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The Band for Double Bass by Headway

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Don Sibley, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley

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    I'm starting a new thread for this thing (without "NOISE" in the title).

    I haven't taken it out on a gig yet, but in my laboratory (i.e. living room) The Band by Headway sounded fantastic. I can get even louder with this than I can with the Ehrlund without a hint of feedback. To my ears, it has all the benefits of the EAP, natural mids, natural envelope, etc, but without the drawbacks. It's rugged, easy to install without modification to the unit or the bass, no teensy microphonic cord, it's less boomy and the envelope is, I suspect, easier to control on a gig. The notes on The Band decay quicker, more like my bass. This has the effect of making everything sound clearer. Since it's is less boomy than the EAP, I don't have to use as much EQ, and in fact, for the first time ever in my life, felt the need to boost the bass knob just a touch.

    Also, I like being able to remove all this crap from my bass when I play and practice classical music. I liked that about the EAP when I first bought it but I got tired of the cable rattling and I started to worry about damaging the pickup so I cut the cable and soldered a female jack on there.

    One must be careful when mounting The Band. It states in the directions to make sure the logo is directly front and center on the bass. This will offer the most natural response. I wanted the 1/4" jack to fall in a more convenient location, so I moved the band around the side. Bad idea, it had that nasally, typical piezo tone that I do not find very pleasing.

    OK, that's about it for now. I'm taking The Band out on a gig tomorrow. It's outdoors on a patio so I'm using the Kay bass which should offer expectedly mixed results. The band did sound better on my Kay than the EAP which was unusable on that bass. I'm also going to take this to BB rehearsal Monday night with the Pollmann.

    Oh, I almost forgot. In case you think I'm loco, here are the recordings for comparison:

    The Band

    EAP
  2. Nathan Levine

    Nathan Levine Supporting Member

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    The EAP sounds much better IMHO. Much more realistic and microphone like. I know that is not the sound that is always going to cut through or get the loudest, but there is a pure quality in that sound that I will always prefer.

    The Band is good. Really good. Best Piezo I ever owned in fact. But ultimately, it was sent off to a fellow TB'er, because it just wasn't getting used. Should have kept it as a backup probably...

    On a side note, when I got tired of the phenomenal violinist in my band having sound issues, I bought him a Band for violin, let him borrow my EDB1 and told him that if he liked the sound he could use the preamp as a long term borrow and pay me back for the pickup and if he didn't we could return the Band to MF easily enough.

    After using it a bit he had a hard time believing it was a piezo. And the box interestingly doesn't say anything about it. I got paid back.
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Administrator

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    How were these recorded (i.e. - how much acoustic sound is in these clips)? Also, do you have any pics of the band on your bass?
  4. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Gold Supporting Member

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    Chris,
    Here's a pic of the Headway Band, installed on a bass from the Headway Site. When I put it on it didn't cover the F holes. It's easy to install, and since the transducer is a little strip on the front of the unit, the material doesn't have to make perfect contact all the way around the bass.

    Ric

    Attached Files:

  5. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Gold Supporting Member

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    ++1



    I'm considering doing that for my other instrument, so I don't have to keep a pickup installed on the bass. I could see where the Band would be outstanding solution, for folks who tour and use rented instruments in different cities. It's would also be very good as a louder pickup, when you've reached the limits of the EAP. Fortunately, I've never gotten there, with the EAP/DPA combination split between the stage and FOH.


    All the Jazz Violinist in St. Louis use one, and it's just stellar with that instrument.

    From it's characteristic mid range, it sounds like a piezo, but it's a really good one.
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Administrator

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    Slightly off topic maybe, but I think I preferred the sound of the Band to the EAP on these clips. It got me thinking, though, about each player's preferences in such matters and how it relates to their acoustic sound. I think my acoustic sound is pretty "direct", and I like that sound. But when it comes to amplified sound, "direct" is a dirty word and something to be avoided. Of course, by "direct" I don't mean that early "pickup-straight-into-the-board-with-too-much-artificial-string-noise" sound that makes most of us cringe, but rather the notion of a full, solid, present, sustaining sound with a punchy attack and an envelope that doesn't die away so quickly.

    Anyway, perhaps because of this I often tend to like the "microphonic" pickup sounds less than the more "solid/punchy" amplified sounds that I hear. I don't know where I'm going with that, but this thread got me thinking so i thought I'd ramble...
  7. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley

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    There shouldn't be much if any acoustic sound in the recordings. I used a Zoom Q3HD about 25' away with the amp set at gig volume.

    I don't have pictures of my bass but the picture I uploaded to souncloud is exactly how I have it mounted.

    Check out this recorded without an amp and then this again recorded with The Band. Not too shabby. Maybe even better than the EAP.
  8. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley

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    I think it is perfectly apropos. This is how my thinking has evolved over the last three months. I started out just wanting an absolute copy of my bass but amplified. This proved to be somewhat problematic in certain circumstances. I jumped way over to the Fishman FC and found that to be unsatisfying on my bass. Now I hear more of a sliding scale, with the Underwood/BP-100 on one end and a microphone on the other with all the available piezos, and whatever the hell an EAP has in that little triangle :eyebrow:, falling somewhere in between.

