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Al Krow

Onboard bass pre-amps - what turns your EQ on?

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7 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Well you happen to play a lot of Ibanez SRs and they have a pretty darned good active 3 band EQ with adjustable mid centre points. So good, in fact, that I'm almost never tempted to play in passive mode on my Ibbys either.

Yeh, but I virtually never set it to anything other than flat. And never turn it off, even when I am wireless..

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53 minutes ago, Cuzzie said:

I have wooden fingers and a wooden pick 

I play as if I have wooden fingers.

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12 hours ago, Passinwind said:

...there is also a brief overview here: http://passinwind.com/DIY.html

Have to say, that I love your work. The idea of having a fully parametric EQ in the preamp section is top! Many times I have had issues with different places: some frequency is dead or even worse, the other way around. On the other hand P-EQ gives many possibilities to tweak the sound of the bass. My Glockenklang Soul has very functional EQ - but it lacks parametric. I have a cheap para by Artec and it can save the place related issues. Quality it is not but can be a temporary help in need.

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8 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Nice hypothesis. I'm a long way from being convinced.

1. Choose a Fender P bass in different woods and tell me they sound considerably different to one another in a blind test?

2. Replace the P pup with a J on the same bass and tell me you can't hear a significant difference in a blind test?

3. Then swap the strings from round to flats (conclusion = 2) 

4. And finally swap from passive EQ with the tone dialled off to active with mids boosted and treble set back to neutral (conclusion again = 2)

 

 

I don’t think convincing is even a goal :), but just to add to your thoughts on this.

1. A Precision sounds mostly like a Precision due to the placement of the pickup, not the pickup itself. You will absolutely hear a difference from a Swamp Ash body or Alder body P. You will less difference if you change the P pickup brand, you would hear most difference if you would move the pickup forward or back an inch.

2. A slant Jazz pickup in the P position is hardly distinguisable from a P pickup. Again pickup placement has most impact.

3. We agree that strings have significant impact.

4. Take a Passive bass or Active bass with passive tone knob and roll that off and it will behave roughly the same. Sure an active EQ gives you more control and flexibility but if you have a transparant onboard EQ the passive tone and no EQed active tone will be pretty much identical and an active EQ certainly will not correct a lack of resonance in the wood or a badly selected pickup for that matter.

But to be fair, this is based on my experience, my ears, my experience with bass builds etc.

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1. Fingers

2. Strings

3. Pickups

4. Wood choice

5. EQ

However, EQ could overpower all of the others depending on how it were set. For me it’s about getting the natural tone you want and then slightly adjusting that with EQ pickups etc. That natural tone comes from the wood (and for me is generally alder, maple neck, maybe a cheeky maple top, and then fingerboard wood of choice).

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Actually absolutely great point, FINGERS are key.

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2 hours ago, Paul S said:

I play as if I have wooden fingers.

So it seems we are all agreed this would be very important as it combines both wood and fingers in one action. 

😂

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2 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

So it seems we are all agreed this would be very important as it combines both wood and fingers in one action. 

😂

Just need someone to invent electromagnetic gloves in place of pickups and we are sorted.

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3 hours ago, Cuzzie said:

I have wooden fingers and a wooden pick 

I have wood.

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The only thing I'll say about the cork-sniffing of a zillion types of wood is that luthiers make a premium product and it's hardly in their interest to say "We made this out of the most easily sourced and most easily worked wood we could find, tonally the wood isn't that important in the grand scheme of things.". Exotic woods look exotic and expensive, and we buy basses by sight as much as anything (more in my case).

Active EQs need to be learnt, and once you've learnt what they do, then they can be set and forget, until you need adjustment. I had an ACG filter EQ once, and didn't like it because I never took the time to learn it. My fault entirely. Same with amps - some people like extensive EQs (GB Shuttle 12, anyone?), others are happy with a two-knob Bass and Treble. I like mids; mids are my friend, and the East U-Retro with sweepable mids even more so.

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I've had some really interesting conversations with Jon Shuker, who knows a thing or two about making basses. We've talked about a lot of stuff, including on board EQs and pups.

The subject of woods has so far come up precisely... nil.  Maybe I should raise with him? He certainly hasn't felt it important enough to bring up as an issue on his part. 

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10 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

I've had some really interesting conversations with Jon Shuker, who knows a thing or two about making basses. We've talked about a lot of stuff, including on board EQs and pups.

The subject of woods has so far come up precisely... nil.  Maybe I should raise with him? He certainly hasn't felt it important enough to bring up as an issue on his part. 

