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Everything posted by henrywillard

  1. henrywillard

    Double Bass String Cleaner

    My sister has asked me if I want any little bits for Christmas, & I could do with some new string cleaner! Unfortunately the string cleaner I have always used by Pirastro has been discontinued! That stuff was amazing! Has anyone tried and/or have experience of using any of the following: - Pirastro String Oil - (Is this just for gut strings?? I could never quite work out what the difference was between Pirastro String Oil, & Pirastro String Cleaner?) - Petz String Cleaner - Nature Works String Cleaner - Gewa Old Master String Cleaner - Royal Oak String Cleaner Any reviews/recommendations appreciated!
  2. henrywillard

    Double Bass String Cleaner

    I forgot to mention, I'm using Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Weich's. (not gut's). I emailed Pirastro & they confirmed that their string oil is for gut's only. I just found the Pirastro String Cleaner so good at making my strings feel smooth again, & removing light grime build-up from finger oils etc. I'll probably take a punt on the Royal Oak, Gewa Old Master and Nature Works at some point. Try out all three & see which I like best!
  3. henrywillard

    Dbl bass soft case

    @Houndogg +1 for a Westbury here too - with wheels! I officially endorse Westbury basses and products, and without obviously being biased, cannot rate them highly enough. My Westbury bag measures 180cm in length, internally. The endpin shaft which protrudes from the underside of the lower bout on my bass, tends to sit inside the bag, with just my rubber endpin ball sticking out, but you could get away with the whole shaft sticking out the bottom if you had a bigger bass in there, although admittedly not ideal. Maybe therefore measure your bass from the top of the scroll to the bottom of the lower bout, ignoring the protruding endpin shaft, and see what that measures at? Either way, I hope you find a suitable case! :)
  4. For Sale: [b]Proel Double Bass Stand[/b] Location: Sevenoaks, Kent, South-East England, UK -Good condition. Hardly used. -Legs fold down for transportation -All rubber on rib arms still intact. Not worn or perished. -Height adjustable [b]*[/b]The rubber feet that go on the two back legs are missing. Simply looking to give this stand a new home as it is not used anymore. Happy to post anywhere, providing cost is covered. I've set that price value at £20, but please make me an offer -Henry [attachment=246190:20170529_100748.jpg][attachment=246192:20170529_100805.jpg][attachment=246193:20170529_100850.jpg]
  5. henrywillard

    **SOLD** Proel Double Bass Stand

    Hey Burns-bass, I can confirm that you CAN rest the bass in the stand without having to retract or lower the endpin. The arms that come round the ribs of the bass are adjustable in height, so no matter how long you have your endpin extended when in the stand (within reason), the arms will cradle the ribs nicely. One thing that is particularly good about this stand is the space-saving factor. I'd forgotten how well it saved space. Unlike something like the Hercules stand that positions the bass so it's leaning back quite significantly, this Proel stand positions the bass low to the ground, and relatively upright, only leaning back slightly, so the stand and bass can fit quite tightly into a corner or up against a wall. Let me know if you'd like to take the stand off my hands, Burns, & give it a new home
  6. henrywillard

    Blending magnetic and piezo pickups

    Hi Dave, I use a Radial Engineering PZ-Pre - The thing is unbelievable! [url="http://www.tonebone.com/pzpre.php"]http://www.tonebone.com/pzpre.php[/url] Built like it's bomb proof, does an incredible job, you can either blend or switch between two pickups/instruments in a foot stomp, there's a dedicated separate channel for a pedal tuner (I use a Boss TU-3), and there's of course a mute stomp switch too which is really handy. I rarely use the Boost switch, but it's there if need be. They're around £300.00 brand new. Would recommend them to anyone.
  7. henrywillard

    Pickup vs Mic - What to buy?

    Hi Danny. Are you using a pre-amp at all?
  8. henrywillard

    Pickup vs Mic - What to buy?

    I totally second what Geoff said. I had a DPA 4099B, but eventually sold it as I just could not get on with it due to feedback problems on stage when using it for monitoring. Don't get me wrong, it sounded great on its own, but as soon as the rest of the band joined in, it was an absolute nightmare for backline. I would maybe be tempted to try a DPA out again, sending it to the front of house and using my pickup (Wilson K4) for my monitoring, but to be honest, the Wilson K4 is an absolutely INCREDIBLE pickup, so I am completely satisfied using it for both FOH & backline, and have been for a few years now. Absolutely no feedback issues, and it just sounds fantastic on my bass. Best pickup (or mic) I have ever used. I also echo spender.b. It will only work in certain live scenarios. For me personally, I unfortunately found that to be hardly ever. It would always feedback, or be right on the edge, which distracted me from my playing. I tried a couple of different pre-amps, but to no avail, so on eBay it went. The Wilson K4 pickup allows me to not worry one bit about my sound, and I can focus 100% on my playing. Would highly recommend checking them out
  9. henrywillard

