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Bass Max Suggestion

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Double Daddy, Dec 8, 2003.

  1. I've been using the K7K Bass Max (wing pinckup + 4 string p/u) I got from Gollihur a few months ago and have been quite happy with the versatility of sound. The integral preamp is handy - I crank down the string p/u for arco, and raise the string p/u to get the attack sounds.

    I put a two-sided velcro strip on the back of the preamp unit. That way I can mount it on my mic stand or music stand. I found that clipping the preamp on the bow quiver was not ideal. And I did not want to more permanently mount it on the tailpiece.

    One other bit of experience that might help y'all. I bought a "battery eliminator" at Radio Shack to use with the Bass Max. It's got a clip on it like a 9v battery lead, along with a wall wart transformer so that you can forget about having to put in a fresh 9v battery. Only problem was, with the Bass Max preamp I got a loud line hum from the battery eliminator. So I took it back to Radio Shack and again have to occassionally replace the battery.

    Anybody have an idea as to how to get rid of the line hum from a battery eliminator?
  2. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    My guess is that you're picking up 60 cycle hum from the A/C transformer. The preamp probably isn't shielded against that.
  3. I found this here on the 2xBasslist archive:

    You can kludge a Danelectro Zero-Hum wall-wart to fit the K&K.

    Get one, and a 9-volt plug from Radio Shack with bare tinned ends. You'll
    also need a length of heat-shrink tubing small enough to fit the
    Danelectro's wire, and a small rubber grommet, which is also the right size
    to fit over the heat-shrink after it's shrunk.

    Cut off the end of the Danelectro's wire, then insert the heat-shrink
    tubing and the grommets on it, before soldering on the 9-volt battery socket.

    Shrink the heat-shrink over the joint, then move the grommets up next to
    each other. They will hold the wire against pulling out after you make a
    notch in the preamp case to run the wire through. When the heat-shrink has
    cooled, and you have cut a notch in the side of the case to run the wire
    through, determine the best position of the grommets then glue them
    side-by-side onto the shrink-wrap. They will determine how much wire is
    inside the case or outside of it.

    Cut a small notch into the side of the case with a small metal file,
    especially a round file, or rat-tail, for the wire to run through. Then
    just plug it in where the battery would normally plug in.

    The Danelectro Zero-Hum works, but your run-of-the-mill 9v adaptor will
    produce too much hum & noise.
  4. I've not tried this myself, but I reckon the guy knows what he's talking about. If you try it and it works, let me know!
  5. Thanks, T-Bal. I see that the Danelectro is widely available for about $10. But do you, or anyone else reading this, know which of the leads is positive and which is negative for proper fitting of the battery cap leads?
  6. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    You really should check with a cheap multimeter, just to make sure. RS has them for under $20. DOubl;e check again after soldering and before powering up.

    And when attaching a 9volt battery clip to the power leads, keep in mind that the polarity of the snap connectors is the opposite of that of the battery. It's easy to make this sort of mistake.
  7. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    I'd try asking this question to one of the Radio Shack employees after you show them this idea. You might get lucky and receive more useful advice from them this way.
  8. I picked one up at my local music store today a lunchtime. It show a diagram on the transformer (wall wart) case that the outer ring of the plug is positive, with the inner pole negative. So I'll hook up the Radio Shack battery caps accordingly. Will let y'all know how it works.

    By the way, at the music store a guy was desparately looking for an upright player for a gig this Sat night at Dantes Down the Hatch, a reputable jazz club in Buckhead (Atlanta). I have my regular restaurant gig that night, but my piano player released me if I wanted to do the Dante's gig. But when I called the guy back and asked about the pay, he said it was $100 for 7-midnight. I turned him down. That's not much more than I make at the regular restaurant gig for 3 hours (6-9pm). I told he he could call me if he got more desparate and could come up with more bread.

