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pearce bc-1 users?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by DerekP, Oct 1, 2005.

  1. DerekP


    Jul 24, 2005
    Toronto, On
    i just got one of these and im just wondering if any of you guys want to share some settings with me? rock-(fingerstyle)
    slap and maybe some overdrive or just anything you think sounds cool. thanks.
  2. notrt


    Jun 29, 2004
    Good morning:

    I have two of these, and for the past four or five months have been gigging regularly with one of them, and it's a stalwart performer, indeed. I do have an old copy of the manual, which is pretty thorough, and if you'll pm me with a snail mail address or a fax number, I can send you a copy...but even without the manual, you should be OK just working your way through it, as it's a fairly intuitive piece...

    For comparison purposes, with my Roscoe SKB-3006, and the Bergantino mini stack I'm using these days, I use the top channel for my basic, clean, tubely sound; I center the mids @ around 180-225, level to taste; I go easy on the bass, add treble to taste but not too much, input gain @ around 5-6, not boosted, and I use the output to get the volume I want through my bridged and dimed Stewart 2.1. Channel two has a good mid spike set @ around 800, a bit more treble than channel one, less bass, input gain @ around 8 or so; output just enough to get the right timbral mix in the combined mode, as I use the footswitch to mix the channels so that when you combine the two you've got a gnarlier sound, but still with enough well-defined booty down low to get the basic job done. Two different sounds @ your feet, quiet and pretty durn good for a pawnshop treasure.

    The limiter is fairly musical unless you ask too much of it. Overdoing the treble controls on either channel will make a good deal of audiblde hiss...but the good stuff's in the mids, anyway. Line out is adequate, but unbalenced on both of mine.

    * * *

    If you feel like going to the source, you ought to go to Billy Sheehan's website and ask him, as he is clearly the man who put this rig on the map anyway. For kicks, go the BassPlayer archives and find the layout of his rig from the "Lean into it" days with Mr. Big. Best rock sound I ever heard on a record, but hardly what you could call a simple rig!!!

    All of the EQ controls seem to be very subtle; small changes do a lot...

    Hope this helps. Take your rig out to your driveway and fiddle with it. You'll get what you want quick, I'll bet.

    RC a/k/a "notrt"
  3. KPJ


    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    I have been using a Pearce BC1 now for a few months and love it. I can't tell you specific settings, but I can tell you that the drive and mid controls are your best friends. I use Channel 1 as my main channel. I run the bass and treble straight up and usually boost the mids slightly at about 250. You get a much more subtle overdrive from increasing the drive knob than you do from the boost switch. Using the boost switch with the drive knob up gives a very tubey overdrive. I use the output to set the overall level to my QSC RMX850 which I run bridged into an Avatar 212. I use Channel 2 as a boost. It has a more solid state sound to it than channel 1. I'll cut the bass back to about 10 o'clock and boost the mids at around 1k. I'll put the drive at about 1-2 o'clock and bring the output up just a little to mix in with channel 1. I will run channel 1 as the main channel and the kick both channels on with the footswitch for more punch. The boost switch on channel 2 gives a high-gain distortion that is difficult to control at too high a level. This is great for "lead bass" Crank up the gain and kick in the boost and freak your guitarists out!

    I like using my Pearce with my 12 -string bass. I can get a nice seperation of the sound by using both channels. Channel 1 for a good solid bass tone and channel 2 to bring out the octaves. It's like biamping with out a crossover. As notrt pointed out, there is a lot of adjustment in the tone controls, so a little goes a long way.

    I use the DI on the Pearce to send my signal to FOH and run a balanced line to the QSC. I haven't experimented with the effects loops yet, but each channel has its own effects loop so you can have dedicated effects for each channel and each channel has an effects send knob to send signal to the main effects loop and a master effects return, sort of like a mixing board. A very versatile preamp.
  4. gamera


    Sep 20, 2004
    Gloucester, MA
    I just got one of these and probably need some help.

    I have an Ashdown MAG300 and an Avatar 212 cabinet.

    What is the best way to hook this up? Run it through the effects loop? How can I bypass the preamp on the Ashdown to use the Pearce?

