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Everything posted by Ed_S

  1. I tried one out when I was over in Stockport at Sounds Great. I'd seen them on here and was curious, so asked to use one to try out the MM Sterling 5, which was what I'd actually gone to have a look at. Played it through a Markbass NY604 and thought it sounded really good; surprisingly loud and ballsy, to the point where it'd probably be fine for a smallish acoustic gig. I ended up leaving the Sterling (very nice but the wrong colour) and buying the Hotone so I didn't have to get back on the train with nothing to show for the trip! Shallow reason, I know. I used it for a while with my BF Midget for jamming in the house, but then ended up buying a Markbass Micromark 801 which is smaller and more convenient, so since then the Hotone has been in its box up the cupboard. Now you've reminded me that it's there, though, I might get it back out!
  2. I used to have one - originally bought it to play in my acoustic duo, but it was still kicking about when my metal band lost its drummer for a few weeks due to a motorbiking accident and decided to give unplugged metal a blast rather than bow out of the gig we had lined up, so I gave it a fair shot in a couple of quite different settings. It was well made and felt very nice to play, but sadly, the short version of the story is that it wasn't loud enough unplugged to be of any real use to me. In a living-room jam, with only the other half of my duo (playing unplugged acoustic guitar and singing un-mic'd) to contend with, it could just about manage, but still needed help from a small amp to sit absolutely right in the mix. That, in itself, wasn't a major issue as the amp was only offering a bit of reinforcement and the acoustic sound of the bass was still there, sounding nice. However, as soon as we were in a proper rehearsal room and the acoustic guitar and vocals were in the PA alongside the bass, there was enough sound in the room to stop anyone hearing the acoustic bass itself, and all I was left with was a sound I could easily have produced with a P or J and a DI box. In the acousti-metal setting, there were two acoustic guitarists but still only one vocalist. The extra acoustic guitar meant that even unplugged I was totally lost and the small amp had to do pretty much all the work. In the rehearsal room, things didn't get any better through the PA as even at moderate volume and with no drums there was occasional feedback. I bought a sound-hole-bung type anti-feedback device at the same time as the bass as I suspected it might come in handy, and this did indeed stop the feedback but the sound was, again, no different to a P or J through a DI box into the PA. I was half thinking I might still keep it because I enjoyed picking it up and mindlessly noodling on it as I sat on the sofa and, of course, it would look right for certain live settings, but the more I ferried it round in its gigbag, the more I came to feel that it was just a big, unwieldy and unnecessarily fragile item which offered me very little I didn't already have in a more sturdy, easier to transport and more familiar / comfortable to play package. Sense kicked in and I moved it on... and I haven't actually once regretted doing so since. All that might sound like a damning review, but the truth is I actually really liked the bass - the problem was that given what it offered me, sadly I couldn't justify it.
  3. I've got a FireStudio Project up the cupboard that I used to use exactly as you describe. Last time I used it was with Logic Express 9 on a polycarbonate MacBook (Core 2 Duo / 2G) running Snow Leopard and it worked perfectly recording 8 simultaneous channels, so doesn't need anything spectacular in terms of computing horsepower to work properly. The results were absolutely fine - plenty good enough to mix and master into studio-live audio to go with YouTube videos and on EPs to get gigs.
  4. I'd go along with the two identical cab theory, but suggest maybe taking a look at a pair of NY121s. A good few people on here (myself included) have the CMD121P combo with matching NY121 extension cabinet, which is near enough the same as a pair of NY121 cabs and separate head, and I don't recall reading many negative reviews. I play in a fairly loud heavy rock / melodic metal band and the modular double 1x12 rig is doing the job just fine for me.
