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Mic pre recommendation for bass guitar..
Old 18th July 2005
  #1
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Mic pre recommendation for bass guitar..

So far I got :
Trident S80 Box
Chandler TG2
Seventh Circle N72 8 Channel Rack

I'm thinking I want to get one or two more 2-channel units (or a nice 4-channel).
Thoughts are a pair of Wunder PEQ1R's and a Mercury M72S. I think that should do it for all the different worlds of sound but I was hoping I had something that worked well with bass because I'm not digging what I have already. The DI I have is the Reddi which kicks ass BTW. I heard the Wunders were great for that. Any thoughts?
Old 18th July 2005
  #2
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Something in the Neve 10xx series of modules (1073, 1084, etc) would be good... Or you could check out the Aurora Audio GTQ2mkIII if you want a 2 channel preamp with EQ for under $3000.
Old 18th July 2005
  #3
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Scinx's Avatar
 

Aurora GTQ2 Mk3 (or Mk2) would be my suggestion. DI + EQ rocks for bass.
Old 18th July 2005
  #4
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I like an API or John Hardy, both of which are different-sounding from each other and both of which are different-sounding from what you've already got.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC
Old 18th July 2005
  #5
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mtstudios@charter's Avatar
 

Neve vs API on Bass

I prefer Neve 1073's or 1081's over API's on Bass. API's seem to have a stronger upper mids, compared to the Neve punchy lower mids. I do like API's on Guitars sometimes.


www.bluethumbproductions.com
Old 18th July 2005
  #6
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audioez's Avatar
 

Neve all the way!!! If you're a DIY type, get your hands on a Neve 3415 line amp!!! great for bass, and a lot less than the 1066, 1073, 1081

http://www.ezraudio.com/article1.html
Old 19th July 2005
  #7
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If you're NOT happy with the sound you're getting (which is what you said) then how do you KNOW the DI sounds great?

I'm confused.
Old 19th July 2005
  #8
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Chandler LTD-1 straight through the DI.


Nick
Old 19th July 2005
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman
If you're NOT happy with the sound you're getting (which is what you said) then how do you KNOW the DI sounds great?

I'm confused.
DI sounds good by itself, when I add the mics with it, I don't like it. Sorry I didn't explain that better.
Old 6th August 2005
  #10
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Ricardo's Avatar
 

My search for the best Bass Mic Pre for tracking.

My personal thoughts and opinions on my mic pre-amp shoot out test.

All preamps were tested thru a Makie Mixer, Sony Headphones and Fender 5 string bass.

APPLICATION
I want to first fill everyone in on my specific application. My goal was to first find an instrument with the best possible sound to my ears. I always look for the roundest and deepest tone possible suited for Modern R&B, Pop and Rock styles i.e., Jill Scott, to Maroon 5. The bass needed to have consistency of all notes throughout the bass neck and also have that piano tone quality. Once I found a good source to make the sounds then my plan was to move forward with testing for the best mic pre-amp to amplify this source. .

THE BASS
Starting in January I went on a store to store tour covering the Boston to Philly region and playing every bass under the sun. I was determined to find the best sounding cost no object bass ever to my ears. Here is a short list of some of the basses I have tried; Roscoe, Dingwall, Fender, Ristola, Pensa, Lakeland, Music Man, Rickenbacker, Ritter, Sukop, MTD, Pedulla, PRS, G&L, F-Bass, Alembic, Ken Smith, Elrick, Mike Lull, Parker, Fodera, Sadowsky, Modulas, Zon, Warwick, Guild, among many others I cant even remember. Of all the basses I have tried I ended up with a Sadowsky 5 string. This bass annihilated everything I owned and beat almost everything I tested it up against by a landslide. The Roscoe and Dingwall were tie for second place. I couldn't understand what was so special about this bass that attributed to its Godly Massive Round Tone. On the surface this bass does not look any different from all the other basses. There really isn't anything special to the look of this bass as well. But sound was my first priority appearance was secondary.

After speaking with Rodger Sadowsky I learned to my surprise that the bass I picked has these unusual resonance chambers thru out the entire body. The best way to describe it is if you were to dissect the bass it would look sort of like a honey comb. This bass somewhat behaves like a cross between a solid body and acoustic electric bass due to the internal cavities. I have heard of this type of guitar construction before. To my knowledge this is how Allan Holdsworth and Brian May's guitars are built. In any event this is why this bass is extremely special sound wise. It is interesting that Sadowsky never mentions this chambering construction technique on his site. You just assume the bass is different but don't know why. I guess this is one of his Marketing techniques. However this bass is much lighter than average which should have clued me in that something was different about this bass from the start.