    Antoni 3/4 double bass ADB 05

    My post probably did come across a tad 'strong'! Sorry!!
  10. henrywillard

    Bag recommendations for 3/4 double bass

    Great choice, chickencole!
  11. henrywillard

    Antoni 3/4 double bass ADB 05

    At £350, that's £250 off the retail price of the Antoni. I used to sell these basses some years back when I worked in a music shop. They're obviously Chinese basses (or certainly that region), distributed in the UK by JHS. Antoni is their own brand which they import. To be honest, you get what you pay for. It's hard to be honest without sounding like a 'double bass snob', but these basses (imo) are basically just pieces of throwaway wood glued together in a double bass shape. If it hasn't been set-up yet, a good luthier will almost definitely need to try and work some magic on it to make it playable. That said, if you are just starting out, and if you're on a very tight budget and want to try out the double bass to see if you take to it, the Antoni will get you going. I was in the same position, and my very first bass was actually a piece of junk I bought off eBay for around the same price. I was totally new to the upright bass, but it got me going. If you do get the Antoni, practice regularly (daily), and take to the double bass as an instrument, what you will probably find is that within 4-6 months you will start to realize the Antoni's limitations and you will have quickly 'outgrown' it. If you were to then go and try out some other basses - Much better basses, you will wonder how you ever played the Antoni. Like I say, however, I started out on a £350 bass. I made a significant upgrade within the year (once I'd saved up some money) as once I took to the instrument I realized I needed something much, much better, but, that £350 piece of junk got me going, and certainly served its short-lived purpose.
  12. henrywillard

    Bag recommendations for 3/4 double bass

    Hey chickencole, I have two Westbury bass bags (one with wheels, one without), and can't recommend them highly enough! If you can stretch your budget by another £30 and get the 22mm bag with wheels, you won't regret it. The wheels are an absolute godsend!! [url="https://www.bassbags.co.uk/product/double-bass-bag-22mm-padding-with-wheels/"]https://www.bassbags.co.uk/product/double-bass-bag-22mm-padding-with-wheels/[/url] Loads of strong handles, spacious pockets, great quality in terms of material & stitching etc, and the 22mm padding is ample protection against knocks & bumps
  13. henrywillard

    Essential Accessories

    [quote name='Hector' timestamp='1474534784' post='3138589'] You take [i]four[/i] different types of instrument cleaning products to every gig?! [/quote] Well, I don't go into my drawer before every gig and purposely pick out & pack all that stuff. It all just stays in my gig bag. You never know when you might need it. If I get to a gig, set up and the neck is feeling a bit grubby with too much friction, or the strings could do with a clean, or if it's a bit of an upmarket gig and the body could do with a quick polish to get rid of fingerprint smudge marks, all that stuff comes in handy just having it in a little compartment in my gear bag. Prepared for virtually every circumstance!
  14. henrywillard

    Essential Accessories

    Along with the necessities of three XLR cables and three jack-jack's of different lengths, my Radial Tonebone PZ-Pre pre-amp w/ plug, Boss TU-3 tuner w/ plug, and kettle lead for my Acoustic Image amp, I always carry two SM57's and an SM58 in my gear bag, black gaffa tape, a black surge-protected 10m 4-way extension, a can of deodorant, in-ear monitors, a couple of micro-fiber cloths, Planet Waves fingerboard conditioner, Dunlop Lemon oil, Pirastro string cleaner, Dunlop Orchestral instrument polish, and hand sanitizer gel. I don't tend to keep too much in my actual bass gig bag apart from a Supersensitive square rubber endpin stop and a notepad and couple of pens.
  15. henrywillard

    Installing on onboard preamp?

