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An Ehrlund blog, sort of

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by drurb, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    I figured I'd post my running experience with the Ehrlund here rather than polluting the existing giant thread with my details. If this doesn't sit well with the mods, then my apologies, and please fold this into the main thread.

    Thanks to Ric Vice, engedi1, Pastor Hal, and MrSidecar for all of heir great tips and suggestions via PM. Thanks to all who posted in the main thread. Here goes:

    Day 1: I set my iamp200/Wizzy 12 up on an end table so that I could hear the direct sound. I engaged the tone defeat switch on the amp so that it was set "flat." In real-world gig settings, I don't believe that there's anything special about a flat setting as the room etc., virtually always calls for some compensation. Still, this seemed to be a good place to start.

    First, I listened to my Rev Solo2 buffered by the Fdeck pre/hpf. A fine sound with a touch of the nasal quality characteristic of every piezo bridge wing pickup I've ever used. Out in the real world, a bit of compensation using the parametric tone-shaping on the iamp200 and I'm off and running with very good results. On to the Ehrlund...

    I placed the Ehrlund in the recommended area on the E-side lower bout. At first, the output seemed quite low and the sound was muffled and unimpressive. A few adjustments in the position and "Oh mama," sounds like a double bass coming from that Wizzy! Moving a bit horizontal toward the E-side f-hole produced a bit more articulation to the sound. Moving to tge G-side bout... awful. An inch or two up or down from the sweet spot results in large changes that can make it sound like an overgrown BG.

    The Ehrlund has a more "indirect" sound than does the Rev Solo. That maks perfect sense given that it responds to both acoustic and vibrational energy while the Rev Solo responds essentially to only the latter. Of course, that's what makes the Ehrlund sound more like a microphone.

    The down side? The Ehrlund is waaaaay more prone to feedback than is the Rev Solo even when the Ehrlund is placed at a location that drives it well.

    None of this matters until I get it to a gig.

    In the meantime, below are a couple of pics showing the current sweet spot and how I have the cable mounted. For now, I have a 1/4" female-to-female adapter on the tailpiece (thanks, Ric). If I end up keeping the Ehrlund, I'll switch to a female jack.

    Here are sound clips of some noodling. The Rev Solo was recorded straight out of the Fdeck; the Ehrlund was reorded straight out of its pre-amp.

    Rev Solo clip
    Ehrlund clip

    Stay tuned... or switch to another channel if you wish. :D

  2. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I'll look forward to further impressions from you.

    I'm surprised you're not getting noise off of the wound cable back there. In my experience if it touches anything, you get a ton of shorting/paper crinkling gunk.
  3. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    The cable is tied and secured by the string ball ends. If you look very closely, you can see the twist tie running around and through the E-string hole. It's quite solid. If it ends up staying, I'll shorten the cable when I attach the female jack. I'm still within the Gollihur audition period.

    Kudos to Mark Gollihur on the tailpiece mounting hardware. Quite elegant.
  4. GrowlerBox


    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    The Ehrlund sounds great recorded, although the Rev Solo's not at all bad, and the slightly middy-"twang" does contribute to your being heard on stage. I'm looking forward to further impressions (and clips!).
  5. I may just be lucky with noise from the cables, but I haven't experienced any. My Ehrlund cable and amp cable fit snugly into the Ehrlund preamp. I simply set the preamp on the floor in front of me, and touching or moving it has never caused noise. I've tried it clipped to my belt as well, also without problem.

    As for the feedback, was this only happening because the amp was pointed directly at the bass? When you place the amp in a more typical performing position, do you still get feedback from the Ehrlund?

    - Hal -
  6. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Ah, you are insightful! In the first version of my post (which I lost), I actually wrote that the feedback may have been the result of the speaker pointing at the bass. It persisted some with the cab in a more normal position. The susceptibility doesn't seem all that bad in my living room but, of course, gigs are the proving grounds. Thanks.
  7. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    Les, I like it.
  8. Ryanpet42

    Ryanpet42 Guest

    Aug 1, 2012
    Have you tried using the Fdeck with the Ehrlund?
  9. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Not yet. :)
  10. al808


    Oct 11, 2008
    Hi Drurb,

    Regarding the feedback you might want to try using the smallest amount of putty and pressing the pickup real close to the surface of the bass, like a millimeter gap, then you'll get a higher output volume and a closer mic sound. By looking at your photo try putting the same amount you have on one corner spread to all 3.

  11. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Thanks Al, but I actually already did that. In the photo, there really is the bare minimum amount of putty. I pressed it firmly to the top so there is barely a gap between the Ehrlund and the top. The photo is, perhaps, misleading because it is pressed on so firmly that the putty squeezed out. I used very, very small amounts. The gap appears to be less than 0.5 mm.
  12. engedi1

    engedi1 Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2005
    I have been thinking about the feedback issue, and I have a theory. I experience 0 feedback with my Ehrlund, and I am playing outdoor gigs only with the amp right behind me. However, my bass is a hybrid, with a ply back. Obviously this back is not as resonant as Drurb's wonderful fully carved Upton. Maybe the ply back acts as a buffer where as the highly resonant back of a fully carved acts as more of an amplifier-hence a louder acoustic volume, but also more feedback. What do you guys think?
  13. engedi1

    engedi1 Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2005
    Also, and there is much debate about this, I have found that using one large drop of putty, that essentially covers the whole bottom eventually, that is extremely thin, is the best way to go. I didn't get nearly as good results with 3 drops on the corners. It gets the pickup too high off the bass IMHO. However, I know there have been varying experiences with this. IMHO, and IME and YMMV as always.
  14. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    With my bass, Walter Woods Amplifiers, and Thunderchild TC 112 or Euphonic Audio VL 108, the FDeck HPF/Buffer Preamp doesn't provide the boost that the Ehrlund Pre Amp provides and the EAP requires. The Headway EDB-1 will work as well, but, for me the Ehrlund Pre. is far easier to use.

