Need help with rig to aspire to (for me)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SERadtke, Mar 20, 2003.

  1. I'm looking for opinions on a rig I'm working on putting together.
    Here is what I have:
    -Modulus Q5, Rane DC24, GK 400RBIII, Avatar B210 4ohm
    -I play in a medium sized church where they LOVE being able to hear the bass!!!!!!!
    -I like a good tight sound, with lots of bass. I'd like to ditch the GK head and go with... QSC PLX1602, an Alembic F-1X or a Sansamp RBI pre-amp and then add a Avatar B115H or B212 using the PLX1602 in stereo to "bi-amp".
    Here's where my questions come in...
    - PLX1602 enough?
    - B115H or B212?
    - Can anyone compare the 2 pre-amps from experience? (Is the F-1X worth the extra $$$)
    - My budget is somewhat restricted (wife, 2 kids under 5, third on the way) so I don't want to have to buy/try/sell/buy....

    I do understand that some of this is subjective and I do plan on doing some testing myself but with the 2 boys around and the wife not feeling well (can you say 1st trimester??) my time is limited AND I value your opinions!!

    Thanks for your input!!!!
  2. bentem


    Oct 18, 2002
    Rockville, MD
    I've played mediun sized church-type gig before, and i was fine w/ a little combo(bassman25 kickback), Because of the acoustics of the room.

    If you do want to complete your rig, i think the QSC/Preamp and an extra 115 is a good idea.

    You might have to switch to a power/pre setup because if you have 2 4ohm cabs, i dont think the 400rb goes down to 2ohms.
  3. Thanks for the reply bentem.
    No one else has any opinions????:rolleyes:
  4. An Alembic F-1X is about the single best thing you could do with yer cash IMO. That box sounds so damn fine and is so well built that your grandkids will fight over who get's to keep it. I would go for a louder PLX so you wouldn't have to worry about headroom. A 2x12 would be more versatile but a 15" will give you more "umph." Here is my set-up and it is serioulsy the finest rig I have played through in my 18+ years as a bass player. A real "plug n' play." that DC4 is the bomb.

  5. SE, where in Mpls do you play? I'll have to stop by the church to check you out sometime.
  6. Subwoofer, Thanks for the response! Your "review" of the DC24 in another thread is what convinced me to go that route. I love it and look forward to being able to bi-amp with the crossover. So you think I should dig deeper for the PLX2402? I'm kinda leaning toward the 212 with the Deltas because I like it PUNCHY!:D
    What does the SF2 do Woofer? Have you ever tried the RBI? I've heard a lot of good things about the F-1X but MAN thats a lot of money! I was hoping to get by with the $$$ of the Sansamp...(I know but you don't see many used F-1Xs for sale do you!!).

    Mule, I play at Crosstown Covenant at 56th street and 30th Ave in South Minneapolis but please don't come!!! (I'm still in the process of working up my chops!!!!)Hee Hee! Just kidding, come if you want but you can only make fun of me through PM!!!!;) ;)
  7. Hey, cool. Split band compression is defintely THE way to go for bass IMO. Ilike to leave my lows as wide open as possible and give the highs a tighter compression ratio for a tone that really works for me. You can use the DC24 sort of like an EQ live as well; if your tone is too "boomy" or "wooly", just tighten up your bottom a bit. Very damn handy.

    Yeah, 12's rule in my world. I play through a 4x12" stack myself. Can't comment too much on those Avatars as I am not a fan of their limited frequency response. I owned Eden d212XLT's and now EB-MM HD212's which has a very deep tone. Not sure how those Avatar 12"s would be for bottom end. if you are biamping then it's not really a problem eh? 12's can be very throaty, punchy and are wicked for fingerstyle.
    I own a PLX3002 and have just the amount of headroom I need. I am sure that any of those QSC PLX's wiould have enough for you but considering the relatively small diff in price, you might want to just go for the next model up just for some extra insurance and piece of mind. You can find them used on Ebay for around $700.

