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Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by beach11, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. beach11


    Jun 5, 2011
    Hi, hopefully someone can help, ive recently switched from playing electric bass to UDB and have come across a problem when playing through a PA, especially at high volume. I am using a good bridge pick up and going through a pre amp with eq then into my aston bass amp. I then mic up my amp and put it through the PA system...the problem arises when we try and turn the double bass up...the result is a harsh distortion of the speaker but only from open E string...ive tried loads of things including turning the gain down and volume up in my amp..same result, changing the mic..same result, leaving all the settings the same and turning up the active speakers..same result..it appears there is a level that i can reach and get a great sound but anything above that level results in a horrible sound...do i need to buy a bass sub to deal with the low frequency? or am i missing a trick here...any advice would be amazing.. at the moment its quite disheartening when ive spent hours learning a 30 song set specifically to play on the double bass to not be able to play it at a gig! please help! :confused:
  2. GrowlerBox


    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    Piezo pickups and double bass are hard on bass cabs. Most of your electric bass guitar sound is coming from 2nd and higher harmonics on the lower notes, whereas there is a lot more fundamental coming from your upright. In addition, piezos reproduce a lot of infrasonic vibrations which will be causing your speaker to "flutter" and distort.

    If your preamp has a high-pass filter, use this to cut the lows, or start with cutting the lowest frequencies on whatever EQ you have. TBer fdeck has what is, by all accounts, an extremely useful preamp with a high-pass filter. Also, I would be inclined to use your amp for stage sound only, and DI to the board from your preamp. If by "aston" you mean "Ashton", you are frankly going to do far better DIing than trying to mic the amp. Perhaps put the mic on the bass, instead.
  3. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Actually, trying to play a Double Bass at high volumes is fraught with peril. If you could be so kind as to fill out your user profile. then we would know what kind of pickup you are using. At one time bridge pickups were "state of the art" and pickups like Underwood are still a very viable. but the Fishman Full Circle is leap forward from those designs IMHO

    Growlerbox is right on the money with the high pass filter and FDecks HPF Buffer Pre Amp


    It's the best 65 bucks you'll ever spend since it's designed to correct all the problems that create Double Bass feedback. It's much better to mic the bass and send it right to the P.A.. Using a mic on the amp won't get you a decent sound and it may actually be contributing to the feedback problems.

    I think adding a bass sub would just worsen the problem. I'd try getting the HPF Buffer Pre Amp first because it may solve a lot of you're problems. Frankly, if you're trying to play really loud then EB may be the way to go. Finally, unless you have a P.A. capable of handling the frequencies that a Double Bass produces then it's not a good idea.

  4. beach11


    Jun 5, 2011
    Thanks loads for your advice, thats really useful, the pick up im using at the moment is a a J-tone, here is the link.. J-tone Big double Bass Pick up | eBay UK
    its a really good sound and actually really closely replicates the real sound of my double bass, and I got my bass amp wrong too..sorry its a ashdown 180 electric blue, here is a link :: Playsomething
    ive tried taking the low frequencies out using a band on the preamp and on the mixing desk, It definitely helps but i'm still getting some flapping sound, again only at louder volumes. As for volume ranges, im not after hugh volume, just enough to play in a average size function room. thanks again for your helpful advice
  5. beach11


    Jun 5, 2011
    im not sure if this helps but im using an L RT baggs equalizer pre amp.. im not really experiencing any issues with feedback, its more the low frequency rattle/flap distortion...thanks again for your advice
  6. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    You still don't say what kind of music you're playing, but if you ARE trying to get an end result that "closely replicates the real sound of (your) double bass, there are a couple of things.

    1. physical approach - I know when I made the switch from electric to upright I was overly reliant on the amplification for everything. With electric bass, if you want to get louder, you just turn up the amp, if you want to cut through more you just adjust the EQ etc. But with DB, all of that has to occur with the acoustic instrument, because ALL you are amplifying is the sound that you're getting. If it's thin, unfocused and doesn't project, you just get a LOUD thin, unfocused sound that doesn't project. Physical approach isn't about playing harder it's about playing smarter, if you don't have a teacher, I highly recommend getting one.

    2. sound chain - as above, it starts with your back and shoulders. The pick up and amplifier aren't the beginning. If the goal is getting a good acoustic sound out into the house, DON'T mic the amp. Mic the BASS. Having your pick up go to the amp for stage volume and mic the bass (I've had the best luck with the mic, wrapped in foam, up between the bridge feet, see foto)

    There IS a point where the volume level is just going to be too high to get a good, acoustic sound. I don't play there, so I'm not much interested in how one deals with it. You probably should be looking at taking a direct out of the amp, rather than micing the speaker...

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