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Behringer UB502 mixer as preamp (with Boss EQ20)... What are the cons???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ::::BASSIST::::, Oct 7, 2005.


  1. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I have a Boss EQ20 on the way. Since my good experience with the behringer ub1202 mixer as preamp, I was thinking of getting the ub502 mixer which is lighter, but still has the same output of the more full featured 1202. With the Boss EQ20 for tone shaping and the 502 for enhanced gain output, I am hoping these two units paired up with my Focus SA would give me alot of nice tone (& flexibility) and still be quite inexpensive.

    I emailed behringer to see if the mixer would properly drive the Focus SA to its full volume capacity. This is their reply:

    The UB502 main outputs have a maximum level of +22 dBu and an impendance of approximately 120 ohms unbalanced. This is a standard professional line level signal, and is sufficient for the inputs of most power amplifiers.

    Maybe I am offbase here but +22 seems like low output to me. The sansamp sabddi was 0db and was good for driving the Focus SA. However, I am not too famaliar what all these measurements mean. Is +22 indeed, a much smaller output than 0db?

    Would +22db properly drive the full 600w in your opinion?

    Are there any cons of using the 502 (+ Boss EQ20) as preamp with my Focus SA?

    Since the Boss EQ20 is handling the tone shaping there shouldnt be any problems, correct?
     
  2. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    As long as there isn't too much tonal coloration (there isn't on any of my Behringer mixers) or too much noise (just set your gains properly) it should work fine.

    The only cons really are having to set up an extra piece of gear-a eq and mixer vs. a single unit preamp.

    The pro is all the other stuff you can hook up in addition to your bass, if you want to.

    Here's a short clip of my bass going through a 602A into my computer. It's just showing the different sounds of the middle,bridge and neck positions of my bass but you will get an idea of how much noise there is. Pretty darned quiet if you ask me.

    Click here.

    :D

    Joe.
     
  3. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    No, +22 is hugely mega-bigger than 0 (seriously)! It's highly doubtful that your Focus SA needs anywhere near that hot a level to drive it into clipping. I used a Mackie 1202VLZ mixer for many years to drive the power amps in my bass rig. Worked great, and allowed tonnes of EFX mixing options. I usually used at least one other dedicated preamp though. Most mixers are kind of dry by themselves, but if you like that, cool. I'd expect similar results to what a Focus with the built in preamp provides, judging from the Clarus I tried today. IIRC, you didn't dig the Clarus pre, right?
     
  4. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    hey Joe, nice sounding bass. I am guessing you are using rounds? I didnt perceive much or any background noise.

    I thought I read somewhere on TB that the lower the number the hotter the output. For example -10 would be much hotter than 0db. Is there a link which explains these db measurements? Anyway glad to hear +22 is quite hot. The input sensitivity on the Focus SA is already fairly sensitive so it should work fine.

    The preamp on the clarus/focus, is as passinwind says, a little dry. Its quite good in all, but maybe not that well suited to Rock.
     
  5. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Yup, rounds. And a big YEAH for little or no noise.

    I read every once in a while about folks having noise issues with Behringer mixers. In my experience (I've owned 3) they are close enough to 'dead quiet' for any but MAYBE the most delicate recording situations. Cetainly good enough for 99% of us.

    You will be fine with that little mixer I think.


    Yeah, I forgot to address that but Charlie is right. It will be plenty hot to drive a power amp.

    I don't know if this is precisely what you want but click here for a good website on db.



    Well, this little mixer is a relatively cheap way to get the job done but hopefully it will be to your satisfaction. It's nice to find a good CHEAP solution!

    :D

    Joe.
     
  6. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    Hi Torin,

    You're thinking of input sensitivity ratings, not output level ones. A piece that has a sensitivity rating of -10dBv will be fully driven with less input signal than one with a 0dBv rating. So you are right as far as that goes. Ouput ratings are more intuitive, higher is hotter.

    You have to watch for dBV vs. dBu though, they are different. The dB rating is a ratio, referred to some standard voltage with some standard impedance. The letter after the "dB" is critical to understanding the reference level.

    For starters:
    http://www.talkbass.com/ampfaq/
    Scary dB level converter
     
  7. What about the fact that channel one on the mixer
    doesn't have any mids on the eq?
    I thought you weren't happy with the para driver because
    of not having a mid dial?

    Just thought I should bring that up, maybe you're thinking
    of using the Boss EQ to handle all of it.
    Anyway, good luck. I'll be watching for updates with much interest.
     
