X-Bass - Experimental 3 Pickup Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Flux Jetson, Jan 14, 2013.


  1. Flux Jetson

    Flux Jetson

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    Hello everyone. This thread is to be a photo-journal of a project bass that is part of a quest of mine to create my ultimate bass rig. I am addressing the preamplification and amplification needs in another thread, this thread is to be dedicated to the actual bass itself.

    Here's the other half (if you will) of this entire system I'm building up ...
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f36/experimental-fully-modular-bass-rig-902681/

    That thread involves the design and construction of what I think of as my ultimate bass rig. It uses various types of paralleling gear (most of which is modular synthesizer components) to create a highly flexible and completely reconfigurable preamp coupled with a dual channel amplification system (2 power amp channels powering two different types of cabs). Here's a peak at a little of it ...

    [​IMG]

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    There's much more to it, hit the link above to see what is going on in that thread.

    This thread is about the bass itself. I've owned over two dozen basses since 1990. As many of us already know, it's a quest to find one that fits various needs. I've built a few basses that were centered around using Warmoth parts, all devoted to that same general quest. Each bass had it's own set of merits, but there was always something missing. I am certain many of you can identify with that!

    This bass is something I am attempting to build that will address most, if not all, of my needs without buying yet another high-buck bass that still requires mods and changes. I'm wanting a 3-pickup design, one that will help me towards getting some of those 70's rock bass sounds (Geddy Lee, Chris Squire, Dave Hope, and so on). As well as some of my own types of sounds.

    I'll be starting off using a 2012 Squier Vintage Modified 70's Bass. I've already begun some modifications to it that include putting each pickup on it's own discrete output channel. Each pickup has it's own output jack, and it's own volume control. No tone controls. I've found this arrangement to be SUPER flexible in a tonal sense. The ability to process each pickup on it's own before mixing/blending them has worked out to be genuinely excellent. Using the "X-Rig" (linked above) I am even able to switch between two pickup blend "presets" with a momentary foot control. The switching is instantaneous, silent, and very effective. Using the modular 4-channel mixer I am able to create very precise pickup mixes and switch between two of them, sortof like preprogrammable presets.

    Not only that but the ability to put each pickup through it's own dedicated set of FX prior to mixing them together has proven to be an outstanding asset.

    Yes, I can run each pickup through it's own amp if I wished it. However I find that approach to be overused and quite frankly too limited. I mean, think about what happens when you select only one pickup to play with, you reduce your amplification to exactly half! Not only that but you're relying on using the room as your final mixer. That is far less consistant than mixing the two pickup feeds prior to amplifying them. All of those issues are discussed in the other X-Thread (the Experimental Fully Modular Bass Rig thread linked above, as well as in my sig).

    So, on with the show! Welcome to my trials of building....

    X-Bass - The Experimental 3 Pickup Bass.

    :hyper:
     
  2. Flux Jetson

    Flux Jetson

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    Here is what I am using to develope this bass with. I bought it for this exact purpose. I intend on usingthis bass to test out a bunch of ideas on, then apply what I've learned in the design and cinstruction of the actual X-Bass, which will be made with (most likely) a Warmoth body and neck. The prototype is a 2012 Squier Vintage Modified 70's Bass with a soft maple body. I bought it in August of 2012 at my local Squier dealer (I try to support local small business when practical).

    [​IMG]

    The first set of modifications I did to it involved putting each pickup on it's own output channel. So I pretty much gutted the stock wiring, and removed the tone control and it's associated circuitry. I then added a second output jack, which is a nomally closed switching jack. I wired it up so that if I only use a single cord plugged in to the bridge pickup's output jack, I get both pickups and both pickups' volume controls as well, exactly the same as it is when stock.

    But if I use both output jacks, then each pickup is routed to it's own output jack and I can process each pickup separately, and then mix them how ever I please. This system works WONDERFULLY. The ability to separately process each pickup discretely is truly something great. It provides the ability to create tone that are otherwise very difficult to produce. This works so well that I intend on incorporating it into the X-Bass as a permanent feature.

