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Tone improvement

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by vt220, Feb 14, 2020.


  1. vt220

    vt220

    Feb 14, 2020
    Hi all!

    I have a Shadow SH965 NFX-B on my bass running directly into the mixer. The sound is OK, but could be better and the output is a little low. What is the first thing to invest in to make my tone better? I'm thinking these options:

    - A DI, active or passive (something like Radial StageBug SB-1 / SB-2)
    - A good preamp - suggestions?
    - An amp. Came across a Markbass Nano Mark 300, I was thinking I could use this as a DI, and hook up a cab for gigs that requires this
    - A different pickup

    I play mostly blues/jazz and a little rock, never with a bow.

    The setup would only be used for rehearsals and gigs, in the studio I always mic up the bass.
     
  2. I'm very happy with Sansamp Paradriver. From all the stuff I tried (wasn't so much of it), it is the only preamp that can somehow make the piezo pickup sound less piezo. Plus, of course, it does anything else you could want a preamp for.
     
  3. Matthijs

    Matthijs

    Jul 3, 2006
    Amsterdam
    I’ve got the same pickup and have no problems with output level. Are you sure it is setup right and there are no problems in impedance matching or using the right input into the board?

    I do use a extra pre for eq and as a hpf. But it is not really needed to boost the level. I have the volume and tone controls al the way up, I do not really like what they do when turned down.

    are both pickup plugs inserted al the way into the shx preamp? I’ve found I sometimes pull out one of the cables and unwittingly only use one of the pickups. It might also be you prefer only using the E side pickup for a less hifi sound? I really would like it if the pre had the option to adjust the level of the G side seperately.
     
  4. vt220

    vt220

    Feb 14, 2020
    Yeah, I run the volume and tone to the max as well, but still find the output a litte low... It's not unusable, but could be better. I'll check the cables, good tip! I'll also see if I can find out about the impedance on the mixer.
     
  5. vt220

    vt220

    Feb 14, 2020
    Looks interesting! Do you know how the Paradriver compares to SansAmp Programmable Bass Driver? I like the idea of being to able to switch settings easily as we play quite a variety of styles.
     
  6. Matthijs

    Matthijs

    Jul 3, 2006
    Amsterdam
    There are others that have complained about the output level. My luthier was quite particular in making sure al the contact surfaces were very flat when installing them. This might have something to do with it.

    on the other hand there were also some complaints about the durability of the cables and pickups. I have had no problems at all, but maybe something is off with yours?
     
  7. The output of that pickup is a bit lower than others. That’s normal.
    No impedance problems because there is a built-in impedance buffer.

    As long as your amp has a lot of gain to be set up, no problem. Otherwise a preamp with voltage amplification (higher volume/voltage out than in) might help. (An impedance buffer is current amplification and not need for this pickup but does not hurt.)

    For a board a DI might not help that much because then you get a weak mic signal to the board.

    In general the NFX works better for arco than pizz, but I used the NFX for our last tango orchestra concert and unexpectedly liked it better than the Yamahiko. But that kind of music uses a lot of quick change between pizz and arco.
     
  8. Matthijs

    Matthijs

    Jul 3, 2006
    Amsterdam
    You are right about the impedance, what I meant was to check if he was using the line in on the board, because it might be to low gain for the pre. As it is meant to work into a higher gain bass-amp. I think my brain is conditioned by TB to always add ‘impedance’ to ‘matching’.
     
  9. vt220

    vt220

    Feb 14, 2020
    Stupid question, but the Sansamp DI's, they're not just a plain DI but also a preamp that will boost my signal, right?
     

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