    Randythoades, in terms of an outboard pre-amp upgrade, check out the Radial Tonebone PZ-Pre Acoustic pre-amp. Unbelievable piece of gear which allows you to either blend two pickups, or switch between two pickups/instruments (handy if switching between pizz & arco and having different settings for each etc). Built like a piece of army equipment, mute switch, pedal tuner connectivity, boost switch etc. Highly recommend checking it out. If you really want something onboard on your bass so you can adjust settings whilst you're playing without bending down to the floor, instead of cutting into your bass, look into mounting a small pre-amp on the back of your tailpiece. I can't remember which preamp he uses exactly, but Barenaked Ladies' double bassist, Jim Creeggan has a velcro gizmo on his tailpiece with a preamp held in place on the back, and the knobs facing upwards for quick & easy adjustment mid-song/set. You can sort of see what I mean in these photo's:
  16. Hi all, A bit of a different thread topic, but I wanted to open this topic up and hear if anyone else has experienced the highly frustrating, and in my opinion, very inaccurate stigma attached to the double bass in popular music. I am referring to the mentality & opinion of so many, that if you want a 'full band' pop/rock set-up (four/five piece etc), then the double bass is automatically disregarded in favour of electric bass, because double bass is an 'acoustic instrument', best resigned to mumford & sons cover bands, folk duo's, jazz clubs & orchestra's. I am experiencing this mentality more & more, and it is so incredibly frustrating, and an opinion that personally really grinds my gears. The reason for starting up this thread comes off the back of me missing out on a well paid UK tour later this year with a relatively well-known UK pop star, despite playing a show with him earlier in the year and being told by his management that the tour was 99% mine. Despite the entire 30-date tour being billed as an 'Acoustic Tour', it seems his management have now decided to opt for a four-piece backing band as opposed to a trio (which included a drummer, keys, & myself on double bass), simply because they wanted a 'full band' sound, so have added a guitarist and brought in an electric bass player. This grates on me immensely, that the double bass is seen as an instrument only useful for acoustic trio's and folks bands in popular music. (check out [url="https://youtu.be/sKzy8q24EY0?t=53s"]Barenaked Ladies[/url], who break down the stigma) I would be very interested to hear anyone else's thoughts & experiences, and hear if anyone has experienced anything similar. Henry
  17. henrywillard

    Double bass in popular music - Inaccurate stigma

    Thanks everyone, some really kind words, and all really good feedback, with points both sides of the argument. I'm from an acoustic guitar background which I've played for 21yrs now, and after dabbling, made the switch over to double bass as my major around 7yrs ago. I was never an electric bass player, and never had any interest in it, but I instantly fell in love with the double bass. SubsonicSimpleton, you make some very good points from the Management's point of view, to be fair. I did go down very well with this chap's fans, however in the gig I played back in April, who were all over social media raving about the sound, and the look of the double bass. Management clearly thought otherwise. Without going into too much detail and just posting a rant that looks like a cry for attention, my anger at this particular situation has been escalated by the Management ignoring my calls & voicemails when I was trying to get an update (so I could finalize my diary for the coming months), texting me saying "I'll call you back in a while", and receiving no call, and then me actually only finding out I'd been dropped by noticing the tour manager, keys player & drummer checked into a rehearsal studio in London with a guitarist and electric bass player, rehearsing for an 'Autumn Tour'. I put two and two together, and messaged the tour manager asking if he could confirm the rehearsals were for the tour I was supposed to be on, and he confirmed they were. His Manager still hasn't had the decency to contact me & tell me I was no longer on the tour. I had to find out through spotting a Facebook post. Very poor all round, and highly frustrating. Keep the feedback and any other stories coming. It's interesting to hear others experiences.
  18. henrywillard

    DPA Mics

    Personally, I found the DPA a nightmare, and a very expensive mistake. (I put it through a pre-amp). When it was just me on stage with my bass, the DPA picked up the sound of my bass beautifully. Really, really lovely, natural sound. However... as soon as you brought the rest of the band into the mix (I was playing with acoustic/folk bands at the time, nothing overly loud), the DPA would constantly feedback, and adjusting the angle of the DPA, and my positioning on stage/angle of my bass in relation to other band members seemed to have very little effect. I was working with very skilled and experienced sound engineers, so am entirely confident they were doing everything they could to try and keep my sound under control, but after the gigs they would always just stare at the DPA, puzzled & frustrated. Unfortunately, as wonderful as it sounded on its own, it most definitely doesn't get my recommendation. Personally, I would highly, highly recommend checking out the Wilson K4. There are plenty of pickups out there though, and everyone will have different experiences & recommendations. It's one of those things where we generally have to part with a lot of money just to test out a pickup and see how we like it. If it's 'the one', like I have found with the Wilson, then perfect. I went through a lot of pickups before the Wilson though, and always had to sell them on on eBay, always making a loss, of course. Wilson aren't cheap, but it's the best I've ever used on my bass by far! Good luck! [url="http://wilson-pickups.com/product/k4/"]http://wilson-pickups.com/product/k4/[/url]
  19. Hi all, I've had a set of Evah Pirazzi Weich's on my bass for probably just over two years now, and had them fitted by Malcolm Healey, who has always done any work required on my bass. I can't recall if the 'problem' was immediate, but for as long as I can remember, I've always had a sustain problem with the E string when playing pizzicato. It's fine open, and I get good sustain up to and including a low A on the E string, but anything from a Bb upwards above just sounds pretty dead and the sustain drops off after approximately 3 seconds, whilst the sustain on the E string up to and including the low A, and all across the fingerboard on all the other strings lasts at least 6 seconds. Does anyone have any ideas what the cause of this 'problem' could be? Could it just be that the string needs replacing?? I have attached some photo's to show the heights & cut of my nut & bridge, as well as fingerboard distance and my bridge feet/adjusters. Any thoughts/advice/recommendations of things to tweak or test etc would be greatly appreciated! It's a problem I've been meaning to look into for some time now! Many thanks in advance, Henry.
  20. henrywillard

