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Advice on Amps for RA Mouse

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Tel7400, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. Tel7400


    Oct 15, 2010
    Essex, UK
    I've had my fretless Mouse for about a year or so now and I love it. Its pretty much my bass of choice although I might switch to active/passive jazz's for the odd song.
    I'm playing old school blues rather than rock blues as well as a bit of jazz. There's also some rootsy stuff and overall sound is more 50's than modern. I aim for a reasonable approximation of a DB sound and like a warm, woody sound without mud.
    Some songs I want to sit nicely in the mix, other perhaps more melodic material I want to cut through but still retain warmth. I like to hear the notes (in in spite of the odd intonation glitch - which I'm still working on).
    I'm currently using an Ampeg 450H with a 4 x 10 HLF which gets me reasonably close but not quite there. Strange as it may seem, I preferred the mos-fet Ampeg to the valve ones. Anyway, I'm thinking of changing to light weight equipment to save my ailing back and I'd appreciate your input. I did have a look sometime back (before I got the mouse) and tried Euphonic, Mark bass, Aguilar and Phil jones and found them a bit clinical sounding. I found the same with a number of Neo cabs as well. I know things have moved on though so I'd appreciate any up to date input you might have. I have noticed some great deals with the Genz Benz stuff at the moment which made me wonder about suitability.

    My thoughts at the moment are perhaps a GB Streamliner coupled with a Barefaced Super Compact although I wonder about the apparent lack of EQ on the Streamliner as well as ongoing support for Genz Benz with what has happened to them recently.

    I'd appreciate your thoughts.
  2. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    I've had good luck getting the tone you describe with my Rob Allen Deep 4 fretless (w/ Status black nylon tapewounds) and a TecAmp Puma 900. Here are a few jazz gig recordings, both acoustically recorded with an Audio-Technical 825 stereo mic in front of the band. My cabs were, respectively, Greenboy Fearless 110 and 210.

  3. Tel7400


    Oct 15, 2010
    Essex, UK
    Hi Ukiah Bass,
    Thanks for the quick response and the clips. Great tone and playing. I particularly like Song-Song. The venue looks great. Its been a while since I was over in that area of the US and I am just imagining sitting with a glass (or two) of wine listening to your music.. a very nice thought!
    I hadn't considered TecAmp and don't know very much about them, but I'm certainly going to take a closer look. I would think it would probably match quite well with barefaced cabs as from what I understand they are similar to the fearless cabs. Although I might think about getting into cab building again and perhaps build a fearless.
  4. Have you tried the Baer ML112 cab? My jaw dropped when I heard my Mouse thru that cab with my Thunderfunk. Mouse and Baer = great pairing.
  5. Tel7400


    Oct 15, 2010
    Essex, UK
    Thanks Groove Doctor, I'll take a look at the Baer cab.
  6. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    With Rob Allens, assuming the goal is to hear them as clearly and color-free as possible, I vote for TecAmp, Acoustic Image, and EA amps. My vote for cabs would be Greenboy Fearful/FEARLESS, nEarful and Barefaced. Just personal opinions as there are many great choices out there, including Baer and others.
  7. Tel7400


    Oct 15, 2010
    Essex, UK
    Thanks JxBass, The TecAmp's do appear to have a very positive following. From what I read the EQ frequencies do seem to have a wide spread, but I guess this isn't a problem. As well as a good sound for the Mouse, how about with the Fenders?

    I'm definitely considering a Barefaced Super Compact, pricing here in the UK is reasonable and reviews are also very positive. The one month trial is really good too - As we all know, there's no telling really until you try out in a live situation with a band.

    I was considering the Streamliner because there's some very good deals to be had currently, but its no good if its not going to give me the sound I'm after and EQ does seem to be limited as far as some reviews are concerned.
  8. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    los angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    I wouldn't go with a Streamliner - too much low-mid baked in that will tend to turn the RA sound into a sea of lo-end mud.

    I run Monique/Minnie as my main amp, Puma 900 as backup. The key though is cabinets, and I find the Baer ML112 to be a particularly good combination. You need tight lows and articulate mids. Baer does that really well.
  9. +1 Avoid the Streamliner with the piezo loaded Mouse.... way too much of a good thing with the piezo (big low end, sweet top end, big midrange dip).

