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Amp for a five string

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Steve S, Jun 25, 2001.


  1. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    I've been playing my Deluxe American Jazz through the Ampeg B100 R and it sounds just great - strong and punchy. However after I plug in my recently purchased Kinal passive five string, it sounds terrible. The sound seems very "airy" and it includes all of the strings, not just the B. No punch whatsoever.

    Can anyone tell me what must be wrong? Do I need a stronger amp?
     
  2. DaveB

    DaveB

    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    The obvious difference is in the pickups. Passive in the Kinal vs active in the Fender Deluxe Jazz . My guess is that not everyone would think the Kinal sounds worse than the Jazz through your amp.Those who like the organic, lower output tone of passives would likely prefer the Kinal. If you're preferred tone is active (and it seems to be) then the Jazz will sound better to you.
    You might want to try the Kinal with something like the Aguilar DB 924 preamp. It will give it a distinctly "active" flavor.
     
  3. DaveB

    DaveB

    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    Ooops..as an aside. If you're a gigging bassist you're going to need a bigger amp anyway especially with a five string. One guitar and a set of drums in a medium size club and you're gonna be out of gas real quick. Nothing wrong with your Ampeg's tone ...it just isn't very big.
     
  4. And the second obvious difference is the strings. The difference on a P bass between say DR HiBeams and TI Jazz Flats is quite astonishing. And can make all the difference with a small amp.
     
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I have a B-100R and an American Jazz Deluxe 5.

    The amp: Contrary to what some might think, this amp works great with B strings, it's actually one of the things that really impressed me about it. I've used it in small to medium sized rooms, with and without PA support. Not loud enough?...turn it up. I haven't run it at 10/10ths but it can easily run at over half gain. It doesn't sound like 100w when you turn it up. Just don't get crazy;)

    For all the basses I plug into it (every bass I own) I have the tone controls set as follows: Bass 5, Low Mid 3, High Mid 3, Treble 5, all voicing switches off. I turn the Master up to about 5 and then bring the Gain up until it's loud enough...on rare occasions I may need to set the Master higher.

    I use the passive (0dB) input for passive basses but have found that it works for any of my active basses too (including the MIA JD5), just not the ones with really hot outputs. Just keep an eye on your Signal (green) and Peak (red) lights.

    The basses: I have mine set up with the action fairly low, pickup height close to the strings, medium light rounds. This is true for my active and passive basses. A note about pickups: the Fender, like the Kinal, has passive pickups, with a three band preamp.

    On the Kinal I'd make sure the pickups are close enough to the strings to send a strong signal out of the bass. As mentioned strings can make a big difference, as does the way you play the Kinal. Do both basses have the same type of strings? (Nickel or SS, rounds or flat, paper or plastic (sorry)). What is the construction of the Kinal? That can have a huge effect on the sound.


    You can also play around with the Ultra (Lows, Mids & Highs) switches...I haven't needed them so far. My passive basses still sound punchy, I use Nickel rounds on everything.

    Hope that helps. I'm a big fan of this amp.
     
  6. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Try putting a SansAmp Bass Driver DI between your Kinal and the amp. I sometimes use one with my Fender Roscoe Beck V, which is passive. It helps, but I'd rather just buy basses with the pre-amp on board.
     
  7. barroso

    barroso

    Aug 16, 2000
    Italia
    the ampeg b 100r rocks!
    and even if 100w are not a big amount of power, i say that i'm totally satisfied with the output of the b100r. i play with a spector ns5cr 5 string active and with a rickenbacker 4001 passive and 4 string, both with excellent sound, live and in the garage.
    great amp with easy control plate and massive sound capacity. just pump up the gain..
     
  8. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    Thanks for the responses and helpful suggestions DaveB, Andy, Munijibunga, Barroso - I changed the settings on the amp to what Brad suggested and it sounds much better. No more airy sounds and it has more punch. I had the ultra low button engaged and taking it off does help. I have the Kinal and Fender strung with DR high beams. Not sure what Brad means when he asks about contruction but it has two Bartolini pickups on a swamp ash body. The neck is Pau Ferro.

    I've thought about adding a preamp either onboard or outboard but I do like the passive sound. Much different than the Fender Deluxe. I purchased the bass in April and was told that I should wait at least 9 months before deciding on changing the electonics.

    I must play with a loud drummer and guitars because we played at a private party last nite with probably 100 people present and I had the amp maxed out to 10. The Fender gives me a whole lot more headroom.
     
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
     
  10. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    Thanks Brad. You've been a big help. Why don't you use the Sadowsky outboard.
     
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    The Sadowsky works as advertised. I think it's real forte IMO is making a less than optimal bass sound much better. I tried one with a Dano for grins and it sounded much fatter. Not saying Dano's are less than optimal ;)

    I'm lucky in the fact that my passive basses sound great passive so there's far less of an improvement factor. I usually run my 4 string Jazzes (68 Alder, 78 Ash) through my amp flat.

    From everything I've heard about Kinals that should be a sweet bass you have.