    To begin, I removed the control plate and found typical *low-cost electric guitar wiring* inside. It was your average ~done quickly~ wiring job in an economy bass. Some of the factory soldering joints actually just broke off while I was fiddling with the wiring (cold/hasty soldering joints). So this is what I was faced with ...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It wasn't too bad - I have definitely seen far worse in other much higher priced electric guitars/basses.

    Here's the tone control and tone capacitor. Out it goes! I replaced the tone control and tone cap with another output jack.
    [​IMG]

    After looking it all over, I decided to just gut all of the wiring and replace it all. I didn't like how the control plate was used as a grounding bus instead of actually wiring up a ground wire from component to component ultimately connecting to the Sleeve terminal on the output jack. So I desoldered everything, and resoldered it using all new wire, making sure to make better solder joints than the factory did. I added a ground lead from both pots to both output jacks as well so grounding wouldn't depend on how tight the pots and jacks nuts are. There is now no doubt - it's totally grounded.

    This is still stock wiring ....
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    (Below) Ok, all done. I just wired it exactly the way it was before I removed the tone control and installed the 2nd output jack. I actually removed the stock output jack and replaced it with a high quality Switchcraft #11. That one was connected to the Bridge pickup's volume control. I added a Switchcraft #12A for the Neck pickup's output and connected it to the neck pickup's volume control. The Neck pickup jack is a "normally closed switching jack" that has a switching terminal. I connected the switched terminal to the bridge pickup jack's Tip terminal. What this setup provides is double functionality. If I want 2-channel operation, I insert a cord into each jack. But if I want to use only one cord and still have both pickups available (just like stock) I insert only one cord into the Bridge pickup's jack. Since the two jacks are connected together via the switched terminal on the neck's jack both pickup's signals are available at the Bridge jack if no cord in inserted in the neck's jack. As soon as a second cord is inserted into the neck's jack, that connection between the two is broken (the normally closed connection is opened) and the jacks become fully independant.

    So I can have it both ways ... single channel (exactly like stock) by using only the bridge pickup's jack, or 2-channel by simply inserting a cord into both jacks. In single channel operation both pickups signals come out of the bridge pickup's jack. In 2 channel operation each pickup's signal is sent out it's own jack. Cool, right?

    For the two new Switchcraft jacks, I used thick stainless steel flat washers on top of the control plate, stainless steel inside-star lock washers underneathe the plate, and used Blue Loctite (#242) on the jacks' threads before torque-ing them down good and tight.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG].

    Ok, all done .... and it works PERFECTLY!!!! In fact since I replaced the all of the wiring, resoldered everything, added actual ground wiring (that bare copper wire that runs full length connecting all of the components' grounds together with a single wire), used high quality jacks, and removed the tone cap and tone control, this bass sounds better (to me). Clearer, more detail. And the jack switching logic works perfectly, just like I had planned it out.

    Here's what was removed....
    [​IMG]

    And here's the end result .....
    [​IMG]

    Ok, so this takes care of the first set of electrical mods done to this prototype. I did this set of mods in August of 2012 and since then have used it this way for literally hundreds of hours. At this point I'm totally sold on the flexibility of this setup. Even if I elect not to use this type of setup on the actual final X-Bass that will be made with Warmoth parts, this setup allows for super easy testing of different EQing ideas and other routing tests that may be employed in the actual finished bass.

    On to the next little modification .. (and the most controversial one so far) .. the full length thumbrest.

    :hyper:
     
  3. Flux Jetson

    Flux Jetson

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    Ok, I did this next modification in August of 2012. Here we are at January of 2013, so I've had roughly five months to use this thumbrest. By now I know that about 50% needs to be either reduced in overall height, or removed completely. I know how much of it I actually need to use for thumb support, and how much of it needs to be GONE!

    I installed it as you see it to figure out exactly where I needed thumb support. I figured doing it this way would leave nothing to chance. It was very inexpensive, and was installed knowing full well that I wouldn't keep it on there, it would just be used to teach me how much thumbrest (and where to put it) was needed.

