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Malekko B:Assmaster sensitivity to PUs

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by ratzpaul, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. ratzpaul


    Aug 19, 2004
    Hi Folks,

    first post after a looong time, but I need some help or insight in this and don't want to ditch the pedal prematurely.

    For 10Y+ I played my G&L ASAT (my only Bass for this period) through the B:Assmaster and absolutely loved everything I got out of this combination. A month ago the G&L has been replaced by a Fender AVRI 58 P-Bass with which I'm VERY satisfied except for the tone that is coming through my B:Assmaster.

    I adored the brutality I got out of the G&L together with the Malekko, but with the P-Bass it seems that everything is thinner, not as defined, missing punch and bottom. I've recorded two samples to demonstrate this, for me it seems that the difference is even more pronounced in real life through the amp. Setup is Bass (G&L / P-Bass) -> Malekko -> Interface -> DAW with no effects whatsoever. Here's the links, settings on pedal, interface and DAW are the same, bass volume full open. Please pay no attention to my sloppy doodling:

    G&L -> B:Assmaster

    Fender AVRI 58 -> B:Assmaster

    I tried boosting the level of the signal coming from the P-Bass and going into the B:Assmaster by upping the output of a compressor that I placed between the two, but that didn't help with the overall result.

    So, any of you have experienced this and / or probably know what to do to get my face-melting B:Assmaster tone back with the P-Bass? Is the low-output pickups of the stock AVRI 58 P-Bass the culprit?

    Thanks guys!
  2. Get a jaguar. The P pickup in mine is almost TOO fat. If I'm not careful it makes my pedals all squishy.
  3. I don't like compressor before fuzz. Just an opinion yes, but it's correct. Try asking Vegas-he seems to have a lot of experience with those pedals.
  4. He'll say to trade it for a Diabolik. And he'll be correct.
  5. Also, is it just the B:assmaster that you're having this problem with? Or does it sound thin played clean too? A new pickup might be your solution.
  6. vegas532


    Nov 10, 2006
    Melbourne, FL.
    The B:Assmaster can be sensitive to pickups, but definitely not how you're saying. It could be your pickups, for sure. Oh, and the Diabolik is a muther for sure :D
  7. vegas532


    Nov 10, 2006
    Melbourne, FL.
    Okay. I have a new computer, so I just got a chance to really hear your samples. The ASAT is a much hotter instrument overall, so that what you're hearing. You could get some higher out put pickups in there and that may help. I have a Nordstrand NP4 in one of my basses and it sounds MONSTROUS with the Malekko.
  8. ratzpaul


    Aug 19, 2004
    Thanks guys, it's only the B:Assmaster, other pedals benefit from the lower output of the P-Bass (IMO) as the G&L was overloading some of them.

    So I understand to either change the pedal to the Diabolik or change the pickup in the P-Bass.

    How is the Diabolik different from the B:Assmaster? Is it less sensitive to input volume? Does it come close to the G&L tone through the B:Assmaster even with low output PUs?

    What should I look for in a new P-Bass pickup to get the G&L B:Assmaster sound back? Is it just higher output or also some kind of impedance thing or whatever? @Vegas: do you have any soundsamples of the NP4 through the B:Assmaster? Anyone with Dimarzio Model P samples through the B:Assmaster?

    Thanks a million!
  9. ratzpaul


    Aug 19, 2004
    Also, I'm still puzzled on why boosting the signal going into the B:Assmaster by using a compressor with the output volume up high did not lead to desired result when using the P-Bass. The tone I got was somewhat trebly / clanky. I'm with you, Rickenmonster, I prefer my compressor after dirt, still I did NOT notice that big effect on the tone when running G&L -> Compressor -> B:Assmaster with unity gain on the compressor.

  10. Lebowsky

    Lebowsky Effects Forum Resident Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2007
    Lausanne, Switzerland
    I don't know much about pickups and those basses. Is the G&L active and the Fender passive?

    I had the same problem with my Xotic Bass BB preamp, when switching from my Musicman Bongo (18v preamp) and my Gibson Ripper (passive). Mucho drop in awesomeness without the hot pickups. I put a clean boost in front of it and it kills again. EHX LPB-1 is cheap and works but distorts too easily. sfx micro-boost = teh win.

