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Two (and three!) very different basses, but only one preamp...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by rockstarbassist, Aug 2, 2005.


  1. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    Ok, so after getting my new Spector this weekend, I've run into a problem that I'm sure some of you have...

    You have 2+ basses, but only one amp or preamp. I have a fretless passive Peavey that I defretted, an active Charvel 4 fretted, and now my ultra-hi output Spector 5 fretted, and when I gigged them this weekend, I had to go back and change my Demeter's settings every time.

    So, there has to be an easier way. I'd, of course, love to get another preamp or something, but that seems a little expensive and over the top just to use more than one bass live.

    My Spector has a 3-band pre with EMG Hz's, and a very sizzly 18V output. My Charvel has EMG P/J's, with (I'm guessing!) a 1-band pre. Whenever I got it back from getting the new pickups put in it, easily 6+ years ago, I knew nothing really of all this technical stuff, but how it works now is V/V/T. So it's kind of wired passive, but needs a 9V to work. And the Peavey is just V/T. Both 4 strings I can EQ about the same on the pre, but totally have to jack the settings when plugging in the Spector... Ideas, or is that just what I'm stuck with???
     
  2. Sounds like a small mixer would help you.
     
  3. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF

    Care to be a little more specific? :) How I would set it up, run it, etc..?
     
  4. Kael

    Kael Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    Run all your differing basses into a different channel on a small mixer (or blender like a D-Tar solstice or something). Use the mixer/blender to match the signal from each bass with respect to level. Send that signal to preamp of choice.
     
  5. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    Hmm, interesting. I think I remember seeing Wooten in his BP article doing something similar.

    Anyone have recommendations for what kind to get, w/ features, etc..?
     
  6. Check out this: BASSBONE

    Sounds pretty cool but it will only do two basses.
     
  7. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF

    I actually saw that product. But, it's more expensive than even getting a separate mixer and such! I'd like to read a review on that as well.
     
  8. Matt Call

    Matt Call Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    Also check out loooper.com . I'm sure they could work something out for you. Also, check out some of the lehle switchers. They're expensive, but worth every penny IMO.
     
  9. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    +1 I think the loooper might be an inexpensive way to go. Very high quality. I have a bassbone and it is great if you have two passive instruments with different levels.

    However, if all the basses are active, you probably have enough control with the onboard preamps. A simple A/B or A/B/C looper should work. How many basses do you plan to bring on stage?

    For home, I would get a cheap mixer. I have a small 6 channel mixer and I love it. I would not want to gig with it, but it is great for at home. Make sure you get some stereo channels so you can connect up your CD player and computer.

    Note that with the mixer, you have to connect it to powered speakers or some type of amp. I use an old boom box. You can use your bass amp.
     
  10. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    Thanks for all the input so far guys.

    I'd really like to get another Loooper pedal, as I love mine, but I need something that can help EQ the different basses, as that's my problem. A simple switcher wouldn't do much good as I just hit my tuner and Mute on my pre when I switch basses. I need something that can even out the sounds on my instruments without having to reset my Demeter every time I pick up a new bass.

    Also, I plan on bringing at least 2, but probably 3 basses onstage: active fretted Spector 5 w/ 3-band EQ, "active" fretted Charvel 4 w/ 1-band EQ, and passive fretless Peavey 4. I, in theory, could use approximately the same EQ settings for the Charvel and Peavey, but the Spector is it's own beast, naturally. So, the Bassbone could be a viable option, but man, I was looking on MF and I could get a pretty cool mixer for the $235 those demand. Also, I could plug in my FX to a separate channel and EQ each bass accordingly then run a main out into my preamp. I just went back and reread that VicWoo article, and for live shows he has a digital Yammy 16-channel board that runs all of the basses and FX, then into his dual SVT-IV rig. Man, if Demeter pre's weren't so dadgum expensive... I'd so have another one ASAP! But it doesn't suck, and that's why it costs so much. :) Maybe save up for a cheaper pre? Although I'm probably way too spoiled on this one to get something different.
    And seanm- why wouldn't you use your mixer live??
     
