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Re: Stage Sound From My Upright-Help!

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Posted by JT Murphy ( on May 28, 2002 at 17:20:18:

In Reply to: Stage Sound From My Upright-Help! posted by Jay on May 27, 2002 at 21:33:25:

Here's my two cents:

First, I would agree with your sound man that bass frequencies over-txe the PA system and muddy the other sounds. But, that reveals that the PA is underpowered. The sound man needs a higher wattage amp or he might bi-amp the system using a separate amp and sub-woofer for the lows.

But, lets' assume that you can't go through the PA. I have seen sound baffles but I don't know where to get them. Dirk of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy uses them on his upright and he is getting a very loud and full sound using a pick up and two SWR Super Redheads (each 2x10 at about 600 watts).

Your pick up is another item to look at. You might consider a magnetic pickup which will eliminate your feedback problem or go with a pickup like the Gage Realist which seems not to have too much of a feedback problem.

The idea of EQ is a good suggestion: I would stick with parametric EQ like Raven Labs True-Blue EQ rather than simple tone controls or even semi-parametric EQ. Parametric EQ has boost and cut at variable width moveable frequency centers. Starting with width wide, get your bass to feedback then cut one control section at a time and vary the frequency until you find the problem frequncy, once you find it, narrow the bandwidth as much as you can and fine-tune it so as not to cut all frequencies, only the bothersome ones.

Next, huge power is better than low power. Quite frankly, the Acoustic Image amp is not the right amp for you. Although IA states 300 watts of power, that is only at 2 ohms (how many cabinets do you know that are 2 ohms?). The amp is 120 watts at 8 ohms which is what typical cabinets are rated at. If you use two 8 ohm cabinets now you have 4 ohms and you get 200 watts or so out of the IA - still not enough. I recommend Walter Woods at 1200 watts. If you can't afford WW, get a good PA type amp like a Mackie or Crown which puts out 1000 watts or so. For a pre-amp, use a Raven labs Master Blender which allows you to blend two pickups or a pickup and a mic directly into your power amp (Walte Woods has this right in board so you only need the WW).

Next, look at your cabinets. You need large cabinets like a 4x10 but I know most people don't want to cart these around. The next best cabinet would be the Aguilar 1x12 cabinets. You can use one for venues up to medium sizes or use two for larger venues. These cabinets really rock and can take the power I am recommending. I have spoken to Dave Boonshoft of Aguilar who hails my Walter Woods cabinet at 1200 watts into his 1x12 rated at 350 watts. The sound of two of these is nothing short of awesome!

So there you have it, a powerful yet portable system:
1. try to get a bigger PA or bi-amp it; if not,
2. try baffles;
3. try a different pickup;
4. use parametric EQ;
5. get a bigger amp;
6. get a better cabinet.

All of this will fit nicely into the trunk of your car.

PS - the other advice I can give is - get an electric upright.

Good luck


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