Mic and pickup, wich amplification did / will you choose ?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Mister Cbass, Oct 21, 2020.

  1. Mister Cbass

    Mister Cbass

    Jun 30, 2011

    Maybe it was already debated but I would like to have your feed back about your amplification system ( + and - ).
    To amplify a DB with a piezo pickup + a microphone .
    3 possibilities come to my mind :

    1 - 2 channels preamp like headway edb-2 with a bass combo or bass amp head
    2 - Mixer + active speaker(s)
    3 - a acoustic amp with 2 channels

    Wich one did you choose ( or will you choose ? )
    Of course for an honest budget ( not the dream gear if you'll become rich tomorrow)

    Example : I own an old trace eliot amp head + 2 genz benz speaker ( 15'' , that's maybe not the best size of speakers for db) and a combo tc bg250 (2 x8 '').

    --> If a go for an headway edb-2 ( around 300 € ). will I get a good result ? ( with one 15 speaker) or with the tc 2x8 ( wich is not an high end combo).
    Or must I get an better bass amplification to use with the headway, a most expensive project so ... why not check to other possibilities.

    Let me know and why ( better sounds, weight / transport / price ) flexibility )

    thank's !!

  2. statsc

    statsc Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2010
    Burlington, VT
    There is a fourth possibility: Tonedexter
    Mister Cbass and richhansen like this.
  3. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    You think? Use the search function. It's one of those endless subjects.
    Phil Rowan and Mister Cbass like this.
  4. Roger Davis

    Roger Davis

    May 24, 2006
    At its simplest try a twin channel AI Clarus. That’ll give you phantom power for the mic, notch filter to mod the feedback, and a high pass filter on the pickup side. Then put a 10” speaker - a Wizzy would do - on a stick at shoulder height for both channels or alternatively take the mic channel to front of house.

    There are countless other ideas but, based on what I have in the shed, that would do me.
  5. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    I have used the Headway EDB2 into an Alto 1x12 PA speaker. Not a very expensive option and provides the flexibility to even use the PA speaker for purposes outside of just amplifying your bass.
    aesopslyre and bcamp like this.
  6. dylanjohnson

    dylanjohnson Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2002
    Morro Bay, CA
    Used AE Doubler (cheap used), AT PRO 35 mic (good inexpensive clip on mic. I'm selling mine in the classifieds because I upgraded), and a used Wizzy or other small speaker. I've been using a Schroeder Mini 8 with great success (around 300 used), but you might like one of the small TC cabs that are even cheaper. The weight of the whole setup is basically just the cab.

    Easy to use amp without dealing with a preamp (includes phantom power, HPF, phase, notch etc.) Super light and tiny head.

    I find dealing with a preamp a pain if I don't need it.

    You end up with a one trip rig. You could use you 15 for super loud gigs.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2020
    bcamp likes this.
  7. bcamp

    bcamp Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2013
    #1 on the AE Clarus, it's a great amp! I sing bluegrass and country style backing vocals only and when teamed up to a smaller 1X12 (or 2X12) cab with a tweeter this rig works great on small venue gigs, even when no PA is being used. No tone issues at all in small, nice sounding rooms. Plus, it's nicely clean and transparent and though you'll probably never need it, AI service is second to none. Put a little verb on the vocal channel, eq to taste and you're good to go. FWIW our lead vocalist sings and plays banjo through a two channel Fishman amp and he is always complaining about how much clearer my vocals sound through the AI. Or perhaps he just needs a few more singing lessons?
  8. lurk


    Dec 2, 2009
    I futzed with mics for a long time. For my gigs in my life, they were more trouble than they were worth. Feedback and lots of cables, knobs, and mic holders. I find the Tonedexter to be a great solution, as mentioned a couple of posts prior. A lot of top players playing better gigs than I do just get a pickup and focus on making music, not getting the ideal tone.
    Mister Cbass, Wasnex and richhansen like this.
  9. Matthias Hacker

    Matthias Hacker

    Apr 8, 2018
    My favorite is to use some kind of preamp to mix mic and pickup. So I can plug it in anywhere I want, into my amp, directly into the PA or whatever. So I´d say it depends on your needs, if you always play through an amp, then maybe better use a two channel acoustic amp.

    If the stage is loud, any mic will more or less spoil your sound. Though I am a big fan of mixing pickup and mic I use pickup only if there is no PA and the band is rather loud.
    Mister Cbass likes this.
  10. Mister Cbass

    Mister Cbass

    Jun 30, 2011
    yes I forgot this one.
    A bit expensive.

    I've found an another system vsound ( by signal wizard), less expensive, but only for violin.350 $
    If I've well understood, it doesn't restore the natural sound of your own instrument, but modeled the sound with a sounds banks of great instruments.

