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My new rig review.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by joelb79, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    I've had the opportunity for the last week to test out my new rig in a few different gig situations, one of which was something NOT expected at all.

    The rig in question is an Epifani UL410 with a Markbass Little Mark II (LMII) head. My bass is a custom Warmoth build and has been passive for the entire test. 500 watts, 4) B&C 10's and one horn. The bass has Nordstrand NJ4SV pickups, CTS pots, Orange drop cap, and a Badass II bridge. I have been using Fender 7250ML strings exclusively as of recent.

    Gig One -500 seat Church auditorium (Contemporary Rock Worship):

    I Mic'd the cab with one SM57 at a 45 degree angle, and ran the direct out to the sound board. No EQ. No hassle. With prior rigs I could not get a reasonable volume from them without having to be told to turn down. Both Saturday and Sunday were an exception with this rig. I was able to face the speaker towards the crowd, set my needed volume and just play, something I have never been able to do with previous rigs.

    The sound man complimented me on this rig saying that he was able to use the PA to add bottom and throw without overpowering the band. If he needed lows, he could add them or take them away without effort. Major improvement from previous 112 or 212 setups.

    The LMII DI worked perfectly, sounded clean and carried the perception of the bass wonderfully.

    Gig Two - Small Club open mic/Band Rehearsal (Country/Blues/Classic Rock):

    Load in was 1 minute including both trips. I did not even break a sweat getting this rig out of my 2 door Cavalier. Thats right, this larger sized 410 EASILY fits in a two door car.

    Setup takes around 5 minutes including tuning the bass. EQ was set flat, no VLE or VPF. Later in the evening I used a little bass boost, but it was not necessary. Pre-gain 12 o'clock, master volume at between 8 and 9 o'clock. This rig of course could easily handle the show. The tone was full but not overbearing. You could hear every nuance of the bass without killing the guitarist's tone. Drums were not mic'd except for the kick. No direct line, no FOH support.

    This was my first night out with the rig with this band. I was getting used to how the EQ worked with it so occasionally I would twist a knob to see what it did. I settled on a slight bass boost, nothing else. My tones were found using the volume and tone knobs of the bass. No problems, no extra thought, just playing bass and having fun.

    Gig Three - Loud Open Mic/Blues Jam (Blues/Rock/Jazz):

    For the first set I was not going to be playing bass so this was my big opportunity to actually hear the rig. This was also an opportunity to see how loud this thing can get.

    The bass player for this set was none other than Randy Burghoff, the current touring bassist for Motown Records group "Rare Earth." I setup the rig for him, and he started his EQing. This guy loves to twist knobs. He set the Low at 5 o'clock, Mid Low all the way down, Mid high 12 o'clock, Treble at 4 o'clock. I was a little scared by the EQ, but noticed the pre-gain was at 11 O'clock, and master was only at 9 o'clock. No cause for concern there, even with 12+ DB of Low EQ.

    The weapon of choice for him for this evening was not his usual Jazz bass but rather a 1984 Squire Bullet Bass. Very P-Like. He uses GHS Pressurewounds, which had worn a bit from his last 2 weeks on tour to sound a lot like flatwounds.

    These guys rocked it out tonight. I had much opportunity to walk around, hear the sound in the room and get used to how this rig FEELS. Thats right, feels. You can actually feel the low end in your pant legs at over 100ft away inside the room.

    This club happens to be in Old Town Lansing, which had hosted the Jazz fest last week. I had been to one show and heard their Front of House setup over the week. One thing that struck me when I stepped outside the club was that you could still feel the low end outside. Not only that, but outside the club due to the EQ used, it sounded like the Jazz Fest's subwoofers. As i walked the block, you could still feel and hear every note. (The back and front doors are usually open at this club when we play)

    Simply amazing feeling and hearing the bass at over 300ft away. But it gets better.

    Gig Four:
    Country Music
    Michigan International Speedway
    Saturday Race Day, Busch 250 Race
    Miller Lite tent and beach party

    We had to setup last minute for a band that was fired. Gotta love those last minute surprise gigs.

    We brought our QSC mains, and two Mackie SM450's for side-fill monitors. This PA was not going to be big enough to throw the bass in. To top it off, there was no tent, this was a completely outdoor show, small stage and we were in the middle of the racetrack about 200ft from the pit row exit. We had to play to a crowd of up to 500 beer drinking race enthusiasts, all the while race qualifiers would be going on making for an ambient noise volume level of around 110+ Db at times as they accelerated past us.. oh joy. (Anticipating blown speakers)

    I just knew that I was going to have to open up this amp pretty hot today. I set the pre-gain at 2 o'clock, the EQ flat, and the master at 12 o'clock. I popped a few licks and was floored. When the cars went by, I COULD NOT HEAR THEM OVER ME! I couldn't even talk over the cars going by, but this cab drowned them out without breaking a sweat. I added a 3 o'clock low boost to make up for the lack of room or corner. No problems, I could actually tell I boosted the bass up.

