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GK amps, fretted and fretless Fenders

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by AdamF, Apr 19, 2006.


  1. I have an old 200MB and a 700RB. I also have a 115T and a 210RBH. Very happy with them.
    I use different basses - especially a Fretless Fender Jazz with DiMarzio pickups and a Fretted Fender Jazz delux.
    I find it very hard to get what I think of as a decent sound with the fretless out of the 700RB, but with the 200MB it is far more musical and better. The fretted is fine with the 700RB, if a little flat - needs rather more of the preamp than I would have expected. If I run the 200MB through the 700RB (through the effects in) that sounds very nice, with some added phasing of course.
    Basically, putting the fretless through the 700RB compared with the 200MB is like changing from a Morgan to a Ford with a V8 - it has a lot of poke, but is very unresponsive.
    Any suggestions? It does not matter too much practically as I do stage work with the 115T as an external to the 200MB which works fine. But just why the later and in principle far better 700RB should be so oafish with the fretless feels odd. Is it a setting issue? Getting an external preamp seems silly, given the vast EQ built in to the head.
    Any ideas?
     
  2. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Do you mind doing a bit of sleuthing? Chances are, the difference can be traced to preamp voicing. Download my analyzer and compare the curves. You could even try to tweak the one to have the same curve as the other while you watch on the screen. If nothing else, it's kinda fun. I learned a lot by analyzing my GK Backline 600 head in this way.
     
  3. Sure, but I have a feeling it is not exactly the EQ settings as the torque equivalent at different settings - the fretless needs more variation in preamp output for given variation in what I am doing with my hands, and so it is that 'first differential' that is important. A but like torque on an engine. Just a feeling, though. Does your analyser show this? Maybe the slope of the curve?
    Adam
     
  4. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Not sure what you mean, but... if nothing else, the analyzer might allow you to put the two amps on an equal footing, and then you would have a point of departure for finding a favorable setting on the 700RB.

    The analyzer just measures the response to its own tone generator.
     
  5. morebass!

    morebass! I'm all ears Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    Could this be related to the fact that the fretted is active and the fretless is passive?
     
  6. The fretted is passive too, but with an onboard preamp. According to my fingers and ears, it is to do with the different sensitivities of the two amps, but I am not sure just what this means.
    Adam
     
  7. morebass!

    morebass! I'm all ears Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    I thought that an onboard preamp was what "active" meant???
     
  8. Well, them as make them say there is a difference. Battery goes flat and it still works ... Whereas my Aria, which is called active, goes fuzzy and then stops working. More seriously, they sound different - more range of expression on the fingers with a passive. Active makes you a bit lazy, and that is really noticeable with the Fretless.
    Adam
     
  9. Ho hum
    Adam
     
  10. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I have one bass that I like very much, that is tonally at odds with my other basses. I also run a GK head. I added a 2 channel pre in front and now I'm in happy land. In my case it was an Alembic F2B however it could easily have been a Radial BassBone.

    I know it sounds odd but I run into the Instrument in, use the 14 db pad, use the DI if necessary and the 4 band to adjust for house conditions. So a nifty DI/EQ/poweramp all in a 2 ru box that doesn't weight all that much ... A different take on how to work with an amp.
     
  11. Why do you think it works? Logically you should be able to get the EQ from the amp, but I am sure you are right. What does the ? onboard preamp do? I assume it is one of the ones that just gives you boost on treble and bass?
    Adam

    Adam
     
  12. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    An "active" bass is one that has a preamp circuit in it, usually powered by a battery. Sometimes the preamp is built straight into the pickups, but more often it is in the control cavity of the bass. Active circuits are sometimes designed to be bypassed with a switch, or to automatically bypass when the battery dies. Active circuits, when not bypassed, definitely affect the electrical relationship between bass and amp, including the amount of gain needed on each end, tone/EQ differences, etc.
     
  13. I know that. I think.
    But I am still puzzled about why the passive fretless sounds great with the old 200MB but awful through the modern 700RB with its biamping, seriously powerful EQ and tweetered cabinet.
    Adam
     

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