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Phil Starr

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Everything posted by Phil Starr

  1. I'm great at upsetting my band members with my unpopular opinions . You should have seen my current band's faces when I said I can't stand musical theatre. Previously it's been the Beatles, Eric Clapton and many others. I'm happy enough playing them and I'll pretty much always go along with the majority opinion but other musicians seem to be amazed I don't share their tastes. I'm baffled why I'm supposed to like everything they do. I don't understand the hatred for Coldplay. Is that controversial?
  2. If this is an amp you cannot do without then it would make sense to simply buy another, they are going for around £350 here in the for sale section. You have no guarantee about what part of the amp might go wrong. If it was the power supply or the pre amp then you'd have spent a lot of money for nothing. Having said that I don't think you need to worry. If the failure rate is 5% a year the chances are that you'll have a long wait before you need the spare and modern amps are incredibly reliable, just relax and enjoy the amp you obviously love.
  3. Ha ha, if I was wiser I'd spend less time talking about speakers on BassChat and more actually playing through them I'm pleased it's worked out, Last week we did two gigs with our ART310's, bass, guitar and two vox. I used a BD121 and guitar used a ZoomG1xon for a bit of shaping. It's just so easy and the sound you get out is lovely but importantly consistent. Mixer is an RCF M18 and I've got settings saved so all I need to do is load the scene from the last rehearsal. That was my duo, today we had a full band rehearsal and again just call up the settings saved from the last gig and away you go. Singer and I shared a radio link as I have three belt pack receivers both had in ears and for her it was her first experience, you should have seen her face! I started her off with over ears and swapped for some ZS10's halfway through. She's ordered a pair and I don't think she'll ever go back. Suddenly our guitarist wants to join in and our new drummer too. I'm expecting to go all in-ears within the next couple of months. You'll work out yourself how far to push the ART310's, you know they won't do everything but I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by what they will cope with. I do like a happy ending
  4. Obviously the piano, like an acoustic guitar is a very different case, what you are listening to is the soundboard and the timber is absolutely critical, more so than the strings which are just a way of exciting the sound board. What interested me was that they tried moving the bridge point and investigated the effect of that on the vibration and that they measured the movement of the string and board to the point where they new what the phase relationships were. The article is just a stub from a lecture about the research but I'd imagine they explored a lot of maths to determining how the interaction between moving string and board worked. Apparently the bridge moving out of phase with the string increases sustain which I found counter intuitive. However I suppose if my 75kg walking over a 300ton suspension bridge can make the bridge bounce then a string can make a bass body bounce.
  5. I'm a sceptic on this as so many things. I'm not saying that the tone woods thing is true or false and rather suspect it's a 'bit' true, just one of many things that contribute to tone. I do a lot of carpentry, though cabinets and windows rather than instruments and wood is really variable, not only between species but between planks cut from different parts of the same baulk of timber. You can tap two pieces of timber and they often have a unique sound. I'll bet xylophones aren't just made of any old wood. So yes, I doubt that there is a characteristic that every swamp ash body has and no basswood has, and like you I'm not convinced of 'tone wood' per se but I'm open to the idea the body is more than a dead passive element. I'm guessing that sometimes you strike lucky and the combination of all the factors means you find a good-un. I'm off to look up xylophones
  6. Uncanny I was about to start another thread on this, fortunately we are all spared this To state my position I'm agnostic about this and a You Tube video isn't really evidence, however interesting. For me it's about physics and the amount of energy involved in picking or plucking a string is limited and the mass of a bass large so if it does make a difference then that needs some explaining. So the reason I came here to post was some evidence/research on decay time in pianos using a single string on a soundboard, certainly analogous to a guitar if not a bass. Lots of interesting (to me) data but one graph stood out. So the plots of the decay times of each note on the piano and the time it took for a 20db decay. You can see there is a general trend for the bass notes to decay slowly and the treble notes quickly. What's interesting though are the differences between adjacent notes. In the middle of the graph Gb4 sustains way longer than G4. playing that piano Gb4 would really jump out at you and if held would colour subsequent notes very differently toa transposition up a semitone. The research went on from there and two things were shown to be important. The position of the bridge and the phase of the movement of the soundboard (whether it was moving in time with the string or against it) Klaus Wogram: The strings and the soundboard article here Now the point is that the bass body of all my basses vibrate all over,I can feel it against my body when I pick a string and when i lightly touch the bass, it's what the clip on tuners detect. We also know that different woods vibrate differently depending upon mass, Young's modulus (springiness), shape and internal damping. The bridge must be moving, and the nut and these must have an effect upon the strings including whether they are moving in phase or out of phase. On my Jazz A and A# on the E string jump out at me if I play evenly, other notes aren't even either but that's the spot I always notice. It doesn't happen on the A string. You know what? It could be the body
