Doubling rig for 2023

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Slammin Scotty, Nov 19, 2022.

  1. Slammin Scotty

    Slammin Scotty

    May 13, 2013
    I have played EGB and UB for many years but most shows called for one or the other. I am now in a band where I need to play both so I am looking for recommendations on what gear I should be looking at that can effectively support both. I have read through the threads on the subject but since they are mostly pre-pandemic I was hoping for an update.

    WARNING: Long post with specifics follows:
    I am playing out once a month with a blues quartet that features a Chicago style harp player. Lots of tunes from the mid 40's - the 60's a few more modern numbers in each set. I was playing electric when I met the Harp player so I showed up at the first gig in a small dive bar with my MIJ '51 Pbass reissue. That gig went well but I felt most of the set would have been better served by the upright and when I asked the band was excited to have an upright at the next gig. I showed up to the second gig with my EB and my German plywood ¾ size upright fit with an Upton revolution solo wing pickup. About 75% of the set is on UB and the more modern songs are grouped together so I swapped my input cable when necessary to switch basses. The routine is usually UB for most of the set, EB for two or three songs and the last few songs back on UB.

    I am using a Mesa Walkabout through a Markbass 2x10 cabinet and swapped the cable between the basses. I am not using a preamp on the UB pick-up. The second gig was a nice venue with a sound man and he took the DI from my amp. The EB sounded great but the upright was too boomy so I had to cut the bass.

    I am looking for a solution that can work or without PA and will allow me to dial in a good tone for each instrument and switch back and forth quickly.

    In addition to the amp and cabinet above I have an Acoustic image Coda R series iii two channel combo. This is what I typically use for most of my upright gigs Jazz, big band etc. Since this combo is so compact and lightweight I sometime use it for the EB at small rehearsals but the down firing 10 always sounds thin with the EB.

    I also have a K&K power pack preamp (and a K&K bass max pick-up) that I used before I got the Upton. After reading some suggestions here, I tried using the UB through the K&K power pack into the return channel of the walkabout effects loop but the volume of the UB and the balance between EB and UB was not good.

    Lastly I tried the Coda R with the 2x10 (8 ohms) and that had potential as it has 2 separate 2 channels and a frequency filter on each channel that I can use in cut mode as an HPF. With the K&K preamp I get volume control on the UB and some thicker tone if I need it but it's a bit more gear than I want to haul in and out of gigs.

    So for those of you doubling on Blues gigs please send me your suggestions.
  2. statsc

    statsc Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2010
    Burlington, VT
    I play occasional blues gigs with both upright and electric bass and the AI Doubleshot with an AI Clarus works well for both.
  3. Ketbass

    Ketbass Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2020
    Dayton, OH
    Yep, was going to suggest an AI. It’s my go to amp. DB sounds fantastic and they are very clean and transparent. I’ve run my Ken Smith BSR6 thru one channel and my DB through the other to my David Eden 4x10 cabinet. For just DB I slip it back into it’s own little cabinet and I have a light weight compact gorgeous sounding combo again. I use an older Coda series with 2 separate inputs. It sounds like you have everything you need, maybe just dialing in the right sound for the EB.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2022
  4. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Ideally you need two channels with mutes, gain, and tone controls. Also, it's beneficial to have notch filters for the upright.

    There are not a lot of two-channel amps currently on the market. My last touring rig used a rack mixer and a power amp. It worked well, but it was big and heavy, so probably not what you are looking for.

    If you have an amp that works well for both basses, consider adding something like a Headway EDB 2 H.E. I believe it ticks enough of the boxes to do the job well. Maybe @Ric Vice will comment.

    Another option would be to use an appropriate ABY pedal and something like the new (soon to be released) Empress ParaEQ Deluxe. The ABY handles switching between the two instruments. The ParaEQ is used in line with the upright for gain balancing, tone shaping, and feedback suppression.
  5. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
  6. crd

    crd Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2022
    I bet your walkabout with a preamp with the correct impedance for your double bass pick up would sound great for upright. I would try going into the instrument input with the K&K preamp before I bought anything else. I would also give the fdeck series 3 a go in the walkabout effects loop. That would take care of your boominess issue. There are lots of AB switches on the market so you could have your electric go into one channel and your upright signal through the preamp/fdeck into the walkabout, if you want to get fancy.
    Keyser Soze likes this.
  7. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I use an Acoustic Image Focus 2R series 3 two-channel head, and one or two cabs as needed (Crazy8, Crazy88, Acoustic Image Wizzy 12M, Acoustic Image VL208, etc.).