THE PREAMP
At the same time while I was researching my bass options I think I must have reached the end of the internet and read thousands of pages regarding mic pre’s and everyone’s thoughts and opinions. My research led me to the Wunder Audio Pre-Amp.

After purchasing my preamp from Vintage King knowing I had a short time to test this unit I once again jumped into my car and visited a few pro audio dealers to put the preamp to the Ultimate Challenge. A good pre-amp for me is a pre-amp that can provide a nice deep and round tone similar to what everyone knows today as that Neve sound. Sure I could have just bought a Neve but budget was a consideration.

After putting the Wunder up against my fave top three pre-amps, the Neve 1073, Dan Alexander 33122a and the Chandler LTD among a ton of other pre-amps, the Wunder had the most modern sound of all the pre-amps. The 33122a had a nice upper midrange which worked well for bass. The low end was not as good as the Wunder but still Neve quality. The 1073 had Godly low-end comparable to the Wunder but with a slight lower midrange coloration that actually was very pleasing in regards to bass but I did miss the upper midrange of the Dan Alexander 33122a. The Chandler for me was the best of all worlds providing the Neve style low-end with the Alexander style upper mids. The Chandler to my ears also sounds the closest to a real Neve than any of the pre-amps I have tried. I also like all the extra EQ frequencies the Chandler has which for me makes this unit more flexible.

When I played my bass in active mode all the pre-amps had great low-end extension. Putting the bass in passive mode making the pre-amp do all the work really showed me who the clear winner was. The Chandler wins in this mode. It offered the best rock and r&b tones and can be used easily as a bass pre-amp if I chose to do so. The Wunder on the other hand had too squeaky clean or maybe a transparent in passive mode sound.

Playing with the EQ on both the Wunder and Chandler in passive mode showed me that the Chandler is much more musical and tailored to at least my instrument and also providing a best of all worlds pre-amp. I like the 3.3k Frequency on the Chandler and Dan Alexander pre’s which brought out the bass in the mix. The Wunder high end EQ points are at 7k, 10k, 12k, 15k, and 20k which for my needs are out of range. Though speaking with Mike at Wunder Audio he did mention that he could replace one of the frequencies with a 3.3k setting. I give Mike thumbs up for really wanted to please his customers. Putting the Chandler at the most extreme bass settings along with the Wunder showed me that the Chandler was able to give me a super huge round Neve like low end but it remained tight and controlled. The Wunder on the other hand was not as tight as I would have liked it to be. The revised Wunder might take care of this problem since Mike did mention that the slew rate on the revised unit went from 5 up to now 40.

OTHER PREAMPS TRIED.
I started out with this Manley Massive Passive EQ to give me a reference point of what all other EQ’s needed to live up to. The Manley gave me a very nice round low end. No surprise there.

I then tried the Manley VOXBOX. I was a bit surprised to find out that the VoxBox could not produce the round low end I was looking for. If you drove the VoxBox into clipping it got ugly.

I liked the compressor section of this UA 6176 but the preamp section was not round enough for me.

The Liquid Channel had some very nice round sounds but I did not like that my tweaking results were always delayed and not in real time. I felt very disconnected to this unit.


This GML was also not round enough for my taste.


The Presonus Eureka was the surprise of the shootout. This unit wins best bang for buck. Very nice round lows and at $400 a total steal. It was not at the level of the Chandler, Wunder, Alexander or Neve but pretty darn good for its price range.

This Drawmner 1960 was also not round enough for my taste.


This Neve 9098 of course had the round sound I crave but compared to an original 1073 it was just a tad smaller sounding.

This Focusrite 430 had beautiful round sounds but even with the trim set as low as possible my instrument always clipped the front end.

This SSL had some nice round sounds but not at the level of the 1073

This Avalon had a great round sound but I thought the low end was not as defined as the 1073


I thought this Vintech sounded pretty good and at a 1200 price point it gets you into the Neve park. The roundness was there but the low-end extension was just a little below that of the 1073


The Dan Alexander had a great upper midrange that I liked. I thought the Wunder was a little rounder and deeper on my bass guitar.


The Wunder is a great unit with a very modern Neve style sound. The low mid bump that the 1073 had was not present in the Wunder. The upper midrange of the Dan Alexander was also not present. This unit you can say had a flatter more neutral sound. In my opinion the 1073 was a bit more aggressive sounding.

This Neve 1073 had the roundness and heft we all know and love. I felt the 1073 was just a tad bigger in the low-end than the Wunder and with its low mid bump it comes off a tad more aggressive sounding.


