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Settings SWR Baby Blue II for double bass

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Ebl25, Apr 8, 2006.

  1. Ebl25


    Apr 8, 2006
    Hi there,

    I recently bought a SWR Baby baby Blue II combo to use for as well as my electric Fender Jazz bass as my Doublebass.

    I am very satisfied about the SWR for my electric bass but I am strugling with the sound settings when I play doublebass (for what i do most of the time).

    When striking the A-string the sound is very loud (it bangs out of the 10" speaker), for the D and G string I have to pull very hard to get a proper volume. With the semi-parametric equalizer it is possible to correct some but it effects the quality of the sound.

    Can somebody give me advice how to set up the SBB II-combo and to obtain a good sound for my doublebass.

    On my doublebass I use 2 piezzo elements. SWR support can't help me out.

    At this time I am asking myself the question wether I bought the right amplifier or not. Maybe a 12" speaker had been better.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. snowdan


    Feb 27, 2006
    the amp is great and has little to nothing to do with your problem.

    a) llisten to the bass accoustically. check it for string volume balance.

    b) if the bass sounds balanced, start to experiment with piezo element positions. use some double-sided adhesive tape for that purpose.

    with my fishman pickup, i found out it sounds best for my bass with one element halfway to the bridge foot and one between A and G, .5cms away from the strings.

    a side effect of the tape is that it reduces finger noise.

    again: it's not the amp. however, dampenig the low mids may help to reduce boominess. say somewhere in the 100-250hz range.
  3. I found the Baby Blue had a big low-mid hump in its response that helped make up for its lack of extended lows. Sounded great for BG but I can see why you'd have trouble with URB. I agree that some serious scuplting in the 100-250 area is needed.
    (My solution was to buy a Nemesis 210 combo instead - deep lows without boominess)
  4. Robert


    Nov 14, 2003
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I run my pickup through a Fishman preamp (with compressor and EQ) into the effect return in the SWR. (When I use a mic, I run the mic through a special mic-preamp, and then into the effect return) That way I can use some compression to mitigate unevenness in the sound, and dial out frequencies that sound strange. The reason for using the effect return is that you want to bypass the SWR built-in preamp for double bass. The preamp is designed for bass guitar and colors the sound quite a bit.
  5. I'm using my SWR Baby Blue head into either Flite 1x12 or Hartke 2x10 cabs. In both situations the sound is one of the best I ever experienced. The head has very transparent and clean, but not sterile, sound. With my Realist pick-up I go directly with no preamp, with the old Fishman or Underwood I prefer to use a buffering preamp to adjust the impedance. Without the preamp there is too much treble. But with the Realist (especially the old one) it works better without preamp.
    I think your problems will be solved by changing of the pick-up position or by using different pick-up (Realist, Full Circle?)
    Or try to move the soundpost a little...
  6. Brad Maestas

    Brad Maestas Sono est omnia Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2003
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Your post makes me think you should experiment with a few things: your pickup position, the presence of a buffer preamp before the BBB's input, and the position of your speaker. When you said that the A string is slamming and the D and G are not that immediately says to me "pickup placement", "buffer preamp", or "acoustic output".

    The first thing that helped my setup with the BB was using a proper impedance-matching buffer preamp between the bass and the amp. The head does not have a very high impedance input to properly match your piezo pickup to the input stage and, as others have pointed out, it was designed more with BG in mind. Even with a pickup like the Gage that is supposed to be able to plug straight into any amp, I get the best (and smoothest) results with a simple preamp (Fishman Model B) plugged into either the passive input or the effects return. Accordingly, the Fishman and Underwood pickups usually sound horrible plugged straight in, IME. Next thing, like snowdan said, check your acoustic output as well. It could be that your bass just puts out more of the A and less of the D and G. There's not much you can do about that just with electronics. Even a Massenburg EQ won't help you fix that!

    Finally, and maybe most importantly, experiment with the placement of the cabinet in relation to your instrument. I played this room in Lawrence, KS every week for years that had the worst acoustics, ever. The only thing that helped was to raise it (BBII) up to ear-level and/or simply turn the amp down. Often, turning the amp down lets more of the natural sound of the bass come through and that's always a good thing. When the amp is facing the instrument on the ground it will tend to reinforce some frequencies while attenuating others, sounding similar to the problem you're having. The distance between the speakers and your bass is very important. Being that the BBB has a slotted front port as opposed to the BB1 and II's rear port, it makes is easier to place in difficult rooms but it's still something you should consider. Good luck!
  7. Ebl25


    Apr 8, 2006
    Thank you all for the advice. As the piezzo elements are glued the position is fixed. I put on some adhesive-tape on the top of the element to reduce fingernoise. In that way I can adjust more treble to obtain a clean sound and I can put the piezzo tweeter on without getting anoyed by the fingernoise.

    I put the aural enhancer completely down. Low/mids are about 100 -250 khz

    Accoustic my DB is in balance. I think I will look for a preamp to put between my DB and my BBBII amp.

    Again, thank you all.


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