Bass rig for Praise and Worship

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jowes, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. jowes


    Jan 2, 2017
    Dear All, I currently own a ESP LTD B10 guitar which is a passive precision type guitar. We have found the tone of the guitar to be quite unusable for the P&W genre. For instance, any amount of tweaking the settings in my Guitar and the HA2500 amplifier wouldn't get me the right tone for the song 'My Redeemer Lives'.

    I am now looking for some suggestions to upgrade my pickups and the cabinet. The guitar will be used entirely for the P&W genre.

    Can you provide me with some recommendations for the below:
    Pickups that are well suited to this genre, that can fit in my B10 guitar?
    The type of strings that go well for this genre with both precision and jazz type guitars? I currently use EPS190 prosteels from D'Addario

    Also need some suggestions for a budget amplifier and cabinet for the church use. I have been thinking about a Hartke 2.5XL or 115XL or the VX series. For our usage, 410 cabinets are out of question due to their size as well as the stage considerations.

    That said, it will also be helpful to get better insight, if you can share the details of your bass rig used for praise and worship.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
  2. I use a 4 string P Yamaha electric bass.
    I use a 150 watt Fender Rumble Combo amp. 15" Fender Special Design Speaker and a piezo horn.
    No stomp boxes, etc.
    We each have an Aviom personal mixer to control the sound of each other's output in our ears. We can have house sound in our ears, or select one of the vocalists, or one of the instruments, ours perhaps.
    All that goes into the house PA system and the sound person takes it from there.
    I use flats and foam rubber at the bridge.
    Roots to the beat with a run between verses - if someone has not laid claim to that spot.

    Piano, lead electric, rhythm guitar, drum kit and my bass. One female vocalist and one male vocalist. Rhythm guitar sings backup. The drummer and I do not sing. We would like one more female vocalist.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
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  3. I think your bass will be fine with the stock pickups. Try some flat wound strings, I like the GHS Precision flats myself.

    As far as amps, look seriously at the V3 Fender Rumble amps. They are light and sound absolutely incredible. I have the 200W combo myself and it is ridiculously loud. It has is a 115 setup. The 500W version is 210 and should fill up the space in a modest sanctuary no problem.
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  4. Ironbar

    Ironbar Inactive

    Aug 24, 2013
    Tigard, Oregon
    himluis1 likes this.
  5. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    +1 on the flat wounds. La Bella Jamerson's(now Deep Talkin). Labella Deep Talkin Flats

    +2 On the Fender Rumble.

    Also check out TBr fdeck's High pass filter(HPF).
  6. himluis1


    Sep 28, 2012
    my honest opinion ... get yourself a 5 string jazz bass could be a squier or mim or mia fender , also ibanez , sub ray or sterling basses all within 300-1000 dollars , buy used as you get more for your $$$ and any if the fender rumble v3 combos or head + cab , also tc electronic and gk works ... i personally have both a jazz n p bass and all i do is play praise n worship at church , i find my jazz basses to be more suitable for that type of music i do like the p bass too , theres is just something about that jazz bass sound that really goes well with that range of music , also on the amps either a 2x10 bass combo , or a head and a pair of 12's or 2 2x10 bass cabs !!! portable , not too much weight and loud enough ...
  7. KJMO

    KJMO Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2015
    Flats for church? I've been playing worship for a long time, and I have to respectfully disagree with that suggestion. You can take the highs out of round wounds, but you can't get highs out of flats (they're just not there). That particular song, if it's the NICOLE C MULLEN version, doesn't have a particularly bright bass sound, but most worship tends toward bright sounds. It shouldn't be a very difficult sound to get, even with what you're using. I'd look at technique and make sure you are using a very light finger-style touch. If you're using a pick, or hammering the strings you'll never get that sound, no matter the equipment.

    I would suggest a more mellow nickel roundwound string. I'd get some elixirs because they last a long time.

    Perhaps a bass with p/j pickups would be more versatile, but your bass should be fine.

