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I scored a Baby Blue last night!!!

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by justBrian, May 17, 2003.


  1. justBrian

    justBrian

    Apr 19, 2002
    Kansas City, MO
    Hey kids, I just got an SWR Baby Blue. I traded my Ampeg B100r for it at a local shop. Pretty good deal, eh? The other good news is that my Avatar cb112 came yesterday too. Together, they rock. I'll try to post a full review of both after I play with them a while. Looks like the ultimate URB rig, right? :D

    EDIT: It's just the head, so I guess that makes it the Electric Blue. It's still cool as hell.
     
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    I wouldn't go quite that far because of the power limitations, but for low volumes that should be a fine sounding rig. Congrats!
     
  3. justBrian

    justBrian

    Apr 19, 2002
    Kansas City, MO
    I played it a little this weekend and it's louder than you might think-- surprisingly so. I played my Jazz V and G&L through it and the tone was to die for-- clear, punchy and warm. The URB was warm and woody sounding-- very natural. I think I'm in love. :D
     
  4. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    Given that BIG C used to use one, I think he is familiar. Of course, his ideas of power are different than some. According to some reports, I think he drives a bobtail to his gigs now:eek:

    Monte
     
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Not quite yet - I'm still commuting in a Honda Civic hatchback for the moment :) Actually, I'm done amp shopping now. The iamp800 fits together with a Sansamp RBI in a tiny 3 space Grundorf rack (barely bigger than what it contains), and I choose my cabs according to what I expect to need. Played a gig yesterday on this rig and an EA VL108, which is just about the size of a lunchbox, and for most DB gigs which don't involve stairs, I can still one-trip it into the gig. Not bad for a hi-fi amp addict, huh?


    ROOMEYES,

    I loved my baby Blue II amp, and agree that the sound was great. I just got hungry for more clean headroom, that's all.
     
  6. justBrian

    justBrian

    Apr 19, 2002
    Kansas City, MO
    Any suggested EQ settings? Thanks. :)
     
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    EQ depends on what you are putting into the amp, but for DB definitely start with the "enhancer" turned full off and work from there. If there's too much bottom, try setting the bass EQ at about 80hz and cutting from there, then season to taste. Good luck.
     
  8. justBrian

    justBrian

    Apr 19, 2002
    Kansas City, MO
    Thanks Chris. You rule! :D ;) :D
     
  9. I also have an electric blue but find it lacks bottom end when I use it direct from a shadow pickup.

    Do you need a preamp when using this head?
     
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    I can't give you the electrical engineer version of the story, but I believe the answer is "yes". I always used one with mine, and it always improved and smoothed out the sound. Perhaps one of the more technically adept folks on the board like (ALL HAIL) Bob or e=mj2 could answer the question in milli (mega?) ohm techno speak.
     
  11. mje

    mje

    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    Ah yes.... it's all about impedance matching. Impedance is like resistance, except it varies with frequency. (Actually it's the vector product of resistance and reactance, but you don't really want to know that).

    Piezoelectic devices- which includes most contact pickups- are high impeadance devices. That means (among other things) they generate relatively high voltage but can supply vanishingly little current.

    Musical instrument amplifiers generally expect magnetic pickup inputs, and magnetic pickups produce much lower voltages (a volt or two, maybe) but a lot more current- like milliamps.

    Low frequencies require that the pickup supply more current. When the amp tries to draw more current than the pickup can provide, you lose the low end. To fix this you need to add an extra stage of preamplification that draws very little current- i.e., has a very high impedance.

    The Acoustic Image amps have a high and low impedance input, and the high is something like 10 megohms which means it can handle about anything. Most instrument amps have an input impedance of under 100K Ohms, which is fine for magnetic pickups, but will cause problems with most piezoelectric pickups.
     
  12. justBrian

    justBrian

    Apr 19, 2002
    Kansas City, MO
    OK-- I agree with you now Chris. I played with a drummer and a guitarist last night and it was really hard to hear me. The drummer has a really nice touch and we locked in pretty well, but he was pretty mcuh just watching me- couldn't hear me. The guitarist was using Mesa dual-rectifier w/a carvin 2x12 cab. No wonder I couldn't hear myself, eh? I'm going to try adding a cab and see if that makes a difference. My 1x12 is 8 ohms. I thinnk I can get another 40 watts @ 4 ohms. We'll see. :)
     
  13. Hey bed,
    What pickup are you using on the double bass and if you are using a piezo, are you using a preamp? As mje pointed out, your trouble may be at the other end of the cord. Are you saying that you could not get enough volume, or can't get enough before feedback?
     
  14. justBrian

    justBrian

    Apr 19, 2002
    Kansas City, MO
    A little of both Bob. I'm using the K&K BassMax without a preamp, and it got really boomy if I didn't have my fingers/hand on the strings. I was able to get sufficiently loud at home and thought I would be fine playing with the guys. But, it seemd that the overtones from the guitar would easily start the strings moving on their own. It was kind of weird. So, do you think a preamp would help? One of the ones *All Hail* Bob G. sells? I do have an SWR Interstellar Overdrive tube preamp-- do you think it could work? It's quite impressive with my electrics (slabs, right? :D ). Thanks in advance. :cool:
     
  15. The first thing I would do is to make sure that the back of your DB is not directly in front or too close to your speaker or your guiter player's speaker. Double basses tend to act like a big microphone and pick up anything pointed at them.

    The only amp I know of that doesn't need a preamp for the piezo pickup is the Acoustic Image, but of course there are probably others. The point is that most amps do need a preamp between the piezo pickup and the amp just as mje said in a prior post.
     
  16. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    KING SIZE,

    I always used a K&K pre with my (Double) Bass Max when using the Baby Blue, and never had a feeback problem. This doesn't mean that you need one, but it might help. Hopefully, (All Hail) Bob G. will find this thread soon and chime in as to the specifics. Don't worry, you can trust his advice even though he sells the stuff. :)

    Having said that, you should also consider BAD BRANMUFFIN'S advice about Doghouse placement, as it makes a big difference when fighting feedback....so much so that I pretty much always cover my strings with one hand or another when playing amplified. In my experience, preamps tend to tame the wolfish frequencies a bit, although I'm not enough of a techie to be able to explain why. Good luck.
     
  17. poalf

    poalf

    Feb 27, 2003
    Phoenix, Az
    When I was using a Realist, I would have a problem with the low strings ringing... not necessarily feedback, just eternal sustain on my open strings. I deadend my unplayed strings as well. This through a Clarus/Bass 10. The last thing I bought for that rig was a Fishman Pro EQ Platinum. It has a compressor that seems to take care of it.
     
  18. justBrian

    justBrian

    Apr 19, 2002
    Kansas City, MO
    Oh yeah-- serious ringing. Don't they call it sympathetic vibration? I know exactly what you mean. My E and A strings were going crazy.
    I think I'm going to invest in a K&K preamp-- the little one. Hopefully that will calm things down a bit. :)
     
  19. justBrian

    justBrian

    Apr 19, 2002
    Kansas City, MO
    In light of the news last week, it now looks like I have a vintage, pre-buyout amp. :cool: :D :cool: