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AMT mic tailpiece upgrade

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Adrian Cho, Sep 2, 2003.


  1. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I recently sent my AMT mic in for an upgrade. This involved replacing the old mounting system with a tailpiece mount where a strip mounts behind the tailpiece and is secured by two thumbscrews through the string holes (A and D strings) and from which then extends a gooseneck made to your specification and at the end of this is the mic capsule in an isolation ring. The isolation ring or shockmount is larger than in the original model. The price (around USD 100) also includes a new capsule and basically everything is replaced. The mic stays on the bass even when you put it in the bag. A new cable with a mini-XLR plugs into the mic and then plugs into the preamp.

    The sound is excellent and this lets me position the mic just below the fingerboard, about a 1/4" from the surface of the bass table. For me that's nice as it picks up some of the fingerboard noise which is what I want. Because I had the gooseneck made so long, the capsule does wobble a little bit every time you pizz a note but the isolation ring ensures that the sound is not affected. I didn't notice any difference to the acoustic sound of the instrument with the mic mounted on the tailpiece either.

    The AMT service and tech support is excellent.

    Adrian
     
  2. oystein

    oystein

    Sep 15, 2001
    Norway, Leikong
    Adrian,
    Do you know if the tailpiece version is available through new sales or only as an upgrade?
    I have seen nothing regarding this upgrade on the AMT webside.

    Regards Oystein Djupvik-Norway
     
  3. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I don't know if it's available as a new item but they are definitely doing it as an upgrade. In my experience, AMT is very flexible and will do custom work as required. Call the tech support line (not sales) and speak to Marty Paglione who is the designer of the mic. He's a very interesting guy to talk to.

    I believe they only started doing the upgrade recently and there are only a few out there. I believe John Patitucci has this upgrade now. Some other options that I know are available are custom work on the preamp. I have the "super" version of the preamp that has two XLR outputs (one ground lifted) in addition to the 1/4 output. Apparently they can add more inputs as desired. Marty said there's one guy who plays in a big band and they put three or four XLRs on his preamp. I believe Patitucci had the cutoff for the high pass filter modified to a different frequency.

    They initially designed the S25B for sound guys so it could be moved from bass to bass. The tailpiece upgrades means it is mounted more permanently on the bass and the gooseneck length is likely set for that bass although obviously since it's a gooseneck you can still vary the position of the mic capsule somewhat. For me, it means not having to put the mic on every time and I also found the mount usually got in my way somehow especially when I played arco. In the past, the mounts have also rattled a bit (although they fixed that later on) whereas the new tailpiece mount is definitely vibration free.

    Adrian
     
  4. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I should also add that they even replaced the case on my preamp because it was scratched! Basically when you send it back the only thing you get back that is still the same is the electronics in your preamp. If you are really in love with your mic capsule you can request that they keep it in your setup when they do the upgrade but if you don't, they will replace it with a new one.

    If you are using the AMT, I'd be interested to hear your experiences with it. I also use a Schertler Dyn-B for high volume situations. I find the AMT very good and certainly more focused and with less bleed (and more convenient) than a stand-mounted mic which is what I used to use.

    Adrian
     
  5. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    When I first got the AMT I was clamping near where the upper bout meets the C-bout, and I had that problem. Now, I clamp on near the corner where the lower bout meets the C-bout and it's out of the way of the bow.

    I use the AMT sometimes. Usually, I'm too close to the drummer for miking to make sense. I'm a 25-year Underwood user and I'm happy with the sound I get with my rig. Whn I have a soundman I often run the Underwood to the amp and the AMT to the board. Having the AMT, stuck in my sweet spot, definitely gives soundmen fewer variables with which to find unpleasant variations.
     
  6. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    The problem with mounting on the lower bout is that I can't lay my bass on the floor without the mount getting in the way. I also tried the C bout too. Basically I found it disconcerting no matter where I put and/or the gooseneck wasn't long enough to position the mic where I wanted it.

    I find I can play with a drummer with a mic but it depends on the volume. At times the table of the bass acts like a parabolic dish and reflects a lot of sound back to the mic and that's when it's bad. There will always be bleed - it's a question of how much. Even when I play a duo with a vocalist, her voice comes through on the AMT but it is negligible.

    Adrian
     
  7. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Um, Adrian, am I missing something? All I do is lay the bass on the other side . . .
     
  8. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Yes that is a simple solution but I just find that weird! I've always put the bass down on its left side and it's a very natural action.

    <G>

    I know - I'm the weird one.
     
  9. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I have for some time now been meaning to take photos of the AMT mic tailpiece mount. Here they are:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In other news, a friend rang AMT last week to send his old bass mic back for an upgrade and was told that the price of the upgrade had gone up a bit (from USD 175 to USD 300 or something like that) because the company has been sold. Not sure what's going on there.
     
  10. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Wow, that's a big gooseneck you're sportin' there, buddy! I've been thinking about this upgrade myself; the side mount is mucking up the bass a little bit.

    Regarding laying the bass down; I've been using the Ingles bass stand on all gigs lately. It's really solid, and does away with all that nasty wear on the sides. It also takes up less space onstage, and keeps people (myself included) from tripping over the neck when passing through.
     
  11. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Of course the gooseneck doesn't need to be that long. It's just because that's where I chose to locate the capsule. I would guess that most people with the tailpiece mount would have a much shorter gooseneck. The other thing is that I actually prefer it being out of the way of the bow because even though I've got a foam windscreen on the capsule, I don't like the idea of rosin falling into the capsule.

    Are you saying the body mount is damaging your bass? It shouldn't be doing that. It has foam on the parts that contact the bass right?
     
  12. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Not really damage, just leaving a little schmutz where it attaches. It's just a little residue from the (suede?) pads where they contact the bass, and it's easily cleaned off. The tailpiece mount does look a little stealthier, though. I'll probably do the upgrade when I get around to it. I'm still just really loving this mic. Thanks for the pics, BTW.
     
  13. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    The benefit of the tailpiece mount is that you just pull the bass out of the bag, plug-in and away you go. I was always worried I might accidentally knock the body mount off or that it might get in my way - not that either ever happened.

    So tell me again what amp/speaker are you using the mic through? You have a Bose system right?
     
  14. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    The Bose belongs to a pianist with whom I play four nights /week. He's recently added a second B1 bass module, and it works out very well. Otherwise, I use my AI Contra, with mixed results. I'm almost always going through some sort of PA, so the mic has worked out well so far, but I'll probably upgrade my personal amplification to either an iAmp or a PUB later this year. I considered buying the Bose, but it's physically too big and cumbersome for some of the gigs that I do. Also, I occasionally play electric gigs, so I'm leaning towards the iAmp.

    Funny thing, though...last night, I was playing (my New Standard La Scala Hybrid) through the Bose. After the first break, we returned to find a very large, VERY loud crowd in the room on all sides of our duo (it's the Lobby Lounge at the Four Seasons Wailea, and it's right off the main entrance). The pianist started a tune, neglecting to turn up the master volume on the Bose's remote. So I decided to just play unamped, and I continued to do so for the whole set. I pointed it out to the pianist afterwards, and he said "Wow, I didn't even miss it". Seems the bass cut through the sonic mess pretty well.
     
  15. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    The mic with the AI is OK but better results can definitely be had through a good PA - something with more clarity, especially in the bottom end. At almost 100 lbs with a bass modeul, the Bose is definitely not in the same class as most of the amps and cabs we talk about here.