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PEDALBOARD AMPS: Pedalboards that replace the traditional bass amp?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Flux Jetson, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. The Truly Modular Bass Amplification System:

    Any of you specifically use a pedalboard (and/or rack - computer) as your preamp?

    :cool: - Bass.

    :cool: - Preamp consisting of pedalboard/rack/computer stuffs.

    :cool: - Power amp - not a "bass amp", something like a dedicated PA amp, something that does not really add it's own tone controls or "color" or that is not specifically voiced for bass guitar. The power amp in most solid state bass amps would qualify, or powered mixers, pa power amps, and so on.

    :cool: - Cab(s).

    So .. no bass amp used, per se. You have actually created your own "bass amplifier" by assembling the right stompboxes/rack stuff and then amplifying that with a simple power amp.

    To me, a system like that is the ultimate custom modular bass amp. You have total freedom to design and create how your bass amplification system is made. You choose how the bass controls are voiced, as well as the midrange and treble controls. Plus input gain stage, compression, FX Loop, output distribution (PA, FOH, power amps/monitors, recording inputs, and so on).

    Not so much just using a pedal setup as "fx", but pedal setups that actually replace a conventional bass amp ... a preamp made of stompboxes and rackies and a clean colorless (or as close to that as practical) power section. I'm not talking about reverbs, phase shifters, and the like, I'm speaking of "always on" necessary tone controllers, gain stages, and dynamics controllers that completely replace the common bass amp.

    I know that these "modular" systems have gone out of vogue since like, the 90s, in favor of the newest/hippest/lightest/most prestigious/mostly more bitchenest little bass amps that are so popular these days. But to heck with being hip, I'm looking for custom selected personally tailored modular pedalboard preamps. Computer-based systems welcome as well.

    Any users of those type of systems that would like to share their setups?

    Doing some research. Thanks.
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I use a variety of modules, pedals, and power amps depending on my mood. I think my favorite minimalist setup was:

    BJFE Blueberry --> Thumpinator --> Carvin DCM1000

    I actually was able to go more minimal with just a single high-output overdrive (like the Polish Love or the Creation Holy Fire) into the power amp, but the Blueberry-Thumpinator combo was more satisfying in terms of amplike tone and signal efficiency. I also have driven a power amp with high-output compressors like the Retrospec Squeezebox or the Origin Cali76.

    For EQ, it depends on the circumstances, and what needs adjusting/controlling. The thing about the Blueberry was it didn't need any EQ to sound the way I wanted. But with the Holy Fire, for example, I'd add the Fromel Shape EQ. A notch filter would be good for reducing boom, mud, and feedback, and there are a few notching options out there, but I haven't been totally satisfied yet in that regard.
  3. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    Yes. Here's one set up:
    Korg pitchblack
    Martin & Co. Porta-con acoustic preamp
    Mooer mini bass eq
    Alesis midiverb
    Art mp tube preamp
    Ada power amp to cab

    Of all these, I always play w the tuner and art mp, & the portacon is my favorite. They can be put in front of any rig--power amp or proper bass head/combo.
  4. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    My sons rig is p bass > ehx 44mag > genzbenz 8t cab. Possibly the smallest bass rig ever.
  5. oldcatfish


    Jan 8, 2011
    Sort of...
    I run a VT bass into a Zoom B2 (the one with the direct out). From there I often run direct to a PA system, or using a powered PA wedge for stage monitoring. Sometimes I do run into a backline combo for monitoring when playing at a church that doesn't have an extra monitor. Also I do have a Hartke HA2500 and a Roland CB100 amp, but they are rarely used.
    Not exactly what you were looking for, but it's close.
  6. My own "always on" setup is pretty simple too:

    POD Pro --- APHEX 204 Aural Exciter with Big Bottom for "bass" and "treble" --- RANE-PE17 parametric EQ for midrange shaping, which I'm usually trying different settings as of yet. Power and speakers are Mackie FR1400i power amp into a 2x10 ported Carvin BRX cab. So five components total.

    I use other stuff too, but that 5pc setup comprises my main bass rig in total. I've used so many different bass amps in the past, and each one had it's merits. Probably my fave was the SVT head with the 610HLF cab. But it had it's own type of limits that made me search for solutions. My latest setup is in rebellion against the frustration I've felt with other conventional bass amps.

    I now have 100% freedom and can configure my current system to handle whatever I wish to do. Nothing beats a fully modular bass rig.
  7. See, I love the total flexibility here. If you added (let's say) one of those WMD 3 band parametric EQ stompboxes, you'd have a pretty all encompassing setup that would serve all your needs, as well as those needs you don't even know of yet!

    The cool thing is, you can go commando-light with this and just take what you need to hook-up to FOH or PA if that were the case (like member oldcatfish does). All without having to take some type of amp-head with you.

