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Has anyone tried the Roscoe Beck RB5 with a Sadowsky outboard pre-amp?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassGuyNL, Oct 7, 2003.


  1. BassGuyNL

    BassGuyNL

    Jul 20, 2000
    The Netherlands
    I'm thinking about buying a used Fender Roscoe Beck RB5. Great bass, but I wonder if I would miss having active electronics in the future. Has anyone tried this bass with a Sadowsky outboard pre-amp?
     
  2. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Im personally a lover of active electronics, but trust me, you won't need it with that bass. There are soooo many tones that sucker can get, that you won't even know its not active.

    Besides, you would have to forego the RB5's wonderful coil tap system if you wired an Aguilar pre into that bass. That would be like buying a Picasso painting just to have someone else paint over top of it . . .
     
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yes - I did it quiet often. They are a great combination, very subtle - but it definitely adds something and helps balance the RB5 with active basses.

    I thought it added a lot to the bottom end, partcularly.
     
  4. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    i've never needed to but i really dig the classic yet versatile sounds it possesses... i don't think you could go wrong though. ;)
     
  5. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I've never tried that combo, but FWIW a bassist friend loves to use his RB5 with the Sadowsky pre.

    As Eric said, stay with the outboard and leave the RB5 electronics alone!
     
  6. KPO2000

    KPO2000 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2001
    MA
    That's the exact configuration that I use with mine and it sounds great. Excellent compliment to the RB5 tone controls. I have a Sadowsky vintage 4 as well. The RB5 with the Sadowsky DI/Pre makes it hard for me to justify getting a Sadowsky 5...and I'm looking for any reason I can find.
     
  7. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Hi!

    Using and bass along with the Sadowsky pre/DI is a step up. I run my Fodera through it, although I seldom use it!! Sadowsky Rules!!

    Rob
     
  8. BassGuyNL

    BassGuyNL

    Jul 20, 2000
    The Netherlands
    Thanks for the input, guys. After playing an RB 5 in a music store and all the raves reviews it's been getting, I kind of expected that it would be a good combination.

    The sounds I like most in a good jazz are the bridge PU solo, mid-rangy Jaco sound and the Marcus Miller kind of sound for slapping.

    BTW, the Sadowsky outboard pre-amp I own is about 6 years old. On the Sadowsky site I noticed that it looks different now, but I'm not sure if they only changed the box or also the circuit inside.
     
  9. KPO2000

    KPO2000 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2001
    MA
    If that is the primary sound that you are into, you are on the right track with the RB5. One thing I can't get from my Sadowsky 4 is that rough-around-the-edges, nasally bridge position tone ala Jaco. My Sadowsky 4 doesn't quite do that--it's more "refined" sounding--a shade less aggressive. Maybe it's due to the humcancelling pick-ups. Meanwhile, my old Jazz bass and RB5 create that tone easily.

    Good luck!

    Ken
     
  10. sincity

    sincity

    Oct 16, 2002
    Connecticut
    The one thing you will get from the RB5 is an awesome Jaco tone. But, the one thing I cannot get from my RB5 is a good slap tone.

    Maybe all you TBers can help me on this. I have my action very low. Do you think that is why I can't get a decent slap tone? I can't get any rebound from my strings, it sounds just like it is, strings hitting a fretboard.
     
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member


    I found the complete opposite - I hadn't played any slap for many years - but when I got the RB5 the slap tone/sound was so good and it felt so easy to play slap, that I just had to get one in the band's set!!

    I don't think it is low action either as I used to have my RB5 set up with as low an action as I could possibly get - this made slapping easier for me!

    I think the thing to bear in mind is that you don't have to really wack it for thumb slap and you don't need to use any more force than necessary. It can be counter-productive.

    Dificult to explain here - much easier when somebody is in front of you and you can demonstrate!!
     
  12. sincity

    sincity

    Oct 16, 2002
    Connecticut
    Sorry your whole quote did not get pasted.

    My other basses (MM Stingray,Ibanez ATK 300) have low action and the slap response is great. But, something about this bass does not sit right when I slap. I do not have an agressive attack with my thumb.

    I have tried different pu combinations such as solo neck. I have kept my amp settings with the bass and treble boosted and the mids cut a little, and still I can't get a decent sound.

    I am going to try raising the action a bit and see if that works. As I mentioned before the action on my RB5 is very low.
     
  13. BassGuyNL

    BassGuyNL

    Jul 20, 2000
    The Netherlands
    Hey Bruce,

    I noticed in your profile you use an Eden WT-300. I have the same amp, with 2 Eden 210T cabs. Did you have any trouble with volume, since I heard that the output of the RB 5 is on the low side, and sometimes I would like a little more headroom than the WT-300 provides? Also, you list the RB as previously owned. Why did you sell it?
     
  14. sincity

    sincity

    Oct 16, 2002
    Connecticut
    My apologies to you Anton. I did not mean for this to veer off to another subject.

    I actually like a more mellower slap sound. Right now it just sounds like strings hitting the fretboard.

    Just for curiosity sake, what is your action like on your bass? Also, what pu combination do you use when you slap?

    Thanks
     
  15. BassGuyNL

    BassGuyNL

    Jul 20, 2000
    The Netherlands
    No offense taken at all!!, Actually, I'm very interested in anyone's opinion about the RB5's slap sound!:bassist:
     
  16. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    i put the p-up selector in the middle so that both are used... both "small" switches "back" towards the bridge and just a touch of tone knob to it. i use labella super steps on it.
     
  17. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hawaii
    I think the Roscoe Beck is a great bass for slap!
    The spacing is perfect for it....to me anyway. Very good for getting that 70's Marcus tone before he started using a preamp in his J-Bass.
    The Sadowsky pre would probably get you closer to a modern slap tone.
     
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member


    Well firstly - I play mainly Jazz and Latin music - no distorted guitars and everybody listens !! :)

    I used to have volume problems with 2 X 10 cabs - but adding a 1 X 15 seemed to make these go away - it pushes out a lot of volume and the other cab adds the detail! :)

    I sold the RB5 as I was in the Bass Centre in London and found a used pre-Gibson Tobias Classic V which I really liked and thought I couldn't pass up the chance to own a bass hand-made by Michael Tobias and his crew!! But I really needed to trade in the RB5 to be able to afford it, at the time.

    The Tobias is not as good for slap, but I don't really do much slapping - only the one song in the Latin band set which was one I suggested as I liked the slap sound of the RB5 so much!! ;)
     
  19. mgmadian

    mgmadian

    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Interesting discussion, but wanted to correct one thing mentioned above:

    If there's no propritary circuit-board inside the RB5, a capable guitar tech shouldn't have too much diffictuly installing an onboard preamp
    inline with the RB5 circuitry, without disturbing anything. For example, you should be able to place an Aguilar or Sadowsky premap between the output of the pickups and the output jack.... would be just like moving the outboard preamp on-board. Of course, you'll need to figure out where to place the extra knob(s) to control the preamp, drill a hole to accomodate it, etc... but it can be done. Given this, you may want to stick with outboard in any case, but just wanted to point that out.

    HTH,
    Greg