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I didn't want to start a thread but...

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Jason Gale, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. Jason Gale

    Jason Gale

    Nov 14, 2004
    ...I've run out of ideas! Basically a couple of weeks back I had my first practise with my DB (only been playing 6 months, electric player mainly) and I had all sorts of feedback problems that basically meant no-one could hear me the whole practise because I couldn't turn up at all (not that I wanted to because the sound wasn't great either).

    So I came on here and searched all the things that could help eliminate the problem, I've tried towels/sponge under the tailpiece, covering over the F-Holes, changing where the pickup is on the bridge etc. And yet it's still feeding back through a small 15 watt practise amp!

    I don't know if any of you can help me or not, at the practise I was running through my Hartke 1x15 (aluminium cone) cab and HA3500 head. I've got a K&K Big Twin pickup going through a Fishman Model B Bass preamp.

    It's not really a case of turning down as I couldn't hear myself regardless, and i stood in different place all around the practise room. Got my first gig with it in a month's time and it's still un-giggable... beginning to think it's the pickup/preamp?

    Thanks for any help you can give!
  2. anonymous02282011

    anonymous02282011 Guest

    Jun 27, 2007

    at 6 months out I'd keep working on making a good acoustic sound. Work on good technique with your teacher, really arc the fingers of the left hand, putting strength in those fingers to stop the strings. Relax the thumb. Allow the fingers to work like little pistons, remembering to lift them as well as put them down.

    Right hand, relax from the shoulder, allow the weight of your arm to fall into the string.

    From a more practical perspective, try standing as far away from the speaker as possible.

    best of luck!
  3. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC
    stand as far away form the speaker as possible... practice in a bigger room... EQ your sound to be the same amplified as it is acoustic... and tell everyone else to turn down
  4. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    1.Buy one of these from our own Fdeck:
    It will better match the impedance of the pickup to your amp.
    2.You may need to put your amp off to the side, or even in front of you.
    3. Learn to get a big sound out of the bass. Raise the strings. Put as much meat on them as possible. Pluck with the side of your index finger or use both index and middle finger, but get a lot of meat on the string. Pull from the entire arm. Slab technique doesn't work.
    4. Realize that you are playing an ACOUSTIC instrument. There are limits to how loud the thing will amplify.
  5. RDW

    RDW Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    UncleToad's amplification thesis below (note another recommendation for the FDeck):

  6. Jason Gale

    Jason Gale

    Nov 14, 2004
    Thanks for the advice and tips guys! I have been playing bass for 12 years now and decided to start on DB 6 months ago as I said, I have been practising in the way that you have said a lot as I know it's a completely different instrument. I've been recording demo's etc and stuff and listening back. I know I'm not amazing or anything but I'd like to get the gig experience going as I believe it's the best practise to some extent. I did think maybe it might be technique causing problems but it never feed's back whilst I'm playing, it's fine then... as soon as I stop it starts going crazy! (it only feeds back when I'm playing if I add to much bass or volume, and without doing that the thing sound awful)

    Clink: What is a good alternative to the link you posted (I'm in the UK)?

    Thanks again,
  7. Bass


    Nov 10, 2003
    Fishman Platinüm Pro Bass EQ / Preamp.


    And Jason, I'm no expert by any means (some here might suggest I'm an ignoramüs). Büt maybe the installation of the picküp should be examined. ie too tight, too loose, rounded bridge wing, etc...

    The feedback you describe soünds extreme to me, which leads me to believe the problem is greater than jüst a preamp.
  8. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    The double big twin is also extremely feedback prone IME. See if you can lay hands on another pickup for a day and find out if that makes a difference.
  9. Jason Gale

    Jason Gale

    Nov 14, 2004
    Thanks Bass and Chris!

