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Ebs Microbass users Please

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by phippsyg, Jul 21, 2007.


  1. phippsyg

    phippsyg

    May 28, 2007
    Sydney
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Optima Strings
    I recently purchased one of these and returned it after having some distortion problems. The main issue is resolved with the replacement I received, but please help me understand something about this pedal. Either I am confused, paranoid or have a crap pedal.

    How should you run the volume and boost settings, do they even relate? Should the boost only be used to match the output between the 2 basses, and should it be turned off the rest of the time with the volume knob up full. I ask because when I plug my Alembic in if I turn the boost on, even a quarter of a turn, a low e or a chord causes distortion (plugged in to channel A, channel, and it is not a dirtier signal from channel B). However if I press the -10db button it resolves this. When I rang the shop they said I should be able to turn the boost on without causing distortion. If they had not told me this I would assume it should be flat unless needed and I am running a signal too hot when I turn it up?

    Please help me with this, is driving me nuts (or overdriving me nuts)

    Besides this I am wondering HOW you use your pedal, 2 basses, 1 bass with diffrent eq settings etc.
    Thanks guys.
     
  2. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    IMO, sounds like the Alembic has a really hot output. It doesn't surprise me, though - it's an Alembic!

    The -10dB button is useful for just that sort of problem. That's why a lot of amps have similar buttons - for dealing with the problems an active bass may deliver, if such problems show up. I'd only use it if a problem arises like an easily overdriven signal, and in this case, it sounds like it did for you.

    Also... while I don't own a Microbass, I just looked at its controls. It looks like the Boost knob is exclusive to channel A, which makes sense. It helps make up the difference in volume between channel A and Channel B (overdrive), or can allow one to be louder than the other. The Volume control, on the other hand, seems to be a sort of "Master Volume" for the whole pedal, as it's separate from the controls of both channels.

    So... adjust the Boost as preferred for your clean channel. If you want to match volumes between channels A and B, go ahead and do that now. The Volume setting can be toyed with at the end, when you've set up both channels. The great thing about it is this: if you're using a really heavy or really light overdrive setting on channel B, and set channel A to match volume, then both channels together may be too quiet or too loud. That's why there's a Master Volume - to correct that!
     
  3. phippsyg

    phippsyg

    May 28, 2007
    Sydney
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Optima Strings
    Thanks for the reply.
    I plugeed in my Warwick and my Ibanez (which isn't very hot at all) and had the same resut with both. Regardless of the position of the volume knob, the boost knob causes distortion. It is defineatley causing the signal to be too hot. Generally it wouldn't be a problem , I would run the volume knob on full and only use the boost if I plug in a quite bass to bring the signal up to the same level as a bass in channel B.

    However if I want to use the distortion on Channel b to any decent effect, it is impossible to match the level with channel a (if I am using one bass in channel a ). The drive on channel b raises the volume subsatntially so this means I would need to bring up the boost knob so when I hit channel b it isn't a ridiculous difference. But I can't do this because turning up the boost, regardless of what else is happening on the pedal, anywhere past a quarter of a turn it distorts with all of my basses.
    How do other people handle this. Being the second unit I have had I doubt it is faulty. It just seems like a bad design or is it normal keeping in mind that the boost raises the instruments signal strength from unity to 30db. :confused: :confused: :confused:
     
  4. This is one major flaw with this device, and we all hear your pain because, there is no work around that I know of.

    It's done that way because it's simply not designed to be all things to every person, all of the time, simultaneously. I guess they expect you to either use it as a plain old DI/Pre, an instrument switcher/matcher OR an overdrive but never any combination thereof. Quite frankly, I think the overdrive was an afterthought - it was never really intended to be an overdrive pedal and it shows in the lack of controlability. I mean, where are they gonna cram yet another knob on that thing?!?!

    I'm confused, does the -10dB switch fix the problem or... what?! You seem to say it does, but then in your 2nd post you re-ask the same question, more or less.

    My approach is to put the quieter bass in channel A and use the boost to match it's level to that of the bass in channel B. The volume control is used to set the master level - in most cases this should be set to produce the same volume as the louder bass would, if the microbass weren't in the signal chain. So, in effect, all you're doing is bringing up the quiet bass to match the loud bass. If the quiet bass is not so quiet, then you may need to engage the -10dB switch.
     