    It's a piece of 1/2" aluminum angle that I installed across the entire length of the playing field, with that thing I have an even reference spanning both extremes of the playing area. It may look odd but it friggin WORKS! I'm all about function-over-form, I'll put looks after function every time when given the choice. My thumb just glides along it's length when I fingerplay on different parts of the strings to give me the sound I like. However, it has proven to get in the way in spots when using a pick (it rubs on the underside of my wrist in less than good ways), so there are areas that will eventually be milled down, or even completely off. On the other hand, I can get a super even sound when going from string to string by moving my picking/plucking position to given areas - it really makes life easier in some ways.

    To install it, some of the stock pickguard had to be trimmed off. I scribed a line on the pickguard with a cargo knife, then removed the pickguard and completed the cut by scribing that same line over and over with the cargo knife until the unwanted section just came off. Nice straight cut that's nearly dead-flush with the edge of the aluminum. There is less than 1mm gap between the thumbrest and the pickguard. The only "aw shyte" is the visible screwhole from the piece of the stock pickguard that was removed that this thumbrest doesn't hide. I only had to drill one hole, I ended up using one of the pickguard holes on the neck-end of the thumbrest. It only needs two screws to anchor it. This thing really worked well as a teaching aid and testing tool.

    [​IMG]

    This was much easier to install than cutting small pieces of ~whatever stuffs~ and fitting them in ~wherever~ locations (fewer drilled screwholes as well). This way, I have learned what I need, where I need it, and what I don't need and where I don't need it. It was very simple to make and install, and very inexpensive.

    So I'll be reducing it in certain places soon. On the actual finished bass I won't be using this material, any thumbrests will be either store-bought or handmade out of different materials than what is seen here.

    Perfectly done! It has totally served it's purpose as a reseach device.

    Ok, so that catches you up to where I am at present with this prototype. The next thing is adding a 3rd pickup and some very flexible wiring/routing/switching setup that will serve as yet more teaching aids to learn about how I want to wire up the 3 pickups.

    Onward folks! :hyper:
     
  4. Shardik

    Shardik

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    Well... That rig looks awesome. If the bass is in the same class of awesomeness, I am signing on to follow this project. :)
     
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  6. Flux Jetson

    Flux Jetson

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    Thanks! Stay tuned (and check out the two posts above, I'm nearly done adding content to them).
     
  7. Shardik

    Shardik

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    Full length thumbrest... That is interesting. I do not use a thumbrest myself, as I tend to rest the thumb on the end of the pickup if I need it. But I think I see where you are going with that. ;)
     
  8. Flux Jetson

    Flux Jetson

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    Posted. See post #3 (above).

    It served it's purpose, I now know where I will want to put any type of thumb support on the actual finished bass.

    :)
     
  9. Flux Jetson

    Flux Jetson

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    Ok, it takes only a very few words to describe a very large job. "A 3rd Pickup". At this time about all I really know is where I want to place it. It shall be centered right at about the same position as a 24th fret would be located if the bass had 24 frets. Roughly the same location as a Rickenbacker 4001 or 4003 neck position pickup.

    The tough part is selecting which pickup to put there. In fact I'm thinking about going with a different pickup that is currently in the neck position (which will be the center pickup after the third pickup is added). I mean, I may end up installing P-bass pickups in both locations ... then again it may end up being both J-pickups in both locations. Or perhaps a combination. Or maybe go a different route altogether and put a P-bass pickup in the center, and some sortof mudbucker in the neck location as the 3rd pickup.

    This is maddening!

    There are so many ~possibles~ ....
    J-iP-iP ("iP" means inverted P-bass ... I've also heard it called "obverted" ... anyhow I mean putting the treble pickup closer to the neck rather than the stock Fender method of putting the treble pickup closer to the bridge.)

    (NOTE: This bass belongs to TB Member BlueTalon).
    [​IMG]

    Here's one that uses Music Man - P-bass - J-bass....
    [​IMG]

    Here's the Music Man Big Al which uses proprietary single coils with "dummy" coils stacked beneathe the working coils. The dummy coils act to cancel hum just like a humbucker does, but this retains the single coil tone
    [​IMG]

    Then there's this design (Steve Doner's "Air Force Bass" by Doner Designs). The 3rd pickup near the neck is a mudbucker.
    [​IMG]

    Here's one of John Entwistle's Alembic "Exploiter" basses that actually only has two "real" pickups, the center one is a dummy pickup that allowed him to use like a second coil when he used only one of the two "real" pickups for the humbucking affect.
    [​IMG]

    And many many others! So I have some thinking to get done. I can buy inexpensive/used pickups on Ebay for about $10 bucks each, so I can actually afford to buy both an extra Jazz Bass pickup, and a Precision Bass "tetris block" set of pickups for about $20 bucks. I got a router for x-mas (a Bosch) so I am now enabled as far as cutting out the pickup cavity.

