I’ve been having a blast setting up my ideal bass setup as of late. One thing I’ve noticed about my setup is how many more pedals and effects I rely on nowadays as opposed to the old setup I used for many years in bands. If only I knew then what I know now.
You see, I used to play on an Ampeg svt-350 w/ 8X10 cab and that was pretty much it. I think at one point I may have stuck a BBE sonic maximizer on there, but I was very much a meat and potatoes kinda setup bass player. I was never fully satisfied with my tone.. in fact, I never really felt I had a tone. I just plugged in and played as was. I’ve since learned a thing or two about acquiring a particular “sound” or tone that can be not only pleasing but help the bass cut through the loud guitars and drums so it can be heard. There were many a time I felt I was doing all sorts of cool things on the bass, yet no one could hear it. I was right. I needed a few things to help alleviate that problem.
I’ve since sold the 8X10 cab and have just held onto the SVT-350 waiting to see what I might do with it. Within the last few weeks I finally decided what I was going to do with it. I started to record a metal band lately and I had the pleasure of recording the bass player mic’d to his cab, as well as sending the direct to the DAW. It sounded great. I was impressed. He had a nice tone, but I felt I had control over that tone by throwing a mic on the cab.
When recording my bass, I usually just went from my head, through some virtual FX and came away w/ a pretty good bass. Actually, pretty great. It cut through the mix and very little mixing was needed on the bass part, because I nailed it at the source recording. But…. I alway felt I was missing a little low-end that can only come from a mic’ed cab. My virtual “cabs” were great at emulating that sound, but I just felt it would be great to actually have the cab and mic it up to get that sound much like I did for that metal bass player I just recorded. So, went on a quest to find it and have since bought all the outboard FX needed to finally nail down my bass tone.
Again, if I only knew then… because these FX would have been a great icing on the cake to the gear I had at the time. I was so naive. 😉
At any rate, here is the new setup.
The most beautiful part of all these little gadgets is that I got most of them at discount prices. That’s always a good thing. The cab and limiter I bought at full price. The BBE I got for $40 – sells new for $100. The MXR I got for $75 – sells knew for $140. The head and compressor I bought long ago and I paid full for those.
But, in the end I have the tone I’ve always been searching for. Again, if I was to do anything different, I would have picked up a 4X10 cab, but with that said, I’m actually getting a great sound. You can’t go wrong with Ampeg no matter what you get. You really can’t. They are THE bass makers and have been for decades.
That’s all for now.
Till next time…
David (Cali Dingo)