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Focus SA + Fishman Pro Platinum Bass Preamp

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by hdiddy, Sep 27, 2005.


  1. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    I went nuts when this hole in my pocket started killin' me! So I picked up a used Focus SA series II from a TBer on the planker side and then ordered a Fishman Pro-Platinum EQ Preamp from Bobby G. I already had an iAmp 500, a Flite 1x10 cab, and a Hartke 2x10 cab to boot.

    I was seduced by the lightweight idea of running around with the FSA (3.75 lbs) and the Fishman Pre (<2lbs). I'll let you know how my 20lb rig ends up sounding like. Although I just realized that I can wire the whole mess up (iAmp included) to create one big frankenstein. I'll just be looking out for one of them LDS or Wizzy cabs next time I get out of control.

    Anyways, any of you guys try the FSA with a Fishman Pre out there?
     
  2. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I tried the fishman platinum with the SA focus. I preferred the tone of the sansamp para driver. That was awhile ago. Now I am looking for a cleaner tone so I would probably prefer the fishman. Of course I play strictly electric so my comments may not apply. :D

    BTW, how do you like the Flite cab? I always have wanted to hear one.
     
  3. JohnThomasson

    JohnThomasson Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Mesa Boogie, DR Strings, Fender, Source Audio &amp; Fishman
    I use the SA and the Fishman all the time. Sometime I'll use the sans amp instead of the Fishman, but not on double bass gigs. I love it. I went that route because I didn't like going to straight into my Clarus and found that I was always adding something in front of the Clarus. I figured I would cut out the middle man and just get the SA poweramp. I also use it with a D-tar Solstice on some gigs and I'll plug my Sadowsky bass staight into the SA if I'm playing a lower volume gig that doesn't require a DI.

    FWIW, I use it with a Bergantino 12's.
     
  4. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Well guys, I got my Focus SA yesterday and tried it out with the entire setup. Also got to A/B it with the iAMP 500. I got the Preamp weeks before and had been using with the 500.

    To compare, physically the SA & Preamp was pretty nice physically. Everything obviously very small and compact. After fiddling with both amps for about an hour I think I have the pre where I like it. In comparing the two, I would say that the 500 actually sounds just a tiny bit better than the SA. I think the SA adds just a little bit of compression while the 500 stays clear and true.

    I had it going: Full Circle -> Fishman Pro Bass Pre -> iAmp500 or Focus SA -> Flite 10" cab. I'm waiting to get on the new EA NM208 when it comes out hopefully sooner than later.

    I'm still trying to decide what I like more. I'll probably end up keeping both. And VEGGIEBASS, to answer your question, I like the Flite cab alot. No I don't think it's the best out there but it's hard to beat 15lbs. For me it sounds pretty good. I think I've played through a GK once and I think I prefer this cab over the metal box the GK sits in. With an EB, the Flite is excellent actually. Once I get another cab hopefully I can give you a better comparison.

    One other note: I did discover that I had probably misintepreted the directions for the Pre since I had relatively little experience how this stuff works. For the longest time I had the volume on the preamp set all the way full. Always resulting in the rig sounding a little "off" shall we say. In fidgeting with all the volume controls, I discovered that I got alot more clarity putting the preamp volume at 11 o'clock. With the Focus I had the master volume up at 12 o'clock. When using everything with the iAmp 500, master was at 12 o'clock and the input volume was way low to taste. The iAmp seemed crystal clear like this. I have the iAmp controls always set flat. Much more "my bass but louder". From reading some old threads this morning I guess I had overdriven the preamp with it set full.

    If someone could clue me in if this is or isn't the proper way to treat pre amp/amp volumes, I'd appreciate it. As far as my ears go with those settings, they were plenty happy. I have a Revolution Solo on the way too so it'll be nice to try that pickup out with everything else.
     
  5. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    Sounds like you have a nice ultralight setup going on. Can't wait to see what your impressions of the Rev Solo will be. I'm doing some long-range planning for a DB purchase, and can't wait.

    You will overdrive the preamp if you have it on full. I don't have a fishman pre, but in general you want a good signal from any preamp to feed through the circuit, but not full-on or too hot.

    Good to get a chance to maybe help; I appreciate all your posts on this forum.

    Peace,
    Jesse
     
  6. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Hey thanks Jesse. Yeah, having the preamp volume set right made a big difference. Reading that other thread about those WW Amp gave me some clues. Right now I have the master set at 12 o'clock and the preamp volume on the Fishman set at 9 or 10 o'clock. Fussed a little bit with the EQ and have the depth at 9 o'clock.

    Tonight I turned down enough to just emphasize the basses natural sound and boy did it sound great. I didn't even notice the amp and the bass just seemed loud.

    Also, having the volumes set right seemed to remove some of the compression I was complaining about. The amp now responds to dynamics quite nicely. I will have to A/B the amps again. I'm still thinking that the iAmp will still be just a touch clearer. I should get the Solo tomorrow and hopefully have a review in by the end of the week.

    EDIT: BTW... I'm getting rid of the Hartke. Too much loose bottom that was made more for a plank then a DB. It just sounded Horrendous with my bass. Sounds great with a plank tho.

    Also, as I get the amp setups dialed in, I'm liking the Flite more and more. Not just because of the weight, but also cuz it sounds good. I've found that the Flite needs to be coupled with the floor, otherwise there's not enough bass. If my rig keeps sounding as good as it does, I might not just bother with anything else.
     
  7. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    hdiddy,

    A little OT, but have you (or anyone else) tried the Fishman with a BG? I'm wondering if this would be a good preamp for both BG/DB. If so, I'm going to wait on the sansamp BDDI b/c I don't really need it right now.
     
  8. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    The Fishman does do well with electric bass. I A/Bed a fishman vs the sabddi and the sabddi sounded slightly more inclined towards rock, but the fishman had more clarity. These days my tone is all about achieving clarity so I am trying to find another fishman. The fishman also had much better battery access (which lasts 80hrs), a compressor, and good eq/mid control.
     
  9. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    Thanks Veganbass. Decisions...
    I might get the sabddi for strictly BG. I see some guys use it for DB. It'll be the first of the year before I get a DB. I'm running my passive Lakland Jo5 through a tube DI and it sounds decent; but sometimes I need a little sumpin extra and the sabbi might do the trick. Think I'm looking for the occasional voicing. The current setup is pretty clear FOH. What's really getting me is the headphone playback setup; and trying to get a decent tone in the cans. But that's another story.