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Am I way off on this idea or not...


SteveC

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I have an Acoustic Image Focus SA Series III power amp. I like it. Light, small and loud.

 

I have a Bergie HT112. I like it. Pretty light, small and loud.

 

I have been using a BDDI as a preamp. After a few months, I don't like it. It's just missing something. The tube simulation is clanky sounding. I don't use overdrive or distortion and I just don't hear what I want.

 

After reading about the IP Bergies and how you can almost plug in and play I thought, I have that basically with my Bergie and Focus. I took a Boss EQ pedal from the store and ran my bass through that right into my Focus and the Bergie. I have more low end and the highs sound smoother without that clank.

 

Is it crazy to do this? The EQ has a level boost so I can kick it up a little to feed the amp but so far I've left it at neutral. I'm thinking get a Radial JDI so I have a nice DI for the house and call it good.

 

I guess I'm one of the few that doesn't like that tube type sound - at least the BDDI version. I also liked my Avalon U5 very much and that was tubeless as well.

 

Any thoughts? Be nice, I don't think I'v eposted a "rig" question for a little while.

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Thats why there is wine and cheese for them, and beer and pretzels for the other 'thems'. If you dig the sound that you're getting I am jealous. Sometimes, more pedals knobs and rackmounts=more headaches.

 

Peace,

Brocko

Don't have a job you don't enjoy. If you're happy in what you're doing, you'll like yourself, you'll have inner peace. ~ Johnny Carson
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For live sound...

 

My favorite sounding rig combination, of all my gear, is my lowly SWR Workingman's 4x10, with the horn turned off, being powered by my tubeless GK 1001RB, set completely flat, with my passive Jazz Bass through it.

 

For studio work I prefer the tube front end of my Eden WT300, and it's powerful EQ to tweak, but sometimes a minimalist approach to live sound seems to work the best for me.

 

What sounds good live, always seems to be a universe away from what sounds good in the studio, or at home at low volume.

 

So it doesn't sound crazy at all to me, Steve. And the stuff you're runnin' is very high-quality gear. So a more direct approach makes sense for a live set-up, to me.

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"...oh the world don't move to the beat of just one drum..." There I go with that damn Diff'rent Strokes theme again.

 

Are you way off? I say hell yes. Aren't we all? Is it creative genius or the quest for perfection?

So the recommended SansAmp settings don't curb your hunger, who said it would? Who knows, your tonal climax may come from a $30 pedal. I wouldn't compare a SansAmp to your Avalon either. I added that to my "If I win the lotto/dream studio" list when I first heard your comments about it.

One thing I can say, and it goes for food as well, keep it simple, a few good quality ingredients show their flavor the best. Even when your belly is full you know you'll be hungry again. Your quest for perfection will be both your triumph and your downfall. Have you ever met someone that stayed satisfied?

 

(Courtesy of that damn food thread)

If you think my playing is bad, you should hear me sing!
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I have a Boss GEB-7 bass eq pedal and have used it to plug straight into a power amp and cab. Got a really good ultra clean tone. I hardly ever use it for anything now.

 

:idea: So, perhaps a trade maybe? BDDI for Boss EQ? :D

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For most of my playing I want and prefer a clean tone. If I need some drive, I'll get a pedal.

 

Actually, If I go this way (and I think I will) I think I'd go with the Boss EQ-20 (the double pedal) so I'd have a few options and some presets.

 

Tuner, eq, chorus, phase, maybe overdrive...looks like I may need a pedal board again.

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Don't sell the Sansamp, you'll just end up buying it again in 6 months! A Boss EQ to drive the Focus SA makes sense, as would a Sadowsky outboard preamp. I'd avoid things that need power supplies otherwise that's more stuff to cart - so digital pedals are a bad idea.

 

However, ignoring your purchasing history, I'd be inclined to suggest an Eden WT-405. Powerful enough, smaller, lighter and cheaper than your WT-550, warm switch to add grind/growl therefore replacing the Sansamp, all in one box. Bolt a handle on the side for optimum portability - or velcro it to your Berg.

 

Pedalboards and portability do not go together. I should know...

 

Alex

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The power supply isn't that big a deal as my Boss TU-2 powers everything and that goes to every gig.

