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Roland V bass

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by ped, Feb 24, 2008.


  1. ped

    ped User Commercial User

    Aug 30, 2006
    York, England
    Hi chaps and chapesses,

    I have been offered a Roland V bass through a friend and I am quite tempted. However I thought I should ask here about it first.

    The main thing is about the pickup. I want to install it on my 4 string bass which has pickups and associated pickup rings right up to the bridge, which is where I seem to see the roland pickup mounted in all the pictures. Would there be any ill effects in having the pickup in front of the two pickups (see pic below)? I presume near the bridge is ideal because the movement of the strings is less so probably gives a tighter signal to the pickup?

    Has anyone tried one? I remember Omar Hakim's bass player using one with his Sadowsky and it sounded really good...

    Cheers folks
    ped


    P3310346.

    P.S If the pickup is really thin then there is a chance it would fit under the strings at the bridge if mounted on the pickup ring where you can see the white Marleaux logo. Has anyone got/seen one? how thin is it?

    I am downloading the manual now to see if it is any help.
     
  2. lposavad

    lposavad Supporting Member

    Another option might be to get piezo saddles for your bridge.
    Google "RMC Pickups" and see what they have.

    I have V-Bass, and it does have a lot of power under the hood, but you can spend a lot of time tweaking to get the tones you want. I've decided not to use it for live work because of the fiddle factor.
     
  3. ped

    ped User Commercial User

    Aug 30, 2006
    York, England
    Hi mate,

    Thanks for the reply. I have looked into Piezo elements and so forth and whilst they would probably offer a better or at least very good alternative, I don't want to change a thing about this bass as I am so happy with it. That is why I was quite up for a bit of tweaking/fiddling with the Vbass. I have a rack Pod too which I love to pieces and really enjoy using, so I think I might like the Vbass a lot. Do you know about the pickup issues I mentioned?

    Cheers
    ped
     
  4. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Roland says you need the GK pickup right next to the bridge.

    An option you might consider is picking up a cheap SX bass, then putting the GK pickup on. You would then have plenty of opportunity to check it out.

    If you like it (and wanna got the piezo route on your bass) or don't, either way you could sell the SX and GK pickup and not lose very much money.
     
  5. ped

    ped User Commercial User

    Aug 30, 2006
    York, England
    Hi Marcus,

    Thanks for the reply - it would be a good idea to do that but I wouldn't want to shell out for a cheapy bass with which to try the unit because the unit is going to be quite cheap for me anyway so worth just trying on this bass for now. I wouldn't mount it with anything other than temporary tape to begin with.

    Hopefully I will be able to find someone near me in the UK who has one I can try out. Either way, it is probably worth a punt because I would be able to sell it on easily.

    I have discovered one or two threads about the Vbass which are quite interesting. I will read more about it tomorrow but in the meantime if anyone has any more info/views I would be keen to hear.

    Cheers
    ped
     
  6. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    You could always buy my Stambaugh with built-in V Bass pickup I've got for sale here on TB :D

    The V Bass is extremely cool and if you're into sonic experimentation and variety, you will like it a lot. Do plan on spending some time tweaking programs. I've found (as with Roland in general) the patches to be "too much"....as in too much reverb, delay, distortion, low end, whatever.

    Very underrated unit that really should have done better but I think it is vastly misunderstood.

    Or as George Bush would say "misunderestimated" ;)
     
  7. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    I suggested that because there really (other than going with a new piezo bridge) no practical way to install a GK pickup correctly on that bass. The "distance from bridge" parameter(s) would not be correct. You would experience less than optimal performance (to put it mildly) from the V Bass; pretty much defeating the purpose of trying it.
     
  8. ped

    ped User Commercial User

    Aug 30, 2006
    York, England
    I think it may well be a bit of an undiscovered gem as you say. It seems us bass players in general are fairly reserved and adverse to sub menus and the like, as evidenced by the completely polarised opinions on the bass pod!

    I would be interested to see a picture of your Stammie. I will go and have a look. I did read there was an 'internal' kit for the pickup electronics bit which might be worth investigating.

    Cheers
    ped
     
  9. ped

    ped User Commercial User

    Aug 30, 2006
    York, England
    I see, thanks - unfortunately (sort of!) all of my basses are Vigiers with similar pickup jobs. I think there would definitely be room on the back of the pickup surround, but perhaps that would be too close?
     
