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Best amp for both db and slab?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Chef, Jan 1, 2005.


  1. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I play both electric and upright...even both at the same job a lot. So, I spend a lot of time agonizing about what might be the best amp to cover both needs. I'm currently using an swr baby blue II for real small jobs, swr super redhead for middlin' jobs...and either a mesa 400+ or bbe/qsc plx1602 thru a schroeder 410 or Henry 8x8 for big rooms.
    I'm not unhappy with any of this, but they all have their compromises.
    Just wondering what you all think might work better? I've considered a lot of things, and sort of come to the conclusion that while an iAMP800 or Thunderfunk or whatever else I think about might work as well as what I have, *maybe* the only thing that might actually be better would be a Walter Woods Ultra...hmmm...
     
  2. I'll give this a bit of a bump because I'm in a similar dilemma... I'm using an SVT-3 at the moment, and I need something more suited to EB ('71P) and URB, without going ultra hi-fi (which doesn't suit my style). I prefer warmth...

    It's down to the Thunderfunk or the Aguilar AG500 - I'd like to hear from anyone who has used these for EB and URB.

    The PRO3 does have a 33Hz slider which I switch in use to dial out the boominess of the URB - can I do a similar thing with the TF and Aggie..?

    I would like to hold out for a WW, but.. in the UK? It's never going to happen!

    Thanks in advance!
     
  3. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    You might give some thought to what I'm about to try for doubling gigs: A Raven Labs PMB II, the new D-Tar Solstice, or other 2 channel blender/preamp, a good power amp, and the cabinet(s) of your choice. This way you have seperate eq for both instruments. I plan to use this setup with a larger and small cab, depending on the needs of the gig.
     
  4. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Well,
    All I can say is, John Pattitucci uses the AG500. You also might want to check out Acoustic Image (probably a Focus) if you need to double, they sound great for upright and are very natural with "the slab".
     
  5. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    My two favorites for doubling are the WWU or the iAMP 800, although I get great results using my rack rig as well (Navigator into PLX 3002). The Thunderfunk or AG500 would probably also do a fine job. I have tried both, but have not used either for double bass. I also have a Mesa Boogie Walkabout which I have used for doubling, and it does pretty well if paired with the right cabs (there are some cabs that don't seem to pair up as well with the Walkabout).

    Hope this helps, Tom.
     
  6. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    But I'd really give the Focus a shot. The Thunderfunk isn't even comparable for upright and with the Clarus/Focus you'll never need an outboard pre for your upright (unlike the Woods, though some manage without one). The 800 might be very nice but it's too bulky to make it onto my list.
    Will
     
  7. hmmnn... I have this vision of the Clarus being a little on the clinical side when it comes to slab. I imagine a Sadowsky would sound great, but if I plugged my 'ol 71 Pbass into it it might bring of few of those little Fender idiosyncrasies to much to the fore..! I'd need to run it via a SABBDI and.. more boxes, etc, etc.

    I'm going to give it some thought though, as I didn't realise they had a 2-channel version.

    At the moment, I feel like pulling the trigger on the Epifani UL-502. It seems to have everything I need.. two totally seperate channels, a limiter... no way to EQ the real lows out, though. I don't know how much of a problem that would be...
     
  8. It seems to me you need to ask yourself two questions.

    1. Are you primarily a double bassist who plays slab when the gig calls for it, or the other way around?

    2. Which is easier, adding color to a neutral amp (Focus) for your EB, or trying to make any other amp sound flat for DB?
     
  9. Acoustic Image Focus or WW :D
     
  10. At the moment, my gig is pretty much exactly 50/50 slab and EUB... I'm really a slab player who moved into EUB and it grew from there. Most of my other gigs 'on the side' are on slab.

    For that reason, I don't want to go out-and-out transparent Clarus style..

    I think whatever I get has to be more suited to EUB than my current PRO-3, but I'm wondering wether I'll miss the graphic on the PRO-3 that I use to dial out any sizzle and boom.

    Maybe I won't need to with the UL-502. Truth is, I haven't been able to talk to anyone who has used one to any great degree, so I just won't know until I try it.. :meh:
     
  11. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    If I could find a WW Ultra, and then find a way to afford it, I sure would...My work is leaning more towards DB in terms of hours and dollars returned, which I'm pretty happy about. I'm hoping that the navigator, with a real clean 12ax7, will work suitable well for doubling...and quite frankly, I'm not unhappy with the mesa400+...
    Using the "clean channel" and keeping gain down and master up-paired with one of Jorg's cabs-gets me real close...but the mesa is a heavy beatch! A WW would solve that, but for now the nav, and a plx in a light sbk rack is gonna have to do. Having bought all that used was less than half of what I've seen used WW ultras go for.
    Ultimately I'm a working "hobby" bassist, and try not to spend more than I make on gear. So far (and this is mostly Jorg's fault-not that I'm not grateful...:)...)...I'm kinda behind the curve. Happy, but behind the curve.
     
