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GenzBenz and gut

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Jputnam, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. Jputnam


    Jan 4, 2012
    Recently I put gut strings (G and D) and metal wound on gut (A and E) on my german made upright bass. I put on a Gollihur adjustable bridge, and a K&K pickup system max with the wing pickup and the bridge adhesive pickups for each string. My gut strings for A and E are floppy but was okay when played through our small PA board with EV speakers. I went to a GenzBenz 10 inch amp to be able to take the bass out of my PA system and use the small amp like a subwoofer. It sounds really good except for the floppy A and E strings which almost sound like they are distorting through the amp. The G and D strings sound great. Would you be able to suggest some A and E strings that would be less floppy but would still sound okay with the guts I have for G and D? We play bluegrass/gospel but the strings don't have to sound just like gut. I like the gut G and D and hope to leave them on with two new strings for the A and E. We would appreciate advice. We want to use the amp with the K&K. Thanks.
  2. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I use a similar set up, but also use a Sansamp Bass Driver DI which I think improves the pickup's tone. I used to use wound guts for my E&A but recenty I've been using Spirocore Solo Gauge tuned at regular pitch, and they go very well with plain guts. Other E&As that I'd recommend are Velvet Anima or Pirastro Evah Pirazzi.
  3. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    I have Evah Pirazzi's to a GB Shuttle 8T, but I use the Fdeck HPF to clear up some of the boom. I think Bobby is on the right track that you need a buffer.
  4. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN

    It isn't so much boom for me, but I often get an unpleasant nasal/honking midrange when plugging in direct from the pickup. I use a Markbass 1x12 combo which I love, but the Sansamp DI enables me temper those frequencies. The Sansamp has a "blend" control which varies the amount to effected-to-direct signal that you're adding. In a muddy room, those mids are good for cutting through, but when the acoustics are better, you can do some "warming up" and mid cutting to the sound.
  5. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I've found that the area of around 500-750 Hz is a tricky area for bass. When too present, it makes the bass "honk", but if you scoop out too much, the bass can become dull and lose impact. It's good to be able to vary the amount of those frequencies depending on the mix or the environment.
  6. what the pluck

    what the pluck

    Oct 13, 2010
    It might not be the strings that are causing the E and A to distort. Maybe try rolling off the sub lows a bit on the eq. I have a decent sound using k and k, sans amp and innovation rbs. Maybe they will work for u?
  7. With a 8 inch speaker you need to roll of the bass, this is what the HPF-Pre does. Try put the basses at least half down on your amp. The HPF-Pre would be better because it adjusts the frequency of cutoff, not the amount of cutoff at a fixed frequency, but the bass control of the amp might do it.
    Even with a 12 inch speaker the bass nedds a bit of roll off. With a high power amp and 15 inch speaker you will got all the basses but it doesn't sound good, much too boomy. So even on such a combination you want to roll-off the bass.
    If you can adjust the frequency (I once tried it with a digital mixer and good headphones) something around 80 to 120 Hz will do it, most probably between 100 and 110 Hz. You need to cut off electronically what your speaker cannot reproduce and do not think the speaker will do this itself by looking at the frequency response of the speaker.
  8. Jputnam


    Jan 4, 2012
    So would the Sansamp Bass Driver replace the K and K Pure Preamp or would I put the Sansamp in line between the K and K preamp and the GenzBenz amp? And which strings would be least floppy of the ones you recommend? Thanks so much Bobby King!
  9. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Yes, I'd use it to replace the K&K, no need for two preamps. The Evahs are probably the least floppy. Also, raising your action a bit will reduce the floppiness. Gut, and gut-type strings usually need higher action than steel.
  10. :eyebrow:

    If an 8" speaker cannot reproduce low frequencies (in other words, it's a HPF) why would you need to roll off the bass ahead of time?

    I respectfully submit that a 15" speaker is not inherently better than an 8" speaker for low frequencies. There is plenty of science to back that up in the BG/Amps section, or comparing the spec sheet of two speakers.
  11. what the pluck

    what the pluck

    Oct 13, 2010
    It will try to, it will move but not push enough air to make the lows we r talking about audible. This movement hinders the frequencies above it to blossom correctly, thats what might be causing the distortion. I'm not sure it's accurate to say an 8inch speaker is a HPF because you can't hear low frequencies through it.
  12. No, an 8" speaker is not an HPF. None of the science regarding speakers in this thread is correct.
  13. what the pluck