    I'd stay away from any amp that has a strong "flavor". The rumble is a great amp, but it has a vintage flavor, and I'd go more "hi-fi" for worship. Worship music is a bit generic, so something with a lot of character is going to stick out. One amp I've owned that worked well for worship was the cheapest Markbass rig (jeff berlin players school model). After I figured out the eq (take a lot of bass out because the bass eq is at 40hz) it was clear, had some bottom, and very little color other than a warmth to it. I've been playing direct for years now, so I don't use an amp at church. Good luck!

    edit: The TC electronics amps mentioned would also be a really good choice.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
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  8. I use my Richenbacker 4001 with very old rounds thru an old SWR studio 220 powering an 8" apeaker as a monitor, ( to be just as loud as the two accoustic guitarists) . The DI out of the SWR to the PA gives some of the tube sound to foh. This setup works great for us . Use your best judgement as to what will work in your situation. Going direct helps keep the volume down and parishoners happy.
  9. burk48237


    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    As far as the bass while I personally can't stand the tone on most worship tunes for the bass player, I'm surprised you're having trouble with a P type Bass working in that setting. That seems to be all I see of most the worship players. I'm hesitant to recommend P-Bass pick up upgrades because in many cases pick ups won't "fix" a bass that had construction issues or tone woods that won't contribute to the tone itself. If I had a good P bass and wanted to upgrade I would certainly consider the Nordstrand line. But be careful you may be trying to fix a bass that simply isn't built to produce the tone you want no matter what electronics.

    As far as amps, there are a lot of great light, low priced combo amps with 2-10 or 1-12 speaker set ups. The Hartke Kickback and TC BG250 come to mind. We run Quilter BB800 head with a Bergintino 112 in my church, and it works great. But I have a borrowed Yorkville Bassmaster 200 combo that I've used occasionally with great results. Its heavy but that's not a problem in a permanent instillation. Odds are you won't need a lot of volume, you just need something to keep up with a drummer in a cage. If he's reasonably good (has dynamics) you won't need a lot of amp.
  10. invalidprotocol

    invalidprotocol Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    With a decent bass most rigs should be able to be set relatively flat and get a passable sound.

    What cabinet is paired with the HA2500? Is the amp for stage monitoring only or for house amplification?
  11. iagtrplyr

    iagtrplyr Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2013
    Clinton, IA
    No practical experience with worship/praise music, but will be playing with a terrific group this summer, so this is very useful info.

    I have an MIM Jazz and flats are a must for me, so if that's what you'd like to be playing them if suggest D'Addario Chromes. Great feel with a bright top end.

    As for amps, I agree with KJMO, a hi-fi tone would be beneficial vs. the baked-in tone, like the Rumble series. It can be pretty dark-sounding. Markbass is a fine recommendation, but I'm a currently a GK fan because they are, tone-wise, extremely versatile. Good luck in your hunt!
  12. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sometimes you're the dog, sometimes the tree Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2000
    Palm Coast, FL
    The ONLY exception to that (for me!, YMMV) is the TI flats. I used them on my Lakland 55-94 for several years and never found them to be short on highs.

    I really think we need more information about what you are trying to get before we make recommendations on gear. That being said, I use a Darkglass VIntage Microtubes Deluxe (has an eq section) and find that it allows me to really work with the sound. I recently switched to their head - M900. It has the same capabilities in EQ but also adds a great overdrive section that can be switched with a footswitch.

    One of the benefits of being an old fart is that I can afford more expensive gear (notice I did NOT say better?) than I could years ago. What I have now fits the sound I hear in my head - as opposed to the voices...those are a different thing.

    Let us know what you are trying to do.

  13. dfreeland83

    dfreeland83 Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2017
    Durham, NC
    I have a 70s Jazz but we have a big system so I just run thru a Tonehammer. I ran a P for years, the day I brought the Jazz in, our worship leader actually said, verbatim, 'that's what we needed...that exact sound'

    When we do stuff outside I take my Hartke 410XL/SVT3 and it works fine. Way too big for smaller churches though.
    himluis1 likes this.
  14. jowes


    Jan 2, 2017
    We use the HA2500 for stage monitoring as well as house amplification. The XLR out is connected to the mixer for house input.

    Right now for stage monitoring, we have it only connected to a 1x12 inch pa speaker. We tried a Hartke 4.5 XL but were not satisfied with it in terms of the quality of bass at lower frequencies. So I am inclined to try a Fender/Hartke/Ampeg 1x15 for our church (250 member congregation).
  15. jowes


    Jan 2, 2017
    I live in India and the 5-string Squier jazz is out of stock for any variant I choose, even with a Fender distributor while 4-string is readily available! So for 5-strings, I am restricted to Cort B5 plus, Schecter Omen Extreme V, Squier Deluxe Dimension and Sterling Ray5. Need to purchase online without the benefit of checking the tone beforehand. So I am certainly looking out for some expert views on the best budget one for P&W outside of Squier Jazz. Its more like, get the guitar first and then learn to like the tone!
  16. jowes


    Jan 2, 2017
    Thanks for your input. Well here is the issue. The sound is irritating to hear in the stage monitor and disturbing to other musicians in their monitors (sourced from mixer) for certain songs. A bassy treble is what I can say, with both bass and treble being unpleasant to ears. Reducing the bass magnifies the unpleasant treble and vice-versa. Guitar tone set to full brings in unworkable treble, finger noise, fret noise, etc. For eg, getting anywhere closer to the bass tone for Baloche's version of 'Praise Adonai' is unthinkable (the song has a clean treble!). I can get away though with slow songs like 'Blessed Assurance'.