Finally my favorite of all the pre-amps was the Chandler LTD-1. In my opinion it offered the roundness, heft and deep extension of the 1073 with the upper mids of the Dan Alexander. I also really liked the build quality and feel of the non stacked knobs which made for quick tweaking a snap. Being that I am also in the market for a compressor I like the fact that I won’t need to purchase another power supply when I am ready for the Chandler LTD-2 Compressor

All of the units I tested have their place in the world and everyone will excel depending on application. In this case the Chandler serves my application best and I am excited to finally have one of my own.


I hope these opinions help someone in someway. It was a lot of fun and a great learning experience to have the pleasure of working with all of the units mentioned. Please feel free to ask questions. I will do the best I can to answer them but again please keep in mind that my shoot out was only performed with a 5 string bass.

Please see attached document for photos of everything demo'd

Ricardo
Attached Files
File Type: doc Preamp2.doc (550.0 KB, 324 views)
Old 6th August 2005
  #11
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cdog's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricardo
My personal thoughts and opinions on my mic pre-amp shoot out test.

All preamps were tested thru a Makie Mixer, Sony Headphones ....
I stopped reading there. How do you expect to accurately monitor bass on headphones through a Mackie?

Whatever results you get based on that dfegad "monitoring chain" are completely useless to me.


I like API mic pres for bass. Basically, for everything.
Old 6th August 2005
  #12
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dolo's Avatar
 

cdog

you're a hard one. it's that brooklyn directness! gotta love it.
Old 6th August 2005
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arrogantbastard
So far I got :
Trident S80 Box
Chandler TG2
Seventh Circle N72 8 Channel Rack

I'm thinking I want to get one or two more 2-channel units (or a nice 4-channel).
Thoughts are a pair of Wunder PEQ1R's and a Mercury M72S. I think that should do it for all the different worlds of sound but I was hoping I had something that worked well with bass because I'm not digging what I have already. The DI I have is the Reddi which kicks ass BTW. I heard the Wunders were great for that. Any thoughts?
I really like the Avalon 5 for bass or kick drum. Has anyone compared this pre
with others?
Old 6th August 2005
  #14
Gear Addict
 
dolo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by arrogantbastard
So far I got :
Trident S80 Box
Chandler TG2
Seventh Circle N72 8 Channel Rack

I'm thinking I want to get one or two more 2-channel units (or a nice 4-channel).
Thoughts are a pair of Wunder PEQ1R's and a Mercury M72S. I think that should do it for all the different worlds of sound but I was hoping I had something that worked well with bass because I'm not digging what I have already. The DI I have is the Reddi which kicks ass BTW. I heard the Wunders were great for that. Any thoughts?
get the tab v-78. that with the reddi di will be amaing. or you can go with a tab v-71.
Old 13th August 2005
  #15
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Ricardo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdog
I stopped reading there. How do you expect to accurately monitor bass on headphones through a Mackie?

Whatever results you get based on that dfegad "monitoring chain" are completely useless to me.


I like API mic pres for bass. Basically, for everything.

Excuse me for living fuuck , I am just a very small fish in a very big pond here. I can't comment on API since no one had one for me to try out. I am not a scientist and all things being equal in my small world test worked for me and gave me a hint of each preamps charachter and thats all I was looking for. I just wanted to share my findings since many are kind enough to share thiers on this forum. All I can say is I am extremely happy with my purchase. So take it for what it is under my test conditions. I am just a bassist nothing more. I am not even an engineer but when I go to a session I do want to make sure I sound my best and these days I am seeing more and more house based Pro Tools sessions. Not everyone can afford to have the best Mic Pre for every instrument so I want to make sure I am completely prepared. I have the best bass with the best possible bass sound and a kick ass mic pre and compressor. I leave the rest to the Engineer and if he has something better than what I have than great. I just want to be prepared and to do my best and thats what led me to this research and purchase. I am sure there are better mic pre's for bass but between Boston and Philly these were the only units I could get my hands on and the Chandler gear won it for my needs under my very simple test conditions. It would have been nice to be able to place each mic pre within a recorded track with all other instruments going but I just didnt have that kind of a test environment. I will leave that to the Big Wig Pro's to figure out.

Chandler LTD1
Chandler LTD2
Old 13th August 2005
  #16
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Screws's Avatar
 

I have an SCA rack with 2 N72s and 2 J99s, and my main instrument is bass.

Buy yourself a pair of J99s for two of those SCA rack slots, I'll buy your pair of N72s if it's a fair price. You'll thank me.
Old 13th August 2005
  #17
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I tend to use APIs for bass on both the mic and DI. Are you sure that your DI and mic aren't out of phase, if it's sounding like ****?
Old 13th August 2005
  #18
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You mentioned the Mercury V72s,

It's an absolute killer pre. For Bass (and everything else.)