    Now my sloppy playing style today had me accidentally hitting my strings on the pickup covers making for a nice snap at times. The guy who was our sound guy of sorts (I was mostly) kept thinking that the kick drum or snare drum was clipping and kept going to the board to fix this issue. I had to tell him after the first break that he was hearing my cab. He was impressed.

    What amazed me was the amount of dynamic range still left with this head even with 12 race cars going around the track. In fact, there was no difficulty being heard at all by even my band mates 25ft across the stage with the cab pointed at the crowd. Another bass player came up and started talking to me about my rig. He said that he was using a GK RB1000/1 Head and an 810, and my rig actually had more volume and bottom. He was wondering how much of that was front of house. I had to break it to him that my 60lb rig had no FOH support and that it probably cost less than his big rig. He was convinced.

    I am simply floored by my ability to effortlessly use this rig for ANY stage, any room, or outdoors shows without PA and never having to worry about how loud things are. For those bassists who are looking for an ultra-portable, lightweight, loud and balanced sounding rig with room to spare, look no further. I can honestly say I would not need anything bigger to do any show I can think of.
  2. remo


    Jan 15, 2005
    what can I say.. I was bored!

  3. rok51


    Sep 2, 2002
    Crawfordville, FL
    Great review, Joel...and I appreciate the details! You gotta love it when you find a rig that does all you ask of it, still has more left, is easy to set up, tear down and transport...and doesn't break the bank!


  4. ROON


    Aug 5, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    Haaahahahahahahaha. I love it, classic. :D
  5. So I take it the LMII has won you over, Guy? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!
  6. remo


    Jan 15, 2005
    It sounds great in my bedroom! too bad my bloody band exploded before I got a chance to rehearse or gig with it. I know I will love it but I still have yet to get it in a room with a kit. I might pop over to my mates recording studio this week and have at it with the LMII in his live room with him on the kit.
  7. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Great review!

    Thanks for the GAS...:rolleyes: .
  8. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    Yeah.. It does seem like it was sent from above into my life. Great picture :D.

    Sorry for the Gas. But really, best $600 you'll spend! The best part was watching a brown bag that was next to my cab (not in front, but next to it) violently shake, as well as watching my bottled water dance all over the top of the cab.

  9. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    I'm not really getting any gas but I'm really enjoying seeing Markbass swoop down into the marketplace and shred on all the dinosaurs ; }
  10. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    Cool review, Joel. I got my UL310 this Friday and have only had maybe 20 minutes on it (with an LMII), but the prelims have me stoked. Full band practice coming up 2x this week.

    Great visual of you guys jamming at the race!!!
  11. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Joel, sounds really cool. I love the B & C drivers and personally feel Epiphani made a mistake not continuing to use them. Both my LDS cabs have them and they kill. I used my Amp as the Backline for a couple of bands (I played with one) at the Woodward dream cruise. Outdoors, about 200 in the audience. The Lead players had Mesa Boogies and they were the ones beggin for mercy:D My 212 / 210 combo puts out a ton of great sound.
  12. figuredbass

    figuredbass Supporting Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    NYC vicinity
    Great reviews, Joel. I see from previous posts that you received the UL410 S1 pretty recently, so welcome aboard the U.S.S. Epifani! As an owner of the younger brother UL310 S1 I'm completely thrilled with it. Now it's time for me to get a LMII...

    +1 I feel they could have at least continued to offer the B & C (series 1) drivers as an option rather than just discontinue them entirely. BUT, they may not have had much choice in doing so. I can't help but feel that even Epifani experienced some reluctance or disappointment in having to discontinue them.
  13. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    Not that Eminence drivers are less superior, but they don't seem to have the smoothness that the B&C counterparts have. Also Eminence neo's seem to have exaggerated upper mids which reek havoc with my tone.
  14. Like it better than the 1001RB? How does it compare? I'm looking at selling my 700RB for a LMII but I can't decide!

    The UL410 + LMII appears to be one super rig!
  15. remo


    Jan 15, 2005
  16. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    I got my S1 UL310 last Friday and have a little bedroom time on it with my LMII. I can't wait to get it to full band practice this week to see how it does. So far, sounding great nearly flat - little VLE does it. First gig will be Labor Day wknd.
  17. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    Do yourself a favor and crank it up to 12 o'clock, and thump one note. :) It's impressive.
  18. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    About 10 o'clock on the gain (master at 8) and it's dern near too loud to take for any period of time in the jam room. Tones are versatile and it takes eq very well. I tried cranking the bass and backing off the treble, and keeping the VLE around 8 - kinda based on the way dude had yours eq'd. Got a nice warm thump with the 4 string Fender with single coils.
  19. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    yeah its huge like that.. it sounds better with a P bass i would say.

    PS: i was saying master at 12 o'clock. Pregain should always be till the loudest note lights the clip then back off. :D

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