    With the cab you have, the Puma900/500 would be my call. GREAT power at 8ohms, very good 'Mouse friendly' EQ (i.e., a low starting point bass shelving EQ to reduce the big low end of the buffered piezo without sucking all the balls from your low end, VERY nicely voiced midrange controls, and a very high shelving start point treble control to control the zing of the piezo, although that can be done nicely with the Mouse trim pot).

    Also, the Puma900/500 has an master revoicing filter that automatically cuts deep bass and upper treble and brings out the 'mwaw' midrange freq's when you turn it in that direction.

    Edit: With the cab you have, the Puma500 would be PLENTY! Also, the Aguilar TH500 kills with the Mouse... a bit fatter and chewier and warmer than the Puma500.
  10. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    los angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    ^^^ the taste knob on the Puma is great with an RA. You can thin out the low end a bit and get the mids more forward if you want with just a single knob twist.
  11. Tel7400


    Oct 15, 2010
    Essex, UK
    Thanks for your responses KJung and nostatic. I've read a lot of both your postings on TB and much appreciate your input.
    I think I'm going to try the Puma and I agree that the 500 should be fine for me. I've had a listen to some clips on youtube but most seem to be poor quality recordings or rather focussed on a slap sound, which is not really my thing. Fortunately, I can source one on a no questions asked 30 day return so I'll be able to give it a good trial.

    One of the question now is what should I replace first. The 450H amp or the 4 x 10 HLF. I'm not sure which of the two is the main culprit in not getting the sound I want. Unfortunately the guy who stocks Baers in the UK doesn't stock Tecamp and the Barefaced cabs are on a long wait if I do go that route. Probably best to get the amp and go try some different cabs I reckon.

    I'm not sure how much value it is, but I've spent a couple of hours today playing around with the Ampeg gear to try and get somewhere near the sound I desire. Its funny, I used to be reasonably happy with this stuff, but I'm just not getting it now - I guess the Mouse has got something to do with it. I'd be interested to see if my settings correspond to the typical perceived shortcomings of my equipment or whether its my ears that are the problem.

    For my passive Jazz bass:
    Neck pickup on full/Bridge pickup at 3/4 - Tone pot just off max. Flats.
    Bass - just backed off from flat
    Ultra Mid - backed off at about 11 o clock
    Treble - backed off at about 11 o clock
    4 x 10 HLF - Horn just on - anything more is too toppy

    Any more bass and I get mud and anymore mid and I get too much honk.
    This is about as close as I can get to a rounded, warm tone.

    For the RA Mouse:
    Mouse trim pot set at about 1/3 on (clockwise) - standard flats
    Bass - Flat
    Ultra Mid - Flat
    Treble - backed off at about 11 o clock
    40 Hz - Just above flat
    80 Hz - Rolled off a fair bit to remove mush - also seems to correspond with a mushy resonance at 5th position on the A string
    150 Hz - rolled off a fair bit as sounds a bit tubby and also affects the resonance mentioned around 80Hz
    300Hz - backed off a bit less - anything more and it sounds snarly
    600 Hz - similar level to 300 Hz
    900 Hz - flat - adds a bit more life
    2 KHz - Flat
    5 KHz - backed off slightly - adjusted to give a nice amount of finger noise
    8 KHz - As 5 kHz

    This gets me a reasonable low level thud without being too mushy although not as clear as I would like. The dip in mids is necessary otherwise I lose any acoustic quality and it just sounds like a fretless electric bass with honk.

    The above adjustments were at home at relatively low levels. When playing with the band, the mids would normally be a bit higher to compete with guitars. Unfortunately when I do that, I get honk.

