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Passive Piezo + headphone outboard preamp?

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by Bloody Viking, Dec 25, 2005.

  1. Hi, I so hope this isn't answered anywhere else, I can't seem to find anything that will give me a clear answer. Also, I assume I posted in the right place, and it shouldn't go into the EUB-subforum,

    Anyways, I have two sets of headphones I use for different things, one is the RS1s from Grado at 32Ohms, the other is the Sennh HD25-1s at 70Ohms.

    Now, to my questions – and a bit of explanation, as I feel I'm out in deep water here, so if I shared my thoughts, maybe that would make it clearer:

    I am going to buy an EUB, and as I can understand, it comes with a passive piezo pick-up. Since I will be down-right ugly and a pain to listen to for months (I'm utterly new at this, so just trying to grab it semi-right will be hard work), I want to be able to listen to it through headphones, instead of an amp.

    I know I can plug it into a small amp, and just use the headphone output, but I'd prefer to be able to have a "self-powered walkman" as small as possible (Heh, it's a shame I don't like the triangle, huh?).

    I would prefer something small enough to be able to strap it somewhere on the bass, that way it could stay almost permanently on there.

    I have some questions, I hope they aren't too non-specific:

    The EUB comes with a passive Shadow bridge pick-up, and I'm told that it might have the power to drive an ordinary headphone amp, but I would actually prefer to have on on it, just for the bass, but can it be used with an ordinary headphone amp? I'm rather scared about the headphone amp blowing up ...

    If not, how do you guys/gals feel about having the Shadow Active sound board Transducer before my ordinary headphone amp?

    Headphone amp-wise, I was thinking something along the line of the K&K power pack or the pure preamp

    About the Fishmans – I have to say, I really don't like them.
    This has nothing to do with audio quality but everything to do with the sliders. In all other contexts, sliders have been a pain to me, especially if you don't constantly glide them up and down to clean them for corrosion. And if you do, you often develop quite a lot of play, resulting in the same thing: bad connections. So if it's possible at all, can I avoid them and get me some knobs instead?

    In any case, will I need the K&K Preamp 97, or similar, in order to use a preamp as a headphone amp?

    I just realised that you may want to know what type of music I wanted to use it for!

    If so: I'm an utter beginner, and for one, I won't be using it for any arco whatsoever – my thinking is that I will be using it for the type of music I like, and hopefully, in time will be able to play: Nick Cave (yeah, I told you, I'm a beginner), Dropkick Murphys, Stray Cats, Primus (in ten years time), and Victor Wooten.
    I also like quite a bit of Jazz, especially Chris Minh Doky, but jazz isn't something I'm even contemplating getting into at all, nor is Classical, although I enjoy listening to it.

    In short, I will be playing a wee bit of rockabilly, but I would also like to have a dry, jazzy tone to it, as I like something beautiful as well, and not all just uptempo, highenergy, kill-the-bass kind of thing.

    P.S. I'm sorry if I have used any words in the wrong way – I tried my best, and I hope you will not come down on me too hard, I really need your help to find out what is possible, and also within my range economically (I also have to be able to pay lessons).

    Thanks in advance,

  2. Yikes!! Sorry about the enormous post :(
  3. Anyone at all?

    You don't have to be able to reply to all of my questions, but just one or two. From that I should be able to deduct something for myself.

  4. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    Preamplifiers will not be appropriate for feeding your headphones unless you get a unit that is a headphone amp as well.

    There are "Pocket Rockit" Walkman-style headphone amps available, here's one: http://www.8thstreet.com/product.asp?ProductCode=10855&Category=Guitar_Accessories, there are other brands out there, too.


    If I am not mistaken, the pickup is under pressure in the bridge wings, so the output should be sufficient to drive one of these devices. The likely impedance mismatch )most piezo pickups like a higher input impedance, 1 megohm or better) may affect the ultimate tone, as well as the fact that the headphone unit may be a little "electric bass" sounding- but I can't say that for certain.

    OTOH, the EUB you purchase may or may not need amplification for practice; I almost never plug my Eminence in when playing it by myself at home.
  5. Thanks Bob, I'm glad you took the time to respond :)

    If I understand you correctly, I need either both, or a combo, right?

    Does K&K make one, or perhaps someone else? what about the Shadow preamp that can be built into the plug, and from there use my own (or another recommended) headphone amplifier?

    I'm not too fond of the electric bass sound, as I tend to like the more "dry" tone of a DB (but a "real" one isn't an option to me), so the Pocket Rockit mentioned seems a little wrong to me. Oh, and it has sliders :(



    btw, Bob, I have spend the last three days, intensely searching through both this site and yours. I like them both immensely – so much information that I feel my brain is about to pop :)
  6. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    Further discussed and explained off-board...
  7. Hi Andre,
    If you haven't decided on any particular EUB, you might take a look at the Palatino VE-500 as it has a seperate socket for headphones but it uses the small I think 2.5 size plug.
    Good Luck, LUKE
  8. Thanks KH

    I haven't decided yet, although I'm quite taken by the Bespoke Bass-one.

    The minijack isn't a problem, I even had my RS1s rewired with a minijack, so it fits into my sd722.

    However, isn't that a hollow-bodied one?