    E String sustain problem - Evah Pirazzi Weich's

    [quote name='neilp' timestamp='1460129799' post='3022931'] I don't know if it's related to your problem or not, but that nut looks crazy high and needs cutting! getting the strings closer to the fingerboard at the nut will make it all round easier, so I'd start there... [/quote] Oh really?! Where the fingerboard meets the nut, from the fingerboard to the bottom of the E string, is well under 1mm. It's probably around 0.5mm..
  21. henrywillard

    My upright doesn't like the Realist...

    It's expensive, and a 'permanent' installation, but I cannot recommend the [url="http://wilson-pickups.com/product/k4/"]Wilson K4[/url] highly enough. Simply outstanding results on my bass, and I too use Evah Pirazzi Weich's. You will always get different results with different basses, and I read mixed reviews about the Wilson prior to purchasing, some saying it's an "outdated pickup" etc, but my goodness how I'm glad I ignored those negative reviews. Hands-down one of the best purchases I've ever made. I have a lovely Westbury bass courtesy of [url="http://www.thesoundpost.co.uk"]The Sound Post[/url] in Wiltshire, I go through a [url="http://www.tonebone.com/pzpre.php"]Radial Tonebone PZ-Pre[/url] acoustic pre-amp, and into an [url="http://www.acousticimg.com/#/ten2_s4/lp"]Acoustic Image Ten2 S4Plus[/url]. I played at the National Portrait Gallery last month, and had my mind blown like never before by the sound. It was a great room for acoustics, and everything just seemed to sonically slot into place, but the Wilson was a huge part of that. The most incredible representation of my bass' natural sound I have ever experienced. Since I've had the Wilson fitted, which was probably at least a good four years ago now, not once have I ever experienced any ounce of feedback on any stage, or in any venue. Just brilliant. Ole Boje Wilson is also a super great guy, & very helpful.
  22. henrywillard

    End pin question

    I have a permanent rubber on the end of my endpin, so it's not just a bare spike, but I still use the Super-Sensitive Endpin Stop if rehearsing on friends' carpets or rugs etc, as the little rubber on the end of my endpin still digs in and leaves a hole and sometimes a black stain on soft surfaces such as carpets etc if I don't use the Super-Sensitive Stop.
  23. henrywillard

    End pin question

    I use a Super-Sensitive Endpin Stop. I just keep it in my bag, and throw it down on the floor whenever there's a nice carpet or rug I need to protect. [url="http://www.alangregory.co.uk/music/Super-Sensitive_Large_Clear_Stoppin_End_Pin_Stop.html"]http://www.alangregory.co.uk/music/Super-Sensitive_Large_Clear_Stoppin_End_Pin_Stop.html[/url] Have had mine for years, and I reckon it will last a lifetime.
  24. I used the Schertler Stat B for a couple of years, but could never really get on with it. The arco sound & response was nice & balanced, but the pizz sound for me was just not good enough, and I also experienced terrible feedback problems. Since switching to a Wilson K4 / Radial PZ-Pre pre-amp / Acoustic Image Ten2 setup, I couldn't be happier. If it was me, personally, I would keep looking.
  25. henrywillard

    Double bass cleaning

    At the moment I'm using.. -Pirastro String Cleaner for my strings. (Love it. Would highly recommend.) -Dunlop 65 Orchestral polish & cleaner for the top, back & ribs etc. (Not convinced yet. A pain to buffer nicely.) -Planet Waves Fingerboard Conditioner for the fingerboard. (Love it. Would highly recommend.) -Dunlop 65 Fretboard Ultimate Lemon Oil for the neck. (Jury's still out on this. Does a job..) Would also be interested to hear what other products people use.