How Would YOU Configure this Rack Gear?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by DennyOnBass, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. I already have a few ideas of how I'm going to go about this, but I just wanted to solicit some opinions on how other people might connect the following rack gear:

    Main bass is a 99 Stingray 5 string, occasionally I'll use matching passive 74 P and J basses.
    Alembic F-1X tube preamp
    Ashly CLX-52 dual compressor
    Ashly PQX-571 7 band parametric EQ
    QSC PLX1602 power amp
    Bergantino HT322 speaker cab

    I mainly play pop, rock, funk and R&B. I do slap, and one of the reasons for the compressor is to balance out the sounds of my slap and fingerstyle playing and to even out the upper and lower strings. I also use a pick on occasion if the song calls for it. In the past I've used effects, but right now in my current band I'm not. I do solo on occasion.

    Basically I'm wondering if it would be best to run everything in line and/or the effects loop. I'm also wonder if other people would use both sides of the compressor or just one of them.

    I'm not interested in alternate gear suggestions. I have the stuff I plan on using. At least until I change my mind... ;)

    So I'm looking for ideas of order and where you would plug them in (in line or via the effects loop or a combination). Thanks in advance!
  2. I would go in to the pre, effects loop to compressor and eq, back in to the pre, then power amp.
  3. subbasshz


    Aug 11, 2012
    phoenix az
    Im addicted to punishing volume.
    i would sell me that alembic after xmas. thats what i would do.
    INTP likes this.
  4. How would I hook it up? Bass to preamp, preamp to power amp, power amp to speaker cab.
    INTP, SVTkid, walterw and 2 others like this.
  5. BazzTard

    BazzTard Inactive

    well, if you DON'T hook it up in that order it ain't gonna work :)
  6. As a sound engineer I usually found it sounded better to my ears to EQ before compressing.
    Why let some random frequency band you're not even interested in cause the comp to squash the stuff you DO want to hear?
  7. You'd hate's over 20 years old, heavy, a few of the caps on the knobs are missing, it never breaks down, and delivers that same great buttery tone every time. Boring. :D

    I've run it that way hundreds of times and it definitely sounds great. O'l man Wickersham obviously knew what he was doing when he designed that pre, but he obviously also knew that some people would require more serious EQing options than the F-1X and F-2B designs could handle or he wouldn't have designed the SF-2 Superfilter to go with them. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find one of those used and can't afford a new one, so the Ashly is going to have to work for me.

    Yeah, I totally agree with that concept. I'd really like to figure out a way though to be able to set each compression engine for separate basses and then sum the outputs into the F-1X so that I could set different compression ratios and gain stages for each bass when I'm using my P and J basses. In that case I'd probably want the EQ after the comp so that both basses are getting the EQ.

    Another interesting thought was that I could put the comp after the preamp, use the crossover outs to send the lows to one side of the comp and the highs to the other, then sum the output again somehow to basically give me multiband compression.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014
  8. orangejulius3

    orangejulius3 Supporting Member

    May 6, 2013
    La Habra CA
    I had a similar setup at one point. I also use to own that exact alembic and QSC power and pre.

    I suggest running from the Alembic's line out
    Ashly EQ
    Ashly compressor
    QSC power amp

    If it were me, I would use the alembic tube pre as a drive and keep the Alembic close to flat in EQ (3-9-3) or (2-10-2), Ashly EQ to dial in mids for gig, and barely or just a hint from the Ashly compressor.
  9. This is kind of where I think I'm going to end up. I think though that I'll probably end up using one of the compressor engines in the effects loop very lightly just to level things out a bit and catch peaks. That'll help in sending a nice signal to the board when I DI out of the preamp. From there I'd go line out to the EQ and then through the second compressor engine to add some fatness. I've always hated it in the past when I was running sound and bassists would send crazy EQ and/or compression to the sound system. What translates well through your cab might not be right for the sound system as a whole. I usually run my Stingray pretty flat and just make small tweaks to the onboard EQ as the song calls for it. I picked the Ashly comp specifically because it's supposed to be super transparent and not add any character of it's own or rob the signal of highs or lows.

    I probably won't be able to resist the urge to bring the bass knob up a bit on the Alembic, though. Too much magic going on there. ;) My magic setting over the years has been 4-10-2 1/2. I'm going to be using the EQ to dial in a little mid hump and some definition up top, but everything is going to be very subtle.
  10. friendlybass


    Jul 19, 2012
    Same way I always do, signal chain order top to bottom. I'd ad a Furman or other power conditioner though, protect your multithousand dollar equipment from bad power!
  11. Is your amp DSP? Then it'll sum high low channels for you.
  12. I don't think that the original QSC PLX's work that way in bridge mono mode. The manual doesn't specify, but it says to use input one when bridging the amp. It doesn't specifically say that input 2 won't work. I'll have to test it out when the compressor arrives next week.
  13. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I woul put the bass at th beginning and the speaker at the end. The other stuff goes in between.
    Haji likes this.
  14. Additionally, put the heavy stuff at the bottom if at all possible.

    Unless you're talking about the big $500+ actual power conditioners, the Furman PL8 and the like are nothing more than power strips with lights. Your amp and preamp have more protection built into them than those units provide. They do make it easier to see the rack if they have lights, though.
    DennyOnBass and will33 like this.
  15. hsech

    hsech Work hard. My Social Security needs a raise.

    Jun 27, 2012
    Central Iowa
    Is the compressor redundant? Do you have compression on the pre? Why the rack eq? You cant get it with the pre and guitar?
  16. vmabus


    Nov 1, 2013
    Oh, a wise guy!
    [nyuk, nyuk]
    will33 likes this.
  17. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    me too! big ol' rack parametrics and compressors just seem like overkill for bass guitar, one of those things where you spend forever dialing them in, only to discover that you sound more present and natural in the band mix with them bypassed.

    still, once you've gone through the preamp you should be at line level and don't need to worry about FX loops and such, it's all the same.
    B-string likes this.
  18. What you're "not interested in" is what the compressor is there to tame. What you do want and have boosted in the EQ will hit the compressor and drag every other frequency down if you have the EQ first. That's why the compressor should be first. Otherwise, the compressor is fighting your EQ.

    Pre > Comp > EQ > Amp.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014
  19. ashbory


    Jun 13, 2000
    Put the eq in the effects loop. Daisy chain the main preamp out through both compressor channels then to the amp. Take the high and low preamp outs and connect them to the sidechain (detector) inputs on the compressor. This will give you eq before the compressor, and multiband compression, and you can run bridged
    mbelue likes this.
  20. The Alembic preamp has no compressor and the EQ basically does flat or scooped. Regardless, there are few amps that have onboard compression that can rival a dedicated rack compressor.

    Just for the record, I didn't just buy all of this stuff. I've been gigging on and off with the Alembic pre for 20 years and the QSC power amp for probably 12. I have a really good idea of the capabilities of this gear and what I'm trying to accomplish with the new stuff. I know how everything works and a few different ways to hook it all up. I ran sound professionally for a few years and have done a lot of studio work and know the gear. I'm just looking for alternate ideas that I might not have thought of.