  7. You may be over-anxious about this. There is absolutely no reason ever for you to be louder than the drummer. If you ever were then the balance could only be right if you put the drums through the PA and then you'd have to put everything through the PA including the bass. Two 15's driven reasonably hard will be louder than the drummer and you really shouldn't lack volume with the possible exception of a large stage outdoors when you really should have a great PA. Wanting to get the stage volume down is the right way to go if you can, as you have realised. You said hi-tech PA, what did you get? it may be able to handle more bass and kick than you think.
  8. You must have younger eyes than mine, I need large print
  9. It's these sorts of issues that make it so laborious isn't it? Is the Perform mode a useful feature of Studio One?
  10. How are you getting on with this now? Did you make the change to Presonus one?
  11. Power amps are designed to provide lot's of clean power for PA systems. They are almost all stereo amps. A bass amp is just one with the pre-amp and a power amp in a single box. The advantage of the power amp is that you can buy very high powered amps if you wish and because more are sold they are often a cheaper way of getting very high power. The price per watt tends to be less. Many people like fiddling and are very interested in having what they think of as 'the best'. Just look at anglers, car modders and the like and you can see they spend a fortune on Gear Aquisition Syndrome and musicians too can suffer from GAS. I've seen great bassists with the best of everything and great bassists with the pile of tat they have played for 40 years. there isn't right or wrong. There was more point to this when bass amps were less powerful but as you've already found out the output stages are clean and if you go through the fx loop you don't need to spend on another power amp.
  12. I think either of these will be ideal for the use you intend and will sound good into the bargain, but not the same. The best thing you could do would be to look at both and make a decision by trying them out, you'll also get an idea of the weight. Both are essentially reliable amps, the Peaveys of that era had a great reputation for being built like a tank. Ashdown have a reputation for after sales second to none and still support their old amps. My first two amps were a peavey 2x15 of that era and a MAG 600 both good but different. However these are both old amps and components can deteriorate unpredictably, there are dozens of these out there still working though so you will probably be lucky and at that price if they work for a year that is only 30p a day. If they do break then everything is replaceable/repairable unlike more modern equipment. Like the others i don't like the customisation on the Ashdown and wonder if any other mods have been done but these prices for that sort of giggable amp you can't really go wrong. Just try before you decide.
  13. I might as well confess it is my amp that broke, I've never said that Markbass make unreliable gear. I dropped the amp off a stack (well someone else knocked the stack over) and I was unlucky. What I question is the business practices involved and the attitude to consumers along with the environmental implications. I'd make a comparison with car manufacturers. They've been trying to create a situation where you have to go to a main dealer for everything. New models come out with special tools needed for even basic maintenance and the diagnostic software is only made available to licenced outlets who have to pay huge fees to get properly updated. Parts only come in major assemblies and aren't repairable at component level. Certain models now are only 'sold' through lease schemes. Within this there is an attempt to create a monopoly situation where the manufacturer has total control of their product and the consumer no rights. Their policies also mean they control end of life. If they control the cost of parts and repairs then they control the point where the cost of repair is greater than the used value of a car makes it uneconomic to repair. The same thing is happening with mobile phones, security updates for most Android phones are generally only for two years according to a recent 'Which' survey, coincident with the end of the contract periods for most people. Apple do a little better. We all know the printer ink scam, buy a printer for £50 but get locked into a model where the profit comes entirely from the sale of inks with extensive measures to make the provision and use of third party inks difficult. The environmental costs of a throwaway model for consumer goods are extraordinary. Just the manufacture of a mobile phone creates over 80kg of CO2 according to 'New Scientist' plus the cost of mining for the various rare earth and other metals used in their manufacture. I can't believe much less is involved in an amp (class D or otherwise) The EU is currently legislating to make repairability a duty for manufacturers but in the end it is our attitude to this which will make a difference.