    I experimented with where the pickup pads were on the bridge and made no difference. I'm not a massive fan of the sound of the Big Twin so far anyway. I was thinking about trying to get the K&K Rockabilly Plus set as I saw a band with a guy using this through a big stack right behind him and he had no problems (he had no sponge and the f-holes weren't covered either). They also did the same sort of stuff as what I'll be gigging (Ska/Rocksteady/Reggae) so they'll be the same sort of volume onstage.
    Do you think this would be a good option to try Chris? i.e. are they less prone to feedback? (the guy i saw had the perfect sound for the music I'll be doing...)
    I want a quite dubby sound I guess and the Big Twin isn't really giving me that, don't know whether the pickups that go round the Bridge wing would accomplsh that any better than the pads of the big twin though?

    Much appreciated,
  10. Bass


    Nov 10, 2003
    I'm not Chris, but I think this would be an excellent option. I use a K&K BassMax which is the same as the K&K Rockabilly Plus except without the neck-clicky pickup. In my experience the K&K Bassmax is very resistant to feedback. Here's a picture of me and my big stack. But in this photo I am using an Underwood (I think) which is also resistant to feedback.

    As far as tone goes I think you just have to try the pickup and judge for yourself. The Underwood, Bassmax and Revolution Solo II all have slightly different tone - and would probably all be better at fighting feedback than the Big Twin.

  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Jason - I'd probably go with the advice from the talking skull here, as I play mostly low to medium volume jazz gigs. In my expeience with pickups, the DBT and the Fishman BP100 were the two most feedback-prone pickups I've ever tried.
  12. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Man, you Canadians are pale. You've got to find a way to get some sun or suppliment Vit D.
  13. Jason Gale

    Jason Gale

    Nov 14, 2004
    Quality thanks! I think I might try the Bassmax then, not too worried about the clicky pick up as I won't be doing any slapping. Out of curiosity do you use the K&K preamp with it as well?

    Thanks for the help again!


    ..Oh and that's a good look you've got going on there! ;)
  14. Bass


    Nov 10, 2003
    No, I found the K&K pre-amp difficult to "dial-in". Instead I use F-deck's hpf-preamp. In my opinion, this little device is invaluable for figthting feedback. The Pro-plat has similar feedback fighting features.

    Good look? Thanks, this was our Halloween show. We play "surf" but alot of our songs have ska parts - the guitar player writes all the songs and is a big fan of ska.

    For more flaming skulls (it's painted on my wall!) check us out at www.myspace.com/lettherebetheremin (and buy our CD!!). Am I allowed to do that?
  15. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    It's a major CUP violation, but since you're undead, I doubt anyone's going to say anything about it.
  16. Just another thought: when using the eq, try to cut instead of boosting. Using the ha3500 graphic eq will let you be pretty precise in that task. Put the eq flat, play several notes and experiment with each of the sliders separately from min to max. Listen to each frequency carefully and cut the ones that are annoying you.

    David Santos
  17. pbasswil


    Feb 17, 2008
    (Late response!)

    I think a crucial factor re. feedback got lost in the rest of this thread:

    >Experiment with phase reversal on the preamp.<

    I don't have a lot of experience with this, but here's my understanding of it:

    Whenever you struggle with feedback, you want to have your speaker's output out of phase with the acoustic sound coming off the bass itself. Like: a wave front front off the speaker confronts (hits) a wave off the bass, rather than joining it and reinforcing it.
    That way, your speaker doesn't encourage the problem resonant frequenc(ies) -- it opposes it.

    Otoh, when you're playing soft, you'll usually prefer to have speaker and amp in phase -- assuming it doesn't make wolf tones jump out. In phase makes it feel effortless to get your bass to speak.

    You don't need to actually measure phase; you try your setup and then reverse phase and compare the sound. The priority is choosing which phase sounds best -- until you struggle with feedback, at which point, controlling that becomes the priority.

    It's great to be familiar with this important aspect of amplification, and great to have some way of reversing phase in your setup. Some preamps, and a few high-end amps have a phase switch. Reverse phase XLR cables are easy to find; but as far as I know you can't do it with a regular mono 1/4" cable.

    Peter Wilson
  18. Gary Lynch

    Gary Lynch

    Nov 18, 2008
    Sonoita AZ
    These preamps are built well and work for bass. They have the notch filter and inverter as well as other goodies. The Realist and Bass Max seem to work ok for me but I do not play loud. There are no doubt a number of ways to work out your issue.

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