    Know anybody who might want to do it? send me an email at wgnelmes@yahoo.com

    That pay seems awfully low to me. How's professional upright pay "out there" in the rest of the USA?
  9. It depends. There are so many variables. You could check with someone who's in your local union to find out what scale is for that area, just to use as a point of reference.

    I look at it as a tradeoff. I will sometimes play gigs for less money if it's an opportunity to make good music for an appreciative audience. However, not for 5 hours. That's too long for $100, AFAIC. Then again, it could lead to other things, with better players and pay.

    How's that for on the fence?
  10. Just another thought. If this guy's so desparate to be looking in a music store for anybody willing to make the gig, it's probably safe to assume you're not missing anything.
  11. Actually the guy in the music store looking for a bass player was one of the employees. I suspect that he's putting the gig together and taking a cut himself, as he was not part of the trio. 'Tho I turned him down, I did give him some numbers of other uprighters I know or got from the union hall. I assume he found someone.

    Like you, T-Bal, I am not necessarily adverse a good "exposure" gig for low pay. And I thought hard about this thing - the chance to play Dante's being the real hook. But I got a feeling I was getting screwed by the cat, so I blew it off.

    Anyway, I tried the Danelectro rig job you suggested. It works. But, beware - on my first stab I wired the battery cap backwards (reverse polarity - did not damage the preamp, but produced a hum and no string tones). Basically you want the 9v Radio Shack battery cap that you splice on to the Danelectro wire to be the same configuration as a 9v battery. That is, the little male post is + and the big female post is -.
  12. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    Actually, you guys should feel lucky that you have the luxury of turning down a gig that pays $100 for a night's work...even a long one. I (and millions of club gigging bassists) have done many electric gigs for less, hauling PA and amps included!

    I too have found that upright does indeed bring better paying gigs, but I guess I still look at the pay situation through the eyes of a bar band bassist. I figure that $100 to show up and play an instrument (carrying only that instrument) that thrills me to death every time I touch it isn't a bad deal.
  13. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I hear you on this one! I'm playing a 4-hour standards gig in a restaurant tomorrow night for $150 split 4 ways, PLUS we have to pay for food!

    After being in town for the last 7 years I've really been practicing a lot in the last 6 months. I feel like I'm finally approaching the level of the working pros in the area and I'll take what gigs I can to get busy and pay the bills.

    In any case, it still beats the work/pay ratio of being a freelance soundman. Couple weeks ago I did a 2-night out of towner as a favor for a friend. $200 for about 22 hours work, lots of schlepping, lifting, cable winding, and general stress. After gas, food and tolls, worked out to about $6 an hour.
  14. Sorry, guys, you're right - I should be thankful for what I get. I have regular restaurant gigs (at least once a week) with my piano player, and sometimes sax and drums, in which I make $75-$100 for about 3 hours. In "casual" gigs (parties) I make $200. While that at once or twice a week would not feed my family, I have the luxury of a day job so that I can be picky and not have to take whatever gig that comes down the road.

    Yeah, and I NEVER have to play anything but jazz (I gave my fretless P-bass to my brother in law; it's upright only for me).
  15. Howdy,

    I find the pay issue interesting. It may be geographical and it definatly hasn't kept up with inflation! I was doing 4 hour gigs 25 years ago for $100 and still feel good to get $100. I guess it depends how addicted to playing/performing you are. Some of us gotta have the fix no matter what!!!

    Six to nine is pretty sweet; 9 - 1 with a long drive..........:meh: well you can figure it out.

    Some of my recent gigs run the gamet, 2h early jazz duo (7-9) local brew pub, $25 w/pizza; 2h jazz trio Christmas party, $100; 1 1/2h casiono concert w/Jimmy Dorsy ghost band/2h drive, $200 & dinner; 1/2 hour big band concert, free; 2h Jazz combo concert, $420; 4 hour jazz trio/3h drive, $100; 4 hour blues bar gig/4h drive, $75; 1h show at blues festival, $100;

    What are the fees for other regions?

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