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Amplification?

Discussion in 'Barker Bass Forum' started by ariwax, Jan 2, 2006.


  1. ariwax

    ariwax Insonating the acoustic window Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Hi,

    I am set to take delivery of my fretless 4 BVB in two days, and I was wondering what people have been using for amplification. Would you tend to gravitate toward transparent, Acoustic Image-style setups, or warm tubey type rigs, or something else entirely?

    Best,
    Ari
     
  2. IotaNet

    IotaNet Supporting Member

    Ari -

    Good to see you are hyped about the Barker. (The Bongo is fantabulous, by the way!)

    Although I am not gigging, I play mine through a Yorkville XM200 with the controls set flat. Nice full sound -- woody and round but substantial.

    BTW, when you get your Barker, I'd like you to do something that I always like to show people. Simply strike an open E and let it ring until it decays totally.

    You should get about 30-45 seconds worth of sutstain. It's awesome!
     
  3. Lee Barker

    Lee Barker Labor of evident value satisfies the soul. Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Redmond, Oregon
    owner, Barker Musical Instruments, maker of the Barker Bass, No Longer In Production.
    Ari, I was skeptical about the MB150 head from Gallien Krueger because the print catalog always shows it with an acoustic player. I asked both Dan and Gene there, and they both assured me it was way cool for an electric like mine, and they weren't right, they were REALLY right. I was attracted to its size and figured that 150 watts was good for a lot of the little venues we play, and it's plenty of very clean horsepower. I link that to the GK Neo112 (currently reviewed in BassPlayer) and it is a highly portable (hey, Dwayne, no comments about my being an old man, ok?) setup with very nice response. Having said all that, I'm a fretted player, but I test all the instruments through that same rig, as well as a 700RB head, sometimes through an Accugroove cab, and any permutation of those four elements sounds great to my ears. And by the way, my ears are very experienced. They are over 120 years old. Collectively.

    Lee
     
  4. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    The absolutely best tone I have ever gotten from my fretless was into my TFB420 (flat except timbre at 11 o'clock) into my Epifani UL110. I roll the balance knob on my bass a tad back to the bridge pickup and get an absolutely fantastic 'Jaco' tone. As soon as I can come up with the cash I will be getting an Epifani UL112 to round out the rig.

    But then if that is not the tone you are looking for this setup would not work for you.

    :D

    Joe.
     
  5. Doug Mancini

    Doug Mancini

    Oct 25, 2005
    Amplification, as with anything regarding "your" sound is a matter of taste, use what sounds best to your ear and conveys "your" sound best. I've played my Barker 5 in many different venues playing a variety of styles from Jazz to Blues/Rock using a variety of different rigs(tube and solid-state), the Barker sounded great through all of them. My current set-up consists of a couple of different rigs, depending on what's appropriate for the gig. I use either a GK 800RB through one or two Epifani T112 (1X12) cabs, ( by the way, if you've never played through an Epifani cabinet it should be at the top of your "must do" list, they're simply INCREDIBLE.) or an SVT-4 Pro with an SVT 8X10 cab. I know these are two extremes, I'm just trying to convey the versatility of the Barker Bass. Your individual "voice" as a bassist is in your HEART,SOUL and HANDS, your bass and amp are only extensions, and a "Barker Vertical Bass" will be a beautiful extension of that unique "voice". Sorry about that Ari, this is probably more information than you were really asking for.
    Back to the point, my Barker sounds "amazing" through whatever I use. Whatever you choose to play through, there's no getting away from the incredible "BARKER TONE". The first time I played my Barker, I intentionally played through a very "low-end" amp with everything "flat", so as to really hear the "TONE" of the instrument uncolored and it still sounded unbelievable. I knew it would since the bass had great timbre without even plugging in.(I recommend playing an instrument for the first time acoustically before ever plugging it in, listen to and feel the timbre of the instrument). When I teach out of my home I plug into a little Fender 15B practice amp and my students plug into another one I have on hand for them, and when they hear my Barker through this little amp they can't believe the TONE I get. I hope I've been of some help, good luck and enjoy your "Barker Vertical Bass", you will soon realize it was one of the best investments you've ever made.

    All The Best;
    Doug Mancini
     
  6. Byron

    Byron

    Nov 9, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    I am currently playing through an Ashdown 180. It is, well, fine. It has a worthy range and volume. It doesn't hurt the sound of the Barker, and it did not hurt the pocket book too much. I get volume without distortion and a fine EQ, where I tend to tweak my sound for different needs.