    Maybe if we send a lot of request they will do something for the DB


    edit: I've send them a MP, to know if they will develop something for db in the future.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2020
  11. When the situation allows, I’m using a Golden Bullet microphone blended with a Lifeline pickup into one of these little gems from back in the day:
    The output of the Pocket Blender goes into one of the channels of my 2-channel Acoustic Image head and then whatever cabinet I’m using. This keeps one channel open for electric bass if I’m doubling on the gig.

    If the stage volume is going to be roaring, I’m probably leaving the mic at home.
  12. rickwolff

    rickwolff Supporting Member

    Last edited: Oct 22, 2020
  13. Roger Davis

    Roger Davis

    May 24, 2006
    I’ve just heard back from the company. Vsound works for the double bass as well. Now.
    Mister Cbass likes this.
  14. Mister Cbass

    Mister Cbass

    Jun 30, 2011
    thanks for your feed back . And example.

    But maybe I was not clear.
    Ok you're using an ac amp/combo or a fishman blender etc...

    In fact what I want to know, what system do you use and how did you come to it...

    example : ( not me, just an example) I've used a double canal preamp with a bass combo, and finaly I keep left them to a another system because .... the new system sounds better, easiest to use... etc ...

    I presume that a lot of member have tested different configuration.
    So, I wanna know finaly about your old choices and why you don't keep them ^^
  15. Mister Cbass

    Mister Cbass

    Jun 30, 2011
    Yes I know, but maybe I was not clear in my first message ( I can not edit it)

    I presume that a lot of member have tested different configuration.
    So, I wanna know finally more about your old choices and why you don't keep them"

    so how di you come to your actual choice.
  16. neddyrow

    neddyrow @TeddyPlaysBass - Instagram Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    i just took some pics of my setup when i went home at lunch to play a little and realized i love my set up.

    it involves:
    AI 2-channel head
    bassmax piezo -> Sarno Black Box
    MAS 28 or 18
  17. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    I have done experiments with mics on a couple of occasions and never found them the least bit useful for the type of playing I did. One of my colleagues even bought an AMT S25B that sounded fabulous as long as he was the only one playing, and volume of the amp was very low.

    I used contact pickups exclusively with various amp and speaker combinations.

    If I were recording in a situation where the bass was isolated and I was on headphones, then I think a mic would be the best choice if a natural upright sound was desired.

    Some player do use a mic live. I found that there was way too much bleed from the drum set. Also if the mic was sent to the amp, gain before feedback limited the volume to a level that was not useful. If the bass is sent to the PA, it may be useful to send both a DI of your pickup and also the signal from a mic. Then the audio tech can listen and evaluate the signals to see which works best.

    If you need significant stage volume and want to try sending a mic to the FOH for a more natural sound, I suggest that you avoid any attempt to blend the signal with your pickup, as that will likely reduce the potential quality available to the audio tech. Keep in mind that extra mic channels are not always available, and many audio techs don't have the slightest idea how to deal with upright bass...there are a lot of factors working against you.

    Also if you want to try and use a mic, try to consider what you can do to limit bleed from other instruments and from your amp. Even with a pickup, I felt it was useful to elevate my amp so it was no pushing a lot of low frequency energy into the bass's body. I used my amp as a personal monitor most of the time, so the amp did not have to carry the room. Some players really don't like the way an amp sounds when raised to waist level.

    FYI @rickwolff has published a lot of different threads and videos on different mics he has bought and reviewed. The Xlson seems like an excellent choice for an open air mic. There are also options where the mic's body is housed in a piece of foam that is wedge against the face of the bass. Examples include Remic which is wedged under the fingerboard Upright Bass (Double Bass) Microphones - REMIC Microphones, and the BassBall Double Bass Pickups (open the page and scroll down) which is wedged between the legs of the bridge. Other options include the Ischell pickup which is a mic that is mounted to the face of the bass with some putty. Double Bass Pickups – ISCHELL

    Here's a clamp that can be used to attach regular mics to most basses. H-Clamp Light Upright Bass and Cello Microphone Mounts It's not compatible with all basses.

    The colleague of mine who bought the AMT eventually wound up buying an Ehrlund EUP contact pickup, https://ehrlund.se/product/eap-system/?v=f003c44deab6 which worked exceptionally well on his basses. If I were to start playing professionally again, I would try the Ehrlund and Ischell. I believe the best choice between these two will likely depend on the bass. With a bit of corrective EQ, both of these are likely to get fairly close to the sound of a mic'ed bass, but have much better gain before feedback and rejection of bleed than a mic.

    The DPA 4099 can be ordered in kit for upright bass. Reviews suggest it has slightly better rejection than the AMTS25B. https://www.dpamicrophones.com/instrument/4099-instrument-microphone

    I believe the current ATM350A would be a decent choice as well. https://www.audio-technica.com/en-ca/atm350a Probably not quite as good as the DPA but also less the half the cost. Various kits are available with different lengths of goosenecks and mounting adapters. The ATM350UL kit has a long gooseneck, clamp, and velcro violin mount. If you are handy it may be possible to fabricate an adapter so the optional AT8491W woodwind mount could be attached to the bass's afterlength like the DPA clamp. Or the DPA clamp may even work with AT goosenecks. I have seen videos where people just clamp the gooseneck to one of the string balls, but I would be concerned the mic would not be secure enough.

