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Monte has a bass amp!?!?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Monte, Mar 14, 2009.


  1. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    After nearly 10 years of not having a "bass" amp, I have found myself in playing situations lately with a quintet where I wanted one. The Bose PAS sounds great, but it is a lot of stuff to haul, takes up a lot of space on a small bandstand, and is overkill in some of these small places where I just need a bit more than no amplification at all.

    I'm also getting lazy and for the first time ever, I wanted to find something light that I could just carry in and set up in 2 minutes and play.

    Obviously, the fly in the ointment is that I really love the Schertler Dyn B in the right situation, and I really don't feel like getting a pickup. In places with a PA, I usually go mic only. I've only tried the Schertler through a few bass amps and been disappointed. It was terrible through a Walter Woods M-100 and my 1st generation AI Contra, and beyond terrible through a SWR WM12 and a Hartke Kickback. The Unico, although not strictly a bass amp, was nice but not enough umphh...

    So a few weeks ago I took my bass up to Guitar Center and plugged into a few things. I wasn't expecting to find anything I liked.....I wanted to try an acoustic amp but they didn't have anything. I ended up really liking the Markbass CMD 121p which is a 29lb 12" combo with the LMII head. I was able to plug the Dyn B right in to the XLR and got a decent acoustic sound just by cutting the mid low band.

    Went back yesterday and bought it after they took $150 off and I have been playing with it all day. Some observations:
    • The best sound is with it elevated, at least in my house. It can sound ok on the ground, but it exaggerates the lows. On a chair it is much clearer.
    • As in the store, I get a pretty clear sound just running flat with no preamp, with a cut to the mid lows.
    • As I turn up into the loud territory, turning up the VLF filter to about 2 or 3 o'clock cleans up the sound a bunch.
    • The best sound was when I ran through my Schertler PreA III preamp with the dry out going into the XLR of the Markbass. GREAT acoustic sound there, very close to the my bass only louder ideal.

    Maybe hell did freeze over.....I have a bass amp.:bag:
     
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    It's just a phase. You'll get over it. :D
     
  3. danbas

    danbas

    Oct 22, 2007
    Copenhagen, DK
    I have enjoyed and benefited from hearing the clips you have posted with recordings of your various rigs. It'd be great if you could post such a recording with the markbass combo when you have a chance to get around to it?

    I would love to find out that the Markbass combo is really a viable option for DB, as it can certainly handle BG duties as well....
     
  4. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    Will do, although I don't know when that will be. It is a terrible month with 0 gigs. Next one is April 4th, but it is a Country Club gig, so I don't know how much I'll be able to grab for a recording.
     
  5. danbas

    danbas

    Oct 22, 2007
    Copenhagen, DK
    would not be opposed to a home-job, either, just to get an idea of what we're talking about.... :D
     
  6. kwd

    kwd

    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    Monte

    You posted an informative review on the Crate Durango amp last year. I was wondering if you included that amp in your Guitar Center comparisons. If so, how did it compare with the Markbass you finally decided on?
     
  7. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    You know, they didn't have one and I really thought about that. In the end I decided to go for lighter and more power, although that Crate sure sounded good.....and a lot cheaper.
     
  8. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    Ok, since everything this month has been through the NO-AMP I made a quick recording in my living room, which is pretty large.

    I made 3 quick clips playing along with Aebersold "Our Delight" playing through the head and walking 1 chorus. There is a clip of no amp so you can hear the bass character. Then I turned the stereo up and cranked the amp, trying to get more amp sound than acoustic, which is a bit difficult given how loud my bass is.

    There is a clip with the Schertler Dyn B and one with the Schertler Stat B, both through the Schertler Preamp. The amp was on the floor which with the Dyn tends to be a bit boomy. I plan on elevating it for gigs. The Stat recorded WAY better than I thought it sounded in my living room, but to be fair it hasn't been ever really fitted in the big French bridge on the Solano.

    You can download the 3 clips here
     
  9. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Monte - what was your signal chain on the two Schertler cuts? What kinda mic, how far from the cab, etc.? I liked both sounds for different reasons. On the Dyn-B cut, there was a lot more "fwap" on the beginning of each note, but I liked the darker sound of the stat as well. How much of the attack on this recording was residual acoustic sound, do you think?
     
  10. Monte, what kind of mic on the acoustic track, and any processing? That sound is the bomb!
     
  11. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    Thanks!!,

    Just the internal mic in the Edirol R-09 sitting on a chair about 15' in front of the bass. The Solano Klotz likes a little "room" for the sound to bloom, and is loud as hell, which is why I do so many no-amp gigs when I can.

    No processing, just took it off the recorder and dropped it into Audacity to convert the 24 bit .wav to mp3 to reduce the file size.
     
  12. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    On both cuts, I was plugged into the Schertler Pre-Amp going out the dry (no eq) out into the XLR in on the Markbass. In the case of the Stat it was simply to provide the phantom power to the Stat. In the case of the Dyn it was just to use the resonance knob, which is a notch filter useful for a midrangy thwonk sound the Dyn-B can have. I've done the same with a parametric EQ many times.

    I should make a track with the Dyn B straight into the amp....it sounds pretty good as well cutting the mid low knob although not as precise as the notch filter.

    The Stat is a bit smoother...more compressed, but I haven't really fiddled with the fit much which can make a difference.

    Hard to say how much of the attack is acoustic. I have a loud bass and tend to be a little ham fisted anyway, but I tried as much as possible to show amp.

    In the acoustic track I played straight at the recorder sitting about 15' away.

    In the other 2 tracks I put my amp on my left had side behind me and the recorder behind me to the right, so although bass is not really directional, the only part of my bass facing the recorder would have been the ribs. I would say the track is pretty representative of what you would hear in a small club....a mix of some acoustic and some amp.
     
  13. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    Finally did a gig with the Markbass so I can review it with a group....everything has been Noamp lately.

    Last night I played with some professors from MS Valley State at a banquet for Mississippi Trailblazers (a PAC group for racial reconciliation). Don't know how much racial reconciliation was accomplished, since I was one of maybe 4 caucasians in the room:bag: There were some very fine looking women....but I digress.

    The band was a horn player (sax and trumpet), bass, drums, keys, and vocalist. The room was as bad as it gets for amplifying. Very large and cavernous; it was a big aluminum building finished on the inside that functions as a cheerleading coaching facility. I was in the corner so my bass was loud. I wanted to go noamp but the horn player said I was getting lost at the back of the room.

    I put the amp on a chair and ran the Schertler Dyn B into the PreA III, with the dry out (no eq, just gain and notch filter) into the Markbass XLR in. I had the gain up about midway on the preamp and the amp, and had the master volume at about 10 o'clock. I cut a little low-mid on the amp and turned the VPF (Variable Pre-Shape Filter) to about 1 o'clock and ran everything else flat.

    The band was good, but loud for my taste. They had an excellent singer in the Aretha Franklin mold, and on the last set they broke out the R & B stuff and I had to turn up a bit. The sound cut through well and still maintained a good acoustic nature.

    Overall, I'm very pleased with this little combo. Sure puts out a lotta sound for its size.
     
  14. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I believe with the VPF up that high, you were cutting out most of the highs and upper mids.
     
  15. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    That would make sense. The Dyn B contact mic is by nature mid-high heavy.
     
  16. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    Also, by turning it up, it cleaned up the sound and made it clearer, which would seem to be contrary given a boomy cavernous room. Shows ears matter more than specs I suppose.
     

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