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Odd Happenings with the old Parametric EQ

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by lermgalieu, Nov 14, 2001.

  1. I've got a Fishman Parametric EQ/DI box that I use between my K&K equipped bass and my amp...to kinda boost and tone the signal a little more. Anyway, it works fine and all, but I've noticed that it starts to sound *really* good, really natural (as opposed to thunderous but kind of muddy as it sounds when the battery is full) but without much decrease in volume, right before the battery dies.

    LG: Sorry about that sentence up there.

    Am I crazy? I've noticed this a few times. That last hour or so before the battery conks out is when my bass sounds its best in an amplified state - and the whole time the low battery light is getting stronger and stronger.

    Does anyone have any theories about this? I figured I'd ask you guys before I asked Fishman.

  2. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    I won't speculate on your sanity, but that sure is kinda strange. Except--- your forum name doesn't give away your real name, so I can't look at records to determine your K&K, assuming you got it from me.

    I am guessing it's the Bass Max -- if so, that pickup has a very high signal output and can easily overload a preamp not equipped to handle it- that's one of the reasons K&K Sound makes their preamps with internal gain controls, to accommodate a wide range of pickup output levels. So there is that possibility - if the Fishman offers a lower gain input or has other facilities, it may be wise to look into them. Or try using it without it or with another preamp, to see if the "thunderous but kind of muddy" sound goes away - I'll bet it will.

    As a humorous aside (at least to me), I have seen plain old carbon batteries being sold as "vintage" for $3.95@ to guitarists, to convince them that in order to get the vintage sound out of their stomp box, the old type of battery should be used instead of the more modern and thrifty alkalines. PT Barnum would have been proud. ;)
  3. Hey Bob - it's actually the Bassmaster Pro, and I am using the K&K preamp before it hits the Fishman DI box. I will try it tomorrow without the Fishman a-tall and see how she sounds. The reason I am using the Fishman is because I use the same amp for both electric bass and double bass, and don't want to tweak the amp every time I switch, so I use the Fishman for gain control and tweaking the EQ of the double bass while playing, since it would be difficult to take apart the K7K preamp every time I wanted a little more bass ;-)


  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I have that same setup (K&K Bass Max into Fishman Dual Para). I use an AC adapter (the Boss that Fishman recommends) though to save on batteries.

    I think what you are hearing is the distortion caused by the battery dying and you happen to like that sound. It's not unusual, many guitar players like dying batteries in their foot pedals for the same reason. A little bit of compression and slight clipping will make your instrument sound warmer.

    You might try using rehargeable ni-cads in the unit. These have a nominal voltage of only 7.5V rather than 9V so they will die faster but of course you just recharge 'em. You should be able to get through a gig with a freshly charge done. Bring a spare along just in case.
  5. I removed the Fishman DI from the chain and I like it a lot better. Sounds much more natural. Thanks Bob.
  6. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    Glad it worked out.

    But if you still would like to use the Fishman in the chain, you can try turning down the internal gain trimmers in the K&K box; the Bass Max side can be at the minimum (counterclockwise) position, and then adjust the Double Big Twin side to get an equal volume from each. That may help... but if the Bass Max side is already at its minimum then you may be best off without it.

    I pretty much leave my EQ alone, inside the boxes, and just make changes at my amp to compensate for room acoustic differences.
  7. Yeah that's the problem with using the same amp for both electric and double - I don't really want to muck with the EQ on the amp every time I switch basses, so the Fishman allowed for slightly different eq settings for both basses. I have 10 band eq on my amp that can be turned on or off (in addition to some contour and parametric settings) - I am thinking of turning the EQ 'off' when I play Double Bass, so not as many mids get scooped off. Its a Carvin RC210 - anyone else play both electric and double through one of those?
  8. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    I did, for a couple years, driven by an Eden WT300C. Switching between instruments with different characters can be problematic, but I think your approach of switching the graphic EQ in and out could solve the problem.

    I almost always have two basses on gigs, whether electric, EUB, or URB, and if the instrument itself doesn't have enough EQ onboard to satisfy the need, I'll use either a K&K Pure Preamp, SansAmp Bass DI, or a little Bass EQ pedal on one of the instruments.

    I guess I'd probably EQ the electric using the bass onboard (if applicable) and standard amp tone controls and graphic EQ out of the loop, and then kick the EQ in and adjust for the best db tone -- or the other way around, whichever works best.

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