    Thanks for the replies, folks.

  8. Medford Bassman

    Medford Bassman Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Medford, Wisconsin
    I got super lazy. I placed my wireless, tuner, and BDDI in the PA rack box. I run sound for the band from the stage, so I have complete control over the system. I run a custom monitor signal to a powered speaker for my monitor. Sounds great and just the way I like it. Us since the PA rack comes to all gigs I'm basically just carrying my bass to gigs!
  9. I have FIVE of those same ARTs .... :bag:

    Best $30 gain, phase, and compression solution out there. Not really the best "mic preamps" (which is what they are actually intended to be) but they work GREAT as bass preamps and input modules. 840k input impedance, 60db or so output gain, and a decent limiter that works ok in a bind.

    Since my current go-to bass has independent pickup output jacks the ARTs are useful in that I can goof with pickup phase by changing the phase on the ART by simply pressing a button.

    Yea ... see ... well spent $30 bucks.
  10. Ha! That's great. :)
  11. This is just the type of thread I want to read. I live in Japan so practices takes place in studios which have their own amps. However, the amps are not always a standard so the sounds changes all the time. I want to bypass this problem by only using the power amp section of the amps and use my pedal board as the pre amp.

    So far I have found that the main part of my sound comes from my FEA dual band compressor and my submarine. Various distortions, fuzzes and filters are placed in between them but have not fully figured all this out yet. I bought an Eden WTDI today to give that a go and also have a B7K on the way. Will need to do some more experimenting but will be happy to hear anybodies thoughts/suggestions on this matter.

  12. Razzmatazz


    Oct 23, 2011
    I have a few options, depending on what type of tone I want to acheive:

    -Tronographic Rusty Box.

    -Aguilar Tone Hammer DI.

    -GK 2001 RBP.

    Going through a Radial J48 DI for more headroom when using the GK pre or the Rusty Box. I have a choice of overdrive pedals (to taste) to simulate a tube amp being pushed, so I can turn that feature on/off with just a stomp. I don't like adding more EQ processing, just keeping it simple and direct as possible.

    The modular approach have always been my prerogative. I'm considering amplification modeling in the future so same principle, except a pc or a tablet will replace the stomp boxes or preamps.
  13. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    The wtdi is nice but it distorts in an undesirable way if you crank the gain beyond 25%. Unless they fixed it.
  14. garmenteros

    garmenteros Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Dominican Republic
    Not exactly fully modular but I did a live radio performance with my zeppelin tribute band with just my pedalboard and radial JDI. I had never done a gig amp less. My EBS valvedrive is my always on pedal and shapes my tone. I love it, best pedal I have bought to date. On shows with PA support it gives most of my sound that gets to the audience, and my amp becomes mostly a monitor for the band and the front of the crowd.
  15. I'm not familiar with the EBS Valvedrive. I will have to look it up!
  16. blacklariat09


    Jan 6, 2013
    I plug direct from my Sansamp PBDDI to our system. Here's my pedal setup as is right now.

    Bass ->
    Pitchblack ->
    M87 bass compressor ->
    Amt llm1 volume ->
    Big muff pi deluxe ->
    Phat Phuk B ->
    GEB-7 ->
    Ebs unichorus ->
    Bass synth wah ->
    Amt wh1 wah ->
    Neunaber wet reverb ->
    Tc flashback delay ->
    Sansamp pbddi ->
  17. BBDI deluxe plus pedals. It's a very common setup.
  18. I agree, it is very common indeed. In fact I know that using the BDDI is SO common that it's beginning to become cliche. But I think the modular bass rigs for the most part have gone out of vogue.

    I am curious about other setups besides the common ones. BDDI direct is common, just as you said. :)

    Some of the more adventurous players have created some really interesting SYSTEMS using several different devices to be used to complete the entire setup. Just using one device for the whole rig is hardly what I am speaking of, that's basically no different than using a bass-specific amp. There's no personalized "patch" to it, pretty much everyone that has replied gets it. Using several devices to create a personal and unique setup that suits them. The whole idea that "my bass amp is made up from this, this other thing, and this other thing as well".

    Y'know, something with some imagination, like most of what has been offered so far.
  19. LongHairFreak

    LongHairFreak Insert cool nickname? Nobody's given me one yet. Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2006
    Twin Cities - MN
    What I use most is sometimes flexing, but these are my basics.

    bass < Snark SN10 < Swell B-Peg < Barber Electronics Linden EQ < DHA VT2-Twin-Bass < [SFX] preamp/DI/Thumpinator (DI to FOH) < Carvin DCM 1500 < cab

    I just recently removed an ART Tube EQ from the lineup and the Swell is only on occasionally; but everything else is a must.
  20. This one sounds pretty boobies! I like the order as well.

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