    Anyway...this is my narrow-minded view of your situation :woot:.

    Good luck!
  18. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Ok, that's an interesting question but not in your original post. I can tell you that in general, many players on this forum went to smaller and lighter gear, so 15" speakers probably don't make that cut, along with amp heads over 5 lbs, say. There's absolutely nothing wrong with 15" speakers for DB in the right combination with the right cabinet. People just don't want to haul them around unless they need that kind of volume and coverage, although I know veterans that are still doing it with their old systems.

    As many have suggested, AI and EA amp heads are fantastic, small, light and powerful. There are less expensive options, too, but I own one of each so I know first hand their abilities. I gave up blending a mic with a pickup in my personal rig, as the benefit wasn't apparent to me. A soundman putting a mic through his system is another thing entirely.

    My question to you would be, what don't you like about your current systems? From my experience I just don't care for Trace Elliot amps, and I played through many as backline, particularly in the UK where they seem to be popular. I would look to replace that amp first. The TC combo, which I played out of a couple of times, was ok and seemed very usable for not too loud situations.

    The Headway is a good piece of gear but you'll have to try it going through your current amps and hear for yourself if it improves things. You can probably find a used AI or possibly an EA micro for around the same price.
    Mister Cbass and dylanjohnson like this.
  19. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    As far as the amp, I think its generally preferable to have a more transparent amp and full range sound with upright bass than one that is voiced or has a limited frequency response. This can be especially true if you intend to bow.

    Most of my touring rigs used a 210 cabinet of some sort. Early in my career I used an SWR Redhead. I installed a Rane 31-band EQ in the amp's built in rack space. This was very handy for smoothing out the combined response of the amp, cab, bass, and pickup. For bass guitar I bypassed the Rane. The upper mid response of the SWR cab was pretty nasty for bowed upright. Also I was using a Fishman BP100 at the time which also tends to be rather harsh in the high mids. I was able to compensate pretty well with the Rane EQ.

    My last touring rig used an Eden D210XLT. I used the original Realist pickup and felt is was the best pickup for bowing, but a bit of a compromise for pizz. I ran an Ashley MX508 rack mixer into a power amp,so I could switch quickly between three instruments. The Eden cab was also pretty nasty in the high mids but the MX508 had a sweepable mid control which helped a lot. Also I found it was helpful to dial the tweeter back until the phase between the tweeter and the woofer seemed to relax a bit. This smoothed out the sound a bit. It would have been much better if the mixer had two bands of sweepable mids, so I could smooth out the resonance in the low mids. This would have allowed me to play louder without the sound becoming boxey.

    At this time I also used a GK 700RB/112 combo. This series of amps works pretty well with upright and is a bit smoother in the high mids than the other rigs I have mentioned. The Eden had more headroom and was tighter and punchier in the low mids. The GK was smoother and sounded truer to the bass.

    Another 210 I used was an Acme Low B2. Much smoother mid range response and really extended lows. In loud situations, it did not have enough headroom or dynamic range. The sound would become compressed and I had to be careful to not pluck too hard or I would clack the voice coils on the woofers.

    Really early in my career I used a pair of JBL 4628 keyboard speakers driven by a Yamaha powered mixer. This was a huge and very heavy system to setup, but probably the best bowed upright sound I ever got. Essentially my own personal HiFi PA.

    If I needed a new upright amp today I would look at Euphonic Audio, Genzler, and Acoustic Image. I love the way Acoustic Image speakers sound for jazz combo, but IMHO they were not loud enough for most of the larger ensemble work I did. The max SPL of the DoubleShot is listed as >118dB, which is fairly low. Similar to the Acme Low B2 I used to own.

    The smallest Genzler BassArray is the 10-2. It's rated 96dB 1w/1m with a 250W RMS power handling. 250W at 96dB sensitivity should come out to about 120dB, which IMHO is still a bit low. I would be more comfortable with 210-3 and at least 250W. The 210-3 is rated 99dB 1w/1m with 500W RMS power handling. 250W at 99dB should come out to about 123dB. You get a calculated 126dB at 500W if more headroom is desired.

    The idea is not necessarily to play at 126dB, rather you want the speaker to be able to faithfully reproduce the transient response and dynamic range of the upright bass at whatever volume you need to play at. So although the idea of carrying around a 15lb speakers sounds great, keep in mind there is a price to pay for the convenience. The Genzler BassArray 10-3 is spec'ed at 38lbs.
  20. So, no love for my Pocket Blender? Is this a red state/blue state thing?
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