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Running your bass thru a Bass rig & Guitar Rig Simulteanously..opinions?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by pb9717, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. pb9717


    Aug 18, 2006
    In my 30+ years playing I have done my best to find a balance between spectacular Clear Full bass tone, (which in my experience has usually been a quality low noise Bass guitar, with fairly fresh strings to a good cable directly connected to an amp/cab or cabinets of my preference, I know, opinions vary) and an effects based tone i.e envelope, chorus, distortion.

    I have always found that the primary bass tone I enjoy most ( Dry circuit) is hindered, degraded, when any effects are added. Manufacturers make pedals and effects circuits specifically for bass in an effort to provide the best altered sound while being tailored to frequencies created by our lower pitch instruments.

    Recently, for the first time , I started using a Biamp setup. meaning: a single head with biamp capability, splitting my bass into two frequency groups into two different cabinets chosen specifically to handle those different frequency spectrums ( DUH, I 'm sure most of you know what Biamp means)

    Now understand, for most of my life I never considered Biamping, because I always thought.." Hey, a good rig should sound great on its own without any need for outboard gear or multiple cabs." And this remained the case until I became old, and, most recently felt any one single cab didn't provide the top end clarity AND full low end I really wanted. At least one I could lift up my basement stairs. I used a Ampeg SVT-410HLF, but simply could not transport it often without killing my back. I tried 2 Acme LowB2's and that unfortunately did not work either, as their power requirements and tendency to overexcurd made them somewhat problematic ( But at very low volumes they were exceptional) And the fact that if I inserted any heavy effects into the signal, the pure tone I wanted as the mainstay of the signal, would deteriorate at minimum.

    What I have discovered, ( and stay with me here...there is eventually a discussion point coming) Is that By Running a Biamped rig, I can get all the volume I need and all the clarity I need, with far greater control over the individual cabs volume and frequency AND be able to use small, light cabs to do it.

    But more importantly I have found that I can add a small Multieffect equipped guitar combo amp via the heads tuner output , and get all the effects I want without compromising on my primary bass tone.

    PLUS I have the plethora of effects built into the combo AND I can run outboard pedals thru the combo amp alone.

    Im using a Line6 Spyder III guitar amp on my tuner output, with great success, and so...my question is......

    Is there anybody out there doing similar? How has your experience been?

    All responses welcome.

  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    i think dug pinnick is known for that sort of thing as well.

    now are you truly bi-amping, where the clean rig is crossed over to only produce lows while the guitar amp handles all the mids and highs, or are you (i guess you'd say) "dual-amping", with a "normal" full range clean bass sound and the guitar amp providing the fx and overdrive, etc. on top of the dry sound?
  3. pb9717


    Aug 18, 2006

    Larger gigs I run the Bass to the complete Biamped ,2 cab rig for just bass tone + the Line6 combo for my distortion, chorus, and heavily effected sound. I run that signal thru a stompbox tuner so I can shut that rig off with the press of a button.

    Smaller gigs I run just the 112 with the head in mono mode, and use the Line6 as a standalone 2nd rig. Both are set full range, but the guitar amp naturally only produces higher frequencies. The Avatar 112 only weighs 31lbs as it is a Neo, so the rig is really light, small and very usable. In a trio its ridiculous as I can provide such a huge spectrum of sound. The Avatar is a good low end cab for its size, and the line 6 handles top end adequately. But the bass's sound is dependant on the Avatar 112. Its Especially effective when the Line6 is in a distortion setting. The wall of sound I put behind a guitar solo with this extremely small rig is unbelievable.

    I know Entwistle, Pinnick, and possibly Wolstenholme from Muse may have a multi rig setup. All I know is, I can't believe I didn't do this earlier. And I wanted to see if its been considered more here on TB. I certainly can't say enough good things about it.
  4. pb9717


    Aug 18, 2006
    Let me correct this.

    I am "Dual Amping" as you put it. The bass rig, whether Bi-amped or Single cab full range is clean. No Effects...EVER. That way I never lose my foundation bass sound. The Guitar rig is used intermittently when the song would benefit from that second signal..my pseudo rhythm guitar role.

    Sorry for the misinfo earlier.
  5. miner


    Oct 26, 2008
    I tried it once. I used a hartke lh500 through an acoustic 8x10 and a peavey 5150 through a crate 4x12. It actually sounded pretty good. Just isn't worth dragging around all the time!

    Short Bass Solo: http://youtu.be/qmUgJbGhYhg
  6. pb9717


    Aug 18, 2006
    Exactly...now imagine shrinking that rig down to a small combo, and a 112 cab + 10lb Carvin head. Same effect on a slightly smaller scale. Good time though.
  7. Tonetodiefor


    Feb 25, 2014
    Marin County
    For a long time I ran my Mesa 400 for my primary clean bass tone and my Hiwatt DR103 for distortion/effects and high end. The combined sound is unbelievable.
    Now I'm pretty much using the Hiwatt for guitar and the Mesa or my Genz for bass. I actually like the combo of the Mesa w/ 215 blended with my Genz w/ 2- Uber Quads.

