I have a Fender Precision Lyte. It has p/j pups and active electronics. It is nice to play, light, slim neck and good sound.
I replaced the stock Fender pups with DiMarzios. They have higher output, wider frequency response and greater dynamic range. They are a little brighter than the stock pups but with no loss of low end.
I added two mini toggle switches for dual sound (series/parallel) off the DiMarzio pups. In combination with the blend pot there is a huge range of new tones I can get. It's a growly, funky little bass now.
I have a 1980 Gretsch model 7629 "Committee" bass. It's beautifully made from walnut and maple with MOP inlays and ivory binding around the neck and head stock.
It has a single passive SuperTron pickup in the 'sweet' spot. The tone runs from extremely dark to extremely bright and twangy. The wide tonal range means I can dial in nearly any tone I want. Pretty amazing for a single Pickup.
Many thanks to Steve Brand, of Act One Music, Langley, for the great set-up job and correcting the wiring.
I sold my 1978 Rickenbacker 4001 and bought an Ibanez SR500. This is now my favorite bass. The neck is slim and fast so it's a pleasure to play. It has a pair of Bartolini pups and a Bart 3-band EQ so it sounds great as well. Only the Tunebass comes close in sound and feel.
I just got an SR300 as well. It's candy apple red. I don't have a picture yet but will get one soon. It plays as nice as the SR500 and sounds near as good. I'm officially becoming an Ibanez addict.
The Tune Bass
I found a Tune Bass NTB-4 at a local pawn shop. It's transparent emerald green. It has Gotoh hardware, Tune Technologies P/J pups and active electronics.
Under all the dirt and grime was a really sweet bass. This is the lightest, most comfortable bass I'd ever played before I got my Ibanez.
It has some of the most intelligent features I've ever seen. The lower strap button is above center so the bass balances perfectly. The output jack is recessed and angled so you can't accidently 'pull the plug'. There are trim pots for bass and treble that allow you to adjust from 250K to 500K, basically you dial in the sound you want.
It sounds really great as well. Quite a modern, growly tone.
My Euphonic Audio iamp micro 300|
My Traynor Cab and EA iamp 300|
My homemade pedalboard and FX |
I had a vintage Traynor TS-25B bass combo. It had a single 15" Black Widow speaker powered by a 25W solid state amp. It was an amazing little amp. Unfortunately the capacitors started degrading and the output became unreliable.
Instead of replacing it completely I bought a used Euphonic Audio iamp micro 300. I took the old amp out of the combo cabinet. I covered the original faceplate with an aluminum panel and some black leather to make it look decent.
Then I drilled the cabinet and installed a speakon connector. Now it's a 1x15 cab and I run the iamp into it. This gives me 150W output as the speaker is 8ohm.
I really like the result. The tone is much better than the old combo amp and there's a lot more headroom.
I have a SansAmp programmable BDDI. This unit is really nice for shaping your tone and adding Drive and Presence. I highly recommend it.
I have both a Chunk Systems Agent 00Funk envelope filter and a Brown Dog gated distortion pedal. Both are analog circuitry and sound great. They are better than any other pedals I've tried. Go Aussies!
The Rest of the Gear
I have a Peavey PV-8 mixer hooked up to the line in of my computer. This is for recording. It gives me 8 potential, simultaneous inputs.
My computer speaker output goes to an Apex matching box/pre-amp to balance the signal. From the Apex a balanced signal goes to a pair of TapCo S-5 active studio monitors.
My computer line output goes to a Behringer UB1222FX-Pro Eurorack mixer. The aux out goes to a Rolls headphone amp and then to my AKG studio phones for silent play. I run the mains out to my Traynor bass combo for non-silent (read loud) play. The Eurorack gives me an additional 16 simultaneous inputs for mics and other instruments.
I plug my bass into the PV-8 with or without the SansAmp for recording depending on whether I want a clean or EQ'd signal to work with. For practice I run my bass into the SansAmp BDDI and then into the Eurorack or PV-8 depending on whether I want my signal to go through the PC. I use Band in a Box for accompaniment and to lay down a backing track.
Left to right, PV-8, Eurorack, AK270, Rolls headphone amp, Korg analog tuner, SansAmp BDDI, TapCo S5 monitors, Apex ACM1 matching box, Chunk Systems Agent 00Funk envelope filter, Chunk Systems Brown Dog gated bass fuzz.
My Audio Setup
This is a diagram of my audio setup. It was created using my Audio Setup application written in Borland Delphi. If you would like a copy it is available for free at the BiaB wiki downloads
Tips & Tricks
Band in a Box Songs
- Most nail polish is nitrocellulose based and comes in a variety of colors and finishes. If your bass has a nitrocellulose finish, nail polish is ideal to fill chips and dings.
- A damp microfiber cloth is great for cleaning a bass. This way you don't need any cleaner at all. The microfiber also removes old wax buildup nicely.
- A damp paint brush works well for cleaning dust from the crevices around your pickups and bridge.
- You might want to think about cleaning your control cavity periodically if you don't already. Dust buildup could get into your pots and cause excess noise.
- Always try to end your practice on a positive note.
- Check out the lessons and jam tracks at thelibster.com. Please sign in at the Libster Lounge.
- Here's a quick way to tell if you're fretting your notes too hard. Try playing a few bars without your thumb touching the back of the neck. You should be able to fret the notes with just finger pressure.
- Here are a few PC Recording Tips for those of you who are interested.
- There are some useful tips for BiaB users and home recording enthusiasts at the BiaB wiki.
Here is a link to more than 100 Band in a Box songs
and several styles for any of you BiaB users. These songs I either input myself or found on the internet and modified.
The songs are in zip format so you need to be able to unzip them. Some may have styles that aren't in your installation of BiaB. In that case either substitute a suitable style from your own installation or e-mail me and I'll send you the style. The styles must be in your c:/BB folder for the songs to find them.
Here is the current Songlist
last modified: 18/04/06. I hope you enjoy them.
About The Music
The songs are meant to showcase BiaB not my bass playing, although it does give you a chance to evaluate my playing as well. Please be kind. :-)
Each songs bass was recorded using BiaB's audio track recording feature. The backing tracks were rendered to audio from BiaB and all the tracks were imported to Audacity for EQ'ing and mixing.
The songs are,
Some of My Favorite Pics
Top Left: Skydiving over Abbotsford BC. Top Right: Flying an S7 Courier advanced ultralight. Middle Left: Playing my Gretsch (after a few drinks lol). Middle Right: My scratch built RC hydroplane with a converted weed whacker outboard motor.Bottom: Visit from AB member Brian Sharpe.
- Geddy Lee/Rush
- Marc Bolan/TRex
- Martha Davis/The Motels
- Nils Lofgren/Grin
- Geezer Butler/Black Sabbath
- April Gislason/Sample Stearns Band
- Vincent Crane/Atomic Rooster
- Ian Anderson/Jethro Tull
- Mel Schacher/Grand Funk Railroad
- Electric Warrior &
- Self Titled/The Motels
- Black Sabbath & MOR/Black Sabbath
- The Baked Tapes/Sample Stearns Band
- In Hearing of/Atomic Rooster
- Aqualung/Jethro Tull
- Sun Secrets/The Eric Burdon Band