    The best two amps that I have played through is a GK 150, the little lunchbox sized one. That was the most brilliant combo, for certain. I was told that acoustic players are turning to them on occasion. I found it clear and forthright. I still wish I had bought one.

    The other was a massive old rockin' Ampeg tube head. It had a few years on it and was wired to a 4/10 cab. It belongs to a friend of mine who plays only jazz and Rawk. I liked that rock set up as well, for different reasons. Without giving tubes their typical temperature based adjectives, I will say that the sound was real, authentic, nuanced, and very malleable. I could get edgy with a tweak of the knobs.

    Probably my druthers would be a GK head and a single 12" Accugroove box. And a roadie. Part of the reason I went for the combo was so I could still haul my own gear in one load.

    It is hardly necessary, but if you can't get enough low, SansAmp offers a pre whose model name I can not recall. That moves the Barker sound from rich to "no thanks, I am full."
     
  7. modeshapes

    modeshapes

    Oct 17, 2005
    NYC Area
    It seems Barker players are using a whole range of different amps and head/cabinet combos. I doubt you could go wrong with anything you already play and like.
    I did not buy any new amplification gear when I got my Barker fretless. I have three amp rigs:
    1) a GK400RB head (the older kind with few knobs and controls, the way I like it), and a Bag End 15" cabinet
    2) a Nemesis 2x10 combo, and
    3) a GK MB150E combo. Sometimes I plug my Bag End cabinet into that as an extension cab.

    Additionally, I mainly work for a band which rents backline gear for me; they provide a GK head and a Hartke 4x10 cab.

    What I found when I started gigging on my Barker was that it really did agree well with all the amp rigs. I've even played it several times through Roland and Peavey keyboard amps at the school where I teach and even THAT sounds good!

    I tend to like pretty clear and straightforward amplification, and I find the signal coming straight from the Barker does not need sweetening. This is not to say you wouldn't have good luck with an amp designed to "color" the sound in a certain way, but in my opinion it is not needed.

    Hope this helps!
     
  8. I'll take a different side that I haven't yet seen represented here, and that is that whenever possible, I prefer to run my bass direct into the house PA. I beef my signal with a BXR M-80 DI pedal, but if I can at all avoid it, I'd rather not dilute the pure tone that I get from my fretless.

    I've found that the more stuff I put between the bass and the house speakers, the more it loses its naturally "woody" tone.

    I wish I was good enough to endorse BXR though. My ears are forever ruined because I can't stand to hear my rig played without my M-80.
     
  9. TRIPSTER

    TRIPSTER

    Aug 13, 2003
    Sulphur LA
    For mine I use a Glockenklang Bass Art Classic and 212 and 210 cab. It's a wonderful fat and warm sounding set up. I pretty much swear by them. There's my 2 cents. Cheers all!
     
  10. ariwax

    ariwax Insonating the acoustic window Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Joined the family.

    Wow. I took delivery of my BVB (#40) today, and I see what you all mean. Even through my dinky little Fender Bassman practice amp, it sounds big, buttery and warm. The best fretless tone I have ever heard. This is quite an instrument. Mr. Barker, you are clearly some sort of evil genius.
     
  11. IotaNet

    IotaNet Supporting Member

    Glad you like it, sir!!! :hyper: :hyper: :hyper: :hyper:
     
  12. Todd Johnson

    Todd Johnson

    Sep 27, 2005
    Anthem, AZ
    Hi Ari,

    I run everything I play into a ThunderFunk Head into an Accugroove tri110L cabinet. Set it flat and turn it up and it's pretty much perfect for me and the way I play.

    There you go'.......play slow.........don't hurt yourself. :) :bassist:
     
  13. Doug Mancini

    Doug Mancini

    Oct 25, 2005
    Ari,
    I knew you were going to love it no matter what your choice of amp was. Now you understand what "The Barker Tone" is. Congratulations and enjoy.

    Doug Mancini
     
  14. Lee Barker

    Lee Barker Labor of evident value satisfies the soul. Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Redmond, Oregon
    owner, Barker Musical Instruments, maker of the Barker Bass, No Longer In Production.
    Thanks for the clever compliment. I read between the lines. I have never before been called a Genial Elvis, and I am basking in the glow of this new description. It may lead to yet another exciting feature of my life, although parachuting, in a white jumpsuit wearing truly annoying sunglasses, into the front yard of Todd Johnson's house scares me more than a little.

    :) )

    Lee
     
  15. TRIPSTER

    TRIPSTER

    Aug 13, 2003
    Sulphur LA
    Thanks for the clever compliment. I read between the lines. I have never before been called a Genial Elvis, and I am basking in the glow of this new description. It may lead to yet another exciting feature of my life, although parachuting, in a white jumpsuit wearing truly annoying sunglasses, into the front yard of Todd Johnson's house scares me more than a little.