    It's true my right-hand fingering is little hard but that is to get the volume out through the mix so other Musicians can hear me. We have doubts the guitar does not suit this genre or doesn't gel well in the mix. We have a reason too. Our electric guitarist changed his guitar to a Squier Affinity and that made a huge difference in the overall guitar sound quality in the mix!

    My Setup: Guitar connected directly to HA2500. One output to a custom made PA 1x12 stage monitor and the other XLR output to mixer. Compression set to 50%. Solid state emulation knob usually adjusted to one-fourths of the circle and tube emulation set at three-fourths. Have played around with all knobs.
  17. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    It took me a.long time to figure this out, but once I did, it was magic.

    Two channels.

    Run one channel straight DI to the board. (I use D'Addario regular XL Nickel strings). Tone knob wide open no EQ straight to the board.

    Split from the DI and run the other channel from your amp EQed a little beefy. Not loud mud or boom. But beefy. Send them both to the sound guy and let him do what he does.

    It all started by trying to nail the bass tone on This is Amazing Grace by Phil Wickham. It was killing me trying to nail that tone. It has this grindy pick some on the top end....and a huge pillow of fat round bass underneath. Once it dawned on me to try two channels during sound check the whole P&W band got wide eyed and slack jawed. That nailed it.

    I play a 5 string Fender Precision bone stock with XL nickel strings and the tone knob wide open in most cases. Sound guy blends to two channels as needed. I usually send the brighter one to my in ears because I can hear it better at lower volumes.

    Welcome to Talk Bass @jowes !!!!!
  18. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sometimes you're the dog, sometimes the tree Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2000
    Palm Coast, FL
    Huh, interesting. I've never had a HA2500 or LTD but have messed around with both in stores and they were both OK.

    Have you tried different strings? I tend toward nickels and round-wounds as I like a mellower tone from the bass - I have pedals that can add to the mix if needed. Getting new strings is far cheaper than other purchases - I would dump the bass as a last resort. And that is from someone with obscene amounts of GAS! If a DI is available, listen to the bass in the house and see if you hear the same things as in the amp (and check to make sure the sound-board guy does not have anything weird going on there!) If you are hearing the same thing in the house and rig, maybe try a different rig at a store.

    FWIW, I don't get too hung up on replicating the tone of each song and most of my tonal variation comes from how I am playing. I am not there for a performance but to help lead the congregation to worship and am comfortable being in the background, as long as it serves the song.

  19. jowes


    Jan 2, 2017
    Amen to that and entirely agree. My intent is to get the music pleasant to the ears. I am using D'Addario prosteels roundwound now and about to try a GHS precision flatwound.
  20. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Royal, Oak, MI.
    Bass through monitors always sounds horrible because most monitors can't reproduce bass guitar very well at all.
    And the full range of the high frequency drivers from the direct out of most bass amp (or from a direct box) is way too harsh.

    Contemporary Christian Music, or P&W is pretty well set on a "Fender" type sound.
    Someone said it's "hi-if". I couldn't disagree more to be honest.

    You have a "Fender" type bass. I'd get a decent pick-up for it. Try a Duncan vintage or the like (stay away from the Quarter Pounder- great pickup, just too hot and grindy of an output). You can find great deals on pickups here.

    Toss some nickel strings on. Pro steels are pretty bright. And flats may be too "dull".

    Your line out on your amp, for the most part should be pre- EQ.
    The amp should be strictly for your monitor. No one else's really.

    Dial the tone control on you bass back about 25/30%.

    You have a great amp. I don't suspect it's the amp. Maybe the cabinet you're plugged into yes. But the amp is a solid piece of gear.

    When all else fails, set everything on the amp "flat" and make SMALL adjustments. Don't make a lot of changes at one time.
    Take your time and address one issue at a time so you can keep track of what changes you have made- to see what works and what doesn't.

    A few last things.......
    What you hear on stage, usually is nothing like what it sounds like out front. Don't try to replicate it. You'll fail.
    What your band mates hear out of the monitors is most likely not gonna sound awesome.

    And the number one important thing:
    Good input equals good output.
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