  10. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    It looks too tight to me.
     
  11. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Probably. The GK pickup looks to be 12mm...doesn't look like you have that much room from the photo.
     
  12. El-Bob

    El-Bob Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    Hamilton, ON
    could you cut off the back part of the pickup ring?
     
  13. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    The width is closer to 15mm counting the attached cable.

    It probably wouldn't hurt to try putting some extra height under the GK and having it closer to the neck. If you've got pretty low action, you might want to try putting it right at the end of the fretboard, though tracking won't be as good.

    +1 to the piezos -- I have one bass with a GK pup and one with the piezos and the piezo tracks noticeably better.
     
  14. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Not necessarily. With the kit, you can run the cable under the bridge making a small channel for it. I did just that and you can get the GK pup pretty much right up against the bridge. Roland has said against the fingerboard won't work right.
     
  15. ped

    ped User Commercial User

    Aug 30, 2006
    York, England
    Hi mate,

    I could, but really don't want to alter the bass in any way. I think there would in fact be room for the pickup on it...

    Next question is about the GK3B pickup 'brain' - is the back of it quite smooth/flat? Can anyone kindly measure the size and dimensions of it so I can cut out a template and see where it will fit?

    Cheers
    ped
     
  16. elros

    elros

    Apr 24, 2004
    Norway
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    I am an avid V-Bass user and have been for about a year. My fretless Benavente 6 had the GK pickup factory installed, and I did it myself on my Surine fretted 6. The GK pickup is rather thin, about 6-7mm I think. Must be installed close to the bridge.
    Is it perhaps possible to remove the thing around the pickups on your bass? Then you could at least temporarily install the GK pickup and if you like it perhaps you could get a new pickup-ring custom made?
    IMO the V-Bass is fantastic and lets me have an amazing variation on my bass sound - P-bass, J-bass, Rickenbacker, MusicMan, anything at all pretty much - in addition to all the amp models and effects, and the weird useless things too.
     
  17. shaller makes the 3D bridges with piezos... you could have a look at those cuz its basically the same bridge... its not a big modification... when you change the strings you change the bridge and install the GK stuff needed for running the bass trough V bass
     
  18. ped

    ped User Commercial User

    Aug 30, 2006
    York, England
    Thanks guys,

    If I was to install a piezo bridge, what would that hook up to in order for the V bass to work? Would I need to use a separate output for it to the magnetic pickups?

    I can't find the Schaller 3D with Piezo anywhere at the moment but will have a look later.
    Cheers
    ped
     
  19. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Ped,

    you want it close to the bridge. Just eyeballing (worth basically zilch) looks like it would fit width wise but not hieght. I wouldn't hesistate to chop the surround off - having one made as much that is. Any respectable luthier could whip one out nominally. Probably anyone who makes pickgaurds for that matter. Much more practical approach than jacking with the bridge.

    In some hundred pups I've never had one I'd mount that close to the bridge - and I'm a bridge player. Too thin and/or bright.

    You didn't say what you're getting it for but the best deal I've ever seen on one was one recently sold on ebay for like $350 shipped or so with a GK2B. When I had mine $300 for the unit alone (not shipped) was a good price. Regardless, just buy it to sell if nothing else.

    You can see my experience in FAQ under Dimento's V-bass experiment.

    In general I found the quality of the tones much better than the Pod but it didn't have the variety of tones available from the pod. The tones are also less applicable to basslines overall. It is infinitely more complex to tweak than the pod. The pod is comparatively plug and play. There's a lot of redundancy in the V bass. For a good price I sure wouldn't pass on it if I were you.

    Oops, FAQ in the Pickup forum that is.
     
  20. ped

    ped User Commercial User

    Aug 30, 2006
    York, England
    Thanks mate, I will go and check out that thread now.

    I REALLY don't want to modify this bass in any way, it really is perfect and to change anything, even cosmetic, would be sacrelidge as she has been so good to me. I know it would be easiest to cut the pickup surround but just not an option I am afraid.

    However - from the measurements I have received it will fit if attached to the back of the puckup mount, so no need to cut it anyway. I am waiting on exact measurements of the 'brain' so that I can see where it would fit, and if it looks OK I will probably go for it.

    If anyone has exact measurements of the brain of a GK3B I would really appreciate it!

    Cheers
    ped
     

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