  5. Happy NBD! My mum does exactly the same thing with an occasional 'what if I buy half of it for you as an early birthday present?' ...this can happen anything up to 11 months from the actual event! I treated myself to a CV 70s Precision too, and was just as confused to find a bridge cover on it when I went to try it out, especially since it's over a high mass bridge; I didn't think it'd fit. I really don't like bridge and pickup covers, thumb rests and tug-bars, and the holes left in the body next to the bridge nearly made me walk away, but after playing it for a while I decided it was too nice to leave and just convinced myself that the holes add to the 70s-ness of it! Bridge, pickup and strap-locks on... Hope you continue to enjoy yours as much as I'm enjoying mine!
  6. I've recently done this with a LM800 into a Mini CMD 121P. The feet are just secured with bolts into the chassis - there's nothing holding them at the back on the inside. The process for mine, very quickly, was unscrewing the 4 hex securing bolts, sliding the Combo Head out, taking off two short panels that screw into the same holes as the top panel of the head and help to hold the hex bolts, then removing the feet and top panel from the LM, screwing on the short panels that came off the Combo Head, sliding the LM into the cabinet and securing with the 4 bolts. The combo head can then have the feet and top panel from the LM attached to make it stand-alone, if you like. The caveat to all this is that the screw holes needed to make all this happen are there, but they're not all tapped (the feet and top panel holes in the Combo Head, and the combo securing bolt holes in the LM to be precise). I was able to tap them easily enough with the various screws and bolts, but opted to do so before fitting so I could get some tape on the back to catch the bits of metal and powder coat, then blow the amps out with compressed air to make sure anything I'd missed was removed. Hope that's some help!
  7. I currently use either a Radial ProDI or Pro48 (depending on whether I'm using a passive or active bass) and would recommend either/both for being solid, relatively inexpensive and offering more pleasing results than I got with the cheap - but admittedly still completely useable - Behringer and ART boxes I had previously. [quote name='Reverend' timestamp='1419119079' post='2636863'] I, er... sort of didn't return a Countryman Type 85 DI box back to a well known band when they left it at the studio I used to work at. They never asked for it back. Hey, trust me they could've afforded a new one. This was back when well known bands actually used to make money :-) Really good box though. I've tried much posher DIs and this sounds just as good as any of them. Another added bonus is that it's ACTUALLY indestructible. I know a couple of guitarists who tried mine and ended up using it for all their clean sounds on a couple of records rather than going through an amp. [/quote] I've been thinking about getting a Countryman to add to the toolbox as it's well regarded and can run on a battery for those times when phantom power isn't available. Just wondered if you'd ever come across a situation where the lack of input pad on the Type 85 had been a problem with bass (not fussed about keys etc.) and you'd wished the Type 10 had been around to be left behind by the donor band?
  8. [quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1418901583' post='2634593'] on the other hand, if the difference is so subtle that you can't be sure after swapping leads and you need to devise a more complex arrangement... it probably means that either would do and you coud just choose one based on features. Or colour. [/quote] I strongly suspect that's what it'll come down to! The LM800 will win as its panel is black with yellow bits, which I prefer to the CH2's yellow with black bits. The LM2 and F1 look better still for not having the yellow knobs, however. [quote name='discreet' timestamp='1418901841' post='2634599'] Either way you'll need a pre-amp to make it sound interesting. [/quote] Nah, I like 'em as they are. The VTDI comes out for recording, but not live.
  9. [quote name='Sparky Mark' timestamp='1418895912' post='2634493'] Trouble is in the time it takes to swap leads over it's very difficult to do a true A to B to C comparison of similar sounding heads, which these are. [/quote] It'd have to be two or more sets of A/B comparison with the combo being used as one 1x12 cab, the matching extension cab being used as the second, and an ABY box used for switching between them with the same settings on each head. Would be as close as I could get to a fair test...
