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Thinking about a change in Amps/Pedals

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by el murdoque, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    A while back, i was quite happy with my setup, then i wanted a switchable overdrive in the whole thing. I would have liked two sounds, a mild overdrive and full out distortion and looked for a pedal to do both, but found none to my liking. So i bought the smallest pedalboard i could find and rigged it with OD, Distortion and Tuner. Then a comp. And then GAS hit.
    Before i realized what had happened, i needed to buy cables with smaller jacks so i could fit pedal #13 on my board which matched my bass-gigbag in weight.
    Now i have the struggle to get the sounds i want because i play different basses in different bands and it's hard to remember every setting of every pedal for every bass for two different amps and i don't want to arrive half an hour early to every rehearsal to get it dialed in.
    Those of you who read this far might ask themselves why i am talking about pedals when i'm posting a thread to the amps section.

    My thoughts were as follows: I feel that with the use of many pedals, i loose the ability to really use my active basses, because i have to keep them at the same settings. If i mess with the knobs on the basses, the response from the pedals becomes different and that is often a problem. But many things i do with the pedalboard can be done in a slightly less fancy way just by changing the EQ on the bass and the way i play.

    So if i had an amp with two channels i could ditch the pedalboard entirely and use the head for overdrive. The only thing i'd really miss would be the tuner and its mute function, but if the head had an output for a tuner and a mute footswitch along with the channel selection, i could be fine. If i sold off one or two heads and most of my pedals, i'd be able to fund something solid. I would like tubes, but i would hate to carry 40kg twice a week to rehearsal and back.

    At the moment, my smallest setup is a barefaced one10 with a H&K Tubemeister 18 head and my biggest is an aguilar stack, Tonehammer500 with 2 GS212 cabs. While i'm at it, i might as well sell off the aggie cabs and get more barefaceds - i'm thinking of a second one10 and a four10.

    So is there such a thing as a tube head that's an easy carry, looks good on a single one10
    and offers two channels with nice overdrive and mute switch?
  2. Sounds like you need to do two separate effect loops one for your active bass and one for your passive basses. Are you constantly switching both types of basses in both bands?

    Something like this can help to work with one loop of pedals: Radial Bassbone V2 2-ch Bass Preamp and DI

    I have V3 version of this, but this can be helpful as a quick switching mechanism with volume controls. You can also blend channels together easily:
    Blender V4 : Wounded Paw, Bass and Guitar Effects and Blenders

    Determine how you will get your tone to the sound guys - DI boxes, microphone? Do you want to run two separate channels? Are you dealing with sound guys who would be competent enough to work with two channels?

    There are very few two channel bass heads out there. In my opinion, you are better off with a clean head and pedals. You can always change the distortion/overdrive tones and change the bass head you are using. Here is one that might make your day: Tech 21 - dUg Ultra Bass 1000 Price is $1800 I think, but that might have changed. It's not tube, but sounds similar to a very dirty tube amp.

    There are some ideas for you. Before selling everything you have, determine how much gear you will actually need to get the tones you want, how the sound is going to be sent to the sound guy, and how much gear you actually are OK to deal with. In addition, determine what parts of your gear sound best/are most useful to you and go from there. Lastly, two different effect loops (active basses in one loop of pedals and passives on the other loop) would allow you to hit ONE switch and have your tone dialed in.

    Good luck and let us know your thoughts.
  3. rufus.K


    Oct 18, 2015
    Keep your amp and speakers, replace the pedal board with a GK Backline600 on the floor as a pedal. Viola, 2 channels - one with distortion.
  4. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Thanks for that suggestion. That amp is beautiful and does exactly what i asked for, except that it is two inches too big to fit on the one10 and it is solid state.

    I need to clarify on bass rotations: In one band i mostly play what i feel like playing, it does not really matter.
    In the other i prefer to play my Carvin LB75, but sometimes switch to my Ibanez BTB (The singlecut 6 string one).
    The Carvin has active stacked humbuckers and a very high output. When i use that one, i need to watch for the master volume or my overdrive will be way off, the same goes for the bass knob.
    Frankly said, i went down the 'add another pedal to fix a problem' route all the way until the end.
    I refuse to go further. I will settle for a tiny pedal board with maybe three or four pedals, but i will not add pedals 14, 15 and 16 to fix this.
  5. Can you post a photo of your current pedalboard? I am confused why you need thirteen of them. Post the input path for your pedals and explain what you are doing. Perhaps we can help simplify it here.

    Also, the the dUg 1000 is a VERY SPECIAL piece of gear and to discredit it because it is two inches larger than the cabinet you are using is beyond my comprehension. You are severely limiting your options because of a SMALL cosmetic thing that means absolutely nothing at a live show. Are you staring at your gear and also staring at the crowd while playing? Didn't think so.

    You need to evaluate if the "tube sound" is really what you want or if you are "thinking" it's the right way for you. The Fender Bassman 300 is another tube head with a distortion channel built in. Keep in mind that if you do not like the distortion tone, guess you are screwed.... This is why pedals come in handy. Also, if you use a tube head, are you intending to use a microphone on your rig for shows? The Barefaced 410 is not your standard 410 cab and you will need to use two different mics on your cab to capture the full spectrum of your tone. (each group of 10's puts out a different part of your tone). Will you be able to get two channels in a live situation? Based on some other threads from TB, we generally just get one channel and it's not always a mic. If you have your own sound man, then you are probably set to go.
  6. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    One column is low passed and one column is full range. No need for two mics you'd just capture the full range side.
  7. Thanks for the clarification. One mic should do it then.
  8. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    I don't have pics here that show the full board, but after some experimenting i'm down a few pedals already. I had a Fuzz setup where i split the signal, ran it through a big muff into an octaver and mixed it with the dry signal, another fuzz, an OD and a distortion for the grit. An EQ, a Fuzzrocious BDPG and a LPF pedal for tone shaping, a strymon blue sky for reverb and a delay, all nice and tidy packed into groups and routed with a looper, a comp before the looper and a tuner last in chain (as master mute). Right now, i'm down again to one Overdrive and one Fuzz in the Loop for grit, the BDPG and LPF for in the loop for toneshaping and the Blue Sky for reverb (with the looper and the tuner a total of 7 pedals).

