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A versatile, reliable, and LOUD upright bass rig?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by keeping it low, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. keeping it low

    keeping it low

    Jul 31, 2007
    Hello fellow bass players,
    I wanted to avoid creating another thread and read up on many existing ones hoping to find what I was searching, with not much luck. I am a stand up player who plays both arco and pizz in a 3 piece rock band. We play a wide variety of dynamics both real soft and delicate to very big and loud. We are getting to the point where we are going to get a rehearsal space of our own which means I will need to buy a new bass rig. (We have been renting spaces/equipment...it's been pretty painful)

    I used to play a Kay through a GK and ampeg cabinet, and was rather happy with the reliabilty and consistent sound. I now play a 40's Czech bass which sounds very beautiful and it's crucial that I capture the sound. At the moment I have been using a Realist, which I am real happy with. Heads I've been considering are an Acoustic Image/EA/Eden/and an Ampeg SVT 3. We are going to be playing shows soon in a variety of different rooms big and small and want something that is a little more sophisticated than what I have used in the past. A Walter Woods sounds pretty amazing, but I can't afford that.

    Any advice?!?!

  2. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Speakers, well, that's a whole 'nuther Oprah Winfrey show.

    But as far as LOUD (and sensitive) heads go, the AI Focus is 800 watts at 4 ohms. So is the iAMP-800 from EA. I don't think either one of these has any serious reliability issues, but that's just what I know. The Markbass heads have not been around as long (speaking to the reliability requirement), but from what I've read they seem to have a reputation for being able to go quite loud too. I have not tried one myself.

    More stuff here too in case you haven't seen it already.
  3. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    All I would suggest is to stay away from the Ampeg SVT 3-Pro. They have them at the rehearsal studios we jam at and I have a hard time getting a decent sound out of them with an electric. I can't even imagine trying an upright!
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    An iAmp or Focus through an EA NL210 would be a great choice. Can't speak for he Markbass. When things get loud, you may experience feedback with the Realist. A HP filter will help, as will some afterlength muting past a certain volume point. Speaker placement is also a factor to think about. In terms of arco and pizz, many players have issues with arco amplifying much louder than pizz with the same settings, so it would also be worthwhile to consider a strategy for that as well.
  5. Reefer

    Reefer Guest

    Mar 9, 2003
    Don't know about the Realist, but my Full Circle sounds great through my WW(I know, not on your list), my Focus, and surprisingly well through my Thunderfunk which has a nice woody tone to it and gets quite loud. I've owned the Markbass and found it sounded great in my bedroom, but never was happy with it in gig situations. I've been using the Berg HT112 for a long time and have been quite happy with it, but the new Aguilar DB112 is my new love which puts out a lot of incredible tone.
  6. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine

    In addition, consider a Full Circle instead of the Realist. At high volumes the realist becomes muddy and has complicated feedback issues.

    Also remember that if you are playing loud the PA is your friend. Consider your stage rig a monitor for yourself to hear your intonation and feel/hear the bass in the mains. There is a limit to how loud you can get your stage rig trying to fill a room with a DB. Feedback and degradation of the sound you like starts to happen way before you max out volume levels that an SVT can reach.

    You can't do it all from stage.

    Phase reversal is good to get a few extra DB. High Pass Filtering may be also useful if you set the shelf lower like 35hz so you still rattle the room but remove the junk below bass notes. Foam block between the tailpiece and the top that stiffens and reduces movement of the tailpiece and afterlength will get you a few more DB but also degrade your tone and really screw up the arco feel. Use as you can.
  7. robboy


    Jul 13, 2006
    Boca raton Florida
    I use a Focus with 2 GK cabinets, a 2-12 Neo and a 1-12 Neo. Most of the gigs I do are with a moderately loud Blues and R&B band and a Gypsy Jazz group. As Uncle Toad mentioned, the house PA is your best bet to get loud. However, I don't always have the luxury of sound reinforcement and have to get loud enough to at least hear myself above drums, keys and a Super Reverb. All the things mentioned about damping the strings between the bridge and the tailpiece and the phase reveresal capability are right on. Also you sometimes have to lower your expectations regarding tone. You just are going to have to be willing to put up with a sound that is not always ideal if you are going to play an acoustic bass loud. In my case I sometimes have to cut the lows and very carefully adjust the mids. After each EQ change I play all over the bass to see if there are going to trouble spots then readjust etc. etc. Also be aware that what you are hearing on stage is not always what the audience is hearing. It's great if you can get someone you trust to tell you what you actually sound like out front.
    BTW I agree completely about the Full Circle. I started using one on the reccomendation of Randy Ward with my new Upton Hybrid. I used to use an old Schaller mag pickup and the Full Circle is not only louder before feedback but it also sounds better on this bass.

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