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Ed_S

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Everything posted by Ed_S

  1. Yeah, I believe that’s what it’s doing. It’s probably all written in the instruction ‘leaflet’ hang-tag but I have to admit I put that to one side and just jumped in ears-first 🙂 The only other option I can think of is some kind of preset mid shift, but it doesn’t sound like one of those. Heh, I think ‘leave as-is’ will win to be honest - it’s only a minor thing. I can still make use of it for whole songs where it’s a more appropriate tone, and of course recording sessions where you can pause between sections to flick as many switches as you like 🙂
  2. Yeah, I liked that about it - it’s not a massive jump between the two modes which I think was a good call on their part. The one thing about the preamp that I wish was different is the positioning of the toggle switch, as I play predominantly with a pick but move to fingers for certain quieter passages and then go back to the pick. The split setting would have offered a way to take a little of the edge off the attack for those sections but it’s too close to the rest of the controls for that - I'd end up changing things I didn’t mean to and causing myself a problem! Of course, I realise there’s only so much space on/under the bell-plate so the switch is where it has to be.
  3. One proof of ownership as is the law: The grain is pretty nice on both sides - it has a kind of iridescent look to it depending on the lighting - and although tobacco burst is not my usual 'thing', the comments from the rest of the band with regards aesthetics were all along the lines of: "it looks like a bass - you could turn up to any gig with that so it's fine". I'm really not a fan of any kind of patina / mojo / road wear, so I hope the finish holds up. I don't expect bulletproof but I'll look after it as best I can, and I expect it to hold up its end of the deal! We'll see. Sound-wise it's very useable just with the volume at full and the balance and eq all on centre detents. I ended up giving the balance a slight nudge towards the bridge pickup for a bit of definition and then adding just a bit of low end with the eq, but certainly nothing drastic. The preamp seems to be quiet, the controls are smooth and definite and the passive mode isn't just a failsafe for a dead battery - it actually sounds nice in its own right. The best thing I can say is that I got it sounding right within the first song and then left it like that for the rest of the rehearsal without feeling like I had to keep fiddling with the sound. So far so good; it plays nicely, feels like a quality instrument, sounds classy and looks.. acceptable.. 😉
  4. I’m just headed to a rehearsal that will be the first outing for my new TM4 SL that I picked up on Saturday, so that should be interesting as I’ve only really had time to put some new strings on it and give it a couple of half hour sessions through headphones so far. I’m already impressed by the general build quality - especially the finish of the neck - and of course the weight. It’s not the colour that I really wanted, but it’s not unpleasant and I figured it made sense to get the one that’s available off the shelf, see if I get along with it in the medium term and then maybe custom order one that’s exactly how I want it to look later on when I’m sure ..and have sufficiently replenished the toys fund! My main concern right now is the satin finish; how hardwearing it will prove to be and how long before the first proper ding when I find out!
  5. I managed to walk away and leave my backup bass in its bag leaning against the side of the stage. The stage was the low kind that becomes an extension of the dance floor at the end of the night, so I wasn’t too hopeful for its safety and security, but it was still stood there when I rushed back into town for it. People even seemed to be giving it some space to avoid knocking it over! The Sheffield rock and metal crowd is generally a good-natured lot 🙂 It’s just mains cables after that - I seem to leave a trail of them. I think it’s because my gear is easy to set up and pack away, but first-on-first-off means the mains flex always seems to snake its way to the back wall under a load of bags and half-disassembled drum and guitar bits, so I leave it with the intention to grab it at the end.. and many times just forget! Fortunately I work in IT so I have boxes of the damn things.
  6. That does look quite handy! I work in the bit of IT that extensively uses rackmount kit and I’ve still not happened upon one of those. Any chance of a link to the product page?
  7. I had pretty much the same conversation the other day. Knowing the guy was a gamer, I got him to log in to his online account thingy and show me how many hundreds of hours he’d burned on there; it was a hell of a lot. I hinted that the same investment of time and money would have put him well on the way to playing an instrument had he actually wanted to. Made for a shortened version of the conversation!
  8. Quite - can’t comment on PMT, but I’ve had a couple of recent interactions with other shops where I’ve asked them to match a price because I’d rather buy from and support them, and they’ve politely refused - basically said that I wouldn’t be doing them any favours buying at that price and they’d rather I go and buy from the other shop because in doing so I clear another cheap one off the market leaving their expensive-but-in-stock one looking more attractive.