    My strongest idea is to just cut somewhat of a bathtub pickup cavity that will host either a J or a P pickup, or even some other type. No pickguard will be needed for testing and such, so I won't need to bother with cutting one out just to test out various types of pickups.

    As far as an end product is concerned, this TB member's modified/custom Warmoth "Jagmaster" (what I call it) is my so-far favorite. It uses Fralin pickups. I have come to really like the Jazzmaster type body shape, and using the Jazzmaster pickguard I have many locations for switching and pickup wiring cavities. So that bass style is a strong contender for the finished product after I get things figured out in the prototype.

    [​IMG]

    Another pickup I'm considering is the older straight single coil P-bass pickup .. the one with four magnet poles.

    So ... at this stage in the game I've got to make some choices. Wiring this prototype is another consideration. Something highly flexible needs to be employed. I have some ideas involving the use of an aluminum box screwed to the body to put a few screw-terminal blocks inside of the facilitate easy re-connection of pickups in various ways (series/parallel, and so on).

    So then, I think the next action will involve routing out the bathtub cavity in the prototype bass.

    :hyper:
     
  10. Flux Jetson

    Flux Jetson

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    I'll most likely go with an unfinished/oiled alder body with a black/red-pinstriped pickguard, something along these lines ..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here's my favorite Warmoth Tele, I call it the Shredbilly. Oiled alder body, unfinished padouk neck with rosewood fretboard and stainless frets. I love stainless frets, they just last soooo long. :)

    [​IMG]

    So that is most likely what the completed X-Bass will appear like. Except, of course, most likely 3 pickups. If nothing else it will at least have two pickups located on the Rickenbacker positions. That is all yet to be seen.

    Ok, that's it for tonight. As I said the next forward motion will be to rout the pickup cavity in the test bass, then begin testing some various pickup types in several locations.

    Thanks for reading.

    Fluxoid. [​IMG]
     
  11. Flux Jetson

    Flux Jetson

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    Here's a few threads and links that lit the 3rd pickup fire under my behind.


    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f8/show-us-your-3-pickup-basses-941507/
    This thread was started by Talk Bass member "Doner Designs" and is probably most responsible for pushing me forward to add this idea to the X-Bass. I was pretty much all set to go with just using two J-bass formatted pickups in the same-old same-old locations until Mr. Doner showed up with all of his tricked-out KILLA looking 3-pickup basses all up in my face. He and I share similar design tastes as well. So after hearing what many members in this thread had to say about their 3-pickup basses, and after hearing what the Music Man Big Al was capable of it became clear to me that adding the 3rd pickup was an absolute necessity (that Big Al is a bass I had never heard of until I saw one or two in this thread owned by posters. I'd never have even dreamed to look to Music Man for such a thing, the Big Al is a long-distant departure from their Stingray designs).


    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f38/rick-4003-neck-pickup-p-bass-875536/
    This thread was also quite instrumental in pushing me over the edge. Detailed discussions and some very wise input from a few Talk Bass members were added to the ~push~ that made me decide to add this idea to my X-Bass.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IcTOnIfmOY "Rickenbacker Precision Bass Tones"
    This You Tube video is stupid-cool. It is reportedly a Talk Bass member that decided to put a J-bass neck pickup beneathe the pickguard of his P-bass. He put it in roughly the same location as a Ric neck pickup is. The resulting tone is really really great. While it may not be "exactly" the same as a Ric, it's certainly an excellent under $20 modification that get's him pretty darned close. 99% of the audience at a live gig or those hearing a recorded work with that bass and it's mods will never ever know the difference. More discrete ears may not liken it to an exact Ric sound, but that's ok. Like I say, if you want an exact Ric sound, use a Rickenbacker 4001/4003. But for roughly 1% (one percent!) of the price of a Rickenbacker 4003 you can get pretty close! I'd say about 90% there. So spend another 100 times the money for that last 10% if you like. This video is evidence of that.

