Well, at rehearsal yesterday, the director of our concert band decided to ask me to play with an amp for our (outdoors) concert on Friday. He seems to think that the texture that the DB adds (albeit not that much, as I can't even hear myself playing half of the time) would be lost outside, and seems to think that an amp would improve the overall sound. I tried convincing him that, especially with my setup, it would in fact sound like crap, but to no avail. So, basically my question to all of you is this: how exactly do I get the most out of a bad setup? Being a college student, I can't afford real high-end stuff. I've got a Fishman pickup on my bass, and I'm running through a (school-owned) G-K amp (not sure which model...it's a small combo that I've seen a number of jazz guys using). Are there any suggestions any of you might be able to provide as far as EQ settings, or perhaps maybe adjusting my playing style a little? On a slightly related subject, I plan on playing this summer as well, but will only have access to my Peavey combo (originally purchased for my EB...as you can guess, it sounds even worse than the GK for UB). Would investing in a preamp improve my tone quality by a large amount, or would it be a more subtle improvement? Thanks for any help you guys might be able to provide.