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Assuaging the Laminated 'Thump'

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by beobass, Oct 25, 2013.


  1. beobass

    beobass

    Nov 26, 2005
    CT
    Hello Everyone! I have a quick question about preamps and old German plywood basses. I currently run a SoundClip straight into my amp and its a bit thumpy. Will a pre like a fDeck or Fishman bring more 'sing' to the sound? The acoustic sound is nice but the amplified thud is not.

    Or... should I change strings? I use Helicore Hybrids as I occationally bow but I'm predominantly a pizz player. Was thinking about Zyex or Pizz Helicore. Thought about Corellli but most folks feel they are too thin and I already have a 5/8ths bass.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri

    Beo Bass,
    I'm assuming that what your getting from the pickup is
    either to much bass response, to little sustain after the note is played, or a combination of both. That's caused by a combination of the strings, instrument and pickup. Plywood basses tend to do that all by themselves, so is the "thump" still there when you play the bass, without an amp. You probably don't notice it as much, because it's in the background when you play the bass acoustically. IME using a low cut filter, will help clear up any unwanted boom in your sound, but it doesn't increase the sustain, as that's created from the type of strings you use, and your instrument's sonic footprint. An example, would be the very long sustain that comes from using Thomastik Spirocores. Realist pickups, tend to do that as well, as they are better suited to instruments with solid hardwood tops. So, there are a lot of different things that are working together to cause that thump, but rather than replacing the instrument, I'd change out the strings first.


    IME Helicore Pizzicato are very similar to Tomastik Spirocores, so they will give you a longer sustain, but just like Spiro's they are very difficult to use with a bow. Corelli's are very thin, they sound exquisite with a bow, but I just couldn't get used to their smaller size. Zylex will most likely be even more "thumpy" on a plywood bass. Evah Parazzi Weich's are the closest to Spiro Weich's, with great pizz sustain, and a more subtile and warm timbre when played with a bow. As I two have a 5/8th's instrument with a laminate back, I've found the Evah Parazzi's to be the best match. I'd get a pair used from the TB classifieds, and try them.

    Ric
     
  3. lowEndRick

    lowEndRick Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2006
    CT
    Just sharing from my own experience....

    I have two basses. 50s Meisel German Ply and an Upton Hybrid. Both are strung with Spiro Mittels. Both basses have Rev Solo II pickups.

    My setup previously was Bass>fDeck HPF>Genz Benz 6.0>Schroeder Mini 12.

    Current setup is: Bass>AI Coda>Schroeder Mini 12 (if i need ex cab)

    I found that my German Ply had too much "boom" with my old setup and the addition of the fDeck really got it under control. I was really digging this sound for a while, but in the end I just didn't like the middy hotness of the tube amp with the Genz 6.0.

    With my current setup the AI Coda has an HPF and sounds more natural to me. I like the percussive hit I get when I am playing a two-feel and I get all the sustain I want with the Spiros.

    Playing with the Upton Hybrid is another story and in some ways more desirable because I can get a better amplified bowed sound as well.
     
  4. Helicore Hybrids are pure thud in my experience, especially as they age. That's the first thing I'd change.

    Rev Solo is more plywood-friendly, also. The one I had rolled off the low end, which is essentially the same function the fDeck provides, plus impedence matching.

    I have a set of barely-used Corellis listed in the classifieds if you're still considering trying those.
     
  5. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    +1 I think that's what the FDeck does best is control the low end, by allowing you to incrementally reduce the bottom of the register. I'm not sure that the tube in the Genz Benz has that much to do with it's midrange EQ, but I must admit that I much preferred the EQ voicing of the Shuttle 3.0 (no tube) to the 6.0 (with tube). I always thought it was the difference between the difference in tweeters between the 3.0 and 6.0, but perhaps the tube contributes to that to.

    +1 if you wan't sustained Pizzicato and don't use a bow often, Spirocores are still an amazing string. Reading your pos,t I think that the FDeck removes the low end boom, while the Spirocores create the sustain. Just my take.

    Is that with Spirocore's? Just wondering
     
  6. lowEndRick

    lowEndRick Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2006
    CT
    Yup. I've had Spirocore Mittels on my two full size basses for about 5 or 6 years. Its all I know right now and I have gotten accustomed to bowing them. I don't bow on my gigs very often, and I don't play classical these days, but I feel pretty comfortable bowing Spiros. I think if I were to go back to playing classical or just focusing more on bowing I would switch to another string.
     
  7. Assuming lowEndRick uses S42 4/4 Spiros, I can understand that he likes bowing them after 5 to 6 years of use. The S42 are longer for the same tension or have a lighter tension for a shorter string scale than the 3/4 Spiro set. After one or two years of bowing (at least one or two times a week for some hours) they become more flexible and are much easier to bow than in the beginning. And they still have power.