    On an unrelated note I had some friends in Buffalo that were sponsored by Pearce. I remember liking their stuff, but we were always more focused on their guitar stuff. I played a gig the other night and this guy had his Pearce hooked up to this kinda suspect Roland bass amp with a 12 inch speaker. The thing sounded like God. I asked the guy about his rig, at first I thought it was the Rick he was playing. Then I plugged in my Pbass and I swear it sounded even better. I am hoping to at least come close to replicating this unbelievable tone.
  5. KPJ


    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    Just run your bass into the Pearce and the run the unbalanced output of the Pearce into the power amp in of the MAG. That way you are bypassing the pre of the MAG and just using it as a power amp. I believe then the Master volume on the MAG will control the overall output.

    Do you have the footswitch? I didn't when I got mine, but I got a schematic to make my own from a fellow TBer. What an incredibly versatile and flexible unit. The mid control on the channels is incredibly powerful. I can't believe the great sound I get from channel 2 right now, drive at 8.5, bass at 4, mid at -1 with the frequency at 600 and treble at 5. A nice ballsy, grindy tone. When I use a low-output passive bass and flip the boost switch, I get a little bit of hair on the sound that really brings out the harmonics.
  6. gamera


    Sep 20, 2004
    Gloucester, MA
    I haven't had much of a chance to mess around with this, but I have to say it sounds incredible. I can eliminate the EQ on the Ashdown, but have yet to do so. I have never been able to get my amp so loud and so insanely great sounding. I haven't even touched the boost switches. I do also want to get a footswitch or build one.

    Kevin if you have that schematic can you post it or email it to me.

    I couldn't be more thrilled with my setup at this current time.
  7. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    The footswitch is simple... The jack is a stereo (TRS) 1/4 in. phone plug.

    Tip to Sleeve (ground) turns on and off one channel, Ring to Sleeve the other.

    Use a SPDT switch with the common point to ground (sleeve) to switch channels. Use a second switch (SPST) to interrupt the ground connection (between Switch 1 and ground) and you can combine channels!!!

    I love all the patching/insert jacks on mine! I used to use it with two cabinets, an Acme B2 and a EV TL606 (loaded with an EVM 15).

    I ran the output of the clean channel directly (through the power amp of course) to the Acme and then the blended output to the EV.

    That way, I could play clean through both cabinets, then add overdrive through the 15 (avoiding the mid/tweeter in the Acme). It sounded great!!!
  8. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    You able to construct one? I've been looking for one for quite some time.

    All of this BC-1 talk......man I love mine!!:bassist:
  9. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    There's nothing particularly special about the footswitch required for the BC-1.

    For footswitches, I generally buy a cheap one on eBay and then rewire it to suit the application. For the Pearce, I found a nearly-new two-button Peavey footswitch at a local shop for $10. All it needed was to be rewired and perhaps a new plug.
  10. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    Would this work?

  11. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Most likely, it would work (assuming of course that the switches have push on/push off contacts (not momentary contacts).

    It will need to be rewired and depending on what type of switches (SPST, SPDT, etc.) are inside, the wiring schematic may change a little bit...all pretty straight forward though.

    These would probably work too...






    Lots of choices out there!!!

    Have fun!
  12. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
  13. azrtl


    Dec 29, 2005
    Anybody looking for a owners manual for the Pearce BC1 preamp? I sold mine a while back and still have the owners manual. I even comes with two pages of schematics, but I'm not sure of they're the Billy Sheehan mods or not.

    You can also contact me directly at Kevin@azrtl.com
  14. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    Email sent...........
  15. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    Not meaning to hijack your thread,but,does anybody know of a good repairshop that I can send my BC-1's to? I have 2 that keep acting up,and the local tech can't find anything wrong with them.Atlanta area would be great,but I'll ship them if needed. Thanks guys!
  16. Hi guys
    I was told I can only post a for sale ad if I become a member so here goes. I am going to unload a lot of gear in efforts to purchase a high end Ken Smith bass. I had 3 Pearce BC1's yes I do love them and think they are the most solid built preamps in the business. I am keeping one of them and already sold the second. If anyone is interested in the last available unit make me an offer. It comes with footswitch and manual and is mint. Never left the rack. I am off to Europe but can post pics when I return if there is interest. By the way the last BC1 I sold went up to 450 on ebay! Who knew? :)

    Please dont ask to sell off the footswitch or manual