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Effects for Bass: Bass or Guitar-centric for split signals?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by wkargel, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. wkargel


    Aug 14, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    OK, I am planning on building up a new bass rig (I am only using a combo amp right now, and I want something for larger venues when they come along), so I am researching my options and setting an eventual budget. For a variety of reasons, I am currently seriously considering splitting the signal from my bass guitars into two channels: one to a bass power amp and bass cabinet(s) for low frequencies, and another to a guitar power amp and guitar cabinet(s) for high frequencies.

    What is confusing me is the use of effects in this set up. It has been my understanding that the effects should be applied to the higher frequencies (therefore through the guitar amp). So my question is this: what sort of effects should I use in this sort of set-up, effects dedicated to bass frequencies or effects for guitar? Some bass and guitar frequencies happen to overlap. I want to make sure I maintain clarity of signal(s) and not muddy things up, yet also allow the effects to color my sound. I also will be playing a variety of musical styles, with 4-string, 5-string and 12-string bass guitars, from rock and pop standards to modern "djent" style metal where you often find guitarists wielding 8-string guitars with low strings tuned into bass frequency land, so I would also have to tune even low(er) to subterranean levels. In other words, a very wide frequency range.

    I want to hear some opinions on this. What type of effects might be most effective and best utilized with such a set-up: bass or guitar? Many thanks in advance! :)
  2. For best results, you're going to want to start with a stereo circuit in the bass. Then you use a stereo x two mono y-cord. Then, the circuit from the neck pickup is directed to one amp, and processed for bass, while the bridge is directed to another, and processed for treble. This will give you the widest spectrum of highs to lows. You can do this mono, as well, but you're not going to get as wide a range.

    This is a standard, but seldom used, feature of Rickenbacker 4001/4003 basses, so you might want to post something in the Rickenbacker club thread in the basses forum.

    I'm pretty sure you can add effects to either or both circuits. The Ric guys might be able to offer some great info on this, too.