  9. As much as I quite liked it, I eventually decided that for me the ABM600 wasn’t as good as the ABM1000 and wasn’t different enough to the original model RM800 either, so I moved it on. I’d describe the ABM600 (and indeed the RM800) as a really solid and loud amp, but when asked about the ABM1000 I tend to start using pseudo-made-up abstract terms and soon realise I’m actually describing how it feels to play rather than how it sounds. 🙂
  10. I don’t mind the look actually - like an HA series Hartke but with big knobs nicked from an Orange and the general Markbass paint-job applied. As long as there are rack ears for it (there appear to be holes in the right places to attach them) then I could see myself quite fancying one. My biggest issue with it is that it’s a signature model, and whilst I know who Stu Hamm is, I’ve only got passing interest in the artists he’s most associated with. Oh, and our lead guitarist is called Stu. Maybe a bit of ‘tricians tape over that bit of lettering 🙂
  11. Heh, aye, there's a few of us knocking about! Don't tell too many outsiders of the selling power of the RTM carpet - we can't have the competition finding out and all getting themselves a photogenic contract cord too 😉
  12. Best purchase of the year for me is an Ibanez GSR200B that was in the ex-demo clearance at my local. It's a very light 2.8kg, the fretwork is perfect and the board coloured up nicely with a bit of oil, the hardware that I expected to have to upgrade is all absolutely solid and the pickups and preamp that I expected to have to change sound so good I'm currently using it completely stock (with the exception of new strings) to record our next EP; my signal chain is pretty much just a Radial JDI straight into Pro Tools. Absolutely brilliant little bass for very little money! Picture: Rich Tone Music - hopefully they don't mind me using their picture since I bought the bass! Worst is probably an EBS MicroBass II that maybe I've just not learned to get the best out of, but is currently just sounding a bit underwhelming. I'm sure there must be a reason people speak so highly of them...
  13. Oh, I’m sure that for many people it helps no end to know the note positions by name. I’ve always been fine knowing where to find the sound that I want next in relation the the sound I’m producing now 🙂 that way it doesn’t matter how many strings (as long as the neck fits in my hand) or what the tuning is (as long as the intervals between string are ‘normal’) - I’m just as clueless but still perfectly happy!! Maybe that’s it - I went to 5s very soon after starting to play and stuck with them exclusively for years before reintroducing 4s into the mix, so I guess I approached it differently to many. I suppose all I’m really saying is that it’s perfectly possible to play by ear without getting tangled up on different numbers of strings and not worry about the note names. I could go and learn them and it’d possibly help me talk about music but I genuinely don’t think it’d help me play music. Whatever works 🙂
  14. Bit of a sweeping statement. Can you know them by ear or do you have to know the note you’re playing?
  15. I own both and generally don’t find it a problem to switch between them, but I do approach them differently and don’t play both in the same performance or even band. For example, I instinctively play across the width of a 5 as soon as I’m holding one (I can’t just treat the extra string as a thumb rest, ignore it and play as I would on a 4 - I’ll end up altering my playing and maybe even the line itself to use what I’ve got) so I guess that kinda means that for me, the fabled “thing I can’t do on a 5 that I can do on a 4” is instinctively play like I’m holding a 4, and that’s actually something I actively enjoy doing. Just to be awkward, I don’t have a clue which notes I’m playing - I go by ear and relative position on the board. Granted that means that nonstandard/drop-x tuning just doesn’t compute, but does mean that any variant of standard tuning intervals across any number of strings is fine; all I need to do is find the first note and be able to hear myself 🙂
  16. I only tried one briefly on my lunch hour, but tonally I really didn’t like it as much as the Drop - it sounded much more ‘artificial’ to me. The biggest problem, though, was that I couldn’t seem to actually get the three half-steps down that I needed out of it. That may be because I’m hard of music theory and/or was using it wrong (very real possibility as I didn’t read the manual and I only play by ear!) but I’m told that what I needed was a minor 3rd, and it didn’t appear to have that option on the dial.
  17. We use Drop pedals in our band - both guitarists and myself. We have a few originals that just sound right played lower (three half-steps down from already-half-step-down with our last singer and from standard tuning with our current singer) and whilst we used to change guitars to achieve it, it put a break in the flow of the performance while we changed over and checked tuning, which we didn’t like; it was even worse if we then had to change back, especially given the average set length for an original power metal band playing local support slots etc. For the guitars it was a bit of a no-brainier - the Drop pedal works great as intended. For me on bass it was a judgement call; do I still change bass and work on the speed of changeover, play the line further up, play the whole set on a 5, or try the Drop pedal. I tried it and initially wasn’t sure as it sounded a little modulated, but with the Thumpinator in front of it to give it the cleanest possible signal to process, I decided it wasn’t out of tune or unpleasant and it was plenty close enough alongside the other elements in our live performance. Tuning up half a step to standard when we changed singer helped very slightly again in terms of accuracy, though I still wouldn’t want to go any further than 3 half-steps down with the pedal no matter what the starting point. I wouldn’t use it always-on and certainly wouldn’t record with it, but for an instant change in feel for a couple of songs to vary a set, it does more good than harm. We’ve been using them for a good while now and nobody’s ever come up and said “that sounded dodgy”! 🙂
  18. I’d probably just use a bit of soft open-cell packing foam to stop the board from moving around in the control cavity. Cable ties and blu-tack are other options, but soft foam would just fill the gap between the components and the cavity cover and stop anything from going anywhere with no risk that it’d become detached again, because it was never attached in the first place - just held in place. Hopefully you can get it all sorted out without any drama and get back to enjoying playing it.
