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Brian Bromberg bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by EricWilson, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. EricWilson


    Jun 30, 2004
    I recently got my hands on a Dean B2 5-String bass (the brian bromberg model) the only problem is, i havent been able to figure out what all the knobs do so I'm afraid to take it out to a practice. If anyone has anyone has any experience with this bass and knows how to work it please help me out.

    I mean whats the point of having a bass with knobs if u dont know what they do?


  2. Found your question in the archives. I've recently acquired one of these. If you don't already know, the controls are as follows starting from the knob closest to the neck:

    Master volume (this controls the volume without having to adjust any other controls)

    Then on the lower bout side (i.e. closest to the floor if you're playing standing up):
    A stacked pair of volume pots (one for each magnetic pickup)
    A mid boost pot; and
    A stacked pair of tone pots (i.e. on the input jack side).

    Above this row and closest to your head are:
    A volume pot for the bridge piezos and
    A toggle switch which allows you to engage the magnetic pickups only (up position); a blend of piezos and magnetic pickups (middle position); and piezos only (down position).

    You can get an amazing variety of sounds from this instrument once you understand how the pots work. It may seem complex at first but it soon becomes second nature.

    Hope this helps. You have a great bass. Happy gigging! :bassist:
  3. wblake


    Nov 21, 2005
    Picked up one of these bad boys (4 string) yesterday. Just getting back into bass after a 20 year hiatus and want one bass that will get the job done for a variety of music styles. I think this might be the one. The piezeos blew me away, just loved the tone. Any chance you could post the pros and cons of this fine instrument and if there are any others out there in the $800 price range that you might like as well or better? Thanks Graham
  4. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    There is no substitute... ;)
  5. Quote: Any chance you could post the pros and cons of this fine instrument and if there are any others out there in the $800 price range that you might like as well or better? Thanks Graham

    I've been away from this forum for quite a while and just chanced upon your post. Here are some of the pro's and cons of the B2 (I have the 5 string model):

    Beautifully balanced and light enough to play standing up all night;
    Fantastic (and I do mean fantastic) variety of sounds, as already mentioned: from thick and round with both pups maxed to nasal and glassy with tops maxed and neck pup rolled off;
    Very shallow 'u' profile neck (a PRO for me but that's my taste - I hate the thick necks you find on many Warwicks, for example);
    No hiss from the pups unless you really crank the treble: in fact this makes the instrument fantastic for 'soft touch' techniques allowing one great dynamics; and
    Great access to upper frets.

    The ridiculousness of having two separate housings for the batteries: one easily accessible under a flip cover for the piezo battery (sensible) and the other under the screwed down plate for the electronics and held in place with double sided tape! (what was the designer smoking?... a really cheap detail in an otherwise classy package);
    Loud fret/string clatter which, although not discernible through the amp, takes a bit of getting used to. The instrument is very lively unamplified, a product of its neck thru construction, I imagine;
    Because of its highly resonant nature amplified, it needs plenty of muting which may require you to adjust your technique.

    All in all, a fantastic instrument though. I use it for a range of gigs from jazz and blues through to rock. Its tone options make it ideal for soloing, if you're into that. The mid boost changes the tone from a growl to a respectable burp that's great for slapping.

    What more can I say.

    Because I live in South Africa, we don't have the same variety of instruments that most of you guys get to choose from so I'm not sure what else is competetive for you in that $800 - $1000 range. From where I am, not much apart from the cheaper (USA) Fenders. (I also own a fretless P Bass... a very different animal).

    Hope this helps. I'd love to hear what others think of this bass.:bassist:
  6. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    It's my very favorite bass of all time. I can go from dark thud (with palm muting) to classic Jazz tone, to brash, aggressive rock, to slice-yer-ears-off trebly with the twist of a couple knobs and/or flip of the switch. Easily the most versatile bass I've ever owned. If I get called for a last-minute pickup gig, and don't know what to expect, it's the one I take.
  7. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    I'd love one, but I like the look of the Peavey Bromberg bass more...I dig the Graphite neck!
  8. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    The electronics package in the Dean is a lot more advanced than the Peavey model in a lot of ways. The EQ curves are better, the piezos are MUCH better. The stock pickups in mine pretty much sucked. So I put Bart 57J-1-5s in there, perfect fit. They also do wonders for it sonically. The graphite neck on the Peavey doesn't feel as good in my hands as the graphite-reinforced neck of the Dean. That's just my preference, though, YMMV. I would still like to get a stereo panning module for my piezos, that's the one thing the Dean doesn't have. I'll have to get with Brian to ask him what his are. He had panning before he ever did the Peavey series, I think he had it on his original brown bass with the Moses neck.
  9. Hi Bassic83. You say the Barts you've installed are a perfect fit. Does that mean no extra routing? How has it improved the overall sound of the instrument for you?