    I like your concept of a two amp "small" rig!
  8. jeffgnr90


    Aug 4, 2011
    I've been contemplating this for awhile now. I have a Fender superbassman, 300w all tube. I feel like that would lay a great foundation. I would then run my fx through this 120w 212 crate combo amp.

    The fx I use are a bddi deluxe, vt bass deluxe, mxr 10 band eq, boss oc-3, boss ph-3 and hpf-pre 3.

    So would keep the oc-3 and hpf-pre 3 on the clean signal and everything else through the combo amp. The 10 band would help in taking out the sub bass stuff at 32hz and 60hz while I'd use the bddi/vt bass for dirt. How does that sound?! Heh heh
  9. jeffgnr90


    Aug 4, 2011
    How do you eq the individual amps?
  10. RS66LB


    Dec 29, 2012
    Yeah, been bi-amped for years with the same mind set as you mentioned -tight punchy bass mixed with an aggresive 4x12 guitarish tone, having the ability to balance them per individual preference allows all sorts of tonal options....currently using an old Sound City 4x12 'upright' pa cab loaded with 4 Eminence 16 ohm Swamp thangs (one of the loudest guitar speakers on the market), this is driven with a bridged Carvin BX1200. For lows I use a 2x18 cab loaded with 2 Eminence Definimax, this is driven by a Crest FA-1201 bridged in mono. The amount of headroom is staggering in this rig not to mention the tonal versatility available, of course you don't have to go this large to achive all the benefits of biamping since even a modest biamp rig offers the afore mentioned advantages in a more easier to transport version -thinking a 4x10 for lows mixed with a closed back 2x12 for mid bass/mids might work well and still be somewhat easy to lug around
  11. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    were i to go this route i'd go for a small guitar combo for the fx like the OP; a 100w 1x12 peavey bandit or whatever is cheap, light, and can get way too loud, especially if the lows are rolled back on it; there's little need for anything bigger. (remember, the "bigness" all comes from the bass amp side.)
  12. vbchaos


    Sep 5, 2011
    Groningen, The Netherlands
    Uncompensated endorsing user: fEARful
    AFAIK Robert Trujillo does this quite massively since he has been with ST
  13. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    I've played around with this in the past, using a Micro Pog to produce an octave up signal which is run into a Vox modeling amp in addition to a normal bass sound. Amazing stuff! Now I find myself in a band with keys, bass and drums...and needing to fill in some guitarish things, thanks for starting this thread!
  14. I have a dual amp setup too. 410 stays clean and the 112 gets the effects.

    In the rack is the splitter, the multi-fx, the distortion(s) for the fx signal. Then preamp, compressor and thumpinator for the clean signal.
    And of course the stereo poweramp to power both (twice 1800W@4Ohm :D).

    Controlled is everything by the footboard of the G-System.
    evil1603 likes this.
  15. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Bass through bass+guitar rigs was pioneered by John Entwistle, and variations were used by Chris Squire, Geddy Lee, Billy Sheehan, many others. They sound awesome, but are too impractical for me so I fake it using preamps run in parallel and blended mono to power amp and speaker cab.

    Anyway... many years ago I bought some John Entwistle instructional tapes from Hot Licks (I think). He didn't have much to offer playing-wise, but he discussed his rig. Summary: clean lows, dirty mids/highs.

    As for FX: not my thing, but if you go that way, use them on the guitar side so they only affect mids/highs, and not lows.
  16. pb9717


    Aug 18, 2006
    WOW!... I am staggered and extremely pleased at all the responses. I know I didn't re-invent the wheel here, but I'm glad this type of set up is more prevalent than I thought. I seem to feel one difference between mine and all others written about is mine is STUPID SMALL. 1x12 Avatar NEO w Carvin BX for clean bass, and a Line6 SpyderIII for the guitar and effects side. The whole rig weighs less than 75 lbs speakers & heads.

    Like I said initially, I am OLD and simply can't move the majority of the rigs written about above ( well I could but I'd be a cripple the next day) But man o man....if any of you guys can get your hands on a small combo with built in effects you may find a new playground you"ll love exploring. Just send your tuner output to it, and let the notes fly!

    You guys are awesome.

  17. sunbrother


    May 3, 2013
  18. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I've been doing it for over 30 years - started when I bought an acoustic 370 rig and discovered it had nothing to offer in the way of "presence".

    I use an SVT through a pair of 15"s and a marshall through 2 12" celestions in a sealed box. I don't use this whole rig for every gig, but definitely on the big ones.

    johnpbass and 10cc like this.
  19. MVE


    Aug 8, 2010
    Most of Stanley's Alembics have stereo jack outputs for separate signals from each pickup and he then runs each pickup into a separate F1-X and then on to additional separate processing from there.

    You can read about it here:

    wave rider likes this.