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DB amplification necessary?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Matthew_84, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Hello TBers,

    This is certainly a newbie thread, but I couldn't find anything like it in the FAQ. I know many DBers use amps, but at what point is it necessary? And what's a good average setup. I know for BG most people say a couple of speakers at 500 watts.

    I have 4 x 10's at 700 watts, which I'm certain is overkill for DB, and from what I've read, may not actually even sound good. Reason I bring this up, is I'm contemplating selling all of my BG stuff (rig included) and focus on a DB, but I'd still keep my first bass (a soon to be fretless project) and 10 watt practice amp.

    Then rent to own a DB, get lessons, and buy a smaller amp when necessary. Since money is VERY tight, does this sound like a good idea?


  2. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    If you arent gigging your electric stuff, sell it. If you do gig it, dont sell it. Doubling is a powerful tool.

    I have used my Mesa Boogie M-2000 for my upright and it sounded great! The consensus on 10's vs 15's is still a big argument. I wouldnt get rid of all of your rig or basses. I understand the price point for an upright can be quite high but gigging one will help with gigging the other.

    If you have to play so hard that you are wearing yourself out and not getting more sound, you are playing about twice as hard as you should be and probably should have gotten some amplification long before you had to compete at that volume level.

    Coming from an electric world i would err on the side of caution and be not afraid to have the amp ready to go if you need it. These basses take a long time to get used to and drums are still loud, and a good piano player can still make you feel like no one hears you, as well as an amplified guitarist.

    Find a teacher who can guide you, and dont make any impulsive decisions.
  3. I agree with Violen about doubling. I wouldn't think of giving up either.

    Back to your question - I look at amps for DB very differently than for BG. In many ways. One main point is that you don't want the DB to be boomy. Personally, I can't see using big cabs with DB ever. I go with a small combo (generally the Genz Benz Shuttle, either 3.0-10 or 3.0-8) and use its excellent DI to the FOH. With BG, I don't use the FOH but I look to pump some air, currently with the Streamliner 900 and a Schroeder 212.

    With the DB, you want to keep the spaciousness of the natural sound, the bloom of the notes etc. Too much amp won't help. With BG, at least in my view, you are going for a more visceral thump - musical and warm, but definitely with the thump.

    Sorry I can't articulate it better. :bassist:
  4. oh, and as to when it's "necessary" - I find at least a little amplification is desirable most of the time, certainly if playing with drums or at a venue where people are talking. There are a few exceptions.
  5. moles


    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    You know, I kind of did the same thing when I started playing DB. The simple version of the advice Ihave following that experience would be to keep your BG. Unless there is some reason you'd be selling it anyway (not the sound you like, playability isn't where you want it etc.)
    I probably spent maybe 2 years focusing on DB exclusively - then spent a lot of money trying to find a slab that I liked as much as the one I sold thinking I'd never play BG again. You will. It's a good skill set to have - don't toss it unnecessarily...
  6. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I used to use NoAmp, but now Eschew Amplification gets the sound I'm most after.
    Check this out...
  7. Yeah, I'm just kind of stuck though... The ONLY way I can afford a DB (rental included) is to sell my electric stuff. I'd rent a DB for a month or two before making any final decisions, but if I'd want to keep it for any longer than that, I would have to sell some (likely all) of my BG stuff.
  8. Hi.

    In my somewhat limited POV, DB amplification becomes necessary when the other players or the audience will no longer hear a balanced mix.
    IMHO, that holds true with any instrument though.

    The amount of amplification depends on the application. In a soft jazz or blues trio, one can probably get by with a powered cab, but in a loud rockabilly band a DB through a S
    VT and a fridge may have a hard time keeping up.

    Isn't there any way that Your BG gigging income would pay for the rent of the DB?
    Depending on Your progress and the available gigs on DB, you may look at one or two years before landing enough DB gigs to be of any financial help. If You kept both options open, you could keep on gigging the BG, perhaps squeezing the DB in occasionally.

    I'm probably alone with this line of thinking here, but wouldn't "someone elses mistake", ie. an used CCB, soften the blow any?

  9. Well, I do jam with other musicians often, but I have yet to to get paid for any sort of a gig. Not that I'm opposed to it. I just haven't met the right group of musicians yet.

    Also, the reason for my lack of finances, is that I am engaged, and need to have something like $20k in the next 14 months. And since playing bass is more of a passion for me at the moment, I can't allocate any funds towards it for the time being. Hence why I'm debating selling all of my BG gear to get it... But I'm starting to realize that that isn't a great idea. I may just get some EUB to tie me over for the time being or something, I don't know... Some serious decisions I have to make... Thanks everyone for input.
  10. Nagrom


    Mar 21, 2004
    Western Canada
    You want some advice?
    Rent a community hall for your wedding, hire a reasonable band and do an open stage sort of thing, have a potluck dinner, do the ceremony at the hall with a justice of the peace, and save 19 out of that 20k. I did it, my wedding cost me all of about $500, and our marriage started without crushing debt.
  11. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Triple: add tuba as well. You will be able to play every night if you want to, and be able to pay for anything. I always take EB as well as DB to a gig, and have my Carvin MB12 and an extension 1X15 cab ready so I can meet whatever the venue requires, all the way from all acoustic to amplified to line out to the house.

    And what Nagrom said. My wife and I had a simple BCP ceremony at our church with family on a Thursday afternoon before Memorial Day with a simple reception in the fellowship hall so we could have an extended weekend honeymoon and back to work the next week. We spent a little bit more than $500, but not much more than that in 1994.

    Here's the fun part: we got to our "Victorian Painted Lady" B&B in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, on Friday, and everthing was being moved around. They were having a wedding there on Saturday. There was a square piano in the corner. I asked who was playing. The owner said nobody. I volunteered to play. The owner found the music in a side cupboard. So on Saturday I put my tux back on, my wife turned pages, and I played the Wagner as the bride came down the central stairs. When she heard the piano, she was so excited she cried with joy as they had not been able to afford hiring musicians.
  12. LOL, that sounds fun.

    I do appreciate your advice guys. An expensive wedding was something that never made sense to me growing up, but we both have large families and need a pretty large space. And once we started planning it out, the costs flew. We found a venue that would support what we needed, and when we went there, and ate there, we both fell in love with the place. And actually, the majority of the 20 grand is paying off debt that we are already in.

    I've decided that I can't afford a DB for now. I'm just going to turn my first bass into a fretless with a foam mute and tapewound strings, and learn that well until I can afford a DB. I know it's not the same thing at all, but I feel like it's "jazzier" than my p bass with flats, plus I'm really looking forward to the mod!

    Thanks everyone from saving me from selling all my gear!

  13. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    You and your betrothed are wise.
  14. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    I can't afford an Eschew Amp yet but I'll be tided over by my old faithful Noamp, whose sound I rather dig.
  15. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    yeah, I totally went boutique....

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