    Y'know, and the thing about this is, many times the Ricky's sound is further processed to sound a bit differently than it does ~dry~ anyhow. So that said these Near-Ric tones are still something very workable. Look at how much processing and "work" it took Geddy Lee's techs to get him the sound he is so famous for. He himself has admitted that "it took a lot of work to arrive at that sound when using the Rickenbacker bass". Biamping, compression, crossover networks, distortion, EQing, and so on. So who's to say that some of these sounds that are born from the use of a 3rd pickup located in the proper place aren't just as useful, and won't arrive at the same ends? Heck, it might even be easier to ~get there~ using some other combination of parts (different bass, different pickup/s, different stuffs). I myself believe that to arrive at that family of sounds, it takes pickups located in the proper location relative to the bass's scale. After that, it's all nuance and seasoning to further refine the sound to one's own pleasures.


    "Rickenbacker 4003"
    Gotta have this in there for comparitve reference, y'know! I wasn't aware that the pickups are wired they way they are until I saw this video.


    I'd like to add that I'm not wanting to build a "Rick clone" that all it does it Rick sounds, but those tones are what are foremost on my mind when the issue of the 3rd pickup is addressed. The stuff Billy Sheehan does with his Yamaha Attitude Bass is pretty cool too. It's far more midrangey and "brown soundy" than I prefer (it seems to be missing a good deal of defined bottom) but that ~family~ of sounds is the direction the 3rd pickup addresses in my case.

    I also need to thank the following Talk Bass members (in no particular order) for their suggestions and help up to this point:

    Passinwind.
    SGD Lutherie.
    Stealth.
    Doner Designs.
    Any number of other members that had a part in this.

    So I hope that these resources may help anyone else considering mods of this nature. This thread, like the X-Rig thread, are simply photo-journals of a project I'm doing. I'm not shooting for a ton of subscribers or a lot of praise here. It's simply a record of a project. I welcome any suggestions along the way as well. The purpose of a forum is sharing information. That's all that is going on here.

    Thanks. :)
     
  12. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

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    Another cool thread Flux! There are some great examples of triples here that I did not see over in the 3 pickup thread.
     
  13. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

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    Oh so beautiful!! I love natural!! Those mini knobs are cool too. Never seen them before but have thought of using something like that for each individual pickup (like an easy access trimpot) and then have a larger knob for master volume.

     
  14. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

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    Flux, I have a pair of VM J pickups laying around if you wanted to have do 4 identical pickups on your VM J.

    I'll trade ya for some cool knobs if you like. :)
     
  15. Flux Jetson

    Flux Jetson

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    That'll work. :)

    I'll get back w/you later. Totally beat tonight. Now and again PTSD issues keep me up all night, nightmares 'n such. The joys of being ex-military and ex-streetcop. So I'm out of my mind tired tonight. Mo' latah. :)
     
  16. KeithAlanK

    KeithAlanK

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    A few notes:
    I agree with the "bathtub" idea while testing, as well as the use of a terminal strip for easy rewiring.
    Also the reverse-stagger P pickups like BC Rich employs, for better balance across the strings.
    All solid ideas.

    Here's where my own ideas deviate from the norm a bit:
    Your amplification system's versatility lends itself to proving or disproving a number of things, and what I would like to see someone in your shoes try is simply swapping bridge and neck pickups when implementing a two-output biamped system (your third pickup being added to season the stew).
    I had the pleasure of seeing Billy Sheehan with Talas in small upstate NY clubs MANY times, and his crazy rig fascinated me.
    Sounded freaking amazing, especially up close and personal.

    These days, though, I'm wondering if the tighter, lower-string-travel nature of a bridge + middle pickup might not be an interesting choice for sending to the low-freq section of a bi- or triamped system? Certainly the D and G strings will benefit from the fatter sound of a neck pickup much like the reverse stagger P pickups provide. It's not like there isn't enough EQ/crossover/processor/speaker choices to get the fat bottom going good from a Musicman.
    I guess what I'm getting at is that I find WAY too many bassists over-EQing the lows and turning their tone into mud. Every PA I've ever run, from small club systems to 100,000 watt concert monsters with line arrays and a mountain of subs, required turning the low knob on the bass's channel down a shocking amount just to get some clarity and tone. Personally, I always cut some lows on my amps (and my basses are fairly flat or even bright already) then add volume to get enough thunder onstage.

