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Pre amp or no?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Youngspanion, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. Last night I listen to a guy play slap upright Bass. His tone and his volume was spot-on perfect. He told me he was using a schatten pickup system. No preamp. He said with the head he was using he did not need a preamp. I think he was using a TC electronic bh500. My question is this. Are there only certain types of amps or amp heads that will produce a real good sound tone wise and volume wise without a preamp? But I tried using a pickup system without a preamp and felt my volume was way too low. Tell me what you think.
  2. Longer answer:
    From the "Newbie links" sticky thread:
    Is a Pre-Amp REALLY necessary?
    what's a preamp do?

    Shorter answer:
    This amp's input impedance is 1Megohms, so it's enough for most piezo pickups, IF the pickup's output is not too week.
    Was it a Schatten RB-1 ? The one in the bridge wing?
    If so, this pickup's output is hot enough without the need for a preamp, IF the input impedance is 1 Meghoms or higher.

    That said, what amp are *you* using?
    Povl Carstensen likes this.
  3. Jefenator


    Aug 22, 2008
    IME I just have to experiment and see which setup actually plays better - there are just too many variables with all the basses, strings, pickups, amps and speaker cabs to make a definitive prediction.
    The fDeck preamps are cheap enough, it's worth having one handy, just in case (and if it's better without, you won't feel like you *have* to use it because you spent a whole bunch of money).
    You can also try and make do with what's already handy - I briefly favored an Ibanez Tube Screamer in bypass mode, just for its buffering properties.
  4. The Fdeck HPF Pre has virtually no gain (2dB is really next to none) so it's better seen as an impedance buffering unit (and variable low cut filter of course) than a preamp. It's high impedance will prevent the piezo from being loaded, which would reduce it's output and modify its frequence response. (lows would disappear)
  5. The Littlemark II
  6. From Markbass's website:
    impedance 500 Kohm, max. voltage 15 Vpp

    500K is a bit on the low side but will work ok with a K-K Bass Max.
    What pickup system did you try?
    Your original post was kind of short on details.
  7. Sorry about that Francois. I'm using a Hurley pickup system. It's 2 pickups. One in the bridge. One under the fingerboard. Also a Hurley Pre-amp which mixes the two outputs. Gut strings. Laminate bass.
    I placed the 'clicky' pup up near neck joint under the fingerboard.
  8. Ok, so if you already have the matching preamp with you pickup system, it may just be the elements that are not mounted properly, particularly the bridge element, which should provide the most output.
    Care to post a picture of the wing element mounted on the bridge, please?
  9. h00v3r


    Jun 10, 2014
    Philadelphia, PA
    I don't know if this adds any perspective at all, but I've been using a passive Schatten RB2 straight into my pf-500 successfully - I can't seem to find the input impedance for my head listed anywhere, thought. The only weird thing is that I get the best results when I keep the clicky volume all the way off - just the bridge pickup delivers everything I think I want at pretty high volume. I do have an order in for an Fdeck just to see if it'll do anything for me
  10. Here is a pic.

    Attached Files:

  11. I also use another head sometimes. Rumble 350. That head does indeed have an input impedance is 1 Megohm. I will see how this differs.
  12. Thanks.
    Is the fit tight or loose?
    If the fit is too tight or loose, you’ll lose volume and get a thin tone.
    You can use paper or business card pieces as a shim if needed.
  13. Reeds should work well as shims, too; get a saxophonist friend (or other reedy good friend) to donate an old about-to-be-thrown-out reed to you.
    Sand/shave down the reed if it's too thick.
    B String likes this.
  14. thanks. I've got a penny squeezed in there for a wedge. Its worked fine since I got it and I know its fit well. If it affects tone, I don't know.
  15. I did a brief search through Google for an amp, a bass amp head, that has an input impedance of 1 Million or 1 megohms. I didn't find any. Are there any besides my Rumble 350? Even the newer Rumbles....well. The specs aren't specific in that area.
  16. You could go higher than 1 mega-Ohm;
    also look at amps that are meant for DB such as the EA Doubler, or Acoustics such as the Clarus — not sure what their input impedance is exactly.
  17. Different materials will affect the tone for sure.
    But you said "Its worked fine since I got it".
    In the original post you said "But I tried using a pickup system without a preamp and felt my volume was way too low."
    I'm a bit confused now.
    It works well with the preamp and not without?
    If so, the conclusion seems obvious to me.
    But maybe there's something else I don't understand.
  18. Maybe I wrote it up wrong. It works kinda mhe
    I don't know what I was trying to say. It was early. But, anyway... I tried the wing pickup by itself and I tried it through each amp. I heard lousy tone. Farting out and little control over the overall tone. On both I thought I needed to push the limits to get what I thought was a good sound at a good band volume. So the Pup works fine but not great. I mean in a real quiet gig with needing just a bit more volume....its fine.

    Then I added the pre and mixed both pups. The sound was much much better. Louder, cleaner and the snaps were(obviously. I used the clicky.)better.
  19. Seems you understood perfectly.

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