  10. [quote name='Sparky Mark' timestamp='1418894900' post='2634465'] Definately give it a proper run out, it's a great sounding amp. [/quote] I guess I could take the LM2 and F1 along and try to ascertain, side by side, whether the CH2 is anything I don't already have in the other heads. Sounds like a plan... [quote name='Sparky Mark' timestamp='1418894900' post='2634465'] You might even prefer it and the power difference is negligible. [/quote] Absolutely - I swapped the CH2 for the LM800 because conventional wisdom stated that the LM3/CH2 was still much like the LM2 with a couple of added features but the same basic workings, and as much as I like that for classic rock, I wanted the snappy response of the LM800 with its digital power amp for use in my metal band. If the LM3/CH2 is now a fundamentally different beast, there's always the chance that it'll have something unique.
  11. Makes me wonder what I should do with my Big Bang powered Combo Head 2. It's currently a standalone head wearing the top-panel and feet from the LM800 that I put in the combo and I was torn between keeping it in the cupboard to swap back in the event that I wanted to sell the combo, and offering it up for sale on here to get some of my money back. Now I wonder if I should actually take it to a rehearsal and have a listen to it.
  12. [quote name='Sparky Mark' timestamp='1418255554' post='2628621'] The real point of my original post was to try to understand whether the newer design is the equal of the former. To quote an old saying "Everything can be made a bit cheaper. .......and a bit worse". If there is also a question over the country of manufacture marking that's another thing. [/quote] I doubt there'll be any question over the sticker accurately reflecting where the thing was made.. Obviously I don't know, but I'd find it much easier to believe that they just refined the design for whatever reason towards the end of production in Italy and then passed that now-current design / tooling etc. to the Indonesian factory to carry on making. As for better / worse, I bought the combo with the intention of swapping the head out, so beyond "it works" I can't comment - my only experiences are with Italian era lm2, lm800 and f1 heads. Still.. be interesting if you do find out what changed!
  13. [quote name='Sparky Mark' timestamp='1418215665' post='2628014'] Both Italian. [/quote] I recently removed the combo head 2 from my Indonesian cmd121p and it's got the same reduced innards. I was replacing it with an Italian lm800 so I didn't draw the comparison at the time, but now you point it out...
  14. [quote name='Kevin Dean' timestamp='1414156996' post='2586535'] What about the Ashdown 1000w Head that's light weight , But not mini I suppose. [/quote] [quote name='Ed_S' timestamp='1412058427' post='2565163'] If Hartke made an HA5500 with a lightweight power section (like Ashdown made the ABM1000) then I'd probably end up with one. [/quote] [quote name='fretmeister' timestamp='1413977120' post='2584246'] Might even fit in a 1u rack, like the MB F1. That would have me reaching for my wallet straight away! [/quote] ...that's pretty much what I'm hoping for! A lightweight, shallow 1U HA5500 would be awesome.
  15. [quote name='sirmuppet' timestamp='1413885586' post='2583045'] I just checked. They seem to be .100, .85, .70, .45 [/quote] Interesting.. I've just put the vernier caliper back round the set I took off mine and they're actually measuring 92, 72, 56, 38 which is obviously why they felt noticeably thin to me, even though my standard set is 100, 80, 60, 40. Seems that there isn't any particular set that gets fitted at the factory.
  16. No worries, Sir! The Pro-Steels are indeed a good sound - it's a shame they chew up the frets so much, but I guess a re-fret in stainless steel isn't going to cost that much at some point in the future.
  17. They just felt like fairly standard NPS rounds to me as I was taking them off my new aerodyne to put prosteels on it. I did, however, notice they were quite thin - can't remember the exact gauges but I got my vernier round them and they were about 40,60,75,95ish. Could it be that you just like thinner strings than you thought?! I'm pretty sure I've not thrown the ones I took off mine in the bin yet. If they're still sat in the 'steels packet on my bench and you want them, you're welcome to them - just PM me an address and I'll bung them in an envelope.
