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Doubling on DB and Slab

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by AMUNC, Aug 21, 2012.


  1. AMUNC

    AMUNC

    Jan 22, 2012
    Raleigh, NC
    So I landed a permanent job with a new group, and this is the first time I'll be playing upright and electric on the same gigs, and I'm a little lost on the problem of tone and really just the whole idea of doubling.

    Let me start by saying I'm not happy with my amplified upright tone... I play a Shen SB100 and LOVE the tone both pizz and Arco. But amplified it still sounds to boomy OR like an electric. Just not woody in every way.

    What should I do, both gear and technique-wise to improved rig to get a satisfactory sound on both upright and electric? I currently play the Shen through a upton solo PU into a sansamp DI into a Gallien-Krueger backline 600 to the GK Backline 4x10 cab and my electrics are a 6 string peavey grind and a squire vintage modified fretless. I know the amp isn't ideal, but I got a nice deal and I need the power.

    Any suggestions as to diff PU's, amps, pedals, mics, whatever that could help my tone and make a quick switch between the two easier? Though money is always an issue, Just give me advice based on it not, and I can prioritize what I need first from there.
    Thanks Talkbass!
     
  2. pnchad

    pnchad

    Nov 3, 2005
    are you using? how loud is the band when you're playing DB?

    If it's pretty laid back consider a mic - best way to duplicate DB acoustic tone
     
  3. bssist

    bssist

    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA
    I have not tried a Rev Solo. I have tried a handfull of pickups and the one that worked best for me was the Realist. It is a fairly good reproduction of my sound with good wood in the tone. I run through a Fishman Pro Platinum Bass pre. I struggle to get good tone (I don't even try for "great", it seems very easy to get boom or nasal sounds, wood is tougher to dial in but I am able to find a useable compromise. I go through a dpdt push button A/B I built that plugs into the jack on my Backline 600. That pushes two Yorkville 210 cabinets stacked vertically behind me so I can hear them. I send a line out to the board for the FOH sound. I set the amp up for the bg (I keep it fairly flat & use active electronics on the bg) then tweak the tone & level on the Fishman. Then all I have to do is push a button on the A/B as I hang my bg and grab my db.

    Hope there is something in there that you find helpful. Good luck.
     
  4. bssist

    bssist

    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA
    Some others have had very good luck with an inexpensive Radio Shack lapel mic but I found that I could not get any useable volume before feedback. If you are in a low volume situation (which it doesn't sound like based on your gear list above) that may be a viable option for you. The guys that have made it work rave about the sound.
     
  5. moles

    moles

    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    I know others have had good luck running a DB through a SansAmp...I sure didn't. I absolutely could not get a natural tone out of it.

    You might want to try going straight into the GK, and then compare with something like a simple Fishman pre. Don't be afraid to turn the Bass knob to the left! ;)
    I had an older G series Fishman that I scored for 40 bucks, that was just as good as the BII, even though technically it wasn't a "Bass" preamp.
    ...or there's always fdecks HPF pre...
     
  6. moles

    moles

    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    Ditching the SansAmp also frees that up to have another tool on board to get a tone dialed in for the slab too...
     
  7. AMUNC

    AMUNC

    Jan 22, 2012
    Raleigh, NC
    I've been using the sansamp almost like an eq box, switching it on for slab and off for upright, and also experimenting with Eqs. It sounds more woody and uprighty with the bass rolled off, but then gets really nasally and honky and overall displeasing to listen to
     
  8. zacinaction

    zacinaction

    Jul 22, 2008
    Bay Area, CA
    I've owned both the UB Revolution Solo and Realist pickups. On DB I aim for a tone as close to the acoustic sound of the bass as possible out of the amp. I found I could get a decent tone out of both pickups, but I did notice the RS was a lot boomier than the Realist and that the Realist had a bit stronger midrange emphasis. I wound up keeping the realist and selling the RS.

    I've played lots of gigs doubling on electric and DB and found the main issue to be managing EQing and levels when switching instruments. Coming from electric, I was used to plugging straight into the amp and getting a descent tone without having to mess with the EQ too much, but I found that with the DB I had to do a lot of EQ tweaking to find a good sound. Once I did find that sound though, I marked the nob positions with a sharpie so I could find them quickly and reliably on gigs.

