New to Talk Bass <> New to Palatino

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by derrenleepoole, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. So glad I've found this website. An amazingly good, informative resource. So good in fact, I've become a supporting member!

    Anyway, down to business. As the title of my thread suggests, I'm a new Palatino VE-500 EUB owner. I absolutely love it! An amazing piece of kit for the price. £420 new from ebay UK. Bargain.

    I've done some scouting around on the forum for a day or so before deciding to post this now. I've picked up some interesting tips and tricks which I'm certainly going to try. 'Koolhands' suggestion of using rubber under the bridge is of particular interest, as is a new bridge set up with new higher gauge strings (when funds permit of course!).

    My question really is about getting the most out of my particular setup and gear, rather than modifications to the bass. Namely my new Palatino VE-500, a Behringer BX1200 amplifier and a Harkte VLX Attack pedal. So far I have found the sound to be thin and lacking in depth. I had hoped that the Hartke pedal would help with this, but so far no luck. Also, I'm a little confused about using Piezos with the Behringer. Would it be just better to bypass the pedal and use the active input of the amp instead? I currently use an Aria Sinsonido with the Hartke as well, and I get a superb sound, so I'm at a loss as to why the Palatino should be so different. Perhaps a dedicated upright preamp might do the job better? Which would be the best choice for my bass/amp combination and why?

    I'm sure some of these questions have been asked and answered else where in the forum, but any information that can be offered wound be gratefully appreciated. Cheers.
  2. The post How About a Palatino club. I have posted all of my findings. I pratice with a 20W Pignose Hog and a K&K Preamp that cost 72 bucks. Everything is intact on the bass accept for strings and the bridge. I believe with your set up you will be fine with amp and even the strings for now.( although I would recomend changing then when you have the $) THey will help a lot. Look and you can try some of my setups and see if they help you.
  3. Had a practice last night, and I didn't use the Hartke at all and managed to get a fairly reasonable upright tone through the Behringer. I'm from the UK, and so far I have only found one bass preamp that seems to fit the bill and that's charged at approx £140! So I'll be ordering from the US I think - a K&K with postage should come to around £60 approx. I don't think import duty will be too much on an item like that? I'm meeting up with my old upright bass tutor Steve Berry (Loose Tubes) tonight to see if he can give me any expert opinions and advice. If I learn anything new, I'll pass it on here.
  4. Hi Derren,

    I have been interstate for the past three weeks and only got back tonight, so I'll see if I can be of some assistance.
    The Behringer BX1200 uses an aluminum cone speaker which doesn't give as much warmth and depth as the paper cone, so you will need to compensate, try the following controls on the Amp:

    1: Set the Treble and Hi Mid to -2
    2: Low Mid to 0 - +1
    3: Bass to +2
    4: Shape Control to about 8 and make sure that everytime you switch on the amp you have activated the Shape Button!!!! You may have to play around with this control to get the best sound out of the aluminum speaker cone but it makes the world of difference.

    Next important thing is Put your lead into the Passive socket!! As it is a piezo pickup and not magnetic as Electric Bass Guitar, it needs as much push you can give it.

    If the sound is still not what you want, borrow someones 10-12 Band Graphic Equaliser and see if you can get the tone you are after, also try a sustain pedal, Behringer make one for about $20. I don't use any pedals but I have a 300Watt RMS Bass Head with a 1x15" and-or 2x 10" Cab.all with Paper Cones.

    As a Last resort you may like to try this;

    Have your Amp at a reasonable volume and strike your E or A string open,and while it resonates Gently Push your Bridge ( at the top where the strings lie) about 1/16" to 1/8" towards the tail piece, bring the bridge back to where it was orgionally, this time pull it towards the neck the same distance striking the string again before you move it.
    What you should Hear is somewhere along the movement it will Increase in Tone and Volume and that will be the SWEET SPOT for the bridge and Sound.
    Good Luck,
    Regards Luke.
  5. Hi Derren,
    After years of playing bass guitar but also having an unhealthy interest in double bass, I bought a Palatino from ebay (Gaz Gaskell?). I'm currently looking for a suitable tutor and see from your post you know Steve Berry. I used to be a Loose Tubes fan years ago and would love to study with him. Can you tell me what part of the country he's in please? I'm in Hertfordshire so if he's anywhere close I'd be keen in finding out if he's taking on new students.

    Have you made any modifications to yours yet? I notice that there are several suggestions about bridges, pickups and strings in the Palatino club thread.

    Incidentally, I'm currently playing mine through my Ashdown/EBS stage rig but that's a bit of overkill, so if anyone can recommend a fairly inexpensive combo that would suit the EUB I'd be grateful for any suggestions.

