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Two Basses to One Amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by reesus, Jan 23, 2012.


  1. reesus

    reesus

    May 6, 2009
    Help please!

    We're running our bassists 3/4 upright bass (Realist pick up) through her Hartke bass amp. She also plays a Fender Precision during the show. Switching back and forth and readjusting her levels during the performance is a pain as well as time consuming. We're trying to figure out a way to keep both instruments plugged in at the same time. We have tried both the Whirlwind Selector (Active A/B Switcher Box) & an ART SplitMix4 to attempt this fix. The problem is that the signal strength to the amp drops off dramatically requiring her to turn the hartke to 10 in order to get any usaable volume on stage. Ideally we'd like to have two separate channels going into one output and then into the hartke. We had hoped the splitmix 4 with it's individual volume controls would have worked ideally but the loss of volume was staggering. Any other little 2 channel whatcha ma jigs out there you folks can think of??? Preferably passive but powered would be OK.

    Thanks!
     
  2. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

  3. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    She needs a preamp/di like a tech21 paraDI into a separate PA channel and another DI for the electric bass, plus an A/B switch to route both to her amp. The level on the ParaDI will control the level to her amp as a monitor. The volume on the electric bass/amp should be used as normal.

    paradriverDI
    Radial BigShot AB-Y true bypass switcher

    The ParaDI is ideal for the Realist.
    Without two channels in the PA, you are doomed.
     
  4. 4-string

    4-string

    Jul 23, 2006
    Norway
  5. lowendrv

    lowendrv

    Dec 12, 2007
    SoCal
  6. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    DFW, TX
  7. gmarcus

    gmarcus Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2003
  8. Bassbone, or BDDI Deluxe.

    -jb
     
  9. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    +1 on the bassbone - exactly what I use mine for, set the levels and eq for each bass and you only have to hit the selector button between bass 1 and 2
     
  10. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I have to ask if those recommending Bassbone or BDDI have experience with what happens when you switch between upright and electric through a PA and stage amp?

    A setup that doesn't handle that will be quite limited.
     
  11. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
  12. dog1

    dog1

    Dec 30, 2008
    Indiana
    I have read all the posts, and agree with most of the suggestions. But I did have one thought in the back of my mind as I wondered what I would do if trying to amplify an upright and electric. Of course I am fortunate to have more than one rig, but........I would have a separate amp for each. Each one voiced for the particular instrument.

    I do realize that this solution is not what the OP was asking for. But it is what I would do
     
  13. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    +1

    Having a pre-amp and DI for the upright and an active electric bass with a DI, each into its own PA channel and also routed on stage to the A/B switch which goes to a single bass amp with a fairly neutral (flat-like) setting works for me.

    Two rigs might sound better, but is even more time/space/money/setup/teardown/failure intensive, IME. :D
     
  14. I like the small mixer option because it offers level matching and EQ for each instrument. An Allen and Heath ZED-10 is a great choice because channels 3 and 4 have Hi-Z inputs for this very application.

    ZED-10 | ALLEN & HEATH // WORLD CLASS MIXING
     
  15. dog1

    dog1

    Dec 30, 2008
    Indiana
    Good advice Doc. While I don't use an upright, I do switch between a semihollow with a passive Darkstar, and an actice with humbuckers and an 18v preamp. I only take one amp....and just deal with it.

    BTW. I remember that the OP said that she had to turn the amp up to 10 to get any usable volume. Anything over 12:00, IMO, you need a more powerful amp. I believe that most of your volume comes way before your amp is all the way up.
     
  16. I don't think the lack of volume necessarily means a bigger amp is needed. What if the input signal is very weak?
     
  17. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    Any passive mixer is going to drop the output level significantly. The only choice is to go active so a cheap little two or four channel mixer will do the job. I've seen them for as little as $40.
     
  18. dog1

    dog1

    Dec 30, 2008
    Indiana
    Well. Yes. If the input signal is weak then a preamp is in order, as long as that doesn't overdrive the preamp section of the amp. The OP never actually said what amp she was using. How many watts, size of driver (s). Maybe they are trying to do it all with a small combo. I dunno. Just trying to add food for thought.
     
  19. TraceOnBass

    TraceOnBass

    Sep 6, 2011
    Upstate, NY
    Radial Bigshot I/O will get 2 basses into one amp an it has a DIM / Bright switch. Also has a level control which lets you even out your basses.

    I run an active and a passive an this $50 used box lets me jump basses without hassle.

    Mute switch is great and it does NOT require any power source.

    Radial Bigshot I/O - check it out
     
  20. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    See my post (#3). Also, the issue is upright and electric through one on stage amp. The upright needs a pre-amp at the minimum. Because a Gage Realist pickup is involved, the pre-amp has to be ultra-high impedance friendly (passive piezo pickup).

    Add all of this up and you will soon find that there will also be a PA system involved eventually—at least sometimes. This means two DIs and two PA channels. That or twiddle a bunch of knobs blindly while changing between upright and electric to avoid feedback. :rollno:

    A tempting alternative is a magnetic pickup on the upright, but the sound is not the same. In any case, this is not just a "switch between two electric basses" problem. The upright does not have a volume control unless it has a pre-amp. A bass amp can be EQ'd to sound OK, if not even great for both upright (with an EQ-able pre-amp) and electric bass. All the better if the electric bass is active. :D
     

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