    But it is true that there are strings on the market that are easier to bow.
     
  8. beobass

    beobass

    Nov 26, 2005
    CT
    Thanks everyone. I was getting pretty sold on the EP Weichs until I saw the price for a set. I'm more accustomed to paying 120ish for Helicores. I'm fact im a bit partial to Dadarrio b/c I had an amazing customer service experience with them. A rep sent me strings to try on my bad a while ago when I was investigating Zyex. It seems everyone is basically saying go EP or Spiro. That said I've read that the Heli Pizz are basically Daddario Spiros. Very Similar in sound and feel. I've also been reading mixed reviews on the Corelli 370T. Some love them but almost everyone talks about being thin. I'm already at a disadvantage there with a 5/8ths bass. So I'm a little gun shy though those strings are very affordable for my budget and perhaps more playable for a guy who goes between electric and upright all the time. Any experience with the Heli Pizz?

    Also how fast does the guy making the fDeck get them out. I emailed him days aggro with no reply and my show is in about two weeks!

    Thanks again guys!
     
  9. BobKay

    BobKay Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2012
    Estero, Florida; USA
    I just ordered from Francis last Friday using his web site and Paypal. Had the package via US Mail on Thursday.
     
  10. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Beo Bass,
    Francis usually gets back to you pretty fast, but he has a day job, and builds HPF's by hand himself, so he could have a backlog. Send him another email, he should respond. As to the D'Addario Helicore Pizz, I had them on my bass and, for Pizzicato they are very much like Spirocores, with a little less edge, but a terrible string to bow on, as they have an exposed core, just like Spiros. So if you'r considering using a bow at all, then I'd go with the Helicore Hybrids. They are very reasonably priced, but for my money, the Evah's will last longer and sound better with a bow and pizz.

    Ric
     
  11. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    +1! Succinct and right on target, IMO.

    With strings, YMMV applies to the hilt. What follows is based on my own experience with basses I've owned. Ah, the old Spiro arco issue. For sure, they don't bow as easily as Evahs or some other strings but one can learn to achieve really good results. Evahs, again IME, have good sustain, but not like the champion Spiros. Also, Evahs have that great front-end "pop" that, I suppose, could end up enhancing the "thud" on some ply basses. IMO, IME, my $0.02, YMMV. :)
     
  12. beobass

    beobass

    Nov 26, 2005
    CT
    Thanks! So I have a chance too check out Corellis at a good price. We'll start there and order a fDeck. I'll post results for others doing future research!
     
  13. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    +1. Corellis on a ply bass? IMO, likely to be a very unsatisfying choice, especially given that you're mainly a pizz. player. My advice: Get a set of Spiro mitts (or weichs) or a set of Evah Pirazzi weichs. If you don't like either, then you can sell them in the classifieds. The Spiros last a long, long time (see here, for example) so, in terms of economy, they're a great choice while being a venerable, fine-sounding string.
     
  14. beobass

    beobass

    Nov 26, 2005
    CT
    Thanks man. Ill try these Corellis first since they're on the way. If they don't work I'll sell everything and point up for Evahs.
     
  15. beobass

    beobass

    Nov 26, 2005
    CT
    Today I strung up a set of Obligatos and ran the bass through the Fdeck. The strings acoustically reshaped the whole sound of the bass. Frankly I can't imagine why I waited so long to change strings and try different manufacturers. The Obilgatos are dark warm articulate and growl pleasingly. Once amplified I found the Fdeck to be a great mediator but I'm still struggling with getting my acoustic sound amplified. I'm assuming its the nature of a piezo pup. Once I get the set up into the orchestra pit of the theater I can round everything out and tweak the EQ. It won't be perfect but certainly functional.
     
  16. beobass

    beobass

    Nov 26, 2005
    CT
    Report from the orchestra out of 'Fiddler': I couldn't be happier with this set up. While the Markbass is not optimal for upright with the FDeck and good strings I'm getting a good tone with the orchestra. For jazz I'd like more of the natural growl I hear acoustically, but the amplified Arco sound is impressive. Part of the issue is the Realist. I have a love/hate relationship with the pickup. But overall for the work I'm doing this setup will get it done.
     
  17. An APTflex or a Shadow SH-965NFX might be a better sounding pickup at the same position. For more attack the pickup needs to go closer to the top of the bridge (but you loose amplified bowability that way).
    A Bassbalsereit or a K1 in the bass leg of the bridge is a good compromise if you want to bow amplified too and need a bit more attack.
     

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