    The new digital mixing boards with multi-band compression are another interesting development which holds some promise for future pedals or rack gear, much like my old 18 volt Trace Elliot bass comp, only better.

    Sorry, just thinking out loud here.
    I'm enjoying this thread already and look forward to the next pages with great interest.

    As a longtime sound engineer, I found my initial forays into biamping my bass--both live and studio--to be remarkably easy and successful, and am looking for some new ideas before committing myself to a more permanent course of action (plus I need to recover from expensive truck repairs).

    Your experiments look like they'll give me and others useful ideas and data on many aspects of the total sound picture, and I for one really appreciate your efforts.
     
  17. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Supporting Member

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    I am going to receive one hell of an education here. Fascinating reading so far. Subbed.
     
  18. Flux Jetson

    Flux Jetson

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    Thanks! I've much stuffs in the path ahead of me to test and experiment with. I intend on posting as many of my findings as I can in the form of SoundCloud tracks and text.

    Well, I'm not much of a fan of the cliche "biamped" system, meaning that I think it's a misuse of one's resources running each pickup to separate amplifiers and speaker cabs. For one thing, if you decide to use just one pickup (let's say the neck pickup) you've just cut the power of your amplified sound in HALF. One amp no longer makes sound, so there goes a big chunk of SPL. Another thing is that when you do that "pickup-per-amp" thing, you are relying on the venue/room to actually produce your final pickup mix. You may sound excellent "up close and personal" and you may sound like ass in some other part of the venue. You may also be at the extreme mercy of the FOH guy to produce your final pickup mix.

    If you process each pickup on it's own, using whatever means and devices you choose (exactly like "biamping" provides) and then mix them together before they are amplified, you have FAR more control over your amplified sound. There will be far greater consistancy of your sound in more places within the venue that way, and you also have "the last word" about your pickup mix when it comes to what the FOH guy can do to your tone.

    I still use two amps/two cabs, I split the mixed pickup sound into two separate signal feeds and send them to separate amplfier channels which power two different cabs (a ported 2x10 and a sealed 4x10). Each amp channel also has it's own group of FX/EQs/processors before things get amplified. This is what I use to tune the sound to the venue. The 2-amp-channel system is great for tweaking the mixed pickup sound to best suit the room or the venue. It is also an excellent place to tap into for recording two tracks at a time.

    Here's the basic routing and processing algorithm I use (all horizontal straight lines are patching insert points where any type of processing may be used). Note that it is divided up into three stages. STAGE-1 is INPUT and PICKUP MIXING - STAGE-2 is Parallel FX processing - STAGE-3 is amplification.....

    [​IMG]

    Here's far greater detail of "STAGE-1" (I can actually switch be between two different pickup mix "presets" by using a momentary footswitch). Every place you see a RED LINE is an INSERT POINT where any type of FX/EQs/Processors/Compressors/Etc. may be inserted into the signal chain.

    [​IMG]

    And here's more detail about STAGE-2 (parallel FX processing) and STAGE-3 (amplification). Any straight lines are insert patch points.

    [​IMG]

    (MORE DETAIL ABOUT THIS SYSTEM IS FOUND IN THE OTHER THREAD - PAGES 12, 13, 14 ARE MOST APPLICABLE BUT THE ENTIRE THREAD IS INFORMATIVE .... SEE LINK IN MY SIG)

    I've tried to step ahead of the age-old "biamped" system where each pickup is sent to separate amps. It's too limiting. If you process each pickup individually then after all of that processing is done, mix everything together, you have the option of running that mix to a single bass amp (great for those without the luxury of owning more than one bass amp rig) - OR - you can resplit that mixed signal and then do whatever you please with it.

