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The right tool for the job.


b5pilot

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I'm sure everybody has heard that phrase at one time or another. Last weekend I was again reminded of that phrase.

(This may also bring up a good case for multiple fish.)

 

Recently I've been using my Warwick pretty much exclusivly and somewhat retired my Guild. Well last weekend I played this bar where the Warwick wasn't cutting it.

 

The bar has wood walls and ceilings and a tile floor. An acoustics nightmare. At first my bass was boomy so I redid my amp EQ. That helped but the bass which is kind of thin sounding on the high end got washed out in the mix. Soundwise I was having a bad night. The acoustics were not right for that bass no matter what I did. And my band mates were complaining.

 

The next night I brought the Guild. it cut through beautifully and everybody was happy. So I guess the old girl is coming out of retirement and I will be using her more often as I have had similar problems in other clubs but not to the degree I did last weekend. I will have to be more selective as to which bass I use where.

 

Anybody else have similar experiences with their Fishies?

Lydian mode? The only mode I know has the words "pie ala" in front of it.

http://www.myspace.com/theeldoradosband

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I've found that my Essence is the best choice for one club I play regularly. It's another situation where the room is absolutely horrible for live music and the stage is in the corner. The sound is obscenely boomy and just yuck. The Essence has all the right tonal qualities to cut through without being a low end wash of garbage while still maintaining some booty.
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yes... playing in a school gym for a local youth event a few years back... my 5 string was sounding terrible, muddy, boomy and between myself and the sound crew we just couldn't get it to sound anything close to decent...so I switch over to my Steinberger, which sounded about as perfect as it can get in a smallish gym with lots of corners. Needless to say I played it the rest of the night, and it sounded great.

 

 

*EDIT*

Just saw your post, Steve... which brings up another case in point for how I'm using the POD X3... by setting up patch A in each bank for the sound I need for any particular song, and adjusting the sound for each separate room I play in and saving those settings on the other 3 patches on each bank... actually, the X3 has two tones for each patch, so I can actually have 8 separate variations of a patch for each bank. Helps a lot now that I only have the one bass and play several different places on a fairly regular basis. (Two separate campuses for church and a couple of other places as well.)

 

DX

 

 

Aerodyne Jazz Deluxe

Pod X3 Live

Roland Bolt-60 (modified)

Genz Benz GBE250-C 2x10

Acoustic 2x12 cab

 

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I can't say that I've run into this kind of scenario on a gig. The closest I've been to that is when my Musicman 5 wasn't working through my pedalboard. But in that instance I think it was more a case of my pedalboard having problems with the output of that bass than anything else. Thankfully I had another bass on hand that was working with my pedalboard and the house bass rig.

 

In the studio? Absolutely. Some basses just work better in certain lineups/arrangements. But the studio is a completely different kind of setting than you're talking about.

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I don't understand. It seems to me if you tweaked the EQ enough it could be made to work for any bass provided the pickups were fairly transparent (not colored lenses, so to speak). Sure all basses have a natural frequency response curve based on materials used to build it and construction methods but with enough EQ any bass can work for any room in my experience.

 

It's always good to have a pal in the audience help you. When my good friend and luthier Scott watched me at one of my coffeehouse jazz shows in a brick wall/hardwood floor room he did a great job helping me set up my amp's EQ based on the audience's sonic perspective, something I never would have gotten to do on my own without Scott or a good sound guy. And generally I don't place that much faith in the sound guy to be good, either.

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i don't know of any transparent pickups. active pickups are can be better; by decreasing the inductance, the resonant peak is attenuated and extended in frequency. (the voltage output is much lower, though, so the pickup needs its own internal preamp.) however, even fairly "even" pickups aren't exactly transparent.

 

the only truly transparent part of the signal chain is the power amp. i think the cabinet may be even more colored than the bass. (if you've heard A/B tests among basses, it's not that it's hard to differentiate them, but it's remarkable how subtle the differences are between basses.) the point of a preamp is to color the signal.

 

so maybe it's a little optimistic to make your claim hinge on the pickups. i would also point out that when you're dealing with room acoustics, you're dealing with phase as much as frequency. suddenly the phase response of the EQ matters. there are sevearl different active filter topologies. so even if you have adequate adjustment (e.g. 1/3 octave for the really surgical stuff, quasi- or fully-parametric for that one problem area), the phase response matters when you're making a bunch of adjustments.

 

good luck trying to figure that out during soundcheck. do you know the topology of your EQ? do you have another unit that uses a different one? ;)

 

I only have one tool so I have to make it work at every job.

 

this. but i usually don't have problems hearing myself and making myself heard. maybe my cirrus is magic.

 

robb.

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Which Guild is it, the Pilot?

 

Yes it is . My SB-605 5 string. Unlike the Thumb 5 bass which has warm sounding lows and thin but sparkly highs, a bit more hi-fi sounding, the Pilot is more like a Fender jazz bass in tone.

 

In regarding pickups I don't quite think that's the case. Both have active jazz bass style pickups and active preamps. I haven't witnessed a lot of coloration in the electronics of either bass. I think it has more to do with The tonal qualities of the wood. I can still hear some of the the same qualities I mentioned above in each when they are unplugged.

 

Probably if I had an EQ with enough band separation (my current rig only has a 3 band) and enough time to tweak it in without driving the audience nuts I may have fixed the problem but I thought the dilemma was interresting enough to post.

Lydian mode? The only mode I know has the words "pie ala" in front of it.

http://www.myspace.com/theeldoradosband

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There is a five string DeArmond Pilot at GC here in KC, priced $189. I picked it up and tried to play it, but the neck was waaaaay too wide.

 

I have one of those DeArmond Basses and they are not the same as the original Guild pilots. Fender "tweaked" the pilot line a bit when they bought out Guild and sold them under the DeArmond name. They made the scale 35" (from the original 34") and widened the neck quite a bit. The Guild Pilot is a much more comfortable bass to play.

Lydian mode? The only mode I know has the words "pie ala" in front of it.

http://www.myspace.com/theeldoradosband

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