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what comes first: amp or pick-up

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by unobasso, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. unobasso


    Apr 16, 2006
    k/w, ontario
    I'm currently looking to replace my amp and pick-up as I'm unhappy with both.

    Since I'm unable to cough up for both at the same time, I'm wondering which one I should buy first.

    Any opinions or advice?

    ted harms
  2. Could you fill out your profile, so we know what you are using now?
  3. steveb98

    steveb98 [acct disabled - multiple aliases]

    Mar 15, 2006
    Venice, CA
    Probably to your advantage you can't change both at the same time. Changing one might get you what you want. Also changing both you won't be sure which got you what you want. I'd say decide which of the two you have that is closest to what you are looking for, then change the other one.

    That said I think amps are flexible and can offer a lot of different sound when you play with them. Pickups you either like or don't not a lot can be done other than adjust height or change type of strings. So I would start with the pickups.
  4. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I would say pickup first....

    You may find yourself in all kinds of situations where you have to play through someone else's amp, or a sound guy wants the direct out of your bass.

    I'm sure others will disagree (they always do).
  5. Tune a bass Oh!
    Thanks for filling out your profile. I would agree that you should go with the pickup first, as it is the lesser of the two investments. Seeing the different ensembles you are playing with, and the Bass you are using, I would recommend something like the K&K Bass Max, Full Circle, or revolution pickup.
  6. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    With electric bass I would say without question the amp comes first--lots of people might disagree, but IMHO all you ever here with electric is the amp

    The double bass is more tricky--there will probably be situations where you can go into a PA, and won't need an amp. But amplifying a double bass is harder--I think I'd still say get a good amp. A decent pickup, like a realist or a full circle or a rev solo, is under 200 bucks. A good amp is going to be a lot more
  7. Unobasso -- what is it that you don't like, about your current equipment? That would help us provide some suggestions. I checked your profile but I didn't see any reference to which pickup you're currently using (maybe it's there and I just missed it).

    Pickups are a lot cheaper than amps, so pickup might be the best first thing to replace, but we can help you better if you let us know what you don't like about your current setup.
  8. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I think DB players spnd a lot of time trying to match up pickups and amps with very non-linear responses- hence a lot of this amp sounds good with this pickup, etc. Why else would with BP100 and 150MB be so popular? Start with the most linear- which is to say accurate- amp and pickup, and fine tune from there.

    I strongly suspect that most DB players would be well served by a two-channel AI combo and an SM57!
  9. unobasso


    Apr 16, 2006
    k/w, ontario
    thanks to everybody's responses so far.

    I did say I'm a little embarassed with what I've got presently but somebody asked what I don't like about it so I guess I better 'fess up.

    I've got a pb-100, going through an art tube mp pre-amp and then going into a peavy tko65.

    I know the amp's the obvious 'weak link' so it should be the first to go. It's a holdover from my youthful rock'n'roll days. Other than being the size of a bar fridge and that it weighs a ton, I do like it for my electric basses, though.

    But I have recorded myself with the bp/art going straight into the mixing board. Listening to it, it sounded very shallow and one-dimensional - there was no depth or warmth to the sound. So, I'm looking to ditch the bp as well.

  10. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    In my experience what you want with the double bass is an uncolored, "flat" signal, and most amps designed for electric have some kind of eq curve built in, or they have a characteristic sound. For the DB you might be better off with an amp designed for acoustic instruments, like an SWR strawberry blonde maybe. It's kind of low powered, but if huge volume isn't needed it might not be a bad choice, and they go new for under 500 bucks. or maybe a keyboard amp, like the roland KC 350. Keyboard amps generally aim for a flat signal
  11. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    A good pick-up costs only $100-175. Revolution SOLO, Realist, or Fishman Full Circle (my personal choice). Even an Underwood is a decent one in my opinion.
  12. Uno, I agree with TBeers -- the pickup should be the first thing to go, 'cause it's way cheaper than getting a new amp and the BP-100 isn't known for a very good sound. You should be able to get a better sound than the BP-100 with any of the pickups Tbeers mentioned (although I also realize this can vary a lot from one bass to the next). If your preamp has EQ on it, that should help even further.
  13. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    I'm not a bp-100 basher. My teach plays with a bp-100 and he sounds great and he's pretty damn particular. He likes the BP more and took the FC off his bass. IMO, They're ok, but not neccessarily terrible. Methinks the Peavy has got to go. Especially after my recent experience with cabs and what not. Get a decent head/cab that you can ensure it delivers a clear signal and then you can start shopping for new pickups after that.

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