  11. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I just have a "rhymes with Dehringer" that looks suspiciously like this ;)

    I find that things get knocked around on gigs and I do not trust that the mixer could handle a drop.

    One big advantage of the bassbone is that you set it up, then just stomp back and forth. With a mixer you will probably need to turn down the channels you are not using to reduce noise and feedback. The cheap mixers tend to not have a mute per channel.
     
  12. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
  13. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    Can't you just turn down the preamp internally in the Spector?

    FWIW, I used a Mackie 1202VLZ for years in my bass rig. It's great for EFX mixing, has mutes on every channel, inserts for inline compression or EQ, and is handy for recording at home as well. I only use acative basses though, and passives may not like the impedance of your typical mixer. The "easy" answer to that is to use a DI, adding even more expense of course. :meh:
     
  14. Just another thought - you could get the BOSS ME-50B (or another multi FXs) and set up three different channels in the memory with the three different basses.

    It's got all the EQ and gain/level you need and has a mute for when you're switching. Three pedals makes it easy, pedal 1 = Peavey, pedal 2 = Spector, pedal 3 = Charvel
     
  15. Aj*

    Aj*

    Jun 14, 2005
    West Yorkshire, UK
    If you fancy going down the mixer route the peavey PV series of mini mixers seem to have got a good reception after their recent launch, the PV-6 would suit you probably. Anyway, you have plenty of options...
     
  16. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF

    Well I'm kind of experimenting with that now actually. Only thing is, like I was saying, my Charvel has the controls of a passive bass, but needs a battery to work. And all of the controls need to be reset every time I plug in a different bass, and even the EQ on the Spector doesn't fix it back to how I like it to sound.

    A question about the Bassbone is, how does the FX loop work? I see that it only has one output for it, and am not sure exactly how that'd all play how. However, the more I look into it, that seems to be the easiest solution so far. The reason for this so much is that we do about half covers with one band, and so I need different tones to make it all work. Plus, I'm not one of those people who has the "same" bass tone on every song or really has something that's "only me". I like switching stuff up for most songs, even if it's just a little bit. I think the Radial would be nice, but I'd definitely have to try one out before buying it at that price. I wanna see that Boss multi-FX pedal too.
     
  17. Kael

    Kael Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    If I was getting a mixer to assist with EQ'ing multiple instruments, I think I would look for a mixer with sweepable mid frequencies. I am using a little mackie mixer with Fishman Pre and SABDDI until my iamp gets back from the shop. If I remember correctly, the mid control is fixed at 2.5 KHz which would not be my choice for a mid control for bass.

    Definitely avoid the Behringer mixers. I am not trying to start a flame war here, but I have personally had those suckers crap out on me. I have a friend of mine who uses a little Nady for acoustic guitar/vocal shows that he is happy with, but it struck me as a little flimsy/noisy.
     
  18. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF

    I just talked to a buddy of mine, and he and I came up with this idea... might be a tad excessive to some, but I think it could work-

    Basses -> Pedalboard -> A/B/C switcher (Loooper, etc..) -> 1/2/3 channels on mixer -> Demeter

    And I guess another question, if I were to do it like this, would I run the output of the mixer into the front end of the pre, or maybe the FX Return of the unit?

    Also, suggestions of boards w/ the requirements said above??
     
  19. BigMikeW

    BigMikeW Banned

    May 25, 2005
    Nashville, TN.
    Banned by TB Administration for refusal to account for funds
    Buy a SansAmp Programmable Bass Driver. It has three Programmable Channels.

    There is a clean boost setting that does NOTHING to your tone. Set each one up for each bass.

    Street cost is about $175.00

    I use one and have one channel set as a clean boost only and it doesn't take anything from the sound of my basses.
     
  20. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    My low budget choice has always been to just make the required eq and gain adjustments when I switch from DB to electric or whatever. I may change at the end of a set, or maybe once inside a set....I've had most of my instruments and amps long enough to know which needs what settings...