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Preamp suggestions for my double bass

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Mik75, Mar 5, 2017.


  1. Mik75

    Mik75

    Sep 21, 2013
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Hi there everyone! ;-)
    After years of taking a break from the double bass (and only playing the electric bass), I got myself a nice german bass. It's a student model (3/4), but it's setup professionally, the fingerboard got replaced, a Realist pickup has been installed as well, and the bass plays and sounds really good.
    I'll play the bass live, together with my acoustic bass guitar. I normally use an Eden WT-550 or a TC Electronic BH250 into an Hartke HyDrive 112. When simply switching the instruments, and using the same settings on the amp for both, the double bass volume is way too soft. If I adjust the correct volume for the double bass, I can't adjust the level of the acoustic bass guitar, so that it sounds good and doesn't produce noise and hiss.
    Since I am absolutely happy with the sound of the bass guitar into the amp, I'd like to get an additional preamp for the double bass, to make it louder, and slightly adjust an EQ, so that both instruments have a nice and even frequency range. A notch filter would be great as well.
    I already had a closer look at the Fishman Platinum Pro EQ. It offers everything, has a compressor and tuner on top, and is reasonably priced as well.
    Do you guys know that preamp, has anybody tried it with the Realist pickup, and what could be (similarly priced) alternatives?
    Thanks a lot in advance!
     
  2. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Duluth, MN
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings
    In that price range, the Fishman will serve you well. Given the right amount of money, you can look at Headway EDB2, or any of the more recent offerings from Grace Designs. If you are not planning on running a microphone, the Grace Designs ALiX or BiX would get my vote.

    I have used all of the above, and each is a good piece of kit.
     
    Mik75 likes this.
  3. Mik75

    Mik75

    Sep 21, 2013
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Thanks a lot for your detailed answer and your suggestions! I'll have a look at the Grace Designs offerings!
     
  4. MrMyopia

    MrMyopia

    Dec 1, 2016
    Little Rock AR
    +1 on the Fishman. My only regret is that it doesn't take a mic, as I'm wanting to try one in live situations to see if I can make it work.

    txstatebass, I was under the impression that the ALIX was a one channel version of the FELIX but takes mics as well. Glad I stumbled on this before purchasing.
     
    Mik75 likes this.
  5. Mik75

    Mik75

    Sep 21, 2013
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Ok, but I don't plan on using a microphone. I actually love the tone of the Realist. I just have to bring it up to a more usable level. And the neat features the Fishman offers on top, are not too bad either (tuner, compressor, notch filter).
     
    Adam Booker likes this.
  6. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Duluth, MN
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings
    Double check. You might be correct. Coffee hasn't kicked in yet.

    Sidebar, I am seriously impressed with my FELIX. If the bix or alix are of the same quality, but with less features, you would be very well served.
     
    Mik75 and MrMyopia like this.
  7. MrMyopia

    MrMyopia

    Dec 1, 2016
    Little Rock AR
    I just did and you're right. No xlr in or phantom. Guess I'd better save for the FELIX.
    Sorry for the temporary hijack, Mik75.
     
  8. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Duluth, MN
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings
    Sounds like you're good to go, then! Happy playing!
     
    Mik75 likes this.
  9. Mik75

    Mik75

    Sep 21, 2013
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Well, it´s not planned. But we all know how these things go... ;-)
    The ALiX is 690,- EUR + 19% VAT in Germany, so that might be a bit too steep for me right now. The Fishman is less than half of this price, so I´ll probably give it a try!
     
  10. matt holt

    matt holt Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2005
    Cincinnati OH
    I'm a big fan of the Headway EDB2. No compressor, but everything else you could want, including a phantom-power supplying mic input.. you can find them used for $200-300
     
    Mik75 and Ric Vice like this.
  11. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    +1 on the Headway EDB2. A great set of features in a small package at a reasonable price.
     
    Mik75 likes this.
  12. Mik75

    Mik75

    Sep 21, 2013
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Thanks for all your nice suggestions! Unfortunately, I can´t find the Headway, neither new, nor used.
     
  13. timonvh

    timonvh

    Oct 16, 2010
    Mik75 likes this.
  14. One more +1 for Headway EDB-2.
     
    Mik75 likes this.
  15. Matthijs

    Matthijs

    Jul 3, 2006
    Amsterdam
    Hi Mik, here's a different suggestion: I've been doubling with a WT300 for years now. I have used different pre-amps for DB, but I hardly ever use one with the WT. I find the EQ very usefull for DB and the input impedance is high enough. Nowadays I only pull out the Fdeck with the WT to combat really bad acoustics. I prefer to put something between the electric bass and the WT to match volume levels and vary the EQ. The EB is much less demanding on what is inbetween the signal line, so depending on the gig I often can get away with a simple effectpedal with a level control. Sometimes my older model fishman platinum gets pulled out for this purpose.
     
    Mik75 likes this.
  16. Mik75

    Mik75

    Sep 21, 2013
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Hi there!
    I have a WT-300A and a WT-550. I use the WT-550 for many electric gigs, and the 300 for recording at home. While I really liked my double bass directly into the WT-300A (with the gain at around 2 o'clock and the compressor already kicking in), I had to fully crank up the gain on the 550. And the double bass sound with neutral EQ is better with the 300 as well. I actually thought, these both amps had a quite similar pre amp. Maybe I'll give the 300 a try on a rehearsal or a gig. Man, that's really a beautiful sounding amp.
     
  17. The Headway has 2 inputs so you will be able to get the levels right and not have to plug/unplug.
     
    Mik75 likes this.
  18. bobsax

    bobsax

    Jan 16, 2011
    Southern Oregon
    did anybody have difficulty with the set up of the Fishman Pro-EQ Platinum?
    I got a used one and seems to work but the manual says you need to set the gain so the battery light goes on at hard playing. I have to max the gain and set all the sliders up at max to get a little light to briefly flash.
     
  19. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Try cleaning all the 1/4" jacks with Deoxit 5. Switch out the 9 volt battery and try the wall wart.

    Ric
     
  20. Mik75

    Mik75

    Sep 21, 2013
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Oh yeah! I´ve just seen that the Headway EDB-2 is available at amazon and thomann.de! ;-) Overall, this looks like the best package, with its two channels, the notch filter, and a mute switch.
     
    Groove Doctor and vin*tone like this.