  19. With an issue like that, for me personally it all depends on how nice the rest of the instrument is. I've done the 'right-is-right' thing and sent instruments back to be swapped out or repaired in cases of minor defects, only to get back either an exchange that has issues of its own or just doesn't look/feel/play/sound as nice as the one I had, or a repair that I could have done better myself and has sometimes even caused additional damage. If that bass were mine, there was nothing else wrong with it and I liked it to the point of describing it as 'really special', I'd just glue the wood, secure the preamp PCB and get on with enjoying my bass. Just another opinion, of course.
  20. Stringbusters used to be great - I'd ring them up to order over the phone on my lunch hour at work and have no problem getting through. The guy was always friendly and would usually have a chat about more than just strings, then I'd pay my pound for postage and have my strings the next day. If he didn't have enough stock, he was always honest about how long it'd take to get things and he'd ship what they had and then follow up with the rest for no additional postage. Such a shame it sounds like they've gone down the pan. On the brighter side I noticed the post about Strings Direct doing a discount on D'Addario stuff the other weekend and decided to give them a try. Ordered two twin packs and the next day got one twin pack and two matching single packs (which on paper would have worked out more expensive) my assumption being that due to demand caused by the promotion they'd run out of twin packs but decided to work around it. Sense doesn't always prevail like that so I'll certainly order from them again.
  21. I keep trying other amp brands but always end up back with Markbass, so picked up a Nano 300 as backup for my LM800 and F1. First impressions at rehearsal were that it sounded like a Markbass and could keep up with the band; it just didn’t sound as effortless doing it as the bigger heads. Ideal backup, then... until a gig where I had to travel very light and decided to just take the Nano since there was a cab provided. It performed so well that it’s become my go-to amp for any gigs with shared or house cabs, so I’d certainly recommend it as a backup!
  22. I suppose I think of the distinction between a pick and a plectrum as a thickness or maybe flexibility thing. A tortex orange 0.60mm that I used to use for guitar was always a plectrum, but a purple 1.14mm that I used to use for bass was definitely a pick. These days I use the same 1.26mm for both, therefore I use a pick. Plec just sounds wrong to me since round where I live, a ‘pleck’ is an old colloquialism for a mess - usually used in reference to a dirty or untidy house, like “his place is a total pleck”. I only heard ‘plec’ for the first time when I was at uni and played in a band with a guitarist from Lincolnshire.
  23. Similar story with the one for my RM800 which I’m guessing is the same bag - the main zip started out with two tags, then after a week or so it had one, then soon after it had none and a cable-tie, then the zip came apart and broke completely. And fibres of that random synthetic woolly lining stuff are always all over the mirror front panel. Nice enough amp, don’t get me wrong, but I think I’ll be going after-market replacement for the new bag. On topic, my ABM1000 is still the most righteously ballsy non-valve amp I’ve got!
  24. I recently had a few loyalty points to spend so picked up an Ibanez GSR-180 for the princely sum of £150 to set up with flats and leave in the corner of the living room for unplugged plonking whilst watching telly. I wasn't really fussed with testing the pickups as I wasn't planning to plug it in, but I thought I'd give it a proper try out when I'd done oiling, fettling and setting it up with a slightly worn-in set of 9050s, so I plugged into my Rumble 500 combo and got a very pleasant surprise indeed; it sounded absolutely great and what followed was an unplanned play-along with several Dire Straits CDs until my fingers were more than ready for a rest! The bass felt great, sounded great and stayed perfectly in tune (a clean score-card as far as I'm concerned) and if I had to put a price on it blind, I'd have been happy to offer £600 there and then. Maybe I fell lucky with that particular instrument being on the top of the pile in the warehouse when I ordered - who knows - but it just goes to show what's out there for comparatively little money.
  25. Aye, I heard about that the other day, but I’d called in a few weeks back and it was all looking a bit disheveled so I was saddened but not entirely shocked. I got my first Markbass head from Dave back when the bass gear was upstairs, and it was a lot easer to get home on the train than a Peavey VB2 that did the same trip!! My arms still hurt thinking about that particular lapse in judgement.
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