 

Actually, I don't think I'd go with a pedal board as I don't use every pedal for every gig. It's just as easy to throw what I need in my briefcase and go. My load in/out and set-up time is so short as it is, a couple more things won't matter.

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Actually, my wife has "helped" me "control" my G.A.S. quite well. Adding an EQ pedal is fairly inexpensive compared to dumping it all and trying again. I could sell the BDDI and make money on the switch.

 

I don't think I'll go with a head at this time. I like the Focus for sound, size and weight. It will work well with whatever I put in front of it.

 

The Avalon is a great piece of gear, but I don't want to carry it around. The Eden is a great head, and I thought that's th eway I'd go, but when I just run direct - via the eq - into my amp/cab, I get a really nice sound. It is a Focus and Bergie after all. :)

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Ok, let's see if I got this straight, Steve. Bear with me, as I'm still fairly new to your ongoing saga. ;)

 

You prefer a solid-state transistor (clean) sound over a tube sound, yet you didn't like your BDDI because the tube sound was too clanky. Does the BDDI perhaps have a clean transistor (non-tube) setting that you do like?

 

You're looking to replace your preamp. You liked your Avalon U5. Did it have some shortcoming you couldn't work around? Did you already try it in this configuration (with the Acoustic Image and Bergie mentioned) and not like it?

 

Your "crazy idea" was to use an EQ pedal as a preamp, yet you claim you don't need to use it to boost the signal from your bass. (Perhaps you have an active bass?) Have you tried plugging your bass directly into your power amp? (That is, is the EQ pedal even necessary?)

 

You don't use overdrive or distortion, yet if you need some drive, you'll get a pedal. I think we can safely put this one to bed right now: don't bother getting an overdrive pedal. Ever.

 

You want to get "a nice DI". Is it possible to use the BDDI in this way? That is, turn off all the bells and whistles and just run it as a DI?

 

(This may be dangerous, but here goes. ;) ) Since you are a fan of BOSS, have you tried their multi-effects processor? I'm working with a guitarist that has one of these, and it seems to have nearly endless possibilities. I believe the 4 (?) pedals are programmable, so you should be able to get by without any other pedals. Granted it is more to tote around than an EQ-20 (with or without power, tuner, phaser, flanger), but even if you just use it as an EQ, you get 4 (?) presets instead of 2. And, if someday you should decide you'd like an octave pedal (or whatever) you should already be covered.

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Originally posted by RicBassGuy:

You prefer a solid-state transistor (clean) sound over a tube sound, yet you didn't like your BDDI because the tube sound was too clanky. Does the BDDI perhaps have a clean transistor (non-tube) setting that you do like?

There is a clean setting that I am playing with. I will probably do a little A/B comparing at the gig on Friday.

 

Originally posted by RicBassGuy:

You're looking to replace your preamp. You liked your Avalon U5. Did it have some shortcoming you couldn't work around? Did you already try it in this configuration (with the Acoustic Image and Bergie mentioned) and not like it?

I didn't have the Focus when I had an Avalon, but I did have the Bergie, The thing with the Avalon is that it's more than I want to haul around.

 

Originally posted by RicBassGuy:

Your "crazy idea" was to use an EQ pedal as a preamp, yet you claim you don't need to use it to boost the signal from your bass. (Perhaps you have an active bass?) Have you tried plugging your bass directly into your power amp? (That is, is the EQ pedal even necessary?)

Most of the boost I get from the pedal is from the boost in frequencies. I have tried going right into the Focus with my basses, but it is missing a little something. Even just the EQ pedal helps with that.

 

Originally posted by RicBassGuy:

You don't use overdrive or distortion, yet if you need some drive, you'll get a pedal. I think we can safely put this one to bed right now: don't bother getting an overdrive pedal. Ever.

For the couple songs that "need" it, I think I can get by without.

 

Originally posted by RicBassGuy:

You want to get "a nice DI". Is it possible to use the BDDI in this way? That is, turn off all the bells and whistles and just run it as a DI?

Yes, that is possible. Actually, a good reason to keep it - regardless of what else I do.