    Well, you do actually? A used F-1X will run you around $350 or so and after all the gear I have bought and sold, including almost the entire line of Sansamp products, I have to admit that i could have saved myself a whole mess o' cash had I known about the F-1X earlier. It has a massively deep and rich tone that is very hard to beat. The RBI couldn't possibly come close to it, no way. Even though it only has one tube, that little bottle sees 300v and has a very wide, open tone. Not many tube preamps bother to feed their tubes with enough juice and what you end up with is a compressed, fuzzier tone. You might save yourself a whole lotta hassle and just buy what is generally considered to be one of the finest pieces of bass gear ever designed. It is proven and widely praised.
    Good luck...hope that was helpful.
  8. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I have the DC-24 in my rack as well. Very flexible device, it'll give you as much or as little compression as you need. Plus, it has a separate high-ratio limiter for speaker protection (make sure you set the limiter threshold high enough so that it only kicks in when you need it). It also has an expander ("noise gate") which I don't need but could be useful for some. As Mad Sub suggested, it can be used as an EQ. I do that sometimes: if I need extra big bottom for a song, I'll bump up the low channel output of the DC-24 rather than mess with EQ. The DC-24 does not have attack or release controls; those are handled by built-in program-dependent hoopajoo. The hoopajoo is transparent, works great, and it's nice not to have to mess with attack and release anymore.

    I've also been using an Alembic F2B in my rack for close to 20 years. It's the precursor to the F1X: stereo, but with fewer features. Both Alembic pres are excellent. I'd recommend the F1X over the F2B, except if you need to run stereo, which few bassists do. I don't, but the F1X wasn't available when I got my F2B. :)
  9. Fuzzbass, Thanks for the reply! I've been playing around with my DC24 recently and am amazed at the flexbility of this tool! I especially like the "hoopajoo"!:D It's nice to have some of that extrainious stuff taken care of so I can play rather than adjust the attack and release. I may have a lead on a used F-1X, I'm hoping it works out...(price and condition!) From what I've heard they're excellent... I just thought I wouldn't be able to afford one. Like I said, hopefully it'll work out!

    p.s. I love the quote at the bottom of your sig(is that the right word? I'm fairly new to web pages!),and actually use it for inspiration when practicing. Is that from your own melon??
  10. I paid $350 used for mine. These things are built to last and are easiliy repaired should the worst happen. You will NOT be dissapointed. Do a search and you will most likely find a consensus among TB'ers that the Alembic preamps are a standard that many others are measured against. Some prefer the Kern for it's added flexibility but also comment on how close the two preamps sound. If you want fat, tubey tone look no further. I haven't even used my SF-2 (which is a fancy EQ-filter box) to augment the F-1X; it just sounds right no matter what I do.

  11. Hey Guys, I forgot to ask.... If I pick up an F1X and run a QSC PLX2402, do I need to have the gain mod I've heard about done to the PLX???
  12. Ian Hall

    Ian Hall

    May 31, 2002
    I think a 2402 may be pushing it for the size of rig that you are looking at. I am running a 1602 and pushing a mesa powerhouse 1000 cab with it(4x10+1x15) and I don't get even near using half the headroom that the amp has and the speakers are bottoming out. I've never ever been able to get the clip limiter to come on no matter how much I crank it. I'm talking 500+ person crowd *loud*. It spanked a SVT classic/810 rig last weekend at a gig without even blinking.

    Spend a little less on the amp and you can get the preamp of your choice-

    Mad subwoofer, I never have personally tried the Alembic, so I can't say anything about it, but it wouldn't be too hard to find quite a few RBI users that have and still prefer their RBI. I have heard many, many people say that you have to like the Alembic for what it is, and it has a beautiful but not so flexible tone. I have also heard many people say that the RBI has a not so beautiful but very flexible tone. I am very happy with mine, so I think it is a bit unfair to tell somebody to count it out when they haven't even tried it yet. I seem to remeber many preamp threads saying that you get the tone you get with the Alembic pre's take it or leave it. The RBI can make a half-assed impression of almost any tone you can imagine, which is why I really like mine- versatility. Just depends on what he needs in his sitch.
  13. Thanks Ian!
    Don't know if you remember or not but I'm the guy that PM'd you on your PLX/RBI for sale. Did you decide to keep it or have another setup or what? I was kinda thinking the same thing on the amp thing. I rarely play larger venues (500 max) and think I could get by with a 1602. Talk some more on the Sansamp. I LOVE punchy bass, what have you found from your experience with the RBI? I suppose I'm just gonna have to lock the boys in the closet and go try them both for myself!!;) :bassist: :D
  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I bought my F2B for $225... back in 1985. :D

    As for the quote in my sig: nope, not mine! Thanks for pointing that out, I need to give rightful credit so that guy Anonymous who gives such great quote.
  15. Yeah, it would really depend on the style of music you were regulariliy playing I suppose. I NEVER want to see my amp clip which is why I went for the PLX3002. I like the extra "insurance" that the added headroom gives me. I also push a great deal of sub-bass which eats up allot of energy. So, for me, a 2402 really wouldn't be enough. The difference in the used prices isn't that much I think so I just thought, why not go for an amp that will always be there for you. I run two EB-MM HD212 600w cabs.