The Di on the unit is also to die for. (Esp. Jbass Pbass Musicman)

For some Basses the DI on the TG2 is very Nice (esp. Rickenbacker)

I'm actually tracking bass trough the M72 as I type, the upright kind.
(Miced with an E47)
Old 13th August 2005
  #19
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Doublehelix's Avatar
 

Great River also sounds great on bass...direct or miked.

Quote:
My personal thoughts and opinions on my mic pre-amp shoot out test.
Ricardo...Your testing was exhaustive, which is cool, but your posts are just too long to read...sorry man, don't mean to be rude, but when you write a book, nobody has the patience to read through it all...(at least I don't...). We all want "instant gratification".
Old 13th August 2005
  #20
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cdog's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricardo
Excuse me for living fuuck , I am just a very small fish in a very big pond here. ..... I have the best bass with the best possible bass sound and a kick ass mic pre and compressor. I leave the rest to the Engineer and if he has something better than what I have than great. I just want to be prepared and to do my best and thats what led me to this research and purchase. I am sure there are better mic pre's for bass but between Boston and Philly these were the only units I could get my hands on and the Chandler gear won it for my needs under my very simple test conditions. It would have been nice to be able to place each mic pre within a recorded track with all other instruments going but I just didnt have that kind of a test environment. I will leave that to the Big Wig Pro's to figure out.

Chandler LTD1
Chandler LTD2

Hey man, I think you have a great attitude and honestly I wish more bassist I work with had a similar attitude about getting a great sound.

Your desire to test out these mic pres with your bass is great, but to really make the most of the tests I do believe that a monitoring chain which provides a more clear, clinical picture of whats happening with your bass tone would be more appropriate.

I think those anger management classes are paying off for me! heh

Rock on man.

Old 13th August 2005
  #21
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Soldier777c's Avatar
 

Get you an old Ampex 350, if you can find one in decent condition.
Old 13th August 2005
  #22
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faeflora's Avatar
 

TAB-FUNKENWERK

best bass pre/DI ever.

Kills all, makes aguilar sound like a joke.

$500.
Old 13th August 2005
  #23
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Really, this is all kinda silly. So many great records were done with all the same pres coming from the same console. Everything that everybody has mentioned are terrific pres. There is going to be much less difference between the API and the Neve than there is between whatever mics you are using or whatever speakers you are using. I think the most important question is, what speaker and mic are you using before it gets to the pre? I think it's time for me to post the bass cab mic shooutout I've been threatening to post for months now, as well as a mic pre shootout.
Old 13th August 2005
  #24
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max cooper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair
Really, this is all kinda silly.
Ya beat me to that one.
Old 13th August 2005
  #25
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair
I think it's time for me to post the bass cab mic shooutout I've been threatening to post for months now, as well as a mic pre shootout.
Sounds like a great idea...

We've had great results here with the session bassist we use going direct into a Groove Tubes Vipre, then into a summit compressor and a massive passive and then into protools.

He has a great sounding Wal bass and some magic fingers though.

JR
Old 14th August 2005
  #26
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superburtm's Avatar
 

API 512's and 312A's work great for me. Usually I use both..LDC and like a 421. I don't like D.i.s for rock.
Old 14th August 2005
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borau
You mentioned the Mercury V72s,

It's an absolute killer pre. For Bass (and everything else.)

The Di on the unit is also to die for. (Esp. Jbass Pbass Musicman)

For some Basses the DI on the TG2 is very Nice (esp. Rickenbacker)

I'm actually tracking bass trough the M72 as I type, the upright kind.
(Miced with an E47)
I have to agree with this. I own a Mercury M72s. It's the ultimate DI pre. I use it on guitars, bass, nothing beats it. Even the long anticipated M76 won't beat it. It will be great, but the M72 (from what I've been told by Marquette) is puncher. Better for guitar, bass, vocals. Not that I won't buy an M76 when they're available. Can't imagine anything would beat it for overheads, piano, etc... But when I want a rich, warm, huge and punchy vocal sound, I bypass my 1073 and use the M72. They're dead quiet. And unlike the Telefunken v72s, you have total control over the gain, phase, with a phantom switch and input pad. Can't say enough good things about it!!!!!
Old 14th August 2005
  #28
84K
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The Evil Twin comes as a micpre and DI.... Eclair Engineering... The heat! (AND NOT AS EXPENSIVE AS SOME OTHERS LISTED)
Old 17th August 2005
  #29
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I'd go with the Aurora GTQ2 Mk3 (or Mk2) as well. DI input, a little luv from the eq and the bass will be right on.
Old 17th August 2005
  #30
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cdog's Avatar
You know, I though the D.I.s on my mic pres sounded good... unitl I got a Radial JDV and plugged it into the line input of the same pres.... ummm.
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