 

Originally posted by RicBassGuy:

(This may be dangerous, but here goes. ;) ) Since you are a fan of BOSS, have you tried their multi-effects processor? I'm working with a guitarist that has one of these, and it seems to have nearly endless possibilities. I believe the 4 (?) pedals are programmable, so you should be able to get by without any other pedals. Granted it is more to tote around than an EQ-20 (with or without power, tuner, phaser, flanger), but even if you just use it as an EQ, you get 4 (?) presets instead of 2. And, if someday you should decide you'd like an octave pedal (or whatever) you should already be covered.

I have thought about a multi, but I seem to always go back to individual pedals. I've had a couple Pods, but I haven't tried any Boss multi-products, like a ME-50B or GT-6B.

 

Many things to consider. You made great points. I am not going to move super fast on this. Like I said, I have some stuff on approval from the store to try and see how it goes.

 

I know I'll always get a ribbing when I post gear issues, but I am used to it and I really do value the opinions of the members of this forum.

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When I played an AI amp (predecessor to yours), the tone lacked something. Ed F uses a Boss VF1 to adjust his tone (with the same amp and cab that SteveC has).

 

You've identified EQ as part of the issue. I agree with you, because I think that your amp is sterile, and your cabs need a push on the low end.

 

Did you try the SansAmp "clean boost" settings as a start? Turn down the level, and play with the bass and presence controls. If you haven't tried this, please do. My testing showed that the SansAmp is rich in tones. The preset suggestions tend toward the Drive up full, Blend up full, which pushes the tone in a certain direction. I found a nice tone with a lower Drive and Blend set to let some "normal" tone in.

 

My concern is that if you start to like other effects, you're looking at a pedal board. And that EQ-20 isn't small. You could "mount" it on top of the AI if you get the right size padded bag. For what it's worth, I think the lack of EQ flexibility is why you weren't satisfied with the U5. It's beautiful and clean, but you can't boost anything outside the presets.

 

For a few dollars more, you could have an ODB-3 and GEB-7 (EQ). That means sacrificing one of your cutting boards to mount the stuff (with your TU-2), but if the GEB-7 does the job, you might be better off. Or use that board for the EQ-20 and SansAmp?

 

Replacing your amp is a possibility, but I don't know how this would work financially. My EA iAmp500 has lots of possibilities.

 

And because somebody has to sound like your dad, you could just stay as you are. My guess is that if you boost your onboard bass, you'll sound very good. If it isn't the Holy Grail of tone to you, maybe it's OK for your playing circumstances?

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Tom - I am playing around with the "Clean Boost" as a starting point. I do keep the blend to about half to let some natural tone trhough as well. I doubt I'd go with the bigger EQ-20. The GEB-7 is working fine. I' dlike to make it work with the Focus - even if it is a bit sterile. I love the size and weight.

 

robb - I'm in no hurry to sell. I just want to find the right combination. If I could get the BDDI to sound good, that would be great as it could continue to serve as a preamp and DI.

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Originally posted by Tom Capasso:

And because somebody has to sound like your dad, you could just stay as you are. My guess is that if you boost your onboard bass, you'll sound very good. If it isn't the Holy Grail of tone to you, maybe it's OK for your playing circumstances?

 

Tom

This is true. Nobody is complaining - except me. I did some more experimenting last night and did get a very similar tones between the GEB-7 eq and the BDDI on a clean setting. I think I'll try to work more with the stuff I have (BDDI) before making a change. You'd think with a BDDI, Focus and Bergie that I should be able to get a usable tone. :)
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Originally posted by Big Daddy from Motown:

Have you tried this on a gig? I'de be amazed if a Yamaha bass had enough clean headroom to push your power amp to full power. That's why preamps are part of every pro's rig. Not to mention flexible EQ and a DI output for FOH.

My basses won't quite push the amp by themselves. With some help from the GEB-7 it seems to work fine. That's a pretty felible EQ and you can get good DI's (Radial for example) for $150 or less.
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The EQ and DI went back to the store today. I'm gonna make it work with the SansAmp. I have what I think is a good "clean" starting point - thanks Tom. I'll copy it to the other 2 presets and work from there.

 

Again, I appreciate the words of wisdom and advice from all.

 

Up next...can I add something to the smooth jazz quartet (we may b eplaying again!) with a looper. That's another thread.

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