    Honestly, if I were in your shoes and was going to spend any money on gear, I'd get a new head. I've had generally bad experiences with the GK Backline stuff - found them to be very muddy as you describe. The cabs are probably fine. if you can get a deal on a used Little Mark II (check the classifieds - shouldn't be too much) it would make a huge difference.
     
  9. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    It might be worth reading my geeky review of the Backline 600 on my old website: https://personalpages.tds.net/~fdeck/bass

    The BL600 has a "scooped" voicing, and I've noted the settings for dialing in a flat response. Not that flat response is the be-all-end-all, but it might be a better starting point for your tonal explorations.

    The SansAmp is also scooped. It might be worth trying the Upton pickup directly into the GK. I was happy with my BL600, and would not hesitate to gig with it, but I've fallen in love with the new micro heads.
     
  10. moles

    moles

    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    If the OP's leaving the Sansamp "off" for DB, then the scoop shouldn't be an issue, but the impedance/buffer might be loading the pickup in a different way than the head's input might...so taking it out of the chain is still worth a try for that reason IMO.
     
  11. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Chicago
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    I tour doubling. I use the EA Doubler. I'm an endorser for EA. I went with them because I thought that their amps sounded best for both. If I was only playing slab I might have made another choice. The Doubler has worked great for me. You need two independent channels. I'd start there. I like EA but there are other nice 2 channel amps. AI, Genz, and I'd love to try the Tecamp. Hardest part for me was going back and forth from 4 to 5 strings!
     
  12. AMUNC

    AMUNC

    Jan 22, 2012
    Raleigh, NC
    Well I found a good deal on a AI clarus 1 with a contra speaker, which would be fantastic for upright, but how are they on the BG side?
     
  13. bssist

    bssist

    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA
    derailure -

    I dream of one day having one of those. For now... Thank God I'm no longer dragging around that SVT !!
     
  14. AMUNC

    AMUNC

    Jan 22, 2012
    Raleigh, NC
    Also, I'm most likely selling my current rig for $350 because I'd really like to downsize. I'm using at 8 ohms like fdeck, so I'm really only getting 180 something watts. I KNOW I can beat that without having a 4x10.
     
  15. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Personally, I don't own a Acoustic Image amplifier, but I have played through them on several occasions. They can sound pretty good, depending on the room acoustics. The contra speaker, with it's down firing 10" speaker, can only get so loud, before it just gives out IMHO. I wouldn't attempt to use it with Bass Guitar, for that you would need some kind of extension speaker. For me, the Ten2 with it's additional front firing 10" handles BG. From you post it appears that you are considering the original Series 1 amp, AI has made a lot of changes since that amp was first built. The newer ones are vastly improved IME, IMHO

    Ric
     
  16. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    How loud do you need to play w/out FOH support? I ask because a lot of the micro heads and combos work really well for both and can usually hold their own. But if you are playing really loud, it will be hard to dial in a usable upright tone IMO. You might be surprised how small of a rig you can get away with these days and having an ext. cab for louder situations.
     
  17. AMUNC

    AMUNC

    Jan 22, 2012
    Raleigh, NC
    I'm thinking 200 watts and up would be a good starting place. If I'm ever to play really large shows, I don't know if I'd even use the upright.
     
  18. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    If that is the case take a took at GK MB series, GB shuttle series, Phil Jones, EA, and on. You have a lot of options.
     
  19. I have an older Acoustic Image Contra. You are right in that they only get so loud. But they do sound great with an electric.
     
  20. Jimnastix

    Jimnastix

    Jan 21, 2011
    I use an AI contra combo and find it great for doubling.
    When I need more volume or a more direct sound I either plug in the 1x10" speaker from a gutted trace Elliot with the combo, or run a 2x10" cab by itself.
    The fact you can remove the head from the combo makes it very workable.
    If I played more electric I'd probably run an overdrive pedal too, to dirty the sound a little.
     

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