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Bridgehouse

Interesting FRFR story..

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I've fancied an FRFR for my Helix for some time.

Always had my eye on a Yamaha DXR10 - for both guitar and bass duties. Mostly I'd DI Helix to front of house so the FRFR became a monitor - and it's useful at home too.

In the local music shop today I decided to have a look at a DXR10. Yeah. It's quite nice. Over pops the assistant. I explain the setup and my need.

"I wouldn't have the DXR10 personally. I'd have the QSC K10.2 instead. It's a bit more but..."

The what now? Ok, I think. Prove it to me. Let's hear them side by side. So he did. Set them up for me. The QSC was louder. A lot louder. A lot lot lot louder. And it was a more natural reproduction of what you hear through headphones on Helix - much less coloured.

"It's on the default flat DSP setting." He said. "Here, try the bass amp DSP setting"

Uh? Well, not only was it interesting as a setting, but I plugged the bass in directly. There's 3 channel input - two have combi XLR/jack and one small 3.5 stereo. Channel A can be set as line or mic, but B can be set as line or instrument. So jack into B with inst straight from a passive bass and it does a pretty damned good impression of a decent bass amp - there's even eq on it to tweak it.

Crikey. So I bought one. Got it home and tried my mini pedalboard straight in. Signal chain is smoothhound - tuner - Ampeg SCR-DI - QSC k10.2

I would say realistically it's about as loud as a 500w head into my BF Compact. Possibly a bit more, and with slightly less heft but a bit more top. But, it's 14 kilos and really very compact. And it's one less thing to drag to a gig. It's also a wedge so I can angle it and use it as a proper bass monitor with DI out to FOH. 

So this is my live rig (to be trialled!)

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Now I'm wondering whether it's worth bothering with another power amp for use with the BF cab for the board, when it looks like the FRFR I bought for the Helix can pretty much do both. 

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5 minutes ago, Musashimonkey said:

Interesting... does the unit have a DI out, or are you running that from your board?

There are separate DI through connections for each channel to connect to FOH with no colouring by the amp, and a summed post-eq DI connection giving the output for all channels for running to another powered speaker/mixer etc 

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Once the dinosaurs and their "I need my sound out front blasted from an 8x10 in the corner of the room regardless of the size of the venue" have died out I think setups like this will be common place, looks great.

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Winning rig.

People seem to forget that the drivers that are used in PA speakers are generally superior to those found in even boutique bass cabs... 

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4 hours ago, Bridgehouse said:

I now find myself looking at lots of different Preamp DI pedals and thinking "wonder what that one would sound like?" :)

My turn to return the favour and chip in then! :) Here's a 'best of' list preamp DI pedals, in no particular order, put together by me, @dannybuoy and @Lozz196 on another thread recently

Dave Hall's new DHA VT1-Pro (there's a whole thread on this; the first one has appeared in the FS section and it kinda does everything (including making the tea))

Tech 21 Q\Strip (looks amazing, but yet to find any BCer who's actually forked out £315 for one of these yet?)

Tech21 VTDI

Tech 21 Paradriver V2 (Lozz has two of these, he likest them so much!)

Ampeg SCR DI (you own - really nice EQ, but IMHO the dirt doesn't come anywhere close to something like the Two Notes?)

Mesa Subway DI (why haven't they released a Mesa Carbine M DI? Now that would be a pedal...)

Two Notes Le Bass (I have this. Excellent dirt / drive and decent clean EQ but with limited mids tone shaping - need to dial back the bass and treble on the clean Channel A to effectively boost the mids. Only complaint from folk seems to be a lack of aux in. Aside: the Zoom B3n doesn't have a DI out, which its predecessor the B3 had,  but does have an aux in! So put together they're fine!)

Aguilar Tonehammer (the fabled Aggie sound in a pedal).

Several of these (e.g. VT1-Pro and Ampeg SCR) also have aux in and headphones out so can double up as a quality portable headphone practice amp, which is a nice additional feature.

 

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@Al Krow - spot on with the Ampeg. Great clean tones - lovely Preamp. Drive is a shambles.

Really want to try the VTDI and really liking the look of the Dave Hall one too.

Have tried the subway DI - I liked it. I might try one. 

I want to try the EBS microbass too..

 

Great list tho ;)

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I’d definitely like to trial the QSC K12 or more so K12.2. Very intrigued!

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I've just taken my broken amp into the repair man to see if it's econmical to fix. if it's not I might end up going to something like this and a preamp instead. Fingers crossed its fixable though cos I don't have the money for a new rig at the moment!

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Totally the way to go these days. I'm GK Plex>Barefaced FR800 myself but it's all different flavours of good. I love having my sound from the board and then it doesn't matter whether it's the FRFR cab, our band PA, my own PA or a house PA, it always sounds spot on.

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This is really interesting and I am so pleased to hear it has been working for you.

About 18 months ago I was looking to do almost exactly the same thing, but I found very few examples where anyone had done it and anyone I mentioned it to seemed to think it wasn’t a good idea.

For a long time I have thought that great quality PA speakers would work better for bass, but my main reason for it was wanting a wedge pointing back at me at gigs, as I am always going through the PA via DI from my Tonehammer amp.

I gave up on the idea after I found a very reasonably priced cab and it was easier to keep my amp and not change my whole rig. After seeing this I am definitely going to look into when I next fancy a change, very inspiring.

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Excuse my ignorance, but what is an FRFR? And Helix?  Sounds like a fast car and a cat, but that doesn’t make sense in the context of the thread.

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Full range flat response - means it isn't coloured like a guitar or bass cabinet. Most are powered (with a power amp) and allow you to amplify a source which already has modelling or treatment for a signal which has pre and post amp and speaker cab emulated

Line 6 Helix is a guitar and bass multi effect processor with a full range of amplifier and cabinet modelling capability

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3 minutes ago, JapanAxe said:

Neat setup! When will you get a chance to try it live?

Not sure yet - we are recording and so on at the mo - I suspect in December 

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1 hour ago, Bridgehouse said:

Full range flat response - means it isn't coloured like a guitar or bass cabinet. Most are powered (with a power amp) and allow you to amplify a source which already has modelling or treatment for a signal which has pre and post amp and speaker cab emulated

Line 6 Helix is a guitar and bass multi effect processor with a full range of amplifier and cabinet modelling capability

Thanks for the explanation!  Interesting approach.

In one of my first bands 20 yrs ago I often just went straight in to the PA from my Zoom multiFX without an amp of my own. Just seemed easier!

With in-ears and really good PAs (slowly) becoming the norm maybe amps/cabs/combos will be gone in 20 yrs?

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5 minutes ago, Pea Turgh said:

Thanks for the explanation!  Interesting approach.

In one of my first bands 20 yrs ago I often just went straight in to the PA from my Zoom multiFX without an amp of my own. Just seemed easier!

With in-ears and really good PAs (slowly) becoming the norm maybe amps/cabs/combos will be gone in 20 yrs?

You'd be surprised at just how many big name touring artists have no amps or cabs...

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The trouble is people still buy big backline based on who is using it live,  most of it on big stages is nothing more than stage dressing and advertising. The smaller the gig the bigger the amp appears the norm now!

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24 minutes ago, stingrayPete1977 said:

The trouble is people still buy big backline based on who is using it live,  most of it on big stages is nothing more than stage dressing and advertising. The smaller the gig the bigger the amp appears the norm now!

It'd be different if Jaco only used FRFR.. lol 

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