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String Bass: need basic help with stage amplification


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  • String Bass: need basic help with stage amplification

    Hi, I've recently started playing string bass with an acoustic band in some larger venues. I think I need some basic guidance because I just can't get enough volume out of the amp I'm using without it feeding back. I'm using a pickup and a small Roland bass amp but if I turn it up enough to be heard I get a constant low end feedback. I'm not using any preamp.

    Any input from you folks who have worked with this problem would be much appreciated. Thanks.
    Larrivee L-03R & Larrivee D-031974 Yairi YW-100 Dreadnought (Sada Yairi)SWR California Blonde

  • #2
    The pickup you use is a critical choice. I now use the David Gage Realist after using the Barcus Berry transducer for years and years.

    If you try to drive it too hard its going to feedback. Make sure the speaker is not pointed at the bass and don't be afraid to cut the bottom out for clarity.

    My best setup is using a good DI box directly into the PA with no amp.
    Yeah, now!


    • #3
      180-300 Hz. Cut it. At least that is the frequency that my URB feeds back at. Unfortunately, that is also the frequency that makes it sound like an upright.

      Put gaffers tape over the F-holes. It looks ugly as sin, but it does help control feedback.

      Stuff a rag in between the tailpiece and the body.

      Put some gaffers tape around the strings below the bridge.

      Try a magnetic pickup. I'm currently trying to figure out a way to mount a P pup to the end of my fingerboard without it looking too tacky. Blend a magnetic pup with a piezo, and it should sound great without too much feedback.

      Good luck and let us know what works for you.

      Holy crap, I just did an on topic post. It's been a while.
      mikgag's inaugural "That was ****************ing useless" award
      Fitz's Kickass Avatar Award 6/26/07
      President of the Official HCBF Scrawny Bassists Club
      "Playing a Jazz with the chromie covers on is like trying to work around a chastity belt." - SolderJunkie
      "I think if you had a real sexual deviant in front of you, not only would you cower in fear, they'd whip you if you didn't." - t3ch
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      • #4
        What kind of pickup?
        Where & how is it mounted?
        Amp power rating?
        Size speaker?

        A few more details and I may be able to help you optimize what you have.


        • #5

          Try a magnetic pickup.

          Good idea as long as they aren't gut strings or Weedwhackers, OP didn't mention.

 - Black Watch Musical Instrument Repair, Plano, TX


          • #6
            Pickup: Bass Max Upright Bass Pickup (transducer).
            Mounted on the bridge, E string side.
            Amp: Roland DB500, 160w, 12" speaker.
            Larrivee L-03R & Larrivee D-031974 Yairi YW-100 Dreadnought (Sada Yairi)SWR California Blonde


            • #7
              I was thinking about a preamp because I was able to really cut back on feedback with my acoustic guitar by using a preamp that had a phase inversion switch and a notch filter to dial out feedback frequencies.

              Does inverting the phase help with feedback on the string bass? What preamps do you reccomend? Thanks for the help.
              Larrivee L-03R & Larrivee D-031974 Yairi YW-100 Dreadnought (Sada Yairi)SWR California Blonde


              • #8
                If you've got a few dollars to burn, I fully believe that this is the best pickup for value on the market. It would cure your feedback as well.


                GK 700RB-II
                Traynor YBX1510
                1973 Degas P-Bass

                Arcona URB w/ Shadow Nanoflex SH 965
                Geo. Heinl & Co Bow
                Thomastik Spirocore strings