    :) )

    Lee[/QUOTE]

    Dearest Lee, Never say that again. My head is spinning... :D
     
  16. Lee Barker

    Lee Barker Labor of evident value satisfies the soul. Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Redmond, Oregon
    owner, Barker Musical Instruments, maker of the Barker Bass, No Longer In Production.
    On the subject of amplification: Last week at NAMM I was generously loaned two rigs for demonstrating Barker Basses in the booth: A GK 700RB 210 and a GlockenKlang Soul head with a 210 cab. I am familiar with the GK gear and think very highly of it and it teams up with the Barker for exquisite clarity. I had never spent any time in front of a Glockenklang and I have now added it to my list of Top Tier Equipment. There is a certain largeness to the sound, and I hesitate to call it color, that I found very pleasing. It made the soles of my feet happy.
    That all being said, note that the four string basses went into the Glock and the fives into the GK. So not a scientific study, right? Dang. Guess I'll have to talk to Dan and Gene at GK and Trip next year and try it again, inverted. My thanks to them, seriously, for helping us out. 7 basses in a Taurus wagon with two people and their luggage 2 days each way does not allow for the transport of amplification stuff.
     
  17. TRIPSTER

    TRIPSTER

    Aug 13, 2003
    Sulphur LA
    Glad you liked the Glock! So the Glock rocked your socks yes? It does mine too. Bless you Lee and love to thee!
     
  18. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    I am using a Phil Jones Bass Buddy as a preamp into a Stewart 600 amp. i really like this setup. Normally played through any combination of a 110 and 115. later, ron
     
  19. Lee Barker

    Lee Barker Labor of evident value satisfies the soul. Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Redmond, Oregon
    owner, Barker Musical Instruments, maker of the Barker Bass, No Longer In Production.
    Ron, thanks for entering the Phil Jones gear into the mix. I know Phil and I love his line of thought. He has a mind that just crackles with ideas. I was hoping to try out his Suitcase at NAMM this year but didn't get that accomplished. I'd like to hear other thoughts about his stuff from people who have played any of it.

    I think he's really on two tracks at the same time: miniaturization of amplifiers and the use of multiple small-cone speakers to delivery a new standard of clarity and speed. There may be more!

    He showed me his new neodymium 5" driver. This is going to add incredible portability to his existing designs.

    When you get a minute, Ron, could you share a little more about your setup and how you compare it to others?
     
  20. evi

    evi

    Nov 28, 2005
    Well I might as well add my 2 cents also.

    I too like the GK amps (150 and 800) but a while ago a very good bassist friend suggested I try the Roland DB500 and/or DB700. Not being to familiar with digital amps I was a little hesitant until he brought his over for a rehearsal with my wifes group. The amp absolutely floored me, especially the solid presence of the low B string. After the rehearsal we hooked the Barker Bass up and gave it a workout. What can I say. The next day I went out and purchased a DB-500 and a DB-700. A little about them.

    They employ COSM amp modeling which enables DB-500 or DB-700 users to select from Solid State, Tube and Tube Drive bass preamp models and modeled tube compression for getting just the right tone. The warmest sound is the "normal" tube sound.

    By using COSM digital modelling you can shape your own pre-sets and write them to two separate memory channels. I use this for setting the presets for the fretless and fretted basses, but you can set up your presets for anything. For example, memory 1 for pizz and memory 2 for slap or memory 1 for a wet hall and memory 2 for a dry hall. Whatever you like. Besides the two memory presets both amps have a manual setting, so in essence, you can have 3 different setting at any one time. These can be accessed via buttons on the control console or by using a footswitch. The foot switch can be used to turn on/off the chorus or switch between program memories.

    There is an inbuilt chorus that only colours the high frequencies so it sounds less muddy than normal chorus effects. The chorus is made especially for bass; you get the swirl without losing the bottom.

    The compressor is also easy to use and greatly increases sustain (not that you need it with the Barker Bass) The tube-style compression gives the DB-500/700 a tight, punchy sound even with pop and slap-style playing, and can be applied to high frequencies only with the Shape switch.

    Gain Knob, Volume Knob, Compression Knob, Shape Switch, a high-quality DI connector (XLR-type) are included for direct connection to PA systems, while additional XLR and phone line outs for recording.

    One other item to mention. These amps have presence. I play a lot of jazz but if I'm in a blues or rock venue and volume is required there is plenty to spare without losing tonal quality. Coupled with the Barker Bass it is one very musical setup.

    Rob