Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Norre, Aug 27, 2003.

  1. Norre


    Jan 5, 2001
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Does anybody know how to reduce (or completely kill) the fingernoise when playing an amplified URB?
    It's driving me crazy! I found out that cutting the treble (a lot!) or completely turning off the horn helps a little bit. Are there any other ways?
    I'm using a K&K BassMass, Raven Labs PMB-II and SWR Super Redhead.
    I use Pirastro Obligato strings on my bass.
    Could it be the SWR? Maybe if I play through a dedicated URB amp (like Acoustic Image, EA or Gallien-Krueger) I wouldn't have the problem. What do you think? Or is it just a matter of finding the right EQ settings?
    Any advice is welcome.
    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention. I only play pizz.
    My bow is just to impress the people :D :D :D
    Thanks in advance,

  2. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    You'll find finger noise around the 1khz band. I don't know how flexible the EQ is on your amp, but that's the area of the frequency spectrum that you want to cut a bit. If you need something more you can add an inexpensive Bass Graphic Eq pedal in your effects loop, or something as sophisticated as a TrueBlueEQ, etc.... there are many choices.

    I just found the info on your SWR on-line, I'd try turning the midrange frequency knob up to 800 hz and then use the level knob to cut it a bit. I'd also turn the aural enhancer completely off. But it's all best adjusted interactively.

    Also, I'd use the tweeter level control on the back your SWR down, to taste.
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Maybe this is hijacking the thread - but at Jazz Summerschool I got lots of opportunities to compare my EUB with real basses - both amped an unamped! :)

    So - I was surprised at how much noise comes off a DB - all sorts of little noises - all part of the acoustic nature of the instrument I suppose?

    But anyway - the tutor was projecting a lot of volume - so the fundamental tone of the bass always dominated his sound - but of course the little noises were all still there and went to make up the "richness" of the unamped tone.

    But often the student players - who were all very good (much better than me anyway!)- didn't seem in control of this aspect and noises would "pop out" at you and surprise you and my thought was that they weren't projecting enough bass sound to cover up the other noises? Does this sound a reasonable hypothesis?

    Of course - the really ironic thing for me, is that my EUB sounded very 'smooth' in comparison - that is - no finger or other noises and much more bass sound - I actually think I preferred the sound to what all the other students were getting out of their DBs - but the sound the tutor was getting was very differnet and much, much better....
  4. Norre


    Jan 5, 2001
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Thanks for the info Bob.
    I'll try it tonight and I'll let you know if it worked.

  5. Norre


    Jan 5, 2001
    Antwerp, Belgium
    It tried cutting the mids at 1kHz and it works !!
    No more fingernoise.
    Also cutting the treble and turning of the tweeter (horn) helps to get rid of that "electric" sound.
    I also tried a GK MB150 and it sounded better than my Super Redhead. It still is not 100% what I'm looking for, but I'm getting closer ;)
    I guess my journey for "THE sound" has begun.
    This friday I'm going to try an AER Basscube in a local shop. Anyone has any experience with these babies? Now I just have to find someone (or some place) who has an AI Contra that I can try.

    Thanks for the info Bob!

  6. You can smooth out those aggressive highs by swapping out the GT 12AX7 tube in your amp for a current production EH, EI, or JJ. Even a SWR fan like myself needs a little relief from those "crystal" highs. My experience with the EH is that it smooths out the highs and thickens the upper mids just a bit. Just what I wanted.

    Good luck with your search for "The Sound". BTW, if you can't find a dealer for an amp or speaker cab you are interested in, often the maker can hook you up with a local user.
  7. I'm glad the electronic solution worked Norre,(all hail Bob) but Bruce's contribution points to the fact that the URB does produce a wide range of noises that in acoustic playing can be unpleaseant even if largley in the background. Amplification and piezo pick-ups in particular can emphasize them. My low tech and sometimes reviled sugestion is moisturising cream on the hands. I saw a UK pro use it regularly (Dave Lynane - great tone) and although others I asked for advice were not keen I find it helps as some of the noise is rough dry calous scraping over the string. You have to use it sparingly. I think it gives me a better feel of the string under my finger too. One other product I've seen used and I think works and improves string life (not so sure I'd try it on gut!!) is of all things 'fast fret'. If you use a bow, a I do sometimes, you've got to keep it off the bottom of the strings though or else...
  8. pjleo


    May 27, 2003
    del valley
    i saw the count basie band at a local high school
    about 10 years ago.the bass player put a generous amount of what looked to be something like vaseline on his strings.i do not know the reason.
    i can not recall anything about how the bass sounded as far as finger noise was concerned.
    somebody suggested to try cocoa butter [hard roll on type] on my strings, to reduce friction for sore finger tips. i have tried it occasionally, but i do not care for that slippery feeling to much. although it did seem to help the finger tips make it through a long gig.maybe i'll give it a try and see if it helps that finger noise problem.
  9. The SWR amps are loved by some, but not by me. I changed my SWR for a Contra, then changed again to a GK MB150E plus Bag End 1x12 ext cab, and I now am a happy camper. Many people dont like the GK, but they use it wrong. They sit it up on a chair....bad move! The best results come from using it with an ext cab, or if ya want to use it alone, lie it on the floor, on its back, facing up at you. You get a BIG sound out of it. The only thing is, you need to get a rightangled power lead, no biggie. GK's tend to have a much warmer sound than SWR, in my opinion. I find the AI Contra a bit limited, and the Clarus too mid-rangey.
  10. Norre


    Jan 5, 2001
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Thanks for the advice everybody.

    I don't know if using a cream is a good thing to do ... softer hands = more blisters, not ??

    I personally LOVE SWR amps for electric bass, but for URB I think there are better amps available. Marty, now that you mention it, I've seen a lot of bassplayers using an extra cabinet with the GK MB150. I know Dave Holland uses it with a 4x10 Hartke cab and his sound is great. Of course, he also has a better bass and a MUCH better technique than me ;-)

    Last friday I had the opportunity to test an AER Basscube in a local shop. It was absolutely FANTASTIC!! I played it for over 2 hours - arco and pizz , using 2 different basses with 2 different PU's (Underwood and K&K Bass Max) and different strings (Obligatos and Spirocores). I also tried playing it with and without a pre-amp (Raven Labs PMB-II).
    Too my ears, I got the best sound with the Spirocores, K&K Bass Max and without the pre-amp.
    Too bad it's so expensive (and heavy) because this is really the best URB amp I've ever tried. I must admit I have not tried the AI Contra (I mailed AI for a dealer in Belgium where I can try them), nor did I try the EA combos yet. However, if I had the $$ I would have bought it! Also, the amp is LOADED with features.
    Anyway, I just thought I'd share my experience.


    PS: Bob, did I already mention I'm really happy with the K&K Bass Max !!