  18. I've recently picked up one of the FSRs and, having done a couple of gigs with it at the end of last week and a rehearsal this evening, whilst I can't speak for the more expensive version, I really like this one. There are, however, a few issues I found that may be worth mentioning and a couple of mods that I felt were required to make it work for me... I noticed when buying mine that the quality control maybe isn't all that great as they had one of each (white, blue, grey and red) in the shop, and the white was the only one that didn't have surface cracking coming away from the corners of the neck pocket. The skunk-stripe on the blue was very rough and standing slightly proud of the neck at the headstock end. The bridge on the red is slightly different (more high-mass looking) to the others, but the standard BBOT bridges have quite small barrel saddles which leave the height adjustment screws perfectly poised to rip chunks out of your hands. I sorted the bridge out by swapping it for a Wilkinson with big brass saddles, but bear in mind that your options are somewhat limited if you don't fancy any DIY because it sits on a recessed platform routed into the top of the body. The intonation screws on the Wilkinson were too short, so I made a mash-up of the two bridges using the longer screws from the original. The metal knobs just weren't to my liking so they got swapped out for a normal Jazz set. A few swaps and changes and a full setup with the right strings later, and it's a keeper!
  19. Ed_S

    Best small combo

    I can recommend the Markbass Micromark 801 - absolutely great little amp.
  20. I had two HA heads that were great sounding, just too heavy given that I could get an equally pleasing, if different, sound from something that fits in the top of my cable bag. If Hartke made an HA5500 with a lightweight power section (like Ashdown made the ABM1000) then I'd probably end up with one. Only negative experience was with an LH1000, but that was most likely just a duff valve. It worked for long enough to ascertain that I preferred the HA series, so I swapped it for one.
  21. I use the bottom of a set of D'Addario EXL220-5 (60,75,95,125) for my C bass. It's a standard Precision and the tension feels pretty normal to me given that I usually play 40,60,80,100 in both Eb and standard.
  22. [quote name='Jus Lukin' timestamp='1407797966' post='2524204'] [b]Edit:[/b] Always having stuff on hand, I never did turn up to a gig where no-one had brought any gear. I'd love to see how it went down at the ones where that was the case though. It [i]must[/i] have happened somewhere! [/quote] Happened to me once - there'd been emails flying about to organise the gear share and one guy had said that he needed his rig to get his sound so would be taking it irrespective and everybody was welcome to plug in. Quick check that the head had an fx return and I was happy to just rock up with my Sansamp. Come the evening in question, however, there was no sign of the rig; the guy had decided to "use the house rig or whatever for this one" despite the whole point of the email trail being that there was nothing provided other than PA. I actually offered to let everybody use my Sansamp through the PA, but the other bands didn't like the idea so one of their guys disappeared for half an hour and came back with a Peavey MicroBass borrowed from a friend that lived locally and everybody else opted to play through that, mic'd. These days I always at very least have a lightweight 1x12 and the means to power it, even if it ultimately stays in the car.
  23. That's one hell of a prac amp! I used to have an HA2000 in storage at our rehearsal space and keep an HA5500 at home to take out for gigs. They're absolutely great gigging amps; tonnes of power, versatile and built like tanks. However, unless they've changed significantly in the last few years they're in no way light for getting round on public transport, and the fans on every one I've used were too loud for me to enjoy playing quietly at home. Hopefully all that was covered in the online reviews and you've factored it in.
  24. If you don't drive and want a small, bus-portable combo that produces a genuinely pleasing sound I can wholeheartedly recommend the Markbass Micromark 801. You need one in front of you to fully comprehend just how much a little amp can do if it's designed right! http://www.thomann.de/gb/markbass_micromark_801.htm
  25. Ed_S

    Roland Rock

    Just bought Chris' Radial Pro-DI and am happy to report that he's a pleasure to do business with; consequently the whole deal was cordial, swift and trouble-free. The DI box itself was delivered by a proper courier and, despite being the sort of thing that will be left intact when the bomb drops, was packaged in such a way that I had to break out a substantial knife to gain entry! Upon doing so, it was found to be just as minty-fresh as advertised and is currently looking very much at home next to my existing Pro-48. Thanks again, Chris!
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