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Gallien-Krueger versus POLYTONE

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by jazzy J, Jul 17, 2005.


  1. jazzy J

    jazzy J

    Aug 8, 2003
    Hi everyone,

    I'm looking for a good sound for my double bass. I'm playing a Chinese model; with a Realist installed to it. Unfortunately I can't get a proper sound. I only have an electric bass amp, so I'm still looking.
    I thought about Gallien-Krueger or Polytone, but I'm not sure what to buy. I really have a problem hearing myself play with my current setup (which really is a drag; in fact it makes playing practically impossible). So, any suggestions would be welcome.
    I just saw Dave Holland and Charlie Haden this weekend, and I decided I should really get that stuff in working order.
    What y'all think...? :help:

    J
     
  2. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    How much is your budget? What type of groups do you play with? How large are the rooms you play?
     
  3. jazzy J

    jazzy J

    Aug 8, 2003


    I was thinking of buying something around 1200 dollars.
    I play in jazz bands, and I also play in a pop band (although I want my bass to be amplified well there, that's a lot less important than the jazz - if you have to choose, that is). The rooms I play are not very big, but the amp should be loud enough for me to hear myself, because that really isn't the case right now.

    J
     
  4. bolo

    bolo

    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    My first reaction was "Tell 'em about the iAMP combo amps from Euphonic Audio!" I have owned and gigged with the iAMP 200-C Wizzy combo for a while now, and I am very happy with mine. The Wizzy also works very well in my opinion with electric bass, if that's a factor for you.

    But maybe a new amp isn't the only potential solution in your case. Can you please tell us what kind of amp you have currently?

    Also, I don't have any experience with the Realist pickup, but maybe the problem is related to impedance matching from the pickup to the amp. If so, maybe purchasing a preamp would help. It would probably cost you less than buying a new bass amp. Does the setup you have now sound kind of thin and "nasally"? (Hm, is that even a real word?)

    Maybe some folks who use the Realist can chime in on the preamp topic and help us out with that too.
     
  5. jazzy J

    jazzy J

    Aug 8, 2003
    I just opened the Euphonic Audio website. I'll check out that iAmp combo (and check for worldwide dealers) in a minute.

    I'm looking for an amp that suits only my double bass. I won't use it to play electric bass as I couldn't be happier than I am with my current electric bass and amp. But of course I don't mind if my new acoustic amp also sounds okay with a bass guitar.

    I play through a Roland DB700 (digital) with a Music Man bass. I also have a Fender BXR300C but I don't use it live anymore.

    I was thinking about that Realist pickup. Maybe it's just not the right choice for my bass. After all it's not a million dollar bass. Not at all.
    When I play on my Roland there's too much bass and mid and not enough treble, no matter what I do with the EQ on the amp. I never really tried the Fender (but it's way too big and heavy to carry around to play live). The amp I play at school is an SWR workingman's and it sounds a bit better than my Roland, that's just a little. I did play a gig on a Gallien-Krueger at school; and that was better - but still I didn't always hear the pitch well, which makes it hard to play in tune.

    I don't know anything about preamps. Maybe a graphic equalizer (stomp box) make a big difference too? Does anybody use that around here?

    Oh by the way, I'm a girl ;)
     
  6. jazzy J

    jazzy J

    Aug 8, 2003
    By the way - Charlie Haden was playing through a Gallien-Krueger yesterday. Does anybody know what he uses as a pickup? (Of course there was also a mic for the Front Of House).
     
  7. bolo

    bolo

    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    I think he uses (or at least he used to use and endorse) the Schertler STAT-B pickup.
     
  8. bolo

    bolo

    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Like I said before I don't have experience with the Realist, but your comments seem to match other comments I have read on this site about the lack of high-end. Maybe it is the combination of that pickup and your bass as you mentioned.

    I have used the K&K Bass Max and the Upton Revolution SOLO pickups on my bass, and would recommend either. They are relatively inexpensive, and about as close as you can get to a "plug and play" solution.

    It really just kind of depends though ... Some pickups work great on one bass but not others. And of course it depends on the type sound you're going for (e.g. old school dark vs. more modern, bright & up front).

    However, with the Roland amp, you still may be faced with the problem of impedance matching between whatever pickup you choose and the amp. If you like the sound without a preamp, cool ... Otherwise you may want to consider trying a couple of different preamps.

    As far as preamps vs. EQ goes, I use a preamp simply so I can blend a signal from my pickup with a mic. But even when I don't use the mic, I find that the preamp adds a pleasing effect when I use it with my Wizzy combo. It seems to thicken up the sound just enough to make it more pleasing to my ears, especially on the G string, without making it too muddy or dark.