    Anyway, I'd appreciate your comments and insight and if it is my ears, don't be afraid to say :)
  12. IMO and IME, with your bass and tone goals, the HLF would be the first to go for me.
  13. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    los angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    Yeah, I'd probably ditch both ;)

    I have only gigged that cab in a house back line once or twice so I don't have a lot of experience. In general though, with a RA I tend to cut low bass and add in some mid/upper-mid to get a bit more cut in a mix. If you are getting honk when adding mids, try cutting the low bass even more and leaving the mids flat. The Mouse in particular has a lot of booty and that can obscure the mids in a live situation, especially with a live room.
  14. Tel7400


    Oct 15, 2010
    Essex, UK
    Thanks guys.

    I'll get the Puma and take it to the shop with Baer speakers and give it a try.
  15. asbs


    Oct 11, 2010
    You have to try the Baer ML112.
    It sounds very nicely with both my Deep 5 and my Sadowsky 5.

    About the head, even if the company get some bad reputation on CS, I love the Epifani UL501. It's just my taste.
    My english is a bit poor to explain what I like in, but I would say this head bring a bit more an "heavy" tone.
    I guess it will not be the first choice for many of bass players in this thread :D...

    Attached Files:

  16. azwhofan

    azwhofan Supporting Member

    Oct 17, 2007
    Reviving an old thread.
    I recently acquired a Puma 900 and I will attest it does indeed enhance the mwah factor significantly. I am running it thru an older Berg HT/EX 112 rig. Would love to get a Baer to add to the mix, after listening to them at NAMM I can see how that midrange driver would be an excellent pairing with the Puma and RA M30
  17. Tel7400


    Oct 15, 2010
    Essex, UK
    Here's the latest in my quest for a lightweight amp/speaker for my RA Mouse. Please see original posting at the top.

    I am now a week in on my one month trial of a Barefaced Supercompact and its caused a significant re-calibration of my thinking. I now realise that my old school sound using my Ampeg gear had a fair degree of woollyness and having spent some time A-Bing with the BF (plus a lot of EQ changes) I've realised just how much my sound lacked clarity (a double edged sword of course with a fretless)I also realise just how good these new speakers are. The volume and clear tone at playing volumes is amazing. I'm sure this is true of lots of these high end cabs and I have to say they are so much better sounding than the earlier neo cabs I tried which always seemed harsh to me.

    Anyway, now to phase 2 which is a change of amp. Based on the feedback above (thanks again guys) the Tecamp Puma is probably number one on my list and I'm fortunate I can get one on trial for a month. Before I bite the bullet I would just like to ask for views on the GK MB800 compared with the Puma. GK pricing is very good, although from what I read the tone can be aggressive - which I don't care for. As a reminder, although I'll be using the Mouse 90% of the time, I will be using a passive jazz sometimes too. So the amp needs to suit both. I've also just ordered a fretted Mouse from Rob so that will be in the mix too.
    Lastly, If I do go for the Puma, 500W will be enough for our gigs (the BF is 8 ohm) but I wonder whether its worth going for the 900W for a bit extra clean headroom.

    I'd appreciate your input guys before taking the plunge.
  18. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    los angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    I think I said something about ditching both ;)

    I have a GK MB Fusion (500W) as a backup head. It isn't as refined as the Puma, but you can eq them fairly close. I cut highs and upper mids with the Baer cabs. I haven't run the MB800, but I don't like the MB500 as well as the Fusion. I find the MB500 (and presumably the MB800 since it is the same preamp) to be a bit "brittle" and harder to eq that out.
  19. Tel7400


    Oct 15, 2010
    Essex, UK
    Thanks nostatic. Yep, spot on with ditching both. Your comment about the brittle pre doesn't sound good. The Puma is still number one at the moment.
  20. Piezo pickups definitely suit a 'sweeter' sounding top end. I found my old SWR too brittle.... it had an 'click' with piezo+tapewound that I couldn't EQ out.

    With smoother/warmer amps I've found I didn't need to roll the tone back as much on the Mouse. I had tone trim fully open when demoing the Baer ML112. :yep:

    Side note:
    After changing so many aspects, you might need to try various strings with the Jazz to get that perfect balance when switching between the Mice and the Jazz. After not liking the feel of Chromes, they seem to complement really well as articulate flats, esp live when quickly swapping basses. Sadowsky SS Flats on a passive P really came alive they the Baer.

    Yeah - a total rethink can be costly. ;)