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EQ frequencies for double bass?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Marty Forrer, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. Of the dozens of bass amps out there, very few have the same frequency centers for their tone controls. Many of them are obviously designed for bass guitar. I would like to see a discussion on this subject, particularly from people who are very pleased with the eq section of their amps as regards to double bass. I guess this would also apply to external preamps as well. There are some amps/preamps that seem to be the go to for many, eg: Walter Woods, AI, Platinum Pro, GK etc, and it would be interesting to see where the similarities lie.
    I have the opportunity to have a double bass specific amp built to my own specs, and eq centers are a topic that seems to be lacking in available information.
  2. Pat Harris

    Pat Harris Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2006
    Austin, TX
    There are loads of threads about the both amps and preamps that you can search for. There are many informed opinions and observations.

    Is there something you need in an amp or preamp that none of the commercially available products offer? Many of these companies spend years and tons of cash on their own R&D, what is the end goal?
  3. Happy Steve

    Happy Steve Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2007
    Mel-burn, Ore-stralia
    A lot of TB'ers agree that the Headway EDB (-1 or -2 ) preamps have a good EQ section for DB. Perhaps take a look at the Headway manual, it has details of the frequencies and characteristics of the EQ section.
  4. 'Cause I just happened to be on their site... here's the EQ specs from the EDB-2 manual:


    Bass +/- 12dB Shelf @ 120 Hz. Or: +/- 16 dB @ 45 Hz
    Low Mid: +/- 13dB Shelf @ 590Hz
    Hi Mid: +/- 12dB Shelf @ 900Hz
    Pres: +/- 7dB Shelf @ 2.8kHz
    Treble: +/- 13dB Shelf @ 10.5 kHz

    11.2.5 NOTCH FILTER

    Q Width: ACW = SHARP/CW = BROAD (5.0 – 0.5)
    Depth: 12dB
    Frequency: 50 Hz-6 kHz
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    To me, the one essential EQ control on any amp is a variable HP filter. Beyond that, the flatter I can keep the EQ section, the more I like it. When I do need to use it, I only cut frequencies.

    I used to believe that the frequencies in the EQ section were way more important than I currently do. Given the many variables in cabinets, speakers, pickups, and rooms, I can't really isolate a perfect set of frequency points these days.
  6. I try to achieve overall flat response. For upright bass, I am currently using either the Genz Benz Shuttle 3.0-10T or Shuttle 6.0-210T depending on venue size. I set the EQ on the amp flat but usually use that bass boost button which obviously is a form of EQ, but it works well. Then I go in to the Shuttles through a Radial Tonebone/Bassbone, which is a great piece of kit. I set that flat as well.

    Then I start playing, listen, and adjust accordingly, mostly on the Shuttles as their EQs are very user friendly and easy to adjust, and the Radial is on the floor which is less convenient. I know something about which frequencies are involved, but I'm not technical enough to give an opinion. I guess if I have a suggestion, look at the specs on the Shuttle. But I'm really trying to say that as long as you have a good range, don't worry about the centers - mainly I'm tweaking to avoid either boominess or feedback, and that's usually a quick fix.
  7. John Le Guyader

    John Le Guyader Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    DC Metro
    In my limited experience with double bass and on the EDB-2 r on an amp I find cutting frequencies helps more than boosting or even running flat. The EDB-2 is a pretty powerful EQ for DB. That's with a piezo pickup.

    On electric I try to run flat on the amp, but depending on room conditions I can need a boost, especially on lower frequencies, but that's for my personal monitoring since I usually run FOH too and I have no control over that. The tone controls and para EQ on my Eden WT550 is also very powerful and musical for electric. The Eden amp is not unlike a Thunderfunk in tone control and para EQ, but without the Timbre control.

    I also have an Empress Paraeq with boost that I have used as a preamp for double bass successfully and it too is powerful.

    I would consider all these as well as whether you will be using a piezo pickup, magnetic pickup and/or a microphone, or the flexibility of using any, to EQ a double bass. I wouldn't forget a boost too.

    Consider also the bees knees of preamps for DB the Grace Design Felix...2 channel, boost, Mid parametric...no experience here though.

    I'd want a DB preamp to be two channel, to blend microphone and piezo, notch filter, boost at least on par with the EDB-2, powerful EQ like the EDB-2 or the Felix, mute, DI, maybe even with the switchable ability to drive with a tube.

    And then there is this! Broughton:

    Best upright Preamp money can buy
  8. BassinCT

    BassinCT Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    My preferences:
    Variable high pass filter is a must; low shelf between 80-110Hz; wider Q for the midrange; a notch filter for problem resonances;
    The upper-mid and highs- no particular frequencies, but I prefer a shelf
  9. Jay Corwin

    Jay Corwin Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    My personal experience has been that regardless of the manufacturer, a shiftable center frequency for the MIDS is the most important feature for me. I'm a simpleton though, so I don't like the parametric or graphic EQ's. My preference is one knob to select the best center to my ears, then one knob to cut/boost when necessary. I don't obsess about the actual values because I have to adjust them depending on the room.

    I'm in the minority that HPF's are a must for DB. After using the fdeck, and then a Broughton I found it really wasn't making an audible difference for me unless I made drastic adjustments. My amp and cabinets seem to behave just fine without one, despite me being convinced previously here at talkbass that my amp was being robbed of power, and my speakers being taxed with subsonics that I can't hear. I don't doubt the science behind it, but I also don't doubt my ears and the audience feedback regarding my tone. Having said that, I think this once again an area with double bass that can vary greatly depending on the pickup, strings, etc. I've been using a factory installed RS2 for three years now, and the darn thing is almost impossible to get to the point of feedback for my gigs.
    Earl and Pat Harris like this.
  10. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The magic frequency for me is around 800hz (note the EDB2 specs above have a band centered at 900). That's where piezo nasality always seems to land...that's with both my DBs, my EUB and every piezo pickup I've used. I've found that an EQ at 1khZ doesn't dial it out as well.
  11. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Apr 11, 2021

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