Are 'better' basses louder? Are they easier to mic. up?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Jeremy Morgan, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. I have limited experience as far as basses go - I've owned two; the first a plywood & now a fully carved one.

    I have been experimenting recently with mic. based amplification (for a better tone), but am coming to the conclusion that my bass is just not loud enough to amplify with a mic. Too much gain is required, which results in feedback way below the volume level I require (for a big band).

    Reading the posts on this forum I noticed that people have varying degrees of success with microphone amplification.

    I was wondering if one factor that might explain these differences is the un-amplified volume level of the various basses.

    A quieter bass will need more gain to amplify to a set level, and will therefore pick up increased extraneous noise & feed back more easily.

    My bass seems very quiet to me. It will hardly keep up with an acoustic piano un-amplified (I'm talking pizz. here).

    Is there any way to make a bass louder e.g. by moving the soundpost etc.? Or is it a case of a more expensive/better instrument will be louder (as well as having a better tone)?

    I've tried various strings, but can't say I noticed any difference in volume levels.

    Thanks for your help!
  2. a. meyer

    a. meyer

    Dec 10, 2004
    portland, oregon
    A "better" bass may not necessarily be louder, but its tone should project farther. As to increasing volume, there are a number of things you can do, such as adjusting the soundpost (cheap) and putting a shim under the fingerboard (not so cheap). You should discuss it with a good luthier. I suspect something isn't right with your setup if different strings result in little volume change. Try Thomastik Dominants; they're the loudest strings on the planet! By the way, I've found that having the bass set up to sound its best acoustically doesn't always yield the best amplified tone; i.e. you get less feedback and "boom" when the bass is set up a little quieter.