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Bass > Alembic F2B > Radial JDI > FOH

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by zombywoof5050, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    I mostly play a passive P-bass, and I use a JDI for my DI.
    While the JDI has been great and has never let me down, soundmen always ask me for more signal. I just shrug my shoulders and tell them that's all I got, and they turn up the input trim and it's all good, never had a problem and my sound has always been great.

    But since I'm only using one of the channels on the F2B into my power amp, I thought I might try using the unused second channel in front of the JDI (like in the title of this thread...Bass > F2B > JDI > FOH). That way, I can give the soundman all the signal he wants, and perhaps also get some of the tubey goodness of the F2B into the FOH. Of course I would still set the tone controls on the DI'd channel as flat as possible.

    What do you think? Pros? Cons?
  2. TimmyP


    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    For a passive bass, you want a J48 or Pro48, as they offer both a higher input impedance for less pickup loading, and gain for a hotter signal at the board (although I usually have the pad on with my Pro48s). You might also look into the Radial BassBones.
  3. This should work fine, since the JDI is really designed for active instruments. The Alembic pre will act the same as an onboard preamp, reducing pickup loading and increasing the output into the JDI.

    I guess the downside is that, since the Alembic uses that old Fender tone stack or whatever it's called, it's hard to know what the heck type of signal you are sending to the board, since slightly different EQ settings from that pre can REALLY impact the tone (which I assume would be magnified by a high end channel strip at the board), and it's hard to set that pre to 'reasonably flat' on the fly.

    Per the above, I'd just get a Countryman or J48 and be happy!
  4. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    Thanks for the reply.
    That has not been my experience with this particular F-2B that I own. I'm certain that any good soundman will not have any problems working with the tone I would be sending him, even if it's not truely 'flat'.
    Thanks again.
  5. Cool. I actually thing the F-2B is a bit different than the single channel version on the EQ, but can't remember.

    It should sound quite good through the JDI.
  6. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    Yes it does, at least in my little home studio, I've just never tried it in a live situation. I have a gig coming up in two weeks (we don't play out very often), and I think I will give it try. I'll do some experimenting at home with my mixing board between now and then, to try and achieve the flattest settings on that tone stack, and report back how it went.
  7. Mads

    Mads Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2005
    Oslo, Norway

    I play passive all the time and I always use J48 ot Countryman...
  8. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    Thanks again, but my idea here is to not have to spend any more money.
  9. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    Well, we had our gig last Friday, but I didn't get to try using the second channel of my F-2B in front of the JDI. It was raining like hell when I loaded up my equipment, so I just opted to use their house amp (SVT IV Pro w/810) rather than haul mine in the pouring rain. I would much rather have had my amp to play through.

    Will give it a try next gig, whenever that may be.

    Btw, I did some testing before the gig to try an acheive the flattest sound running the F-2B in front of the JDI. Believe it or not, the settings that I ended up with on the F-2B were 2-10-6 (rather than the 2-10-2 that everyone talks about with these Alembic pre's). Incidentally, the settings I usually use when playing through the amp are around 3-10-6.
  10. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    it's a little annoying that there's only one out per channel. the obvious thing would be to run the alembic channel you're using into your power amp and to the mains. (splitting the passive signal before it gets to the alembic would likely choke it down badly.)

    run the alembic into your nice passive di, use the parallel 1/4" off the di to feed your power amp, and the house gets the xlr. the power amp's volume then becomes your stage volume control so you don't change the house mix once it's set.
  11. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    Yeah but that way the house will be stuck with whatever EQ I have going into my amp. The way I do it (I forgot where I learned this trick) is to plug my bass into input 1 of channel 1, and then run a cable from input 2 (the attenuated input) of channel 1 into input 1 of channel 2 (this is effectively sending the same signal into both channels of the F-2B), and then connect the output of channel 2 into the DI. That way, the bass amp and FOH can have their own EQ settings. It works well and doesn't choke any of the original bass signal going into channel 1.
  12. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    That sounds like an excellent system to me, I would rock that in a heartbeat. In fact I've wanted to try an F2B for the longest time, since Bootsy uses two of them. :)

    Longshot: have you ever directly compared the F2B against a REDDI or other high-end tube DI? I'd be curious to hear some opinions on that before I spend any more money. :p
  13. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    No sorry, I haven't had the pleasure of comparing the F-2B to any other tube pre's or tube DI's. I do like using it for a DI because it gives me some EQ flexibility, compared to just a DI that has no EQ. Also, I can really crank the volume on the F-2B for extra tube warmth/grit and then tame the level back down (to prevent overloading the board) by engaging the -15dB pad on the JDI. It also comes in handy for stereo effects in the studio (if so desired), as my JDI is the 'Duplex' model.
  14. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    as long as it isn't in fact loading down the passive pickup, then yeah, that's perfect. do you use like a tu-2 or any other pedals in front of all this? if so, they are likely buffering the signal first, so splitting it like that will indeed have no loss.

    (personally, i would just as soon give the FOH what i'm putting into my on-stage amp. if my power amp and speakers are any good, i have to think the eq setting i'd come up with would be good as well.)
  15. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    Actually, I do use some effects, which I know help with their buffering. I tried it straight in without the effects and it still didn't degrade the signal.
  16. svtb15

    svtb15 Inactive

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    I have run my '77 Alembic F2B into my REDDI.. but i never ran them separately in an AB test..
    I have run my F2B against an NEVE and they were pretty close...
    But since the REDDI is flat with a VOL knob and the Alembic F2B is a preamp with the fender tone stack, there are not many similarities ..

    I EQ pretty close to a flat EQ with maybe a little bass boost on my Alembic..
    But i found i liked the REDDI all by itself.. Less wires too.. The REDDI sounds fine all by itself..
    I have been running the REDDI into the EM500 Preamp then to FOH on some IEM gigs and so far everyone is happy..
    Posted a photo of bass player Reggie Hamilton with teh same set up i have doing almost the same thing..

    Years ago i ran my F2B into mt Countryman all the time... and it was fine.. the Countryman can take speaker output and up to a few hundred volts on its input so no worry there..


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