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  1. I would start with the cab. My personal favourites are 2 x 10", 4 x 10", and 2 x 12". Smaller simply sounds smaller, two 1 x 12" do not feel the same as a 2 x 12". When the cab has been found, I would go for the amp. Budgetwise I would put £550 - 700 to the cab, and the rest to the amp. Used gear is a good option. Barefaced, tks, Bergantino etc. Ashdown may be pretty heavy, but so is the sound, too. Glockenklang is somewhat rare, but the sound...
  2. Buy a new set of strings. Clean the instrument completely. Change the battery. Tune it. Take a good look at your instrument few feet away. Think about what could you do with your tool. Make a schedule on paper of your future wishes. In short: Clean your tools. Stop for a while to think. Start your mission. Revise from time to time by starting all over.
  3. First of all, bass is not able to produce very high frequencies with coil-magnet pickups. Tone can be wide or narrow (and adjustable), or shelving.
  4. An operational amplifier is a component inside a preamp. A preamp may be a floor box or a unit inside your instrument. Some common opamps are TL07x (x=1/2/4, depending on the "channels" within one part), NE5534, OPA-series, and so on. You have to check their specifications from their respective datasheets. It is common to do trials with different opamps, if they are pin compatible. Quite many are. I would say that one or two disks is enough, a bigger array has phase issues and may require sophisticated mixing system. Most of the data is captured with one. Another story is if you buy a bridge with individual piezo saddles and drive each channel to a MIDI system or have other special needs. For effects like handling noises you can use several, but the mixing needs preamps for each channel. It is true there are many piezo systems with a piece of ceramic under each string and they are just in parallel. Trial and error... I took a quick look and the circuitry is based on a FET (2N5457; these have very high input impedance by nature), and I have a hunch that this might work. About immersion: nearly two decades ago I was a bit involved in a research project, where big piezos where studied. They were something like over 10 mm thick. Impossible to get, because they were meant for very low speed communication between submarinesor like. The result: no project output because of the costs and availability. Those were the days.
  5. First of all, I cannot see the need for more than one or two piezos. One/two piezos under the bridge, and that's it. If you want to use several, consider both placement and active mixing. They can be pressed a lot (make a tiny cavity under the bridge or put one to the neckpocket), but bending kills these fragile parts easily. They are usually glued to brass disks and pre-soldered with short wires (buy these!). If your deal includes disks without wires, I would strongly suggest metal pogos or springs instead of soldering. The lead-titanate material tends to melt accidentally and soldering them is really difficult to master. Believe me, I have tried it several times in professional surroundings. Usually FET-based preamps and opamps have so high input impedance that a piezo output is not an issue. I have found out, that the old t c electronic SCF can eat any piezo with ease. Keep the wires short, high impedance is prone to interference. The size (diameter) affects frequency response. Very roughly a larger sensor produces more low frequencies and a smaller will be better with higher frequency content. Don't you worry 'bout a thing: your disks are pretty close in size with each other. A reasonable impedance measuring system would be expensive.
  6. The surroundings I live has lots of people who are able to criticize, but they are not giving proper critique. Sometimes it is hard to get any decent words, although my band mates are very encouraging. One tool that has helped me, is a looper or a recording system. You can hear your playing right away. You should be able to differentiate your feel and the direct audible feedback. I tried to learn legato playing, and taping my playing revealed many faults. Playing and hearing could be understanding, not just believing. When you are able to point out any issue with your playing by yourself, you can ask for more specific questions from your teacher, or fellow player, or even a bandmate.
  7. I have tried few, and here are some thoughts about the page turners: - what functions do you really need during playing? - is the size and especially thickness something that fits your bass or effects case? The one I have (PageFlip Dragonfly), has 4 buttons. Compared to the two button version (PageFlip Firefly) the 4 button version is much thicker and more expensive. While playing, two buttons has been enough. Between the songs there is plenty of time to change the song. That can be done by hand. I do admit that I need to dive into the programming of the pedal. Those two extra buttons could be helpful, but so far the possibility has simply been extra, if not even useless functionality.
  8. MG Quantum 5 SPi Custom. I expect this to be a early 1990's product, because of the logo. Serial starts with the production year like 92nnnn = 1992. 35" scale and 17 mm string spacing. bartolini TBT preamp, probably with external capacitors in the pots (the B&T adjustments can be tweaked). The switch is for coil tapping. Pickups are probably a C5C and a D5E, which has a dummy coil for noiseless single coil sound. Owner will be really happy, this is like a once in a lifetime finding.
  9. My unit is an android but the use is similar: all notes with me, setlists are saved for future use, easy to arrange all "papers", the camera of the tablet is good enough for scanning new notes to the system... a dream come true. With telephone/data capability I can send notes to my fellow bandmates, search quickly some chords... Very helpful, and the page turning pedal is a must!
  10. Status, Jerry Dorsch (a former Modulus Graphite neck builder), Basslab (Is their production neck throughs only?), SKC Bogart, a (used) Steinberger XM, Schack, CarbonTech, and yes, Modulus used to make different necks. There are also some luthiers that build just few necks every now and then.
  11. I would opt for the tweeter. When it is there, you can use the pad to turn it down. If not, you are not able to dial in any more of it. And price is always one part of the equation.
  12. I love this, as it has a filter and a comp. With fretless it is unbeatable: http://www.ovnilab.com/reviews/phatbeam.shtml
  13. Here are some results. I used these frequencies while measuring coils (five of them; the dummy coil of the D5E was also quite similar in performance) of the two pickups: 50, 100, 200, 500, 1k, 2k, 3k, 5k, 6k, 7k, 10kHz. Both were splittable humbuckers, namely bartolini C5C and D5E (from a 1991 Modulus Graphite Quantum 5 SPi Custom). The pickups were desoldered from other electronics (pots, switches & the TBT preamp - the one with external capacitors). One interesting detail was that the pickups had a 3 dB difference (neck vs. bridge), but the coils within one pickup produced exactly similar curves from 50 Hz to 3 kHz. The response curves were as expected. Between 50 Hz and 1 kHz the curve stayed within 6 dB, but then the curve changed to a slope. In the 1 - 3 kHz area the drop was 9 dB, and 3 - 6 kHz 6 - 8 dB depending on the coil. This means that the total drop from 50 Hz to 6 kHz is around 20 dB. To get an idea of this amount, it's like the 50 Hz would be 100 % and 6 kHz 10 %. It is not very much, although ears are very sensitive at around 1 kHz. This is the area that gets hurt easily, not the 10 kHz area. [The frequencies around 1 kHz are very important because of the speech recognition (Say what!?). Play hard, use ear plugs.] If you want some ordinary coil-magnet pickup to produce something serious in the frequency area of 3 - 20 kHz, prepare to be able to amplify the signal a lot! 12 - 18 dB of amplification in a bass preamp is not so uncommon, new strings help, too. I heard a rumour, that Mr. Miller changes the strings in studio after 3 hours of playing. True or not, that could explain one part of his sound.
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