    CHeers All,
    Mike E ;)
  6. Hi Bassworm,

    Steve Berry now lives and teaches in Blackburn Lancashire, where I live too. I saw him nearly two weeks ago, having not seen him for nearly 7 years! How time flies? He still teaches, and I will be getting some top up tuition in due course. He charges £35 per hour on a need to tutor basis. If you feel you need a lesson you have one, and then another one at your leisure and comfort.

    It was good talking with him actually. My reason for seeing him was to get advice about which gear to use, and how to get the best from my set up etc. What he told me was very interesting indeed. Experience of years certainly make for interesting listening.

    One of the things that really stuck in my mind after seeing him again, was how wrongly I'd been interpreting the use of the Palatino, and possibly my reasons for buying it. The Palatino is in fact, however you view it and want to argue it, an 'electric' instrument that tries to emulate the double bass sound and playing position. That sounds so obvious in retrospect. Think about it though, many of the problems that people seem to come up against on these forums time and again for EUB's, is simply getting a good 'upright' tone. After I started to view the Palatino this way, I've since realised I can do so much more with the instrument and it's tone with a bit of simple creative thinking. Firstly, why rely on the sound of a new pickup and preamp alone? Why not mix the Palatinos output with that of an external pickup to get a fuller, richer sound? Why rely on a pickup that only goes on the bridge, when the Palatino does actually have a slight resonating chamber? Bearing this in mind I'm doing the following modifications:

    First modification I'm making is a set of new strings. I've ordered some D'addario Hybrid Pizzacato Mediums from eBay. £68 delivered from the US, as opposed to £130 through UK channels! Have a look for an eBay shop called Christy's Guitar Parts and Accessories. My second modification will be a better bridge. One that I can get lower than is currently allowed with the Palatino's. I haven't found anything yet that takes my fancy, but I'm sure I will in due course. The third is a new pickup, but I think I'll try and make one, possibly two. Piezo elements cost about 50p from Maplin. Why pay £60+ for something that costs a couple of quid to make? I also have some old 1960's contact mics which I'm going to strip down and try and use on the bridge and the body of the bass. The fourth is not a mod, but a purchase. Behringer do a 300 watt 15" kick back amp called the BXL3000. No alumnium cone. I've seen it for sale for as little as £180 new! I'm on the look out for a Preamp, but not sure what to get yet.

    Let me know if you require Steve's phone number and I'll email it to you privately.
  7. The strings I'm buying are actually called:

    Set Bass Helicore Pizzicato Medium Tension 3/4

    PPS.... Cheers to Koolhand for the advice about the amp and all those who took the time to help out. Very much appreciated.
  8. Derren,
    Many thanks for that excellent info, especially the bit about the cheap strings. I'd certainly be interested in hearing how you get on with the various pickup mods, I've been coming to the same sort of conclusions as you regarding the EUB vs UB sound.

    It's a shame Steve Berry is so far away from me otherwise I'd certainly get in touch with him, but somehow, a two hundred mile drive for a lesson seems a little excessive!

    Noted your comments on the Behringer, I have a friend who owns one so I'll no doubt be borrowing it to try it out sooner or later.

    Once again many thanks,
    Mike E.
  9. derrenleepoole,

    I bought the BXL3000 amp and overall it is quite good for the money. HOWEVER, driving this amp hard will blow it up. Case in point; After having the amp for two days, I decided to crank it up and test the limits. Having an active bass, I was playing on channel 1 and having the volume full up on both input and master, my finger slipped off one of the strings and popped the speaker. I took it apart and saw that the fuses were not blown and the "protective circuitry" did not save the speaker b/c I had power to the unit but put the meter on the speaker and it was blown. So after paying 70 bucks to ship it back for a new one, lesson learned. I would not play this amp hard but it was hitting hard at 12 o'clock and 3 o'clock on the volume knob. I would not go any more in fear of blowing it up again. I wonder if I was on channel 2 running the compressor would I have prevented the speaker from burning out? Probably not.

    If I blow the speaker up again, I am going to put in a higher rated speaker and have the fuses pop rather then the speaker. So right now with a total of $320 into the amp (price of amp and shipping back) I would give it a cautious buy to anyone who is in the market for a combo amp.

    So aside from does make a good practice amp. I don't think I would trust it for a gig b/c of the speaker going out on me rather than the fuses and to this date I am not sure why that did not happen. However, I do like the wedge shape to it where you can rock it back or have it stand straight-up.


  10. Yes, it is important to practice with an amp, get your settings and setup right because you don't want any surprises when you gig or practice with a band etc BUT don't discount spending some time practising without an amp in a quiet room. I think this is especially important whan getting used to a new instrument, type of instrument or type of string. Spending a bit of time experimenting to get the best non amplified sound of the string/instrument sometimes makes huge difference in your overall sound when you plug in. I think practising both ways is important. YMMV