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Question for Solstice users

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by larry, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. larry


    Apr 11, 2004
    I purchased a Solstice from Bob G. and it was a great purchase, no doubt. I blend a small condenser mic with my Rev. Solo pick up and it's the closest I've ever been to "my bass only louder".

    One thing is odd, however - I think the Solstice might be adding a lot of really low-end to the sound. I can't seem to dial it out - like the EQ has no effect on it. When I turn the bass frequencies down, it seems like the low stuff above 70hz or so goes down, but everything below that remains untouched. I never had this issue before I got the Solstice. With my 1-12" Bergantino cabinet, it actually helps the sound because of it's smaller size. With my larger 2-10" Berg., it becomes a problem. I can only use it in really large rooms or it sounds like a big subwoofer.

    Still a great unit, don't get me wrong. I played an outdoor festival yesterday with no amp, I just gave the soundman the output form the Solstice and had him give me plenty in my monitor. Worked great.

    Anyone else notice the low-end thing? Could it be something else?
  2. Larry, I am using the solstice in a way similar to you (just got a Rev. Solo) but with different cabinets. I have noticed what you are experiencing when I used a 2x10 Eden. My take on it is that the EQ does not go into that territory and your Bergs are enhancing the low end.. I think on the D-tar sites forum Rick Tuner says it is voiced for acoustic guitar. I just look over the manual but it doesn't list what frequencies the bands effect. Since I like the flat sound from the Rev. Solo and mic usually things are OK but I run into problems with BG cabinets that exaggerate certain frequencies. So it works best with a cabinet with flat response. I believe Adrian Cho used to use his Solstice with a D-tar EQ box probably to address this inadequacy. I've been happy with it but I've pre-ordered a FOCUS 2r lll from Bob to replace my pre-amp power amp setup. I amp hoping that it's EQs will be more double bass friendly. And I've already found an acoustic guitar player to buy my solstice.
  3. larry


    Apr 11, 2004
    Actually, the manual might answer the question. It reads:

    "The Bass control provides 12dB of boost and cut and is cen-
    tered at 155Hz/Q-.61."

    I guess I made an assumption that it was a shelf-type where the lowest frequencies would be attenuated first. If it is centered at 155Hz, then cutting the "bass" knob will give you a "U" shape where the lowest frequencies are still higher. A The Q-.61 is pretty broad, though. It should not be that much of a "U" shape. I might fiddle around and test mine. What I'm hearing does not seem to match the specs. But that's just me - I could easily be wrong, or the cabinets I'm using are really making it impossible to tell.

    Good luck with the Focus. I tried one, but I liked the Solstice coupled with my SWR amp better. I guess I like tube amps. I was planning on getting rid of the 2-10" Bergi in favor of a second 1-12" anyway for size/weight benefits, so this low end thing should not matter.
  4. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Larry, I have used the Solstice for about a year now, and with my rig (and my ears) I don't think I have noticed the boosted low-end effect that you're describing.

    I have run some A/B tests w/ and w/out the Solstice into both of my amps ... To my ears, adding the Solstice adds what I would call a degree of warmth, but not a really noticeable subsonic push like I think you're describing.

    If I had to summarize the variances, I would say that with my rig, the most noticeable effect of adding the Solstice to the signal chain with my EA Wizzy combo is that it thickens up the G string some. It adds a little “tube-like” depth you might say, and I hear a “drier” sound w/out the Solstice.

    Doing the same type of A/B test with my upright into a Series I Contra, I actually slightly prefer the sound of my pickup w/out the Solstice, although I can't put into words real well exactly why that's so. And it is a pretty subtle difference w/ and w/out the Solstice in this case.

    I'm using a Rev SOLO pickup too by the way.

    I did notice right away like you did that the bass EQ control isn't voiced like a bass EQ knob on a typical bass amp, for reasons you've already mentioned (i.e. center at 155 Hz). I think of it more as a "resonance" EQ knob than a bass EQ, for lack of a better description.

    You would think Mr. Duncan and Mr. Turner would be aiming for as true or flat of an EQ as possible with the knobs at 12:00, but who knows ...

    I’ve also had fun experimenting with varying levels on the Volume and Master dials. To my ears, pushing the Master much past 12:00 really makes my upright pickup sound too “electric” for my taste. And when I push the Volume past 3:00 to its highest settings, it just gets thicker and thicker the higher I turn it ... too thick if I go too far. My baseline setting is 3:00 on the Volume and 12:00 on the Master.

    Well, YMMV, FWIW, etc. !

    P.S. Oh, I also tried using the Solstice w/ my fretless into the Wizzy. And it wasn’t like “Oh my gosh, listen to that low-end!” Now I can get that effect w/ my SansAmp BDDI if I want, if you're familiar with the SansAmp. But it wasn’t like that at all w/ the Solstice if memory serves.
  5. larry


    Apr 11, 2004
    bolo -

    Good to hear that you dig the Solstice with the Wizzy. I'm actually thinking about switching from Bergantino to EA cabs. Specifically, I was going to try two Wizzy cabs. Right now I have the Berg EX112 and HT 210. The 210 is nice, but big and heavy. I'm either going to go with two HT112's or two Wizzy's (Shouldn't that be Wizzies?). I'll decide when I can A/B them. I might try Epifani as well.

    Based on what you're saying about the Solstice, I'm inclined to think the Bergantino HT210 is a bit heavy on the subwoofer-range of bass frequencies, as well as the fact that the Solstice EQ is not optimal for bass. Still works well, though.

    Thanks for your input.
  6. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Hello again larry. I thought of something else, since this whole thing puzzled me.

    The owner’s manual for the Solstice (which I think is a really nice piece of work BTW) goes on and on about the benefits of its high impedance inputs.

    Now I am not a techie, and I don’t know all that much about impedance, but I do know that (1) it is not to be confused with impotence, and (2) with piezo pickups, “high” is good, so they say.

    So maybe … maybe if whatever you were plugging your Rev SOLO into before has a significantly lower impedance than the Solstice, maybe it was actually robbing low end from your signal. So maybe what’s coming out of the Solstice is actually a “truer” (is that a word?) representation of the sound coming from your pickup. I dunno.

    You add that to the low end emphasis that perhaps the Berg 2x10 might be contributing as you said, and together you get lots more low end than you’re used to hearing without the Solstice in the signal chain.

    Just a thought, FWIW. I really wanna believe there’s nothing wrong with your DTAR unit. Or your Bergantinos for that matter.

    P.S. Wizzies, plural. That’s funny!
  7. larry


    Apr 11, 2004
    I wouldn't worry about it. The vast majority of DB players, it seems, are using smaller cabs. The Berg HT210 is nice, but probably better suited for electric bass. It works well when I need more volume, but I really think I should be using multiple smaller cabs in those situations.