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Need opinions for a new rig

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SteveC, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I am looking for opinions so all are welcome.

    Background: I play 2-3 times a month in a pop/rock/acoustic cover band. I also play some smooth jazz quartet gigs. We usually have PA support, but sometimes I need to carry the room in small to medium bars and restaurants.

    I currently use a Programmable SansAmp BDDI as a preamp/DI. That goes to an Acoustic Image Focus SA Series III amp and a Bergantino HT112. It sounds OK and is very small, light and portable - which is important.

    I play a Bartolini equipped Yamaha BB605 five string and a passive Yamaha 414 four string.

    Issue: While the BDDI sounds fine, I think it's missing something. Presence, a more full tone, something. I've had an Avalon U5 and an Eden 550 with this cab before and liked them but didn't like hauling a 4 space rack around. That's why I like the BDDI and Focus - they fit in my briefcase.

    What head/preamp would you suggest keeping in mind that I want to keep it small and light, but powerful as well. I'd rather not rack anything.
  2. 8mmOD


    Mar 20, 2005
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.
  3. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    Hey Steve,

    I've followed some of your rig gyrations here and elsewhere. It seems like you would like something that is about the same size as the Sansamp, but with more possibilities. And you aren't averse to spending to achieve your goals (you've got Bergantino and AI gear). So how about this:

    EBS Microbass

    I have not tried it myself. I can't afford it. Personally I'm a BBE Bmax/power amp/Avatar cab kind of guy. I'll be trying a Thunderfunk soon to see if I can lose some weight off my rig. But for you and what you seem to like this might do it (albeit at a cost).
  4. I haven't played one yet, but it seems a lot of folks are liking these MarkBass heads:


    These things look pretty small and light to me.
  5. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Any thoughts on just getting an EQ and a DI like a Radial and doing that?
  6. tom_capasso


    May 15, 2002
    Wantagh, NY
    Your tone issues are coming from one of two places.

    One is that you aren't sure/haven't heard what you want. That may be because of your location's limited retail opportunities, or it may be that every room, every situation, every style of music makes you think of something different. Perhaps you need 5 rigs (and the lackeys to haul them) to cover each situation?

    The second is the Berg cabs. They are not the full-bass, big bottom babies that you probably want. The "depth" (my term) of tone thing is the cab.

    As you know, I have an HT and EX 112. When I play them in my living room, they aren't everything I could ever want. I find when I turn them up with my band, there is tone (and low end) like crazy. I think you'd be better off with the newer, deeper Bergs.

    Oh how I wish I could hop a plane and bring you my new EA iAmp 500, with the flexible and visible EQ (and 13 pound weight) for you to test. Or go visit Ed F in AZ and see what he does with his Boss VF-1 processor - the rest of his rig matches yours.

  7. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Hey Steve, my first thought matched the first post...SIB Fatdrive.

    Have you considered just getting a small head like the Thunderfunk or a Markbass? It's a one handed carry in.

    I don't think it's the cab.
  8. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I have considered going back to an Eden 550 head. I thought that had a nice full sound - even with just the HT112. The EA line might be worth a look, too. I am familiar with Ed's rig.

    As for cabs, I don' tknow if I want to start experimenting again. I think it's the BDDI that I'm not happy with. AS I said, I did have an Eden 550 with this cab a while back and it sounded nice, I just wanted to see if I could get smaller and lighter, hence the Focus/BDDI. Protability is a big requirement. Maybe I just can't get that "Smooth Jazz" or "Steely Dan" sound from a 1X12.

    It does suck being in a limited retail area.
  9. woody357

    woody357 Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2005
    Have you look at a Line 6 Bass Pod XL I heard a guy this weekend use one and he was coming through the Pa, but man he had one heck of a sound.
  10. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I've had 3 Pods. I've tried to like them, I just don't. I think I'd be better off selling/trading my Focus amp for an Eden or EA iamp.
  11. Matt Call

    Matt Call Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    What about just keeping the Focus and changing the pre? Trying out like the Sadowsky DI, or the EBS as previously mentioned?

    Or even picking up a U5 if you really liked it?
  12. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I think I'll keep the Focus and use just an EQ pedal. I am trying one from th estore and it sounds really nice. I have a gig on Friday so I can give it a real world test. It almost sounds fine straight into the Focus, but I do need (want) a little tone shapping possibility.

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