  5. Have you followed the procedure on page 5 of the manual? It more or less repeats what I just wrote.
     
  6. phippsyg

    phippsyg

    May 28, 2007
    Sydney
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Optima Strings
    Pressing the -10db button just allows me to engage the boost to some extent. For example, plugged into channel A, using one bass only, if I turn the boost past a quarter of a turn, the signal is totally distorted. If I press the -10db I can turn the knob a little more. However, I found that if I am usingg the a=b optiob (without the overdrive on), just using the edge and middle boost, that I am unable to use the boost at all, even with the 10db button pressed. I am starting to think that the boost must only really be usable to bring up the level of a really quite passive bass. Would this be correct?
    By the way, thanks for the reply.
     
  7. Yes, I would say you're right, and it seems EBS might have caught on that people want to use actives in channel A because the -10dB switch is a somewhat recent addition.

    Was this also happening with the one your returned to the store?

    It's hard to say whether it's a fault or not, but given your second test (Warwick + Ibanez) is as close to a "standard" as you're gonna get, it seems odd that it is not working as expected.

    You using batteries or a power supply, BTW?
     
  8. phippsyg

    phippsyg

    May 28, 2007
    Sydney
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Optima Strings
    Was also happening with the one I returned. The one I returned seemed to be noisy most of the time though. Am running it on batteries. Have actually emailed EBS as well so hopefully they will get back to me. I might just have to get over the fact that the boost knob is useless to me, as I really like it otherwise.
     
  9. FWIW, although I don't use my Microbass to match two instruments, my passive fenders cause noticeable drive if I engage the tube sim switch and turn the boost knob more than barely on, it *really* drives.

    The good news is, a little bit of it sounds GREAT.

    Not that this helps you, of course.
     
  10. phippsyg

    phippsyg

    May 28, 2007
    Sydney
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Optima Strings
    Do you find that your sound becomes distorted even without the tube sim switch on if you turn the boost up to a certain point.

    Am also interested in the ways in which you use the pedal.
    Thanks.
     
  11. Off the top of my head, I don't think it does. I might be wrong, as I always have the switch engaged.

    I'll check tonight and let you know.

    No problem.. I'll reply in full tonight.
     
  12. Swift713

    Swift713

    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    I'm really curious about this pedal. How is the OD? Anyone got clips? It looks like an almost perfect idea, OD, pre-amp, DI, FX loop, headphone amp. But....?
     
  13. phippsyg

    phippsyg

    May 28, 2007
    Sydney
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Optima Strings
    Thanks. I guess the main thing I'm looking to find is if other people have the same issue with the pedal. If so, fine, I can work around it and I know there is nothing "wrong" with the unit.
     
  14. It's pretty schweet, but as we're discussing, it ain't perfect! Have a search, there's been a bit of discussion lately. Here's some clips. The 1st is an attempt to demonstrate the the effect of the high input impedance of ch. A. Riffs 1 and 3 are channel B, riffs 2 and 4 are ch. A - You should hear the 2nd and 4th riffs have a lot more top end and presence. No. 2 is mid-range OD. No. 3 is extreme OD.

    1
    2
    3
     
  15. Swift713

    Swift713

    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    Thanks nifty. I really liked #1 :bassist: . What happened to #4?
    It doesn't sound like the kind of OD I'm looking for(great relief $$).
     
  16. :confused:
     
  17. Swift713

    Swift713

    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    oops, sorry, mixing riff #'s with clip #'s. Honest I was real good at reading comprehension back in the late 70's. ;)
    Yes, there's significantly more presence on the 2nd and 4th riffs. I guess I'd be curious to hear a more subtle OD but this gadget is pretty much out of my price range.
     
  18. Yeah, in retrospect I should have done one with just the tube sim on, but I was aiming to show off the 10 meg input impedance and the multidrive circuitry.
     
  19. phippsyg

    phippsyg

    May 28, 2007
    Sydney
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Optima Strings
    What is the significance of the high impedance input, not sure what this means. If I am only playing with the 10db pad on am I not utilising something here?
    Had a rehearsal this morning and I find I can only use channel A at a decent volume. If I turn the mids etc up on channel B (combining gthe 2 channels)my speakers distort. Is it time to give up on this pedal?
     
  20. It reduces the demand on the pickups, in effect requiring less current to create the same voltage. In the real world this means more top end and presence and some even say it improves transients.

    Hmm, I'm not with you on this one. Can you expand?

    If everybody experienced the same issues as you unfortunately have then the pedal wouldn't sell. Since it DOES sell, and it's unlikely (although possilbe) that you've received two duds in a row, I'd have to suspect an external influence.

    I don't think it's fair to write it off. For eg; It might be that in boosting the mids you're actually causing distortion elsewhere in your rig, and NOT within the microbass! These problems are very difficult to resolve in a forum like this.

    What happens when you turn your bass down? Does it clean up? Can you try it on a good quality power supply or phantom power?
     

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