Re: 15" vs. 12" for double bass

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Posted by Andy Seed on December 07, 2001 at 11:29:08:

In Reply to: Re: 15" vs. 12" for double bass posted by bj on December 07, 2001 at 03:26:01:

: >>>: Very interesting what you guys have to say, and I seriously appreciate the input. But Ray Brown and Christian McBride both use 15"s and that is the kind of big deep sound that I'm looking for. As a point of reference, which player's sounds do you guys like? Do you think that you can get that same bottom with a 12"...<<

: Those 2 guys could play a beat up Korean ply bass through an old Roland Cube and still sound great...

: OK, that's pushing it.

: I once had the Polytone Mini Brute 3 with the 15" speaker and couldn't stand it, but Ray could make his sound great (before he changed PU's about 8 years ago). I used the 12" Minibrute which was the guitar model. Paid $200 for it (used) at a SF shop in 1978 & used it all through the 80's. It was the only thing that worked for me back then. Now of course the GK, Contra etc. blow it away and I just keep it for guitarists to use in my studio.
: I don't like Ray's amp sound as much now. Unless the sound man is hip enough to put a mic on his bass (in which case he sounds more like he used to in the 70's and 80's) it doesn't punch like it used to. He may be favoring his newer Polytone pickup because he can hear himself better (he's been playing with drummers almost every day for 60 years!), but I think he sounded great live with the older brass or aluminum Polytone PU's he used to use. They were old tech, but on some good instruments like his old beautiful bass that he never takes on the road anymore, they
B.J , interesting what you have to say - I remember the old brass Polytone pickup , unreliable is a vast understatement ! I had three in the space of a year back in the 80's and ended up giving the last one away ! I now use a Rich Barbera pickup (used to have an Underwood - that lasted me 10 years without a fault ) on both of my basses and they're far better for me than anything I have used before.
As you say though what's good for one ain't neccessarily good for another but now I have a Contra rig ( O.K it is modified as you'll see if you look down the page ) I wouldn't use anything else , in fact my old Trace Acoustic Bass amp is now used as a monitor amp for our drummer .
Someone would have to come out with something pretty damned good for me to change amps now - but ,as you say, it is all down to the player , instrument , strings , setup , pickup and above all room acoustics in the end. To be absolutely 100% certain that you've got the best amp/pickup combination you'd have to try all the systems in all the places you were likely to play in - nice in an ideal world but not possible in reallity. So for the time being we have to rely on advice, recommendations and the odd chance to try out different amps until we're happy --- but , that's life for you !

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