    No need for an external preamp or HPF, and the ability to plug into the head using 1/4" or XLR plugs is very convenient.
  8. bherman

    bherman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    I regularly double in a pretty loud band, Fender P bass and Eminence EUB with a Lifeline pickup. One thing that I find helpful is a Saturnworks AB pedal with volume controls for each input. I can keep both the P bass and EUB plugged in and use the pedal to adjust volume levels for each. Find it here, its called an A/B Reversed with volume controls: A/B Pedals for Guitar & Bass | Saturnworks Pedals | Made in USA

    Both basses then run through a Mesa Subway + preamp into a Quilter BB800, then into a RevSound 115. I find that I really don't need to change eq settings between the two basses. I do use a few other pedals for the P bass - DarkGlass Microtubes Vintage for OD, an octave pedal on occasion, and thats about it. The main thing that I've found is setting different levels for each bass. And the SaturnWorks pedal is great for that. No messing with cable changes during a set.
    Keyser Soze likes this.
  9. The Coda amp sounds/looks pretty ideal. Why the need for a preamp?
  10. Kevin Hailey

    Kevin Hailey Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2011
    Brooklyn NY
    I’ve been using the 2 channel acoustic image head for nearly a year now.
    It’s tiny, powerful and sounds great for upright and electric. Pick a nice cabinet and you’re set.
  11. oren

    oren Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2007
    Salem, OR
    I use a Grace Felix 2 preamp for doubling, usually plugged into the instrument input of my Markbass combo. Two channels with separate EQ, filters, impedance switching, etc. It’s a very high quality and versatile piece of gear, with way more bells and whistles than I use. Not an inexpensive option, though.
    RyanKinBK, Zbysek and Wasnex like this.
  12. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    I use a Radial BigShot I/O for doubling. I like how the passive audio path requires no power. (You can run a 9V wall wart for indicator lights if you want.) You can attenuate a hotter signal in input 2 to match input 1, then bleed some treble back in if needed - or switch that volume control out. Everything I need, nothing I don't, simple, fast and super reliable; my kind of unit!
    I run my upright piezo into an fDeck HPF-pre. With good buffering, HPF and sometimes phase and/or volume trimmed, that signal is usually ready to go without needing a bunch more attention.
    A Felix would be tempting to try, but not quite $800 tempting for me. (There's also the Zoom B6 which seems geared for doubling with two inputs with switchable impedance up to 10M for piezo.)
    The amp settings can be a bit of a compromise - I like to sauce things up a bit with EQ & compression for electric and run closer to neutral for pure acoustic. I tend to let the overall show dictate which approach dominates. (The upright can use some pumping up for rock & blues and it's OK to have the electric be a little less beefy for a jazz concert.)
    Scott Freeman and Wasnex like this.
  13. Slammin Scotty

    Slammin Scotty

    May 13, 2013
    Thanks everyone for your input.

    The AI Coda R is a 2 channel amp with a high impedance input that ticks all the boxes. The model I have is the combo with a downfiring 10 and the amp is not designed to be removable. I don't like it for performance with EB because there is not enough bottom. I have tried it with the Mark 102P (8 Ohm 31 lbs) as an extension cabinet and it sounds great but it is more stuff than I want to haul in and out of a gig. Maybe a smaller extension cab such as the AI doubleshot.
    Wasnex likes this.
  14. Slammin Scotty

    Slammin Scotty

    May 13, 2013
    Is this rig sufficient for the Bass in a small to mid size venue without FOH support? If so I am look at adding a doubleshot as an extension cab to my 2 channel AI combo.
  15. Slammin Scotty

    Slammin Scotty

    May 13, 2013
    The CodaR has many of the same features as the Focus 2 R but I cannot remove the amp from the combo cabinet as this earlier generation was not designed to work that way. If you were going to bring just one cab to a gig in a mid size venue without FOH support which of the above cabs would it be?
  16. Slammin Scotty

    Slammin Scotty

    May 13, 2013
    I tried this. UB into preamp into active input on walkabout, Pbass into passive input. When I adjust the parametric EQ so the EB sounds good the UB is too Boomy. Cut the bass on the K&K preamp but still haven't found a great compromise. I am wondering if the Fdeck series 3 would be better than the K&K for my application? If I can get the system working with the walkabout I could then look into if an AB switch would have any advantages.
  17. Slammin Scotty

    Slammin Scotty

    May 13, 2013
    I don't use the preamp with the Coda. I used the preamp with a bass max pick-up but not with the RS. I pulled it out to see how it sounded with the RS through the walkabout active input. It seems OK but the I'm having a difficult time finding a starting point on the EQ that works for both.
    Povl Carstensen likes this.
  18. Slammin Scotty

    Slammin Scotty

    May 13, 2013
    I agree but I don't think I want to buy a second 2 channel AI head only. My AI is a combo and the head is not removable. I love the combo for most of my UB work need to add a direct firing extension cab to it for EB sound full. The Mark 102P at 31lbs and 8 ohms works but something smaller and lighter at 4 ohms would be even better. I am thinking the doubleshot or possibly a 1-12?
  19. Slammin Scotty

    Slammin Scotty

    May 13, 2013
    That is a nice piece of kit and would work with any of my amp/bass combinations. I will definitely keep it in mind if we start playing out more but I am not ready to make that kind of investment yet with shows just once a month.
    oren likes this.
  20. Slammin Scotty

    Slammin Scotty

    May 13, 2013
    This looks like a solid AB solution. If I am going into the walkabout I would probably use my preamp or a HPFpre on the UB piezo.
    Jefenator likes this.