Re: Most natural sounding p/u & amp?

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Posted by Monte on November 10, 2001 at 10:27:39:

In Reply to: Re: Most natural sounding p/u & amp? posted by Michael Papillo on November 10, 2001 at 06:43:26:

: Perhaps I haven't heard the cabint in the right venue. Anyways, just my opinion. The Realist is a darker sound and more basie but afterall, we do play the bass.

True, but the bass has a wider range of harmonics than almost any instrument. Limiting the high end has the same effect as playing a doublebass through a 15" or an 18" cabinet; it makes the sound mud. This is the same reason that (in most cases)a carved bass sounds better than a plywood, because of the deadening effect of plywood on overtones. I'll agree, that low end sounds really nice when you are up on stage near your amp, but have someone sit in and go into the audience. I'll bet you'll be shocked at just how muddy the sound will be.

Now, not ALWAYS is the Realist muddy and indistinct, as I said before with a bright colored cabinet it can sound just fine. Play one through a neutral sounding rig like an Acoustic Image Contra, Walter Woods with Bose 802, or the iAMP and you will notice that it is limited in the upper end. There are many bassists, and especially amatuer sound men, that don't understand that just because it is a bass instrument, it doesn't need the low end pumped up. If I had a dollar for every time I've heard great bassists live that played with an indistinct rumble, I'd be able to afford a Testore by now. This includes some famous and great players as well, such as Charlie Haden, Ray Drummond, and especially Dave Holland. On the other hand, Art Davis, Richard Davis, Christian McBride, Roland Guerin, Robert Hurst, and Ben Wolfe all sounded clear and distinct with rigs ranging from mics to Fishman's.

My rant is only that I wish more bassists took the time to be responsible for how they sound to the audience, not just the stage. Think about it this way; if we as bassists are only concerned with the bass end of the spectrum, how come every good studio records doublebass with full-range mics and not just kick drum mics which capture low-end very well? Just some stuff to think about. If you go out in the audience and are happy with your sound, can hear distinct notes (with the whole band playing), than you have the right rig.


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