I could put around it to make it a bit less obvious visually.

    If I keep 'the Band' for my big bass I will move the Lifeline over to the Eminence which also really likes the Lifeline.
     
  10. headway_gordon

    headway_gordon

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    Rick, the color of the band is the natural color of the material that it is made from. They decided that it was not a good idea to add dyes since they couldn't guarantee that something in the instrument varnish wouldn't cause the dye to leech out. The material was tested mercilessly to make sure that it was totally non-reactive and would not mar the finish on the bass. I did once see a violin prototype that they tried out a while back that was a dark brown but it was hideous looking on the instrument. We had the same reaction in the violin world when we first introduced the fiddle version but we found that once folks hear the sound it produces they are usually willing to compromise about the visual. I agree it's not optimal but we are all about not compromising on the sound...
     
  11. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

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    I was told at ISB that the new 'mini' unit shares the class A circuit of the EDB-1. When I owned that unit I thought it had about the best sound of any preamp or bass head I'd ever used. Using it with a small power amp worked great, but I ultimately tired of the clutter and now use an old Clarus head which works well, although it lacks that certain bit of air and bloom. Since I rarely used the tone controls on the Headway, the new unit might be a winner. It will be interesting to see your thoughts about the 'Band'. It seems to me that it would mute the bass somewhat.
     
  12. rickwolff

    rickwolff Supporting Member

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    Gordon,

    Touche. (or whatever the British equivalent might be).

    And please, don't think for a minute that I'm looking a gift horse in the mouth.

    Not a big deal, but do you see any problem with putting a fabric 'sleeve' around the 'wrap'? (I'm assuming you wouldn't want anything in between where the actual peizo elements are and the top of the bass).

    And again, thank you for your generous offer to do this round-robin with these items. I know many of us on Talkbass will appreciate and take advantage of this.

    Rick
     
  13. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

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    Rick,
    Just from a tension point of view, if the band is designed to apply equal pressure across the top, then I think you'd want to consider that putting something else underneath it, that might cause it to slip, displace itself, or create uneven pressure. I think that it's fit is intentionally very snug. It will be interesting to see what Gordon has to say. Piezo pickups crave pressure to get the optimal sound from them. I'm sure you remember those days when we were all using shims to get the Underwood pickup to sound right.

    Ric
     
  14. headway_gordon

    headway_gordon

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    I honestly don't know for sure since I have never tried it. My gut says it might be a problem because there is just enough tack inherent in the material that it doesn't move around. putting material between might change that but whether or not it makes a difference I don't know. I'lll try it and see...
     
  15. headway_gordon

    headway_gordon

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    Rick - here's something to think about when you try out the EDB-2 and the mini. Try it out first by going in thru the effects return on the amp (I'm assuming your amp has one, if not disregard). This will bypass the front end of your amp so the signal will not be colored by that circuitry. This is the best way to hear exactly what the box is doing for you. I suspect that a lot of the problems that people have had with feedback etc. might be alleviated a little (or a lot) if they did this. I'm a fingerstyle guitar player (sorry :>) and this is the way I run my EDB-2. I think when you step one pre-amp on top of another there are some wierd squirrely things that seem to happen sometimes. It also means that what you hear onstage coming out of the amp is very close to the sound you are sending to the PA through the XLR out if you are using the unit as a direct box. Ric V, have you tried this?
     
  16. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

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    Gordon,
    When I was using my DPA 4099B, with the Realist, the combination of the EDB-1's stellar preamp and the Walter Woods exceptional pre amp, just had to many gain stages, so I've definitely used mine that way. One thing that should be pointed out here though, it is my understanding that if you insert the signal into the effects loop, you defeat the switchable impedance loading the the EDB-1 provides, so it's one of those two edge swords, so to speak. These days I'm using my EDB-1 as a pre amp into the QSC K8. It's very satisfying, lightweight, and portable.

    Ric
     
  17. rickwolff

    rickwolff Supporting Member

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    This is some FINE looking gear that arrived from Headway today. I have only spent a little time with it so far but will share a couple impressions.

    EDB-2 Others who have extensive experience with the EDB-1 can offer more, but this box seems to pretty much have it all. I won't bore you with details you can get on the Headways website or this review in Bass Player magazine: http://www.bassplayer.com/article/headway-music-audio-edb-2-and-edm-1-pickups-and-preamps/152121

    Suffice it to say this Pre appears to be able to lot a number of things very well. I think it should be of special interest to the many bass players who are using, or thinking of using a powered speaker - whether its a QSC K10, or something like the Phil Jones PB300. This box, which can mount on a mic stand can be the front end of you system whether mixing a PU and a mic, or doubling with a BG. By the way, the 18v Phantom power runs my AT Pro-35 just fine with no noticable noise.

    EDM-1 This thing is just CUTE. Significantly smaller than the EDB-2, it has one channel and a 3 band EQ vs the 5 band on its big brother. If you only need one channel this would be an easy Pre to hang on your belt (Both models come with belt clips as well as threaded sockets for a mic stand).

    The BAND Pickup. This pickup can be installed on any DB without any modifications of any kind. It simply wraps around the C-bout and attaches to itself with velcro. An interesting feature is that, though I believe it is a piezo, it sounded just fine going straight into my bass amp (TC electronic BG250 WITHOUT AN IMPEDENCE MATCHING PRE - My amp has a 500K input impredence)

    I have to spend some more time with this but my initial impression is that my Lifeline has a fuller/richer sound. I haven't spent enought time and only ran them both completely FLAT with no EQ so this will need further investigation. Regardless, I am becoming more and more convinced that, for me, nothing is going to replace a good mic. Although I will never leave home without a pickup either for mixing or for backup for those times when a mic doesn't work well.

    This is going to be a member-to-member ongoing review so stay tuned.

    Ric Vice, are you ready? You're next, but don't hold your breath because I think I'll want a week of so with these fun toys.

    Rick

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  18. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

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    Rick,
    You really have to do a gig with it if you have one in the near future. That's the only way to tell how it works with the rest of your rig. In regards to the microphone being your choice, with great power comes great (feedback) responsibility.

    Ric
     
  19. rickwolff

    rickwolff Supporting Member

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    Ric,

    Fortunately I have gigs Wednesday and Saturday. I've been having a great time playing with the notch filter on the EDB-2 to knock down feedback in my practice room. I think I've got the hang of it now - I'll just have to see if that 'knowledge' translates out into the real world. Kind of makes me appreciate how darn easy the pickup is. I'm glad I've got that as a backup.

    Rick
     
  20. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley Supporting Member

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    :D Hahahaha
     
  21. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

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    Great,
    Understand, for me a Notch Filter is my court of last resort, since it tends to leave a "little black hole" that makes the note(s) disappear right where you apply it. I seldom use it. If I had a choice, I'd actually prefer a low cut filter. Just my preference mind you.

    Ric
     

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