    If anything, the HPF is to neutral in the signal chain, to achieve adequate volume. This makes sense to me, as Goran Ehdlund developed the Preamp in conjunction with the EAP, so their complimentary and compatible. Francis' HPF is a great little box, but it wasn't really designed to work with the Ehrlund.

  15. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Well, outdoor gigs would be expected to be less of a problem in terms of feedback. I sure didn't mean to overstate the feedback issue. It may not actually be a problem. It's just that the Rev Solo is essentially immune. The nature of the Ehrlund means it will always be somewhat susceptible. Time will tell. :)

    Thanks for this. I used three tiny balls of putty and, as mentioned, the gap between the pickup and the top, as close as I can measure, is somewhere shy of 0.5 mm. That's close!

    That's why I didn't even bother. I've read so much about how they really are made for each other. I'll probably plug in the fdeck just to experiment but it wasn't on the agenda for today. I was too busy trying to optimize things the best I could.
  16. engedi1

    engedi1 Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2005
    Well, whatever works best. You might want to try one putty blob in the middle and then smoosh it down as much as possible. The closer the Ehrlund is to the top, the puncher and more direct the tone is.. 5 mil does seem pretty dang close though. I don't know my method gets closer than that or not.
  17. Hi Les, I've found the best tone comes from locating the pick up on the outer side of the bass bar (about 4 inches below the bridge); as close as if it were pressed up against it on the inside (but not directly over it, as the bass bar damps the vibrations too much). This limits excessive boominess, improves clarity and minimises feedback. Fdeck's preamp/buffer seems to work ok tone-wise, but yes the volume could benefit from passing through an extra gain stage. Cheers, Paul : )
  18. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    This is the best description of where to put the Ehrlund I've seen on Talk Bass. The HPF IMHO works into the effect loop to filter low frequencies out, but other than that, the Ehrlund's own pre amp has the right impedance loading, and will throw the signal out of phase. Using it, in conjunction with the EAP, improves it's low frequency response and gain.

    If you have an amp with a low pass filter like the EA Doubler or Acoustic Image's Clarius+ then you're all set. I don't, so on the rare occasions when I need to tame the boom, I insert the FDeck into the effects loop to use it as a low pass filter. This totally defeats it's 10 meg ohm input impedance, but the Ehrlund has that covered.

  19. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Thanks, Paul. If you look at my picture, that's not too far from where I have it. It's about 2.5 inches below the bridge foot. On my bass, moving it lower produced substantially less output and, IIRC, a muddier sound. It was far less desirable than the location I chose. Moving it closer to the bass bar produced much more string and finger noise and a tonal balance less like a double bass. In fact, shifting it by even a half-inch toward the bass bar from its current location changed the character of the sound to something I found slightly less desirable.

    It may be the case that, at a gig, what produces the greatest fidelity in terms of "my bass but bigger" is not the sound that works best. After all, with the masking that kicks in when other instruments are playing and the need to cut through, success may be defined very differently.

    Ric-- out of phase with respect to what? There is, of course, a polarity inversion switch so not sure what you mean. Also, I'm a little surprised to see you endorsing a specific location. All I've read indicates that there is substantial individual variation. What, if anything, am I missing?

    High pass, my friend, high pass. :) Also, having the Fdeck in the effects loop doesn't really defeat the 10 Mohm input. It is, of course, still there and that's a fine impedance for the "send" to look into.

    I haven't tried it, but I'm guessing that the EAP doesn't pass infrasonics. It's an easy test. Just grab the E-string, wiggle it back and forth, and watch the speaker cone.
  20. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Sorry, perhaps I'm out of phase, as my layman's explanations tend to fall short of the mark. The polarity inversion switch, that's labeled "Phase" on the Ehrlund Pre Amp was what I was referring to. As far as I have seen, indicated by pictures posted in that rather unwieldy original Ehrlund thread, the location that Paul described so eloquently, is one that has yielded good response from the pickup for several players. So, I would surely advise new Ehrlund owners to poke around in that general area first. :)

    High pass it is, I obviously have my information polarity reversed on that one. Faulty memorization, is one of my less admirable traits. As to the effects loop, doesn't the 10 meg ohm loading, only apply to using the effects loop as a direct input for the device, bypassing the pre amp, or does it actually raise the impedance of an instrument connected to the front end of the amp? I was under the mistaken impression that inserting the the HPF in the same manner, as one would an effects pedal, would negate the 10 meg ohm impedance load it provides. Sorry, this may take a lot of "splaning" Lessy.:help: We can move this "off air" to a P.M. As others may not be all that interested in my confusion and befuddlement.

    IME it takes care of that problem.


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