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randythoades

Installing on onboard preamp?

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Hi guys and girls
I currently run both an Armstrong magnetic pickup and a K&K Bassmax into the K&K Duo preamp, into my floor tuner and then into my amp (probably 80 / 20 magnetic).
Would it be feasible (or wise) to install an onboard preamp (probably acoustic guitar one) with a blender onto my bass cutting a lovely big hole in the side?
I figure it would give me the preamp function as regards impedence, have all the cables inside, add a handy tuner and onboard volume/EQ and output to a single jack socket rather than having cables and things stuck to my bass. I realise that I would also need to change the connectors and drill holes in my bass.

It is a nice but cheapish Thomann slimline bass (ply) and we play at significant volume (rockabilly, jump blues, but not slap). Hence the use of mag pickup.

Or, is there a small external (but able to be stuck to bass) preamp which could offer the same without the carpentry?

Edited by randythoades

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Have you seen [url="http://basschat.co.uk/topic/291668-blast-cult-channel-blaster-2-pickuppreamp-system/page__view__findpost__p__3131485"]this for sale[/url]? Might be an easier option than cutting open your bass.

EDIT. Sorry, just realised that is all built in with the piezo and clicky, not a mag pickup. However, it may be that you can splice the mag into that somehow.

Edited by TPJ

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Hi TPJ, I hadn't seen that but have looked at similar. As far as I understand it with my limited knowledge is that the piezo is a completely different impedence than the magnetic so wouldn't be compatible on inputs I was looking at trying to blend the two similar to the way I do with the dual channel K&K preamp.
There are several acoustic guitar preamps which offer the mix of piezo / undersaddle in puts and soundhole magnetic pickups so thought this may be a good option. And generally cheap to buy too at sub £100.

I am just lazy I think, so would prefer to wire it once then forget abut it and just plug and play at rehearsal/gig without the effort of all the wires everywhere. I don't mind cutting the bass so much as I could sell it as an 'upgrade' to a rockabilly boy looking to do the same.Would probably cut it on the underside of the upper bout, drill small holes for piezo and mag wires to get inside and put a jack socket on the bottom by endpin.
Or if I can find a functional external preamp that was small enough I could position it in a similar place and run wires in the same way.

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What about a wireless system? I run a single mag pickup and I'm thinking of some kind of Velcro system to attach the wireless pack to the rear of the finger board, volume knob and the ability to mute it when I'm on the electric bass and the receiver wired into my plat pro eq that I've already velcroed to the top of my amp, I use a dual channel amp with the clean one setup for the double bass and the valve channel setup for electric bass, the plat pro is in the fx loop of the clean channel.

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How small is the duo preamp? Could you fit it all behind the finger board with a wireless pack, just drop the piezo wires inside and back out behind the finger board right at the top.

Flick the switch and rock away!

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Thanks Pete
I really like the idea of a wireless system actually and would definitely be interested in that but I wouldn't have the option of lending the pickups. Does the Fishman add anything to the mag pickup? Whilst I love the abilities of the mag pickup, it sounds a bit close to the sound of an electric fretless. I do like 20% of the piezo blended in, although I am sure that no one out front would have any clue.

If the Fishman does impart something then that old well be an option, a much simpler setup and use the Fishman as a floor tuner etc over to one side.

I don't often play both electric and DB I tend to use either one or the other so have separate amps for them.

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Hi Pete
The Duo preamp is about 11cm by about 9 cm by about 4cm deep. It would work as a Velcro actually but probably not under the fingerboard. And I liked the idea of having EQ to hand. I also discounted because of then running the cable again. But I like your idea of wireless. I could Velcro both, one on the underside of each bout with a cable round the back of the bass

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Would the Fishman Stage preamp work with the mag pickup too rather than the Plat pro? If I went just mag then I just do as StingrayPete suggests and mount that onto the bass and have preamp an EQ to hand.

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Why pay someone to cut up your bass when you could upgrade your outboard preamp (which is more easily replaceable and upgradeable) and get the same effect at half the cost.

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Hi Chris. Convenience only. I don't like all the cables and having to set them up every time. An outboard preamp still has the cables running the floor which is effectively what I have. And the Plat Pro Fishman is £200 and doesn't support 2 inputs, whereas on onboard preamp from acoustic guitar/bass is more like £50. And I would be attempting the work myself. But cost was a secondary thought to the convenience.
I suppose I could set up an wire up a pedal board type arrangement with everything fixed on which would make I a bit easier to set up.

If there is an alternative outboard that does accept both inputs and offers easy EQ that I can operate from the bass then I would be very interested.

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Maybe I have been a right plonker...
Just looking up the actual spec of my K&K preamp online and it looks like it does actually have EQ on it already, albeit via some mini trim pots inside. I got mine off ebay with no instructions and thought it was just plug and play so haven't adjusted anything internally . If I can have a play around trying to nail down the gain and EQ trim pots I could do as StingrayPete suggests and run my cables inside the bass and purely use my existing preamp velcro'd to the bass and add a wireless for a cable free operation.

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I think the plat pro works well with the mag pickup, I have the Schaller 411 on my bass, I set the plat pro to the suggested settings for arco/pizz in the handbook and it does give it a bit more of a double bass sound as it probably cuts some electric bass sounds out rather than trying to emulate a double bass if you get my drift?

I started trying to mix and match with a KK actually but it was a faff and I was still feedback prone,after a while I just enjoyed playing rather than faffing and so did the audience so that's where I am, if anything I'd like to see what better mag pickups sound like more than play around with more piezos. The Krivo looks ideal.

Edited by stingrayPete1977

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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:





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That Headway EDB2 looks really interesting and looks just about small enough to put onto the tailpiece like the above pictures or maybe velcro'd to the back so I can still access it. A bit larger than my K&K but so much more functionality. I may go and have a look at one of those.

StingrayPete -interested that the Plat Pro does add something to mag pickup. If I could get the mag to lose just a touch of 'electric' then I would be happy with one, and save myself a lot of aggravation in the process. I have the Krivo and it sounds very good, very similar to my Armstrong but still has the slight 'electric' feel to it. And it is massive in comparison and kept falling off in minutes despite the 'super strong velcro' it ships with. I used No More Nails tape in the end. I would happily still use it but the Armstrong is shaped to the profile of your fingerboard so is easier to get it to fit and is much lighter so doesn't fall off. The Krivo would be much better and I would be very happy if it had arms/cradle to screw onto the board like the Schaller does.

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It was a bit of a shame drilling and screwing the fingerboard to fit the schaller but it is at least sturdy enough! Shame your not nearer to me as you could try my plat pro with your pickup.

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Ps-the headway looks like a good idea to me too, will it take a mag pickup input do we know? I like the idea of a blended piezo and mag via something like the headway into a wireless pack all strapped to the tailpiece.

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