    Every player needs to decide what their bass/ears/needs are in balance with how much feedback, piezo nasal, cost, futzing and EQing they are willing to deal with.

    If the BP-100 is set at a value of 100, most amplified sound you can get, and a troll microphone is set at a value of 6 then I would say I fall somewhere around 17. Yep, 17, that's my number. :D
  9. rickwolff

    rickwolff Supporting Member

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    Don,

    Glad to hear you're enjoying 'the BAND'. Since you probably received that together with the EDB-2 for you trial, I'm anxious to hear your review of that as well.

    I agree with you and Chris, I prefer the sound of the band to the EAP. (Now I'm nervous the EAP 'band' will be burning a bass on my lawn tonight). I always felt the EAP had a somewhat hollow or distant sound. Perhaps that's what some have referred to as 'microphonic'. I would have to disagree. The ABSOLUTE BEST SOUND I have ever gotten from my bass is recording through a condenser mic. On the gig, I am VERY happy with my new, present combination of my Shen 7/8 Gemunder>Lifeline>EBD-2>Super Flightcase. In the studio the mic is clearly preferable but on a gig I much prefer that more 'direct' sound Chris referred to and my present setup really DOES sound like my bass.:)
  10. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Gold Supporting Member

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    Rick,
    I certainly liked the Band, and I may eventually get one, but on my bass, with Evah Parazzi Weichs, nothing sounds as balanced, natural, and "like my bass only louder" (if that's even possible) than the Ehrlund EAP, Ehrlund Pre Amp and Headway EDB-2. While I'll agree that the DPA 4099B is the ideal companion for the EAP. The Ehrlund can go quite a bit louder, than the DPA only. Fortunately, with the new EDB-2 I can use both of them on the same gig. Just what I hear, it's obviously not the solution for everyon


    Ric
  11. rickwolff

    rickwolff Supporting Member

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    Ric,

    If you're with the group burning a bass on my lawn tonight I look forward to meeting you in person:) (I've never seen a more loyal group than EAP fans)

    Since you are a fellow EDB-2 devotee, a penny for your thoughts. (Sorry about the brief off-topic, Don). Since my Super FC already has a 5 band EQ, what is it in the EDB-2 that creates that 'magic' when I add it to the chain. Is the the HP filter perhaps?
  12. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Gold Supporting Member

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    I think you make a good case for the Headway band, being a pickup with a timbre that will "cut through" a group of instruments and be more present, especially in tough rooms. From that perspective, it's a very desirable sound
    and one that is perhaps easier to work with. The Ehrlund sounds a little different with my bass and rig, so I'm getting all the clarity and presence, for my particular needs and a warmth that I find lacking in piezo pickups in general.


    Well, I'd say that whatever works and sounds good to you and your audience is the sound your after. If direct is the thing that makes you the most comfortable as a player and sounds the best, then direct is the way you want to go.

    Fortunately, that CTI, direct to the board, without, impedance buffering, isn't with us very often these days. I think that sound was the fault of engineers that fell in love with the convenience of the D.I. because they didn't have to work at microphone placement and proper isolation to capture the sound of the bass. Ron Carter live, has a much prettier sound.


    Dosen't sound like rambling to me, you just have a clear idea of the sound you want and that's a good thing.

    Ric
  13. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Gold Supporting Member

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    Rick,
    No burning a bass for me, they are to valuable these days, even the plywood ones! :D ;) The Headway EDB is a class A Pre Amp that has more in common with Stereo Hi Fi (that's a blast from the past) designs than it does with bass amps. It also uses FET's (Field Effect Transistors) in the pre amp. There are of course a host of other features that add character to that sound, but for me it's the voicing and warmth of the EDB-2 that makes it sound so good. I really like the Band, but the EAP on my bass, is just too good to change things.

    Ric
  14. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

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    I'd like to try the band if anyone has one sitting around unused. I thought the clip sounded excellent. Glad to pay shipping...

    Don't know if I can get past whatever is written on the front though...pretty tacky!
  15. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley

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    I listened to these again at work along with the recording of the EAP and I'm convinced The Band is actually closer to the sound of my bass than the EAP.
  16. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Administrator

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    +1. but there's always electric tape. :)
  17. geoffbassist

    geoffbassist UK Double Bassist Supporting Member

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    Do you think the band is robust enough to survive being taken on and off basses? I don't quite get where the jack goes? Does it mean removing the whole thing each time to avoid the jack marking the back of the instrument?

    Sorry if this has been covered before....
  18. Nathan Levine

    Nathan Levine Supporting Member

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    Black Sharpie should do the trick.
  19. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley

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    Are you also interested in other Headway devices? If so, check out this thread and let me know. I'm sure Gordan won't mind adding another link in the chain.
  20. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

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    I don't think so, Don, but thanks. Maybe at some point...

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