    Well, he is going with a full-on rack set-up so my suggestion for the Alembic was based on having a solid starting point from which he could further tweak (if need be) with his Rane or whatever. I personally find my F-1X to be as flexible as I could want. Once I wrapped my head around the passive tone control concept I was able to achieve a whole variety of tones from low-mid scoop to low-mid boost. I am not knocking the RBI neccasarily and it's definitely versatile. But you know that fat rich buttery tube tone that some folks dream about and attempt to emulate in things like the Sansamp products? It's here in the Alembic; generally agreed to be a "standard" for simple, rich tube tone. I have owned and gigged out with four different Tech 21 products including both their rackmounts but was just never quite happy with that compressed, almost processed tone that they have. I found their stuff very cool and a god-send in the studio but not so hot live. I realize the RBI is a different animal and probably sounds great. It's just that for all the gear I have owned in my 18+ years (Mesa, GK, SWR, Eden, name it) none nailed the rich fat and wide natural tone that I had in my head.....until the F-1X. The Sansamp stuff is wonderful for gritty, bent bass tones but I think that once you try the Alembic, you might have to agree. I spent a whole lotta cash in my "tone-quest" and in the end, no other preamp sounded as sweet as my F-1X.
    This is just my opinion of course, I try to share my experiances with others so they can take from them what they will and hopefully end up making slightly more informed decisions as a result. RBI= versatile and cool, Alembic= pure un-adulterated tone that you will be immediatly satisfied with and can tweak down the line if you need to. I bought an SF-2 because of what I read on the F-1X being a one trick pony but I haven't even used it once, the sound of my preamp being as spot-on as it is, and I am a serious knob twiddeler!
    good luck!
  16. Talk away Madman!:p I'll take any and all info I can get!

    Anyone else????
  17. Ian Hall

    Ian Hall

    May 31, 2002
    Yeah, I can't blame anybody for going big on the PLX's being that they weigh the same- if you have the cash it's cool. If the Alembic is as good as you say it is(which I really have no idea being that I haven't tried it) he may be better off getting a smaller PLX and using the extra cash to spring for the Alembic.

    SERadtke, I had a change of heart, mostly because my band is working through a recording project right now and I didn't want to go through that stress of all the gear switching around. I love the Sansamp, but as I said in the reply to the post that I had, it was almost too flexible. I was hoping for more of a meat and potatoes fat tone from the 400+ as a result of the switch. I always find myself dialing the RBI around and finding all these cool different tones, but never seem to land on one for too long. I've got a smooth tubey tone with a real light bit of overdrive that I've been sticking to lately, and I think it is a pretty nice one for my situation. I'm still very satisfied with the unit, though; I'm just anal retentive like that with my sound.

    The RBI definitely sounds "processed" if that is the right word to describe it. It sure sounds tubey, but you can tell it just isn't. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, I think the sansamps are the best for grindy modern rock tones, but the Alembic and a few others probably have it licked on the smoothness factor. If you are worried about your audience hearing the bass live, the sansamp may be valuable to you, as you can get that thing to cut really hard if you dial it in right. It does get a bit ratty if you turn the mids, overdrive, or prescence controls up too high, though. Try one out and the Alembic too....
  18. Thanks guys for all the input, I REALLY appreciate it! Ian, I understand about the recording deal... nothing like trying to dial in new equipment while you're paying a sound engineer to smoke a pack and eat doughnuts!! Good luck on your project, hope all goes well! By the way, your last set of comments swayed me towards the F-1X. I'm not really a "processed sound" kinda guy. I still plan on playing them both before I buy. Thanks again guys!!
  19. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    I've been using my F-2B since 1982 and it's all I'll ever need, just pure and simple TONE!!!