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Compromise Rig for Electric and Double Bass

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Mimee, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. Mimee


    Apr 5, 2009
    I'm new to these forums and I tried searching for a relevant thread, but I had difficulty finding one. In brief, I'm looking for a combo or small amp/cabinet rig that sounds half decent with both a upright and electric bass for about $1000. I know that it would be optimal to buy to amps specialized for each instrument, but I only play bass as a hobby (rehearse regularly but gig maybe 5 times a year) and cash isn't very abundant. I've been getting by because there's usually amps at the rehearsal spot or gig or I could borrow a friend's amp. But I think its high time that I become more dependent.

    I play a maple double bass made for a local luthier with a Realist pickup and usually use a Fishman BII Preamp to attenuate the poopiness of the sound with the cheap amps I usually play with. And I play a four-string passive Warwick Corvette bass with half wound strings. With my DB, I play mostly jazz and some small acoustic vocal/guitar/bass trio stuff. With my EB, I play fairly loud rock/blues music.

    I've spoken with local dealers and they claim that wattage may be a problem as I would need a smaller amp for upright and a more powerful one for EB. And apparently different frequency ranges need to be addressed for each instrument. I've tried a Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0 with a 12" cabinet and a MarkBass Mini CMD121 combo with my electric and loved the sound. Has anyone had experience with these for a DB? I have also been hearing a lot about AI stuff and EA cabinets on the forums, but how do they sound with an electric?

    Any suggestions, help or comments would be very much appreciated. Thank you!
  2. BCAlbin


    Dec 7, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Eden Metro Combo would be my advice. It's what I use when doubling with quick changes required. It's foot-switchable with separate EQ for each channel. Sounds great for EB and adequate for DB. I plug the EB into Ch. 1 (minimum EQ, Bass/Mid/High, but still sounds great for EB) and the DB into Ch. 2 (5 bands w/ 3 being semi-parametric) so I have more "tweak" options so I can get the DB sounding as close as possible to how it should. I would imagine that one of those little HPF Preamps that TBDB'er FDeck makes would help tighten up the DB with Eden's "sub-heavy" 210 cabinets. I need to get one of those myself! MSRP is $2100, so...more than you want to spend but "street price" would be less and used (if you can find one) even less. Just my $.02, hope it helps.

  3. Having never tried any of the two, from what I've read on these forums, taking into account your price range and the necessary compromise I would say you seem to be on the right track.

    Just two or three thoughts:

    A head and a cab will be more versatile because you can change one of them if you're not liking it. The shuttle will let you do this, even though I don't know if you can remove the piece that holds the head to the cab.

    In any of the cases getting a preamp (a simple one like fdecks pre mentioned above will do the trick) will surely improve you're sound. Besides the impedance match that piezos require, there are several features that can be found in preamps that are really important to amplifying a double bass. First is the high pass filter which will allow you to control the boominess in your sound. It will also save you're amp from wasting energie on frequencies you don't need. A phase switch can be very helpfull to tame feedback as well as notch filter with sweepable frequency so you can conpensate room acoustics.

    You'll apreciate having lots of power for the upright too because this will allow you to have more headroom, play louder and cleaner.

    EA and AI do have some really nice products that might work for you (at least they work for lots of people here!) but I guess they'll be over your price range.

    Hope this helped.

    David Santos
  4. HogieWan


    Feb 4, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    Get a clean, natural sounding amp and use a preamp to get the tone for you electric
  5. I play both DB and BG and recently bought the Genz Benz shuttle 3.0-10T. So far I am very pleased with the sound on DB. I am using the Fishman BP-100 on a laminate bass and going through Fdeck's HPF preamp (highly recommended BTW). The sound has some amp color to it, I am getting a warm tone with some nice "growly" character in the lows and mids. Very pleasing to my ear anyway. There is a good thread on the GB shuttle here:


    I like the BG sound of the GB shuttle but have to admit I like the Eden tone for BG a little better. Hard to beat the portability or amount of sound reinforcement for the price of the shuttle, however. IMO you are faced with a compromise however you look at the issue - size and portability vs preference of tone for DB or BG vs cost, etc.

    I have not had to double with DB and BG on the same gig yet w/ this amp, so can't really comment on that. Another TB'er suggested using a separate pre w/ HPF and EQ like the Fishman Platinum to run the DB through the shuttle's aux input for this purpose.
  6. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    I guess I do the same. I really became very selective about who I tell about my EB chops though. I use my AI/EA rig with a Sansamp for EB.
  7. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    Why compromise? It's not necessary. The new EA Doubler that will be out soon sounds great on both. I think it will list for about $800 but I think it will be discounted a bit through somebody like Bob Golihur. Then you buy a used speaker cab. I use the EA CXL12 cab for either axe.It's not too big and weighs about 37 lbs. I double and have to have a setup that is no compromise. I tour a lot and travel with my amp head and have a 4x10 speaker du jour supplied. I recently played a gig where they supplied an Aguilar head and 4x10 speaker cab. Don't get me wrong, Aguilar makes great stuff but I really preferred the EA Doubler even on electric. I guess that I prefer the control of transistors over the warmth but lack of control of tubes. The next gig I played was a concert at a similar size hall, but a drive from home. I brought my CXL12 with. I much preferred the CXL12 in all areas with both basses. Will it ultimately go as loud as an Aguilar 4x10? No way. But I play a custom Lakland 5 string ( I'm an endorser) and we play loud and the CXL has always been enough. Percy Jones ( Brand X, etc) uses a single CXL too.
  8. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar It Don’t Mean A Thing... Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
  9. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Mimee, welcome to TB.
    HA HA
    OK that sounds a little better.
    I agree w/ David Santos. Given what you told us about your situation, I think you're probably on the right track w/ these two options. Also the AI and EA stuff is top-shelf, IMO of course (check my profile ;)). And the HPF-Pre is worth reading up on too. Get familiar with the Advanced Search function in this forum. There is lots of great info on all these choices if you search. You could even try searching titles of threads for "doubling." If you have more specific questions after you search a bit, don't be afraid to ask.

    Make a good sound. :)
  10. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
  11. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    No ****? Percy. Did not know that. Very cool.
  12. Mimee


    Apr 5, 2009
    Thanks a lot for all the help, guys. I got more help than I could have hoped for. And its good to now that dude at local music store doesn't always have the soundest advice.
    That HPF-Pre looks like a great deal, but unfortunately, they're not available in big ol' Canada. Same with EA stuff. The purchase isn't pressing, so next time I head on down to the States, I'll pop into a few stores to check it out. But since the Shuttle has been receiving such positive reception and they keep up popping up on craigslist, I'll probably cave and buy one of those.

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