    what the pluck

    Oct 13, 2010
    Hi Jason
    I'm not real clear on what you mean, could you expand a bit. A few posts ago you mentioned that "an 8 inch speaker cannot reproduce low frequencies (in other words it's a HPF) " your last post has confused me a bit.
  14. I have a similar setup. The GB 10" is fine. I use guts on G and D and Velvet Garbos on the E and A. I have used guts on E and A, even Pirastro Olives, but prefer the note definition of the Garbos. Sound and feel-wise, they match quite well to the gut G and D. FWIW, i play country, blues, pop, jazz, western swing and reggae on this setup in my current band.
    The Mirrors - HOME
  15. Sorry, I was trying to illustrate that the quoted post's suggestion to use a HPF with an 8" speaker is redundant by its own logic. If the 8" speaker can't produce the low frequencies, it would be a HPF all by itself, and there would be no need for an additional HPF. Of course, none of this is true.

    Here are links to frequency response plots of an Eminence Delta 15LFA (15") and an Eminence Alpha 8A (8"). They are substantially identical in the low frequency range.

    It is simply not true that you need a large speaker cone to produce a low frequency sound wave. Sorry for the thread hi-jack. I have no input regarding string selections.
  16. A higher area moves more air, so it is louder (for low frequencies). The nearfield is not what we need (it might be similar there) but the farfield. Don't know how the plots were made.

    The thing is, that the low frequencies should not amplified as much as the higher frequencies or it will sound muddy.
    If you filter the low frequencies out before amplifying, you get more power out of your amplifier for the higher frequencies. (It does not make sense to waste amplification power for frequencies you don't want or get at the end.) This is specially important for those with limited power combo amps.
    Also smaller speakers tend to distort the sound if very low frequencies are highly amplified. Maybe not every speaker does this, but heard that often enough.

    Put your pickup (or mike) sound preamped in a mixer and try to make the instrument sound clear. You will find to dial down the bass frequencies a lot around 100 Hz before you are satisfied. If you don't believe me, try it yourself.
    Now I know I did the same thing wrong in my earlier years of playing and didn't believe what people told me about my sound, but it was true.

    I'm happy with a 12", would also try a 10" but I'n not completly sure if a 8" would satisfy me, but I have to try it.

    Francis Decks HPF-pre would be great for the low frequency filtering and impedance matching. It also gets these frequencies out if the PA guy wants to DI the bass (after the HPF-pre of course). So in many cases you get a better PA bass sound if the PA guy i rather lazy.
  17. Sir, I agree with everything you're saying as applied to amplifiers, but not to speakers. I think that you have experience with low powered amps with 8" speakers and are blaming the small speakers for what are actually the limitations of a low powered amplifier.

    Speaker distortion is a completely different thing from amplifier distortion. Everything in this thread points to amplifier distortion and it has nothing to do with the speakers, whether they be 6" or 18".
  18. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    In my understanding a HPF will actually improve the power output of the amp/speaker combo because it will filter out the frequencies that are either too low to use or are creating mud freeing up the amp/speaker to focus on the usable stuff you are sending it. An 8" speaker does not serve the same function. It will TRY to reproduce those frequencies even if it can't and be robbed of clarity and power handling.
  19. Yes, thanks fingers, that's what I wanted to say, but you did it a better way.

    Maybe the speakers are not overdriven (which might damage them) but the resonant frequency of smaller speakers in general is much higher, probably higher than we want it to be, so there might be a low frequency resonance that disturbs the sound. It is common knowledge that loudspeaker should not be driven below their resonsnt frequncies.
    It is also easy to overdrive an amp if you put signals in you don't make use of due to the small speaker. To get a loud sound you will get a higher output amplitude with low frequencies than without them, so the amp may clip the higher signal and distort it if it is close to the maximum output possible. Combo amp should filter out low frequency signals below the speakers resonsnt frequency, but I doubt they do that.
    Anyway it makes total sense to cut some low frequencies out if we don't want to use them (might not apply to hardrock, punk, techno etc.). Even the bass body does this in the farfield compared to the electrical signal from the pickup or a nearfiled microphone.

    As I said, try your pickup or close mic with a mixer and good closed headphones. If you don't know how to change the sound towards your acoustic double bass sound, first try to cut the bass a bit. If possible vary the frequency of the low cut filter. Then, depending on your pickup type, open the mids a bit if needed. Compare this with a microphoned recording in the farfield (several meters away).
    Then please tell us what (all of) you found out.

    Don't get upset, I just want to help you and show ways to verify it for yourself. You don't need to if you don't want.
  20. Galileo was upset. He knew exactly what he was talking about and they made him drink hemlock.

    If you'd like to learn more about speakers, the BG/Amps forum has discussed the merits of 10, 12, 15, and 18 inch speakers literally thousands of times.

    Best of luck.

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