    And regarding EQ (stomp box or other), I have tons of options between my D-TAR Solstice preamp and my EA Wizzy combo. My rig looks kinda like the cockpit of a small airplane with all the various dials and controls! But I don't use any of the EQ features with my upright ... I run everything flat. Kinda ironic, I know, but many EA users report that they do the same thing.
     
  9. jazzy J

    jazzy J

    Aug 8, 2003
    I think I will try some preamps. Maybe I should try one with two inputs, so I can buy a mic and then - as you do - blend them together? Because my bass sounds okay when I play it, it's just amplified...
    Cool... And microphones?
    Man, I'm so ignorant about all of this...
     
  10. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I haven't actually had to use a Pre Amp with my Realist.
    That said, the sound from my bass using a Underwood was
    nice, but the available volume wasn't enough to play more than a trio gig.
    Since the Realist has a darker sound the best choice for me
    was to use Euphonic Audio Cabinets. So, you probably would want
    to try the Wizzy out. EA has never made a cabinet that I didn't like.
    As far as the Buffer Pre Amp goes I just don't like the sound of a
    Fishman preamp on the Realist. It's cleaner but it alters the sound
    of my bass.
    Take a deep breath an step back from the controls. I've been
    trying to get a good sound from various different pickup and amp
    combinations for @30 years. Although I have my favorites, what you want is something that has great tone. It takes time.... ;)
     
  11. jazzy J

    jazzy J

    Aug 8, 2003
    I just checked out those Euphonic Audio amps.
    It appears there's no dealer for my country...
     
  12. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    How long have you been playing the big bass? Since your profile is kinda sketchy there's know way to know what's going on as far as you and the fiddle.

    The Realist tends to be pretty muddy. With most pickups the sound you get out of a slab amp tends to be all highs and lows with hollow mids.
     
  13. jazzy J

    jazzy J

    Aug 8, 2003
    Hi Ray,

    I've been playing upright since February 2003. So it's not so long...

    Electric since 1999, even though they're two different instruments.
     
  14. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Do you have a DB teacher?
     
  15. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I'm not sure what you should do in this case.
    You certainly don't want to "buy it before you try it".
    I think that Bob Gollihur www.urbbob.com offers a trial period
    on some of his product lines. I don't know if he offers
    this same service to his international customers. You
    could certainly contact him and ask.


    Ric

    I am not affiliated with Gollihur music in any way
     
  16. I wonder if Bob Gollihur might ship it to you. Of course that would add to the expense more than if you bought locally.

    In general, I would say a few things: there is no one easy solution. You have embarked on a journey that could take years to get it right. Don't get your hopes up that any one piece of equipment will be the magic bullet to transform your sound to exactly what you want. Your sound has a lot of variables, which can all be affected by any other link in the chain. In the end, it is about finding the right combination of all elements - bass, strings, setup, pickup/mic, then whatever comes next - whether it be a combo, head/cab, preamp/powered speaker, or preamp/head/cab. As you can see there are a lot of choices! Fortunately there is TalkBass to help you sort it all out.

    It doesn't make sense to me to evaluate the pickup option until you have an accurate means to do so - for many what that means is a flat, neutral sounding amp and speaker. It is generally agreed that the 150mb is not flat. Acoustic image heads, and EA cabs are among the best in this regard. Perhaps some of our members who live closer to you can chime in with some suggestions for equipment that is more readily available in your area. Glockenklang, Lab Gruppen, etc., I don't really know.
     
  17. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    An AI Clarus head (has dual voltage which would be important for you) paired with a Wizzy cab would be well within your budget.

    It appears there's an AI dealer in Belgium.

    http://www.acousticimg.com/dealers.html
     
  18. jazzy J

    jazzy J

    Aug 8, 2003
    Yeah, I study double bass at a jazz conservatory in Brussels.
     
  19. bolo

    bolo

    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    jazzy J, can you please tell us more about the sound you are after?

    For example, is it old school like Paul Chambers with Miles Davis from the late 50's and early 60's? (Dig it!)

    Or traditional like that but with some "boing" or spring in it, like Ray Brown in the studio with Oscar Peterson in the 60's? (Oh yeah, dig it too! How bout 'Night Train'? Man, what a sound he laid down!)

    Or is it more mid-rangey (is that a word?) and not quite so acoustic, say like Eddie Gomez on many 80's recordings? (Some would call this the 'BP 100' or 'dreaded direct' type sound. Yeeessshhh, um, not exactly my cup o' tea. Tremendous respect for his rhythmic variations, and fluid work in thumb position though ...).

    Or is it way modern, up front in the mix, and even "treated" like Chris Wood's upright work with Medeski, Martin & Wood?

    Just trying to get a feel for what sound/tone appeals to you most.
     
  20. jazzy J

    jazzy J

    Aug 8, 2003
    I'll check that out, Freddels.
    Thanks.