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Fliptop sound: bassdrive or VT or ???

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by ninepoundjammer, Apr 23, 2010.


  1. I know, rehashing a topic that's undoubtedly been beat to death but...

    Love what I always assume to be the Portaflex sound on old R&B recordings.

    Considered buying a tube amp. Don't think an actual B-15 would have enough power live (but would love to have one for studio work). The high price + size and weight and one trick pony-ness of a tube amp I just can't seem to get past. Any options I've overlooked. Any SS amps/pre's that just nail it?

    Think I've resigned myself to using pedals with my current rig (J-Bass into SWR SM-400S and Bergantino 3x10). I have a Xotic X-blender on the way to add to the mix. Things I'm wondering about:

    1) Have a Fulltone Bassdrive on the way. Like their OCD for guitar quite a bit. Wanted to give it a try, but have discovered lots of other options since I ordered it. With the blender, will I be able to approach the tone I'm looking for?

    2) Tech 21 VT Bass. Man, people seem to love this thing, and on paper it sure fits the bill. I have seen it (rarely) described as gimmicky though, and I could see me thinking that. Thoughts? Saw a demo clip on YouTube that had some very interesting sounds, but they were all pretty over the top for me. Does this thing clean up well? "Speaker emulation" strikes fear in me as well. I'll get all the speaker emulation needed from my speakers.

    3) Flipster. Is this a DIY build only or does someone produce them? How does it compare?

    4) Barber Linden EQ. I like the idea, but not sure that EQ is really what I lack. Think I'm looking more to mimic power tube warmth/compression more than the preamp. Trying to keep my board as minimalist as possible. Another EQ stage just seems unnecessary to me (I'm already planning to use a Demeter EQ pedal to brighten up my tone and get a bit of boost for solos).

    Speaking of power tube compression. How much do y'all think that contributes to the sound. I'm planning to double duty the keeley comp I already use for guitar. Was planning to use that primarily for slapping, but maybe a small amount of compression will help me get the sound I'm looking for when playing finger-style.

    Any thoughts?
    Joe
     
  2. etoncrow

    etoncrow (aka Greg Harman, the curmudgeon with a conundrum)

    You really need to direct this question to JimmyM
     
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Oh, he'll be along shortly. He's drawn to this topic the way I am to compressors, and flies are to poop.
     
  4. joshmickelson

    joshmickelson

    Nov 19, 2008
    Denver, CO
    you might want to consider a pjb bass buddy:

     
  5. But I already know he loves the VT Bass. Wondering how many contrarians there are out there. :)

    I'll probably try out the VT Bass before too long.

     
  6. You could also ad the SFT to your list. It does Vintage Ampegy dirt very nicely.
     
  7. etoncrow

    etoncrow (aka Greg Harman, the curmudgeon with a conundrum)

    when the VT bass deluxe comes out next month you might pick up a VT bass on the cheap
     
  8. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Let me preface this by saying that I have not tried an SFT.

    The VT Bass is VERY good at what it does. I use mine almost exclusively to get a B-15 like sound and am happy with the result.

    The Barber Linden EQ is great for what it is, but it doesn't add a "fat" tone or color your sound in a way that will make a modern amp sound vintage.

    The Flipster is a great pedal as well. It isn't as versatile as the VT Bass but it I feel it does Fliptop emulation as well or better. Not a big deal, but it is actually designed to emulate the SB- 12 Portaflex rather than the B-15.

    I've played and recorded with an actual B-15 but never an SB-12 so I can't tell you how closely the Flipster matches that tone but it does sound really good.
     
    Basspaolo likes this.
  9. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    The original bass pod 1 has a great flip top amp model built in.

    pedal.
     
  10. That thing has some nice sounds...
     
  11. beggar98

    beggar98

    Jan 23, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm a big fan of the Flipster. Its available pre-built from OLC (http://olcircuits.com/olc_flipster.html). I think it sounds warmer than the VT Bass does, which IMO is the main difference between the SVT tone (which the VT nails) and the flip-top. I also play through a very sterile amp, so if you're set-up is already relatively warm you may be fine with the VT.
     
  12. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    another Flipster vote.
     
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    well you already know my opinion ;) but i'm down with all these other emulating pedals as well, including (believe it or not) the pod. there's something weird about the pod that i'm not quite into (must be the digital) but it does sound like a b-15. not too sure about the bassdrive, though.
     
  14. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    The Bass-Drive isn't very B-15ish in my opinion.

    The VT, Flipster, and even POD algorithm will all get you much closer.
     
  15. faceinbass

    faceinbass

    Apr 20, 2008
    KCMO
    SFT!

    Catalinbread designed it by comparing it to an ampeg 'fliptop'.
    Their Youtube vids show parts of the process.
     
  16. etoncrow

    etoncrow (aka Greg Harman, the curmudgeon with a conundrum)

    I do not know if this helps but I am running a passive bass with a six position varitone into an Empress Para-EQ into a VT Bass into a ElectroniX Submarine Designer pre-amp into very clean Euphonic-Audio amps and cabs. I feel I can probably reproduce any non-effected sound with this set-up.
     
  17. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    Hey! Varitone into ParaEQ is my secret formula. Cease & desist!!! ;-)
     
  18. etoncrow

    etoncrow (aka Greg Harman, the curmudgeon with a conundrum)

    Don't tell anyone but, "Birdsongs rule!"; he quietly whispered.
     
  19. I found a VT Bass in town to try out and was very impressed. Went ahead and snagged that.

    Funny, I just ordered an EA Doubler yesterday morning thinking pretty much the same thing. Start with a very clean SS amp and use VT Bass etc to create the sound I'm looking for. Doesn't hurt that I play UB either, the Doubler was just too much to resist.

    I hadn't seen the Para-EQ before. Looks nice. I just purchased a Demeter BEQ-PB a couple weeks ago but the Empress looks more powerful for not much more $. Argh. May end up having to A/B those eventually. Did hear good things about the Demeter though.
     
  20. Eh. Sounded pretty cool on that YouTube clip, but I tried out some of their stuff in a local store and it's not really the sound I'm looking for. Wonder how much of that was the cabinet though. Cool for it's size and novelty, but seemingly not my thing.
     

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