  12. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I failed to mentioned AI in my initial post, and I probably should have. My experience is limited to just the Clarus SL (the really little amp!), and this was using only electric basses played through a variety of cabs up at Low Down Sound. But, while I do hear what guys are saying as to the sound being a bit "clinical", it wasn't like it was inappropriate for slab bass. It is just part of its tonal character, and while it certainly leans toward a lean, clean tone, you could certainly address this via EQ, I would think. In truth, I thought it sounded pretty darn good. I would love to test drive a Focus sometime against my iAMP 800 and WWU, but that will have to wait...
     
  13. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    You have an Eden Navigator preamp? I have used this as part of my rack rig (with various amps, but mostly a PLX 3002) for years with great results. I also run a Raven Labs MDB-1, which lets me plug in my electric basses, ABG and URB and control volumes for each. I sometimes also run my upright through a Stewart UDP-1a as a buffering preamp, which works really well. About the only thing I touch when I switch from electric to upright (other than the buttons on the MDB-1) is one band of parametric EQ on the Navigator which I have set for feedback suppression. With this setup, my rack rig really works well for doubling.
     
  14. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Tomgoesbowling:
    I don't have the nav in my hands yet, but hopefully have a deal sealed here in the tb classifieds. I've heard good reports from several guys here I know that double, including Jorg, who report it works satisfactorily.
    I'd be curious to hear your settings for db as a baseline starting point for me to tweak from...You still running the stock pre-tube?
     
  15. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I have not changed the preamp tube, but I do have some nice tubes to try (following my retubing experiment with my Walkabout). I just haven't gotten around to it, as I am happy with the sound as is. The only tone control that I regularly use is the Enhance knob, which I like set to about 9:00 to 12:00 o'clock. When I switch to upright, I have one parametric set to the frequency that causes me the most feedback problems (I'll have to check the setting, but it's in the low mid region), and I crank the cut on that channel only. I leave the rest set flat, unless I have some unusual room/stage characteristics to account for.
     
  16. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Sweet, thanks.
    I'm not sure if the stock tube is a "clean 12ax7," the guy I'm buying mine from has a "JJ" tube in there now...which I also know nothing about. I was gonna maybe ring Lord Valve and ask him for a real clean 12ax7...
     
  17. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    JJ's are normally pretty good, so you might not want to switch. But then again, it is kind of fun... :cool:
     

  18. Smash, the HD500 could do the job but I honestly prefer the AI Focus. I had the WW Hi power, great amp but IMO a little under powered. So, for me it was either the Focus or an Ultra, I decided to go with the Focus and didn't regret it.
     
  19. Well, I changed my mind at the last minute & bottled out of the Epiphani EL-502... I just pulled the trigger on an AI Focus 2. I'll let you know in the next couple of weeks wether I regret it...! :eek:
     
  20. Kael

    Kael Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    I was really hoping to not need to worry about this for some time yet, but.....


    The head on my BG rig is biting the dust and needs replacing. I've only been playing upright for a few months now, but I have a sneaking suspicion that that is the way I will be headed long term. For the moment, however, slab's my bread and butter instrument. So, here I am looking for a new BG head or pre-/poweramp combination (I also noticed that Eden Navigator on the BG for sale area, but looks like someone else snagged it before I saw the post :spit: ). I am thinking that it might be a good idea to look at some DB friendly items.

    I'd appreciate suggestions on a primarily BG head or pre/power that can double on DB (eventually). Need something that can push at least 400 watts. I usually play mid to mid/large clubs with a 4x10 cab and try to avoid mic's on the cab running to PA if possible. I'm looking at spending in the $1K range. Not sure about some of the "cleaner" heads (ie: clarus, focus, iamp) as I want the ability to add a little color (plus it really worries me to think about all that "clean" circuitry sucking in smokey bar air through the cooling vent and getting gunked up). The fact that I haven't played around with these probably factors largely into my hesitancy on them.

    Sorry if it seems like I am just making this thread/post drag on excessively, I can be rather long winded.

    PS: I know that I am putting the cart before the horse with not concentrating on getting the sound I want from acoustically before thinking about amps, but circumstances require a new amp on the BG rig now.