    I feel it's just far more flexible, offers a lot more control over the sound, and is just plain old better to process each pickup separately, mix them, then amplify that mix however you see fit (whether it be resplitting the signal to two or more amps, or sending one mixed signal to FOH, or whatever it is you wish to do). The old one-amp-per-pickup idea is tired and kinda cliche these days. Yea, that older idea ~works~ but I feel this method I use ~works better~ :)

    I go into this notion in far greater detail in the "X-Rig" thread (see link in my signature).

    Well, see my comment above to reply to most of this set of ideas. I agree with you about how things are done by most bassists. Again, this notion is dealt with in great detail in my other "X thread" (see link in my sig).

    Agreed. Another way to deal with that is using one or more of the Boss LS-2 line splitters (see pages, 12, 13, and 14 of my X-Rig thread for a lot of detail about using the LS-2 as a parallel FX device). I myself use modular synth signal routing and mixing gear. Once again, see the link in my sig for all the details you'll need to see how I go about doing this.

    No apologies necessary :) I write long posts too. I think you might be better served by diving in to the Experimental Fully Modular Bass Rig thread (aka "X-Rig" thread) that is linked in my sig. This bass I'm working with in this thread is being designed to exploit that system to it's fullest degree. It seems that your interests and ideas fit in better with the X-Rig quite well. Both this thread and the X-Rig thread are sortof interlinked, developments in both systems compliment each other greatly.

    I could have posted this bass's design and construction within the X-Rig thread, but I wanted new readers to follow along with this project and be able to provide opinions and ideas regarding it's design and construction.

    But for ideas about the outboard gear, processing, and amplification you'll find a LOT more information about those ideas in the other thread. I'll be posting links to inter-connecting ideas and progress in both threads as they pertain to one another.

    I hope you find this stuff helpful!

    Fluxoid.
     
  19. KeithAlanK

    KeithAlanK

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Messages:
    900
    Location:
    San Antonio Texas
    Thanks for the info.

    I "get" your signal flow and the reasons behind it, having read the other threads, and completely agree that it's a superior way to go for those inclined towards the complex.

    My own immediate bi-amp future (and past) are a bit more traditional, in that I have no intent at this time to mod my basses for two or more outputs, but things change in our quest for tone.... Pretty much just lows, highs + full-range direct ASAP. (I reserve the right to add a guitar amp with all the attendant noises later. Sometimes I miss playing guitar, and my band is but a three-piece).

    Just scored a Peavey MAX preamp today for $85--the same model I borrowed with great results in the studio. It's 2 channels, tube and solid state, fully footswitch selectable and combinable, with a built-in crossover and EFX loop and a good XLR out (compared to other brand's direct outputs, which often suck in my experience).
    I'll be using it full-range for now, until I can get a good deal on a stereo power amp and another 410 cabinet.

    One of the best parts of your system is that you mix it down for FOH. Very wise, and pretty much mandatory. It's just too far outside the experience and comfort level of most live engineers to deal with multiple bass signals effectively.
    I plan to mic my cabs with large diaphragm condensers while also running the direct out, then using a mixer onstage to insert compressors and combine into a single send for FOH. Since I need the mixer to combine a SubKick with a close-mic for bass drum anyway, it's not much more trouble to get complex with my own signal.

    For local club gigs, our engineer is a bassist who I've been mixing for many years so giving him 3 bass channels isn't a big deal, but we've started touring a bit and on big multi-band shows, snake and board channels are precious.

    The main problem I foresee is monitoring my mix onstage without having to make my way out in front of the stacks. Perhaps a high quality powered speaker in front of me instead of a vocal wedge? I have lots of in-ear monitor stuff to play with, but would rather not.
    Hopefully I won't get blank stares when asking about the subwoofer crossover point, in order to better tailor my system to the PA on any given night.


    Thanks for the discussion. I'm still processing all the options you've presented me (and others) in these threads.
    Hopefully someone else will help get the topic back to new ideas on the X-Bass so that project moves forward and stays in the bass section, after all this amp talk.

    Keith
     
  20. Flux Jetson

    Flux Jetson

    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    Messages:
    2,070
    Location:
    Colorado River Basin, Arizona
    "Hopefully someone else will help get the topic back to new ideas on the X-Bass so that project moves forward and stays in the bass section, after all this amp talk"

    AYE CHIMUNGA! NOOOOO!!!! [​IMG]

    Heheh.