Do it, can never hurt

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1 hour ago, Muzz said:

The only thing I'll say about the cork-sniffing of a zillion types of wood is that luthiers make a premium product and it's hardly in their interest to say "We made this out of the most easily sourced and most easily worked wood we could find, tonally the wood isn't that important in the grand scheme of things.". Exotic woods look exotic and expensive, and we buy basses by sight as much as anything (more in my case).

Active EQs need to be learnt, and once you've learnt what they do, then they can be set and forget, until you need adjustment. I had an ACG filter EQ once, and didn't like it because I never took the time to learn it. My fault entirely. Same with amps - some people like extensive EQs (GB Shuttle 12, anyone?), others are happy with a two-knob Bass and Treble. I like mids; mids are my friend, and the East U-Retro with sweepable mids even more so.

Find myself in total agreement with everything you've just said! 

That East U-Retro definitely looks like a really good piece of kit, in particular the sweepable mids. Thanks for the tip-off on that one. 

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Oh, and it’s got a pull-passive, just in case it all gets too much 😁

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2 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Maybe I should raise with him? He certainly hasn't felt it important enough to bring up as an issue on his part. 

I wood

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19 minutes ago, Muzz said:

Oh, and it’s got a pull-passive, just in case it all gets too much 😁

Always good to tug your knob if it gets too much 😂

...I'll get my coat. 

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2 hours ago, Al Krow said:

I've had some really interesting conversations with Jon Shuker, who knows a thing or two about making basses. We've talked about a lot of stuff, including on board EQs and pups.

The subject of woods has so far come up precisely... nil.  Maybe I should raise with him? He certainly hasn't felt it important enough to bring up as an issue on his part. 

I’ve had Jon work on basses for me, and build one from scratch for me. We never got hung up on woods, other than for the aesthetics. I had a great half hour digging around with him in his wood store for the piece of wood for the new top on my bass, but that was it.

He’s in the business of building basses, tho, which is all about individual customer happiness, so I’m sure if a customer was very keen on the subject of tonewoods, he’d be able to talk with them about it.

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'Jon, in your considered view, do we need to give much thought to the woods you would use from a tone perspective, or is this much more about the look, feel and weight of the bass?' 

There, easy question to ask him. 

Have you still got your Shuker? If so, pic please! 

 

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2 hours ago, Cuzzie said:

Yep

1 swallow makes a summer.....

Depends on what your favourite cider is I guess. May take a few gulps to fully feel that summer has arrived. 

😂

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7 hours ago, itu said:

Have to say, that I love your work. The idea of having a fully parametric EQ in the preamp section is top! Many times I have had issues with different places: some frequency is dead or even worse, the other way around. On the other hand P-EQ gives many possibilities to tweak the sound of the bass. My Glockenklang Soul has very functional EQ - but it lacks parametric. I have a cheap para by Artec and it can save the place related issues. Quality it is not but can be a temporary help in need.

Thank you. I used to gig a lot on electric upright bass and, as it is for acoustic upright, killing wolf tones is often a dire need. I've been using PEQs for decades as a sound provider, so that is a very intuitive format for me, especially for dealing with room issues.

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On 01/04/2019 at 18:22, Al Krow said:

I disagree. The reason is actually simple as to why. BRX plays in an originals band, where (I'm guessing) folk are there as much to listen to the music as to dance, and 'dead air time' is much less of an issue. 

Whereas playing in a covers band I want to be able link numbers without a gap and if I want to switch from vintage 50s / 60s sound to punchy modern it's nice to be able to do that from my bass and not have to go back to my amp for every change.  

IMO "dead air time" is far worse in an originals band where a lot of the songs might be unfamiliar to the audience and the band need to keep them engaged all the way through the performance without having a set list full of guaranteed crowd pleasers to fall back on. If I had my way, pauses between songs would be the minimum required for some applause, and a brief announcement of what the next song is called.

And with programmable multi-effects I have all the sounds in need for the next song at the push of a footswitch. There is no need to be fiddling about with the controls on my bass.

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1 hour ago, BigRedX said:

IMO "dead air time" is far worse in an originals band where a lot of the songs might be unfamiliar to the audience and the band need to keep them engaged all the way through the performance without having a set list full of guaranteed crowd pleasers to fall back on. If I had my way, pauses between songs would be the minimum required for some applause, and a brief announcement of what the next song is called.

And with programmable multi-effects I have all the sounds in need for the next song at the push of a footswitch. There is no need to be fiddling about with the controls on my bass.

You have applause time between songs? Luxury! 😂

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