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Good Amp for both Electric/Upright

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Rebo213, Dec 23, 2005.

  1. Hi
    I´ve got an Ampeg V4BH that i´ve been using with my fender jazz bass for a couple of years. Now i´m also playing upright, and need more power to play gigs, so i´m going to buy another amp.
    My question is, there´s any good bass amp to play with my fender and the upright and get good sound from both? I´m a vintage tube amps lover, can i use the ampeg with my upright? Will be the sound too muddy? I´ve got a Realist pickup that i haven´t install yet...
    Thanks a lot
  2. mikjans


    Dec 17, 2003
    Uppsala, Sweden
    If you´re into vintage tube amps, go for an Ampeg B-15 N Portaflex "flip top". I have an early 70s model retrofitted with an old orange JBL speaker from a wrecked Showman cabinet, and with a set of good tubes, and if you can stand the weight of it all, the sound is great.

    (Being middle aged and lazy I nowadays use an old G-K MB 200 combo, got tired of schlepping the Ampeg around.)

    Great sound for small to midsize gigs. In larger venues you´re going direct anyway...

  3. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Nothing wrong with the Ampeg. When they are not being overdriven, a good old tube head is basically just a straightforward amp. At the very least, use it until you have experienced all of the pleasures of amping an upright, then decide if you really need a new amp. But you probably need to get a basic preamp right away in order to set aside any possible impedance matching issue.

    Perhaps of more importance is speakers. If you have something like a 8x10 cab, you might have a hard time fiddling with speaker placement, which is one of the most valuable feedback-fighting tricks. I would think that your speaker might deserve more immediate attention than your amp.

    The other thing is that you will find yourself making less use of the ability to overdrive a tube power amp when you play upright, just because you will run up against the wall of feedback before your power amp tops out. Thus if you were to seek a lightweight rig at some point, a hybrid might be worth considering.

    I am getting great sound from my new GK Backline 600 head, on both electric and upright. But of course it is anything but the vintage tube sound.
  4. Thanks for your help
    Yes the best thing its to try it to see how it sounds. I´m pretty scared about the overdrive issue, and also the way the valves will colour the sound of the upright, it wont be neccesary bad though.
    I´ve got an ampeg 4x10 HLF speaker... I´m a beginner with the upright, so i can´t play all my bands music with it instead of the fender, so i need an amp to solve all situations. Also im not a pro so i have no money to buy two amps...
  5. If you have a small practice amp- w/a 10 or 12 in it- you might try that. IME it's difficult to get a large rig loud enough to hear w/o feeding back; smaller/less drivers has yielded better results for me. I've just recently stumbled upon my Holy Grail of doubling rigs: an Eden CXC-110. 180 watts, 1x10, great tone, useable DI, not too big, extension speaker jack(s). Second to that is my(for sale ;) )Hartke Kickback 12- the shape function, a notch filter of sorts if I'm not mistaken, does a decent job of fighting feedback.
  6. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Rebo213, glad to hear you've started playing upright! I started on bass guitar myself (in 1975 ... ouch!).

    All of the advice in fdeck's post was excellent. I just copied the part he wrote about a preamp to expand on it a little.

    I checked the Ampeg web site, but they don't list the input impedance for the V-4BH amp. Then I tried to download the owner's manual from a link on the Ampeg site, but the link failed. Hmf ...

    Since you intend to double on the Fender, a preamp in front of your existing Ampeg rig might (1) address the potential impedance issue, and (2) give you some control over your EQ on upright. In this way maybe you could avoid having to adjust the tone controls too much on the Ampeg every time you switch from upright to BG.

    Although I don't own one, the Fishman Pro-EQ Platinum preamp might be something worth considering. Lots of folks here are familiar with it.

    Or if you want to try building a preamp yourself, fdeck is your man!
  7. Hey guys thanks again!
    I´m going next week (due to that christmas parties) to install my realist pickup in the upright, and then i will check how it sounds
    What its the problem with the input impedance? I don´t have my users manual but i checked the one of the svt and they say nothing about that, and its very similar...
    Well i will check it...
  8. Piezo pickups work best into a very high input impedance - 1 Meg Ohm or higher. Normal bass amps are usually a lot lower than that. Also, piezos generally have lower output than magnetic BG pickups so you might need some extra gain boost.
    If you don't need the gain boost, the impedance buffering can be taken care of very cheaply by making one of fdeck's simple preamps:
    And if you want a good high output pickup for just a few $$, try making one of these:
  9. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    I use an avalon U5 as a preamp with both electric and upright, and a Acoustic image focus SA as the power amp--same rig for both, sounds great. I have three different cabs depending on the venue, an ampeg portabass 1x10, an aggie 1x12, and a genz benz neo 2x12. I usually use the portbass 10 or the aggie with upright and aggie or the genz benz with electric. The U5 can be both a Di and a preamp at the same time. Took me a long time to find this but it works for both

    The only downside to the U5 is the limited tone controls, which have never really been a problem but which people think will be a problem, and the lack of phantom power or a mic input. The advantage is it just sounds great, all the time

    Downside of the AI focus Sa is the cost, upside is it puts out 600 watts and weighs 3 lbs.

    I've also used a sans amp bassdriver DI with both electric and upright, or the newer sansamp "paradriver."
  10. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I bought an Eden WT400 from a friend recently for BG use with an Aguilar 112GS cabinet. On a whim I plugged my DB w/Fishman PU into it... and it sounded pretty good! The Fishman (old style) isn't the most accurate DB pickup out there, but the two seem to compliment each other well.
  11. +1 on Eden. I use the WT330 head (the same as in the CXC110 combo bassteban mentioned above). It works great with piezos without a preamp and has a very neutral hifi sound. EQ on this model is less flexible than the classic Eden paametric but the frequencies are well chosen. The 'Warm' switch provides a tube-like overdrive that adds a nice growl to my EUB for vintage blues sounds. And it works relaibly at 2 Ohms so you can keep adding speakers. I use an Eden 210XST.
    If money is tight, I'd recommend the Nemesis 210 combo (my previous amp) or speaker cab - lightweight, great sound.
  12. QuietJoe


    Oct 6, 2005
    hey PB+J, I was thinking about running a similiar setup as what you have with the avalon and power amp for DB and BG.

    Which output on the Avalon do you use to run to the power amp? Mic level or Line level? If you need a DI to the board do you just hook up to both outputs (one to the power amp and other to the house)? Anyone else with comments on this... I know there are others using this setup out there. Any input is appreciated. Thanks

  13. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    Hey Joe

    I use the line out into the power amp, and the mic out into the Pa with no problem. Or I use the mic out to the PA and the "active to thru" feature, which gives you a 1/4 out from the front panel. I sometimes run the 1/4 out to the power amp, and then the line or mic out to the PA