  14. Like many I use the Zoom B1ON/B1-Four Good headphone sound, Line in and runs about a week's worth of practice on rechargeable batteries. Built in tuner and drum machine/metronome. You can run it off a power supply or just a USB charger if you prefer. Best of all it's £64 Don't be put off by all the extras, which you don't have to use. It's got all the effects you could want and a looper but you don't have to touch them. There are plenty of pre set sounds that just sound OK to good and for me it is just a plug and play practice machine.
  15. I'm new to pedals but someone bought me a Behringer BDI21 for my birthday recently, a clone of the Sansamp apparently. The damn thing just works, sprinkling fairy dust on my sound. It sounds like you are dipping your toes into the water and this is a really cheap way to start out. I've also been using the Zoom B1ON (now replaced by the Zoom B1-four) as a practice/headphone amp and tuner when playing live. It's a multi effect thing, too fiddly to use on stage but has emulations of lots of pedals built in. I'm starting to use it as a way of exploring what I find useful and what isn't. I feel a compressor might be next.
  16. This is absolutely my experience too. There is no substitute for legwork when you are trying to break into new venues. I use Lemonrock heavily for my research too. Before you go out make sure you have good video and sound recordings easily accessible. A lot of pubs don't have good IT skills so expect their websites and social media to be set up by the aforesaid wife's nephew's second cousin and not updated since he went to sixth form college two years ago. Anyone running a successful pub is likely to be on their knees with overwork so don't expect them to do anything. My most successful experience was when I took a bluetooth speaker and an iPad out with me and just played our band's latest recordings. We got three bookings from five pubs, but we went when it was quiet. We checked they had un-booked dates before we left and that they booked our sort of band. Lemonrock is really strong in some areas and not so much in others. It is currently listing 60+ gigs within 30 miles of me next week. It's very old-fashioned but has great functionality for searches but most importantly a lot of pubs use it to search for bands, you'll get a few calls for last minute cancellations which if you turn them into repeat gigs makes it a worthwhile site.
  17. I've had the same experience with MB and there are many more than two of us . It is increasingly difficult to repair any consumer electronics or even electrical goods and this is nothing to do with class D. It's to do with technological innovation and the way the consumer market works. Most amps now are built with surface mount components and multi level circuit boards. Those components are too small to handle by hand almost impossible to un-solder and re-solder but incredibly cheap and usually reliable. With a lot of things being done digitally you can get a lot of components that aren't always made after the end of a production run so spares are tricky/impossible to source. To keep costs down a lot of amps have everything on a single board so a single component going down stops anything else in the amp working. How many of us repair and maintain our own cars now? However MB have decided not to release the circuit diagrams or make parts available and have contracted out the customer support to another company, Real Electronics. Effectively they are refusing a relationship with their UK customers post sale. Beyond the guarantee period you are on your own.
  18. This. doing something about hard plastic feet is going to solve the problem but the panel it sits on is clearly vibrating a lot if it is picking up the amp and moving it around. Some simple bracing will be a really worthwhile DIY upgrade to the cab.
  19. Overloading the output stage of a valve amp as a way of getting nice distortion is slightly complex and is due to the nature of the tubes themselves, the architecture of the amp and the presence of an output transformer. Each valve amp will have its own flavour of distortion too. overloading pretty much any stage of a solid state amp a causes a different sound from valve outputs. Chopping off the peak of the waveform as the limits of the voltage swing available is reached. It sounds pretty bad and I don’t really think it’s worth your while going there. Find a flavour of drive pedal you like and use that.