    That's why I kinda made it a bit too clear about where to locate better information about my rig itself in that last post with all of the funky drawings.

    The last thing I need to have happen is this to get burped over to "AMPS" when the main ethos of this thread is about my bass. I've quoted that last post of your over in the the X-Rig thread to sortof move this conversation over there. :) http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f36/e...lar-bass-rig-902681/index16.html#post13732828 (this link will take you to page #16, then scroll to post #314). You'll find my reply to your to your post that is quoted here at that location.

    Anyhow, thanks for your thoughts, I deeply enjoy discussions about all of this, so if you want to talk about any of your ideas or issues take it over to the http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f36/experimental-fully-modular-bass-rig-902681/ so the thread-moving-bots don't reassign this thread elsewhere. (the horror .......... the horror).

    [​IMG]

    But, BIG HUGE THANKEES for the discussion!

    :hyper:
     
  21. Flux Jetson

    Flux Jetson

    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    Messages:
    2,070
    Location:
    Colorado River Basin, Arizona
    To assist people that may be interested in what I (and others) are doing with some of these ideas, here's a quick list of links to some subtopics so that if someone has a question or wishes to discuss something other than this bass, they can have a place to find information that may already address their curiousity or give them venue and platform to speak about their experiences.

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/adding-guitar-amp-produce-clarity-mid-voicing-921702/
    :) - This is exactly what it sounds like it is. Several pages of people's own ideas and experiences about using a guitar amp to add voicing and clarity.

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f36/experimental-fully-modular-bass-rig-902681/index10.html - PAGE 10
    :) - This covers adding new modules to the system that add splitting capability.
    :) - The footswitch operated pickup-mix switcher.
    :) - Tri-Amping.

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f36/experimental-fully-modular-bass-rig-902681/index11.html - PAGE 11
    :) - This covers filters and EQs.
    :) - RANE PE-17 seven band Parametric EQ (this is easily the best PEQ I have ever used).
    :) - Rolls RPQ160B six band Parametric EQ.
    :) - Presonus EQ3B 1/3rd rack three band Parametric EQ.
    :) - Highly modified "cocked" Cry Baby wah used as a band-pass filter.
    :) - Setting up 4channel parallel sends and returns for parallel FX processing.
    :) - Rolls MX14B as an alternative that can be used to parallel process FX and other effectors.

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f36/experimental-fully-modular-bass-rig-902681/index12.html - PAGE 12
    :) - This covers the use of guitar overdrives used on one channel of a parallel two channel bass amp system (aka "biamped" .. but not really, no crossovers used) to simulate the use of a guitar amp for clarity and midrange voicing.
    :) - The notions of using algorithms in your thought processes.
    :) - Introduction of using heavy processing on a per-pickup basis for 2-channel basses (like the one in this thread).

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f36/experimental-fully-modular-bass-rig-902681/index13.html - PAGE - 13
    :) - Introduction to the Boss LS-2 as an alternative to using high-end parallel routing gear.
    :) - Nested FX chains in parallel FX Loops.

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f36/experimental-fully-modular-bass-rig-902681/index14.html - PAGE 14
    :) - Introduction of the first ideas about the X-Bass.
    :) - Deep-diving into using the Boss LS-2 for parallel and series/parallel processor routings.

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f8/show-us-your-3-pickup-basses-941507/
    :) - This is a multipage thread about exactly what the title says it is about. Started by Doner Designs.

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f38/rick-4003-neck-pickup-p-bass-875536/
    :) - Yet another relevant thread that addresses much of my aspirations that this thread is here is addressing.

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f38/can-p-pickups-mixed-brand-brand-947805/
    :) - And finally, this thread was informative. Some of the information in it may end up being useful for things I may end up adopting on the X-Bass.

    So there ya go folks! An index of things that are relevant to this bass, yet hold content that you might wish to discuss that isn't really "bass guitar subforum" specific. This thread has the potential to wander way way off topic, so perhaps these links may help keep things moderator-friendly.

    Adios Muchachos!!

    That is all.

    [​IMG]
     

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