    Oh and the Diabolik doesn't have any problem with a passive bass :D
  11. vegas532


    Nov 10, 2006
    Melbourne, FL.
    Here's a small sample of the Diabolik with my NP4 loaded First Act bass.

    Attached Files:

  12. father of fires

    father of fires Commercial User

    Nov 29, 2006
    Chief of Medicine at Damnation Audio
    Was the G&L in passive or active mode?

    The active electronics and the pups themselves would have far more bass and treble than the P Bass.
  13. If you were using the G&L in passive mode, it would suggest the pedal likes a hot signal, but it doesn't like an active buffer inbetween which changes the impedance. Most fuzzes sound thinner and brighter with an active buffer before them, which is what you seem to be experiencing when trying to boost the output of the P-Bass with another pedal.
  14. Jazzish

    Jazzish Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2006
    vegas532 that clip was sick.
  15. vegas532


    Nov 10, 2006
    Melbourne, FL.
    Thank you. I'll post a track later tonight featuring a Casady and the Silicon B:Assmaster.
  16. ratzpaul


    Aug 19, 2004
    Yes, G&L was being used in passive mode but I've never really noticed a sensitivity of the B:Assmaster when switched to active or with buffer-pedals in front of it. For me it seems to come down on signal level rather than impedance, therefore I'm asking the guys over in the electronics forum for high-output replacement PU's: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f38/h...master-into-fuzz-heaven-1067638/#post15727045

    @ Vegas, soundclips are very much appreciated (and btw very cool to listen to), thanks a lot for your help! If you happen to have a clip / have the chance to record the NP4 through the B:Assmaster that would be very helpful and appreciated!
  17. teleharmonium


    Dec 2, 2003
    The bass in the G & L clip is louder. As a fan of the Assmaster and of low output passive pickups (including those lower than traditional P pickups) I would suggest that you make sure that you level match before comparing the recordings, and otherwise simply reconsider the overall sound as a whole, and then tweak the Assmaster and the EQ on the amp as if you had never heard it before until you find the sound you like the best. Then in a level matched comparison against the P you will have the right criteria to decide.

    Comparisons without level matching have no real value, because people always prefer the louder sound. The differences track with what you are saying about the sound of the P bass; duller, less bottom. This is a well known, scientifically demonstrated effect (more introductory info in the link below). Louder isn't objectively better in an instrument or line level signal which can be easily adjusted.

    I appreciate the fact that signal level is a factor of significance to us in our signal chains, it matters and must be considered, but with typical modern rigs that involve pedals there are enough points of flexibility that we can compensate for our choices while preserving the type of gain structure we are looking for, whether that is to stay clean and dynamic or to drive an amp or speakers into distortion.

    I normally use my pedal compressor for this, as you also tried, but maybe you can find another way to do it that is not affecting the EQ so much (understood that this may not be as easy as it sounds). Or, you can simply turn down the G & L until the level exactly matches the P and then you are comparing tonal differences vs. level.

  18. bassmusic17


    Jan 15, 2011
    Fuzz is so sexy.
  19. ratzpaul


    Aug 19, 2004
    Excellent points there, teleharmonium, thanks for your insight. I went and leveled the volumes in the recordings for them to match (to my ears). Whole different story now, you find the tracks here:

    Fender AVRI 58 P-Bass:

    G&L ASAT:

    The way I adjusted the levels was to raise the volume of the P-Bass track in the DAW in order to match the level of the G&L recording. This way what I'm hearing is the following: G&L sounds compressed, more saturated, larger frequency band being used by it. Whereas the Fender AVRI 58 leaves more room between certain frequencies and still has less bottom and highs. Fender also sounds dryer.

    Now obviously one is able to match the volume in several points of the effects chain. I'll go back and experiment with level matching in front of the B:Assmaster, I'll probably try the compressor route again as I have a Diamond Bass Comp coming to replace the current one that I can use as a clean boost.

    Bit puzzled now on the next steps, let's see what tomorrow brings... good night and thanks for your help!
  20. sillyfabe

    sillyfabe keeping the low-end silly since '06 Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2009
    San Bernardino,CA
    I have nothing to contribute to this thread other than the fact that the clip that vegas posted just made my day. That's a good bass tone you got there!