    I'm very curious. Do you have the 4 or 5 string version?
  10. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Hey Graham, how are you? The Bart 57-J-1-5 is a direct drop-in for the stock pickups on the B2-5, and brings it a lot closer to the B2-USA series that was never released. They still have the USA model on Dean's site, last I looked, but sales of the Korean-built one were a little sluggish, and from what I gather from my music-store friend, the rep said that they were being put on hold. Don't know exactly what that means, but the Korean-built model is still a wicked bass. The Barts really smoothed things out a lot, not as tinny up high, the mids and lows really got brought out a lot more as well. I just removed the stock pups, and put in the Barts, no muss, no fuss. Tremendous improvement in the sound. I've actually played several of Brian's instruments, so I know what they sound like with my hands on them. I believe he has Barts in most of his, except for the Peavey models, and a couple of Jan Knooren models. I didn't personally dig the VFLs in the Peavey, which may explain why I never bought one. I did like the fact that the neck was graphite on those ones, but they felt much more like a P-Bass in my hands. The Dean feels more like an Ibanez as far as profile. Very fast neck.

    Mine is the 5 string, BTW. I got mine for a song because it was a B-Stock instrument, had a problem with the voltage inverter making a high-pitched shrieking noise, which I bypassed. I put two 9vs in the control cavity (plenty of room) and cut the battery box out of the circuit. It also had a color mismatch between the headstock and the body (too much yellow-green in the headstock, didn't exactly match the teal of the body). No big thing. I don't care about the cosmetics on it that much. As long as it sounds good and plays well, which it unquestionably does.
  11. Hi Bassic83. :D

    That Bart mod sounds intriguing, particularly your comments about smoothing out the tops ....could well be worth a try. I know very little about the background of this bass and wasn't even aware of a USA model in the pipeline. I bought mine blind ...yes, I know, the very last thing one should sensibly do... but decided to after a close friend tried one in the UK and wrote me about it. He thought it would be ideal for my style of playing and after discussing it with him and reading some reviews, I took the plunge. He was right!

    I am a big Brian Bromberg fan, particularly with regard to his upright playing and would be fascinated to know how you got to try out his demo models. What style(s) of music do you play?

    I would also be grateful if you could point me towards a website where I could get more info on the Barts, as well as price and shipping information. I guess being prepared to buy the guitar blind makes buying these pups blind pretty trivial!

    BTW, do you use effects with this instrument as all? I find I don't really have to, apart from some very mild compression (mostly in jazz quartet and trio lineups). I must, however, admit to being interested in the properties of the Aphex Bass Exciter judged purely on reputation, and the fact that it could prove useful for my URB setup. (Aphex equipment is not sold down here on the southern tip of Africa and I'd have to buy this blind as well, if I were to decide to take the plunge).

    Seems to me there are not many of us who have tried this bass, otherwise there'd have been a lot more sold. Maybe its also because the instrument is Korean made. I must say, I find an astounding number of Korean and Chinese (think Warwick Rockbasses, for example) instruments to be very well made and excellent value.
  12. rhinoplasty


    Dec 10, 2007
    Hey guys, my name's dave and I own a 4 string amber version of this dean bass. It is fantastic, and very versatile! But I cant stand the design flaw with the seperate batteries!! It's ruining the bass for me, also! the batteries just DONT LAST!!! I am scared to use it on any gigs because the batteries only last for a short time (like a few days with daily use!) Do any of you guys know what I should do? Add another battery box? Install some kind of active bypass? Someone please ease my pain.:crying:
  13. BobWestbrook

    BobWestbrook Mr. Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2006
    Philly suburb
    I also have this bass, and agree it is fantastic, except for two batteries.

    If you switch off the piezo pickups, you don't need to be concerned about the one set - perhaps you could practice with the piezos off?

    I've not had problems with battery life with mine - are you careful to unplug the cable when doing playing so it doesn't drain the batteries?
  14. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Umm...did it come like that? Where are the two batteries housed? I still have the same batteries in mine from last year. I did the two-battery mod on mine because the voltage inverter that steps the single 9v up to 18v went bad. Mine are now inside the control cavity. If you were to install a second battery box, make certain the inverter is bypassed completely. If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.
  15. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I talked to Brian about this bass a few years ago when I had one, and he told me that if you stick nylons on it, and use just the piezo, you'd have the acoustic from hell. Amazing sound. US Masters are producing them now.
  16. GradyBass


    Oct 15, 2006
    Paris, France
    I have Brian Bromberg's signature double bass (German hand carved by Bjorn Stoll)..

    Mine doesn't have NEARLY as many switches as yours =D
  17. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    That's funny! :D
  18. grace & groove

    grace & groove

    Nov 30, 2005
    Self-Appointed Ambassador to the Dragonfly
    Ooh, really old thread. :p
  19. DanoesqBass

    DanoesqBass Bass For Life

    Nov 20, 2007
    I didnt know those Bart pups fit, thought I would have to route it.

    I could not handle the piezos, the batterys etc, but I liked the bass enough to hold my breath as I started ripping the thing apart...

    Now it has a single 9volt Bart 3 Band EQ with mid select and 2 Vols. Since it only had one single Battery compartment, (other one was inside electronic bay) it is now click pop and done.

    Also did some gold tuners/knobs and a chrome Schaller bridge with gold schaller saddle holders from another bridge, I really like it now! :cool:

    View attachment 76137
  20. T-MOST

    T-MOST Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    NJ via NYC
    If you sat down with the bass and an amp you could find out what the knobs "do" in about 2 minutes. How many knobs does it have, 10, 15??