    But i understand your concerns with the two channel amp vs. overdrive pedal - meaning that you spend serious money to have a built in OD that cannot be changed.

    Does an Amp like the Mesa Bass Prodigy work the same way with a booster as a guitar amp does? Meaning that when you set the gain to the sweet spot just before saturation and then boost the signal, it gets more saturation but only slightly more volume?
  9. Are your active basses your favorite basses?
  10. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    My active basses are the ones i play 95% of the time.
  11. So set the pedals up for them rather than the passives.
  12. I can't comment on that specifically, but maybe you should do a dual rig here. A guitar tube head with a single or dual 12 cabinet for your distortion tones. Have a separate bass rig for the clean tone only. You can set up an HPF on the guitar rig and just use a boost pedal or two for overdrive and distortion tones through the head. That might make you happier.
  13. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I say don't think too much man. I use a ton of effects all the time and all I use is active bass's. One amp, one cab, two pedal boards, one bass. I'm set. And it sounds great. Just do you OP, try not to get too bogged down by what you may read on here or other forums. Try what can, see what works for you and what doesn't. That's what I did. It took me about 4 years (which isn't really that bad relatively) and I'm at a point where I'm VERY happy with my tone, rig and setup. And some of the things I use and how I use them some would think is unnecessary or silly but it works great for me and that's all that matters.

    As far as your amp wants, that's sorta tough. They make nice little tube heads but the watts are also just that, nice and little. So that could be a rough find.
  14. tom-g


    Oct 2, 2007
    I was having the same problem. I switch between a passive 4 and an active 5. I am now using Source Audio pedals with the Source Audio Hub and a MIDI switcher. Using one of the channels of the SA Aftershock (with the Clean Preset) to adjust the level of the passive 4 to that of the active 5 solved the problem. The other channel (channels are cascaded) of the Aftershock is used for different flavors of overdrive, distortion, fuzz or nothing at all. Each channel in the Aftershock has an EQ. There are 128 different presets possible with this setup - that's enough for what I will ever be using.
  15. Maybe I'm not understanding the question, but I remember a post a while back where the guy had added an EQ pedal that he used when he switched basses, to match levels and eq to the other pedals so the rest of the settings wouldn't need to change. Sounds like you're out of room on your board already tho.
    Sartori likes this.
  16. First off, TL/DR so not sure if this answer duplicates earlier posts or violates some constraints mentioned in posts past the OP.

    Also "tube amp" means to me tube power section, but my answer is an amp that only has a decent pre-amp tube implementation. The Genz Benz ShuttleMax 9.2. Two fully featured channels, the second has a high voltage tube with a gain switch to drive even harder. Mute foot switch and tuner out.

    The power amp, while class D, has an ingenious limiter section that does an approximation of tube power section saturation and a bit of power rectifier sag. It won't get super dirty, but at high output volumes you get a bit of note bloom. It's a great amp with a fantastic EQ section and a surprisingly nice sounding DI.
  17. So read the thread and I have to concur, cosmetic concerns re: size of head vs a cabinet are not worth worrying about!

    One thing to seriously consider though is if you want to keep using your sweet reverb and delay. If you use an amp's distortion channel you either need to put the reverb/delay in the amp's effects loop, if it even has one, or suffer the OD laying on top of the reverb/delay, rather than the usually preferred order, as you have it on your pedal board.
  18. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    The problem is the mismatching outputs of the different active basses. My main players are a Carvin with active PU's and active electronics that has super high output, a custom with a Glockenklang preamp that has about the same output as a loud passive instrument and an Ibanez that lies somewhere inbetween.

    The thing that is bogging me is not that i read something somewhere, but what my ears tell me during rehearsal.
    You know these moments, when the song shifts, the lead guitar engages the boost and you hit the OD, just to find out that with the current settings, pretty much everyone in the room hears a thunderous, angry, biting bass and not much else ...

    My feeling is that i went too far on the pedalboard design and have to step back there. I had more than a decade of happy playing without pedals and now i feel like i went too far. My guess would be that updating my head, so it does more leads to a smaller pedalboard (or none at all) and a happier me.
    Sartori likes this.
  19. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013

    I already ditched the delay and the reverb can live well if used before the amp, since i never have it on when i do the angry sound.

    Since the market for this kind of amplification seems so small, i agree that cosmetics play a minor role.
    HolmeBass likes this.
  20. ERicks


    Feb 22, 2014
    I remember reading in one of Justin Meldal-Johnsen's threads about how he used to use one of those Source Audio programmable eq pedals to match the levels of his different basses in his live rig-one of the programmable Sansamp or Vt bass pedals that Tech 21 makes might be able to help you save a different setting for each bass and eliminate some tone shaping pedals too if you're into the sound. For amps I think the GK Fusions can toggle between two different sets of settings and are tube pre.

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