Help me dial out the "nasty"!

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by BASSnSAX, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. I was asked by one of the professors here at school who is directing the summer musical to play DB for it. So, naturally, I accepted the gig.

    I'm playing through a WM10 and I'm using a Meisel 3/4 carved bass with Spirocore Weichs, an Underwood p/up. The arco sounds positively dreadful. I have the bass around +3.5, mids right around 0, and treble at about -2. I have the tweeter turned on for some definition for pizz, but the arco tone is just killing me.

    Any suggestions, or should I just live with it and apologize every day to the drummer and lovely pianist who are both sitting at the business end of my amp?
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Put a different pickup on the bass. The Underwood sucks butt for arco.

    Short of that, turn off the tweeter, definitely, for arco. You couls also roll all the highs and high mids off, but this just gets rids of the real nasty and leaves just the nasty.

    There has been much coverage of all of the pickups. My overall preference is the FullCircle, although my EUB has a Schertler that is a great arco pickup. The Realist is also loved by some, and is good with the bow, but overall seems problematic to me (experience and polling) with clarity and feedback.
  3. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    Is there a chance you can turn off the amp for the arco passages? Obviously that would be more cost effective than a new pickup if the venue is not too big.

    Another thought, is the Aural Enhance knob all the way down? I think this is a low and high boost with a mid scoop isn't it? Without the tweeter, the high mids are pretty shy on that amp when it's on the ground. Do you have it on a stand or chair? If so, you may want to turn the bass back to 12:00 and set it on the floor. That way you could turn the highs down all the way for the arco passages and back up for pizz.
  4. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    All of the, the Weichs would be my last choice for good arco tone (I'm a former Weich user). I've had good luck with Obligatos, and I'm having better results still with Velvet Animas. Pricey, though.

    I think I'd try to do that gig with a mic, if possible. What kind of venues are you playing in? If I'm booked for a show, I usually try to use a mic. I just prefer the sound. Playing on a noisy bandstand in a joint; that's a different story.

    Say hi to LaCrosse for me. Love that town.
  5. larry

    larry Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2004
    All of the above plus a repeat of the Full Circle pickup. It is outstanding for arco. I've tried that, plus the Realist, Upton Solo, Pierre Josephs String Charger, Underwood, and of course, the BP100. The Full Circle bows best out of those, IMO.
  6. Wxp4759cb


    Nov 23, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    There is probably a PA system being used either for the actors, or the piano, maybe you can go direct into that. Most plays I've done there was also a monitor in the pit so you'd be able to hear yourself.
  7. I have a similar problem with arco on a EUB. The range of freq's is 1300-1600 Hz. I get by using a Baggs para preamp amd dialing out that range. I've also had good results using an Arion MEQ-2 bass equalizer pedal. Also, good results going through a Mackie board. In all cases I needed to totally cut the offending frequency.
  8. Quick lil' update, I am in the process of buying a Realist from a girl at school...

    For $80. :hyper: :D :smug:
  9. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    As I've said in the past. The WM10 is one of the worst
    acoustic bass amps on the market. Steve Rabe told me
    himself that its eq'd for electric bass. The tweeter in the
    amp is VERY HOT and amplifies the worst frequencies.
    Also.... with piezo pickups like the underwood it really,
    really, really, really helps to have a 10 meg ohm preamp
    like a simple Fishman. (cheap) It would help your pizz and
    arco tone. And... turn off the tweeter!
  10. jstiel

    jstiel Jim Stiel

    Jun 5, 2004
    Lake Orion, MI
    My opinion is quite different. I have a WM10 that I use for small gigs and I am quite pleased with the sound. I like a punchy, modern sound and that's what I hear (all pizz, no arco). I use a Full Circle w/o a preamp on a plywood bass strung with Jazzers. The FC is a fairly hot pickup and the WM10, per SWR, has an impedence of 1M ohm. The impedence is not as high as the dedicated acoustic amps but high enough in my experience to get by without a preamp if using a hotter pickup. I agree the Underwood nearly always needs the help of a preamp. I think the more likely culprits here for BASSnSAX's "dreadful" arco sound is the Weichs and the Underwood.
  11. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    The buffer preamp is not for volume or tone control, its
    there to match the impedence of the pickup with the amp.
    One idea is to get a preamp of some kind, (sansamp, Baggs,
    Fishman, etc) and use the effects return to bypass the
    preamp in the SWR. This usually sounds much better. I truly
    love my WM10, but not for upright.
  12. jstiel

    jstiel Jim Stiel

    Jun 5, 2004
    Lake Orion, MI
    That was my point.
  13. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    s'cuse me. It seemed like you were saying that if you have
    a loud enough or "hot" pickup, you can get by without a
    buffer preamp for piezo pickups. Its not about volume, its
    about impedence. I must have misunderstood.
  14. jstiel

    jstiel Jim Stiel

    Jun 5, 2004
    Lake Orion, MI
    You did misunderstand me. I didn't use the words volume or loud. When I said "hot" I was refering to the electrical properties of the pickup (specifically, the output impedance).