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Ultimate Blender?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by flatback, May 10, 2004.

  1. flatback

    flatback Supporting Member

    May 6, 2004
    Ok so after 15 years of buying pick ups and amps and basses, I am finally closing in on a sound that I like. Right now I have a Realist and an Audio Technia ATM 35 going into a Blue Tube mic pre and then into a fishman blender and out of that into a Mackie 450 powered PA speaker. I dont really like the fishman because it colors the sound but I had been running it thru the blue tube into a Rane Graphic EQ and then into a line mixer and out - but the fishman sounds better.
    Ideally I would like to have a Tube blender in one half space rack. The Acousti Q looked good but only has a stereo in and My mic has its own little phantom box with a mini xlr.
    Rufus Ried just emailed me saying he really digs the Raven labs blender but I love the presence of the tubes both on the mic and the realist...
    Any suggestions?
    any one blend signals and then go out to a PA type amp?
    I would really like to get the AMT mic which I have tried on my bass and it sounds swell... I cant remember how it termanated tho...xlr?
    Sorry if this is a repeat of previously covered material on this page...
  2. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    The AMT terminates with an XLR. I have a small XLR-1/4" converter for amplifier applications.

    The Raven Labs PMB II is as rare as hen's teeth right now. Mine's been back ordered for awhile, and it's the same situation no matter where you order it from.
  3. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    Ha! Just noticed your post... the good news is, yours is going out today! :)

    They are dribbling in slowly, but finally!
  4. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Oh baby!!....that's good news. Thanks, Bob.
  5. flatback

    flatback Supporting Member

    May 6, 2004
    So what I am digging right now ( and i just learned this from previous posts...thanks) is that I can use this fishman blender (whose preamp I dont like the sound of) as just a 2 channel mixer by running the lines from my tube preamp into the effects return of the fishman thus turning the fishman from a useless piece of junk that I had sitting around, into a very useful 2 channel mixer with a bunch of useful outs. (straight and mixed signal bal/unbal)
    So my new set up which the minimalist nerd in me is just loving is having this half rack 2 channel tube preamp with (an atm 35 and a realist) velcro ed to the fishman (on a little stand) then going into the Mackie SRM 450. This set up sounds fantastic loud or soft and while the Mackie is a shlep, I feel like I am playing my sound on gigs now.
    Does anyone else use anything similar? Do you cats who use the AMT mics run them thru a tube preamp? How come I dont ever read here about this kind of set up? (it might be cause I;m new here and haven't found the previous posts yet)
    Adrian mentioned he didn't dig the Mackie 450 but it sounds damn good to me...any feedback?
  6. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    The output from the AMT preamp is not super-high. You can crank it with the internal trim pot inside the unit but even then you may need another preamp. The AMT preamp really just supplies power, shapes the tone, and provides the outputs. BTW, the "super" version of the AMT preamp has a 1/4" with volume control and two XLRs - one ground isolated. I can't remember what the standard version has but I believe it is XLR only. What is the toggle switch I see in the photo? Anyway, I use the AMT with the LR Baggs MixPro. It's a tiny blender and preamp with a very clean sound, two band EQ and of course two channels with one designed for a mic and the other for a pickup. The way I use it, I actually use the pickup channel for the AMT and the mic channel for a vocal mic to address the audience. That works out well as the mic channel has a bass rolloff.

    I am personally very much against tubes when it comes to bass reproduction. I think tubes may be a necessary thing if you want to get some colour from a slab has no acoustic sound to begin with but if you're trying to get accurate reproduction on a double bass and you're going to all that trouble to use a mic instead of a pickup, then you're wasting that effort by then colouring it with tubes. That's my personal opinion.

    I was quite disappointed with the SRM450. I found the sound quite horrible and the Schertler Pub kills it in terms of sound quality and weight (lighter). I had the two of them side by side and there was no comparison.
  7. flatback

    flatback Supporting Member

    May 6, 2004
    very interesting,
    I'll have to check out the baggs blender. What I find with the tubes is presence. I like having a sound that is rich and clear in its fundimental without being cold or weak or thin. The tubes give me that. I really dig the pub amp too but I have this one and when I A/B ed them they weren't that far off and the schertler was starting to look like it was not going to be availible. Also I am kind of bummed at their greed. I used their pick up for years but the prices for their products are way out of line. Also when velvets came in I was into them but went thru about 2 years of breaking strings and hearing from them that there was nothing wrong...just kind of bugged me. I still use a compas top string but...oh and that Dyn b pick up they sent me once to try out. it was a great idea but really not ready for prime time. (I think it works well on other instruments tho...I heard someone use it on sitar and it sounded fine.
    I just went to their site and I like the idea of the amp with all the different inputs seems like it could save on a lot of gear.
    The srm 450 that I use sounds great tho- clean unmuddy lows clear highs the mic pick up blend has presence and power, all in all I really like the sound.
  8. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I would probably have a PMB-II now if it wasn't for the fact that when I ordered one, they were hard to get and I sent a few messages to their tech support and they weren't very helpful at all. Perhaps the PMB-II sounds better but the Baggs is smaller, much less expensive (I got one brand new on eBay for about USD 100) and does everything I want. I use the phase inversion a lot too BTW.

    That's a pity about your Schertler experiences. Perhaps I am a "Schertler Snob" as Monte would say but I've ever had good experiences with them. I used the Dyn-B for a while until I sold it and still think it's the best pickup out there - the mic is just better and works fine for me. I used the Animas for a while and liked them but liked the Pirastro guts better however today I'm putting the new Compas 180s on my bass and will be looking forward to checking them out.

    The problem with the Unico with the preamp section is that it is possibly not enough for amplifying double bass is most situations. I've never tried one but most people seem to say that. If they had the Pub with the same preamp section they would have a winner. As for prices, their prices are definitely up there but I believe you pay for what you get, same as with the AMT.