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Help me simplify my doubling rig

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Hoyt, Jun 8, 2019.


  1. E33922E8-7E75-4FEE-A2CB-6E0416E97C6C. So, this is my setup for tonight’s outdoor upright gig. FDeck HPF>Grace Designs BiX (DI to FOH)>BBE BMAX>Crest Prolite 2.0>Greenboy F212.

    I tried this setup at rehearsal last week and was very pleased with how it sounded, but it seems a bit overly complicated.

    I like having the HPF, I like having a DI easily accessible, I like using the boost feature in the BiX to maintain volumes between arco, pizz, & slap, and I like the compression and other features on the BMAX.

    I use this same setup minus the FDeck & BiX with my P Bass for a 60’s cover band and it sounds great.

    I don’t double on upright & bass guitar within the same band, so I can remove the outboard gear as needed.

    I just think there should be an easier way. I own a Rane AP-13 which is great with upright, but feeding it into the BMAX for bass guitar sounds horrible. I tried just going straight into the BMAX with my piezo, but the input impedance must be too low because it sounds thin.

    If this is the setup I have to live with, I won’t lose any sleep over it, but are there any rackmount preamps with similar features to the BMAX I should be looking at?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Dabndug

    Dabndug Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2017
    Somewhere in Oz
    There are pedals that will cover the functionality of your chain from hpf to preamp, such as the Fishman Platinum Pro EQ/DI. My chain is Fishman to TH500 to 1x12 Schroeder for URB and straight to TH500 for EBG. It's a simple and portable solution.
     
    kerrycares and Hoyt like this.
  3. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    If you like the sound of the Grace Designs Bix, then IMHO you're not likely to enjoy preamps from other manufactures. It appears as if you

    are insterting the Bix into the front end of the BBE. So that means you have two stages of EQ going on. This is something I never do, but

    if it works for you then it's all good. Since you aren't doubling you could do everything youre doing with Grace Designs Alex, which would

    eliminate the HPF and possibly the BBE, if you liked it directly into the Crest. Just my take. If the Alex is to pricey, then I'd go with a Headway EDB-2, but it won't sound as
    smooth as the Alex or the Bix. I know this will work directly into the Crest.

    Grace Designs Alix.
     
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  4. I tried using the BiX into the Crest using an in line passive volume control. It was okay for the upright but not so much for the bass guitar.

    The price point on the AliX is a bit steep. I thought about the FeliX even though it’s even more expensive because of the two channels, but then I wouldn’t have the onboard compression of the BMAX. Maybe it’s not that important though. I only use a very light compression setting to begin with.

    I seem to really bond with most older Fender amps for some reason. The BMAX is based on the Fender pre’s, and it’s just easy to get a sound I like for bass guitar. I also thought about having the input impedance modified to a higher resistance value to be more piezo friendly, but I’m not sure how difficult that would be.
     
  5. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Understood,
    My next suggestion would be to try a Headway EDB-2. It’s half the price of the Alix, sometimes less on the used market.
     
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  6. Zbysek

    Zbysek

    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    I understand that you've got three preamps in your signal chain which is too many, IMO.

    I would replace the HPF Pre and Bix with either Alix or Felix.

    Alternatively, you could get rid of the Bix. The HPF Pre will take care of the impedance matching for your upright. You can use the volume control on HPF Pre for "boosting"...
     
    Povl Carstensen and Hoyt like this.
  7. One thing I haven’t tried is just running my Line 6 G30 straight into the BMAX.

    I’ve gotten away from wireless lately just because I usually play on smaller stages and it seems wasteful, but that would take care of the impedance matching as well. Of course, then I lose the benefits of the FDeck’s HPF...
     
  8. Zbysek

    Zbysek

    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    I would advice keeping (at least one) HPF in your signal chain especially with upright...
     
    Hoyt likes this.
  9. I’ve blown out too many drivers with the upright previously to not use one...
     
    Zbysek likes this.
  10. Zbysek

    Zbysek

    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    Hoyt likes this.
  11. Timmy-Watts

    Timmy-Watts Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    You could replace everything on top of your speaker with a Bergantino B/Amp. Still need 10 MegOhm input? Keep the F-Deck. I have tried almost everything out there with that value input impedance, and my F-Deck just sounds the best. But you may find you don't need it with the B/Amp.
     
    Hoyt and Joshua like this.
  12. The B/Amp looks interesting, but all that digital makes me nervous, and at that price point I think I’d be more inclined invest in the Grace Designs FeliX.
     
  13. neddyrow

    neddyrow Captain of Team Orange Jacket Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019 at 12:38 PM
    Hoyt likes this.
  14. I’ve been thinking about going down the blending a mic + piezo rabbit hole again (always tough because my bands are loud) which this seems perfect for.
     
  15. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    I double (although mostly all upright these days) and am very happy with a Bergantino Forte. I have a pedalboard with a FDek HPF and a TC Spark for boost. I'm about to go with two mods to my rig, that might be useful for you to consider. I'm going with a Broughton Hi/Lo Pass filter pedal (it has a boost function so will replace the TC and The Fdek), and have been experimenting with piezo + mag pickup - right now using a small mixer (pain in the butt) but am going to a Headway Edb-2 preamp to allow me to mix the pickups as well as more feedback control.

    The Forte is a wonderful amp for both URB and electric (I play an old Fender with flats), and it would make for a much lighter rig than you now have. All it takes is $$!
     
    Hoyt likes this.
  16. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Hoyt,
    It get's you a great sound, but there are pluses and minuses. I rarley do it, just an Ehrlund EAP for most gigs, or the EAP and a Remic Green FOH. The Nadine might work well for you and since it's a dynamic microphone

    it wouldn't give you the problems that a condenser might at high volume.
     
    Hoyt likes this.
  17. Ric, I’ve got a Sennheiser E604 with a clamp mount that works decently. For my purposes (loud rockabilly) I’d mostly just use the mic for a more natural slap tone and use my Shadow or Underwood (depending on my Kay or KDB) for the fundamentals.

    Jimmy Sutton used to use this same setup and I always thought his tone was amazing. If memory serves though, he only ran the microphone to the FOH.

    Not to continue to complicate my setup, but using what I have I tried this last night. Ran the Shadow into the FDeck & BiX then into the active input of my BMAX, then ran the Sennheiser E604 with an impedance transformer and an in-line volume control to the passive input on the BMAX.

    Complicated, but sounded surprisingly decent with no feedback at high volumes by myself. I’m going to try it at next rehearsal and see how it fares in a live band situation.

    Of course, all of these boxes could go away with the FeliX, so I’m really leaning in that direction.
     

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