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Pre-amp question

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Rob W, Apr 22, 2002.


  1. Although I'm primarily a classical DB player (and a fair bit of standard electric bass), I've never really bothered trying to amplify my DB in a very long time. I generally just tend to play electric bass in amplified situations.

    I actually have an Underwood pickup that I haven't used in 10 years because I just hated how it sounded with the bass and amp I had at the time. Last week, for the first time since having my current bass (4 1/2 years) I decided to try out my Underwood with the current setup - my beautiful 5 string Peter Elias bass and my Eden Travler Plus head + cabinet (a 4X10 Eden or a 2X10). For pizz, the sound was actually pretty damn good I had to admit (it still sounds like crap with the bow though). I was really happy with the sound I got and used on a gig on the weekend (with a band I usually play electric with).

    Anyway, this particular band has a ton of equipment already so I hardly need to lug around my amp to their gigs. I tried using the Underwood straight into their system and it sounded horrible, but when I used my Eden head just as a pre-amp through the system it still sounded great.

    So the long and short of it is that all I need to bring to those gigs is my DB and my head, which isn't too bad to carry around I suppose, but it just seems a bit overkill to bring a 400 watt Eden head around with me just to use as a pre-amp.

    Are there any other small size pre-amps out there that will deliver the same sort of tone in a smaller package? What preamp's do you guys use with your Underwoods?
     
  2. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I'm sure one of the reasons your pickup isn't
    sounding as good as it could, is because piezo
    pickups really do need a 10meg ohm buffer preamp. It lets the amp see a flatter signal. This will certainly help with the arco sound. The new Fishman pro eq -platinum bass preamp, would enable you to bypass the electric bass input on your eden, (go into the effects loop return jack) and use the fishman for your volume and eq. There are a number of great preamps on the market, but the Fishman seems like it would be the right tool in this case. AND!!! not too expensive.
     
  3. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hong Kong
    Try the Raven Labs Blender, about $300, if you can find one. Try L.A. Bass Exchange in Tarzana.
    But for about $100 or even less the KK Sound Pre-Amps are great. Just Make sure you get one of their models that has the E.Q controls in the outside, some of them are only ajustable internally.
    Their stuff sounds real good for upright bass.
    I've used both brands and they are both very good in different ways but to my ears the KK stuff makes your bass sound more like a "bass", a bit "warmer" sounding than the Raven Labs, at least to me.
    I tried record with the Raven Labs once, with a KK Bass Max and Golden Trinity Mic blended. This was just to get a seperate track to augment a track of fine David Manley tube condenser studio mic. Thought it might be nice to blend a track of pickup and small Golden Trinity mic placed near the F-hole. But I found I had to crank the line out of the Raven Labs and also crank up it's input volumes real hot, much hotter than I ever had to live thru an amp or P.A.(It allways worked great live) to match the signal that we were getting from the studio mic, which btw cost more than some used cars I've owned! We wound up trashing the track of Raven Labs and just going for the studio mic, much to everyones great satisfaction. But for live playing I think either the KK pre-amps or Raven Labs will do the job nicely. Incidently, I sometimes use a small pre-amp made by Westwood Music in West L.A that sounds great with an Underwood, or any other pickup for that matter. I paid about $175 for it five years ago, just a small black box, 18 volt with a go's inta' and a go's outa' thats all, no volume or tone controls that sounds better to me than either the Raven or the KK pre's.
     
  4. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    These are great ideas, but I still think the Fishman
    pro platnium eq, would give more tone shaping options and is great for the single Underwood. I love
    the Raven labs blender, more for mixing two upright
    signals, or one upright pickup and one electric bass.
    The K&K pre isn't 10 meg ohms and won't have the flexability and output of the Fishman pro platnium.
    In this case, the eden will sound fine for the electric. Just use the Fishman for the Underwood.
    AND... The Fishman might be under $200. samolians.