  8. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    esquillma, i am not worthy of you watching my posts so closely! :D

    the only way i would use a behringer mixer in my bass rig is by using a quality EQ; like the 10 band Boss EQ20. As long as the mixer doesnt add noise, all should be well.

    thanks for the knowledge about the input/output sensitvity guys.
     
  9. I'm not trying to be a stalker, it's just that you're going for
    pretty much the same type of rig that I want.
    The only difference is, you seem to be coming up with
    the money to do it, and I'm still in the dreaming stage.

    Sorry if I seemed pushy or "stalkerlike".

    PS. What's the fruitcase like that you're using? Is that to
    mount your stuff on like a pedalboard? Or is it just for
    transport?
     
  10. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Hey, no worries man. I will help any way I can. The fruitcase acts as my rack. I have connected strips of dense foam inside its bottom with zip-ties to help protect it from the various bumps my rig takes as I go to and from gigs and rehearsals. I often walk 20minutes at a time and bring my rig right onto the bus or light-rail-train. I feel every pound, that's why lightweight is so important to me. If it werent for the huge, very steep hill I have to push my rig up on the way to the practice studio it really wouldnt be that bad. On a level surface my rig is fairly easy to push around. My mini/practice rig weighs about 32LBS total.

    Back to the fruitcase. Everything is strapped down with either zip-ties or nylon straps. Currently, I have three units: Focus SA, behringer UB1202 mixer and korg ga30 tuner. The 1202 adds alot of weight (close to 6lbs) and has to go.

    Since I only have 3 units plus the cab I could just skip the fruitcase and carry them around individually. However, I find that carrying them individually adds alot of hassle in terms of setup / tear-down time. In the fruitcase everything is all connected up. Plug the SA / preamp into the wall, plug the bass into the preamp and I am ready to go.

    Often I just use one of the bass cabs at the rehearsal facitlity. Then I just unstrap the fruitcase/rack from the cab/schroeder mini 12+. I then strap a milkcrate onto my handcart and then strap the fruitcase/rack onto the milkcrate. I throw my bass (in gig bag) onto the handcart too. That is a breeze to push around.
     
  11. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    The power supply to the behringer ub502 (and all other models) is 790grams or 1.74LBS so this negates the lightweight advantage of the ub502, which itself, is 1.21LBS.

    Additionally, the 502 does not have a DI to enable me to go the board at a gig.

    Thus I have come to the conclusion that I am going to buy a Boss geb-7 EQ and pair it up with either a Fishman Pro Platinum Bass DI EQ or a SABDDI.

    I prefer the Fishman because it has a 5 band graphic eq and a compressor. Plus it does well with batteries, lasting 80 hours at a time. Thus negating the use of a power supply cord (and its weight).

    However, the Fishman has an output of +10dbu while the sabddi's output is 0dbu. This is where I am confused. I know from experience, and have heard from others, that the sabddi drives the a poweramp very well (in "line" position). I have heard that Fishman doesnt drive the Focus as well (surmising a lower output here) but the specs from the Fishman manual say it should have a hotter output than the SABDDI. Perhaps I am misunderstanding the specs?

    From the Fishman manual:

    Nominal Output Levels and Impedances

    Amp Out:: -20dBu to +10dBu

    Tuner/Send Out: -14 dBu to + 10 dBu

    XLR Out : -30 dBu to -6 dBu

    What I really want to know is... will the Fishman drive the Focus SA to its full volume capacity?

    If it doesnt I will have to consider buying the sabddi to reach the maximum volume output of the Focus SA.

    Thanks as always.
     
  12. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    No, I never did. I want to have the EQ option because it allows me more tonal variations... to enable me to cut thru while still maintaining a low-end sound.

    Additionally, I would like to have my pick playing resemble the sound of my fingerplaying (which I do now 60% of the time) as closely as possible. An eq will help me achieve that. Though, I know it wont be that close.

    To be able to adjust the rig's sound at the push of a button (bypass the boss geb-7 to access the fishman's eq) would be ideal.
     
  13. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    It does not have an XLR DI but the main output is balanced TRS. Same thing signal-wise.

    Check this out. It too has balanced TRS outs but is battery powered and 3-band EQ.

    Click here.

    :D

    Joe.
     
  14. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    uh... I wish I could play all fingerstyle. But some songs we play are just too fast for my fingers at this point. Highway Star is one such example.

    Anyone have any idea as to the answers to my above questions?:D