  20. I've just recently done just this. Mine is a MIA Jazz but a Highway One the entry level model at the time. It's a lovely thing to play but the finish a bit basic and it looks like it was made of all the unused parts laying around the factory. Anyway Jazz basses are noisy as the PUPs are single coils and pick up a lot of electrical noise. It is worth checking the grounding of the bridge but even if it is good you'll still get the problem you describe. So I went for noiseless PUP's. After a lot of reading I decided there was no information around as to what was good. A friend of mine had built a J and fitted the Fender noiseless pups so in the end I stuck with Fender. It works, the noise is a thing of the past and it is now quieter than my P. It's a bit darker sounding than the originals due to the extra coils which filter out some of the top end. You'll have to re set the eq's you use and I also tend to dial in more bridge PU than before but I'm now preferring the new tone. One bonus is the the old Pups tended to boom on the E string and that has been tamed with the sound generally more even across the fret board. Classier but less characterful but that suits me, I lack class They just dropped in but they are deeper than the originals and I had to shave down the foam 'spring' by about 5mm. You get a pair of spares with the pup's anyway.
  21. I think you'll find what the experts are saying is that there is no reason for them to sound different. Neo or Ceramic they are just magnets and you can shape the magnetic field how you want at the design stage.
  22. I used to repair stuff for people and with old amps you could source all the components and often get circuit diagrams that speed the process of repair. Most of the gear was UK made and there was infra structure to support repairs. Now a lot of the chips are customised and components surface mounted on multi-layer boards so even de-soldering becomes tricky. Companies differ in their support too. I've recently repaired a Wharfedale PA and they were great, components in stock and supplied return of post. Behringer came up trumps too with a brand new amp board at a really good price. I've got a broken MB here and it's defeated me. It's possible it is something simple but not likely from the symptoms and it is switching on so not just a fuse. If the OP can find somebody who will open it up and look for £20 I'd take their arm off but for £40 I'd be thinking nah... How much is a second hand Blackline worth? The boards may be cheaper for one of these, it might be worth getting a quote from Real Electronics.
  23. Markbass stuff isn't really repairable any more, they don't provide any circuit diagrams and use some hard to get components. Most repair shops won't touch them for this reason. All repairs have to go through Real Electronics who have a monopoly and behave accordingly. Repairing amps incurs their fixed charges and almost always a board replacement. It does mean your amp comes back new except for the case but will cost you upwards of £200 as you have been advised. A new amp is £220 at GAK with a three year guarantee so don't bother.
  24. It's really hard to tell the extent of the damage from your pics but it looks as if the metal speaker baskets might be bent, distorted. If that is the case there is no economical repair and you need to replace the drivers. If the baskets are OK then a re-cone is a possibility if you/someone can identify the drivers. That may cost something approaching the cost of new drivers so it would make sense to price both before starting that process. Replace like for like if that is possible. The speakers will have to match the existing ones and also the cab which is clearly ported. Steaming involves having a controlled source of steam which uses heat and water to soften both the treatment on the surround and the paper pulp of the cone. For the cone at least the combination breaks down the bonds that bind the wood fibres together and is also used to bend wood into curves. I've successfully steam ironed paper back into shape and made a wooden hoop for a banjo but trying to do this with precision on a speaker cone would be.... interesting. Getting the cone wet would be likely to cause it to distort more. If you want to take the damaged drivers out and give us a better look we'd be in a better position to advise but I suspect identifying and replacing the damaged drivers is the only route liable to be successful. Aged horse will be giving you good advice. FWIW I can see no way that damage was caused in transit
  25. Watching the news on Al Jazeera with the usual round of misery we got to discussing the politics of the day until I was distracted by the sight of someone carrying a mic stand rather than a Kalashnikov. This is just a lovely, inspiring film in rural Rwanda confirming musicians everywhere share so much more than they don't. The point where people who don't share a language start to harmonize.... Anyway 15 mins of pure pleasure Sounds of Home: A Musical Odyssey in Rwanda I Documentary | Africa Direct - YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onHzJHWrTiU
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