Trimpot settings for upright rockabilly sound?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Jodaman, Jun 4, 2020.

  1. Jodaman


    May 28, 2020
    Just started playing upright in January. I have a GK amp and just got a K&K Bass Master RB preamp. I am completely new to amplification and curious if any one has some good trimpot setting advice? Primary interest is a good rockabilly tone.
    Many thanks -
  2. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Howdy, @Jodaman. Welcome to TB and a heartfelt congrats on your first foray into upright.

    I'm afraid that I'm not familiar with the K&K Bass Master and can only offer you some very general advice as to how I'd approach things:
    • Gain staging is important - you want a healthy amount of signal at each stop along your signal chain, but not so much that you're clipping/overdriving/squashing the signal.
    • "Flat" on GK amps generally involves a bit of boost to the high and low mids and a slight cut to the treble and bass controls - you don't have to end up there (your cab and tone goals will factor in), but it can be useful as a starting position.
    • You can, with most Doublebass preamps, run either into the front end of your amp or into the effects return or poweramp input if you want to bypass the amp's built-in preamp.
    • I like to get the mids dialed how I like them, then add treble and bass to taste.
    • In addition to shooting for a tone I find pleasing, I check that the response is even up and down the neck (I try to avoid the bass sounding thin on some notes and booming out on others.
    • I'm generally not a fan of a scooped EQ on electric bass, but sometimes a little bit of scoop can work well on doublebass (depends - trust your ears).
    • Don't be afraid to experiment and listen to your tone in context (whether that's playing along to recordings, now, listening to players you like and recording yourself, or whatever - when you get to play live with a group, you'll get more data on what works and doesn't!)
    • A lot of the sound will come from your technique. Make sure you like your acoustic sound (or work toward it!), then use the amp to help.
    You're on the electric bass side of the forum, by the way - you might run into some doublers (people who play both electric and upright) here, but you also might run into people with more direct experience doing what you're trying to do on the double bass side.

    Good luck! Sounds like the start of a fun trip!
  3. Jodaman


    May 28, 2020
    Thanks so much. Really appreciate your thoughts.
  4. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Sure. As I said, you might try asking on the DB side, if you haven't already.

    If you can give folks there some more info -- like what specific GK amp you're running through, players/groups whose sound you like, and anything that you're not having success with, playing and twiddling knobs on your own. You might also, if you're comfortable with the idea, post video or audio recordings at some point and ask for feedback.

    Again, good luck, have fun!