Making Bass Changes

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Peter, knowing my interest in his stage tuner, was kind enough to pick one up for me and give it to me today. Besides being a really kind gesture on his part, it led me to realize that it is time for me to do some updating to my bass rig.

Back in the early and mid-90’s when I was playing so much, I carried around a big ass rig. Ironically, my basses though solid (Guild Pilot basses) were hardly comparable to my current Warwicks. But, my amps and such were great for the time.

Of course, I worked in a music store, so my penchant for purchasing was easily fed by the cost deals I got from the store. And, like most musicians, I have always had a bit of gear lust. No matter what cool gear you have, you always have a list of more stuff you want.

During that time, I was running an ADA MB1 (which I still have) through a pair of Carver PM 300 power amps. Early on I even had an effects unit in my rack, but that got ditched pretty quickly.

I played through a pair of Trace Elliot cabinets – 1×15 and 4×10. It was a big honkin rig that sounded great and was heavy as hell – especially that damn flight case rack. But, hey, it looked cool!

I ultimately sold off all of my gear when taking some time off from live playing. As I got back into it, I started with a couple of SWR Workingman cabinets (2×10 and 4×10) and eventually a Behringer BX3000 bass amp. All sound good and I’m happy with them thus far, but I’m finding the need to expand my rig as my playing increases.

So, like I used to, I started a list of the things I’d like to pick up and even an order for them. Frankly, gear is cheaper now then it used to be, so it probably will get purchased quicker. For your viewing pleasure, here’s my list…

1. Two sets of EMG J pickups

These will replace the passive pickups currently in my Warwick basses. They sound fine but are pretty quiet and have that annoying buzz that comes with passive electronics. I’ve always been an EMG guy anyway.

2. A pair of 30′ Monster cables

This will come soon now that I have the stage tuner. My other cables were never meant to take the punishment I dish out. The Monsters are much more sturdy.

3. Aphex Punch Factory

Now, this is where it gets sketchy. I really like the specs on the Aphex and would like some kind of floor compressor for my rig, but I need to try this one out. With a price tag of near $200 list, it will need to sound kick ass to justify the purchase, but I like a LOT of control over compression and the Behringer doesn’t give me that.

4. Ampeg SVP-BSP

I listened to this preamp online and was nearly sold just hearing it. It has distortion built in that is nice and meaty without being nasty – it was designed by Billy Sheehan and he loves that edgy distortion – which means I won’t need a pedal if I wanted to add that. Plus, it sounds really nice. I’d like an additonal preamp stage in front of my Behringer which sounds great but is a littly iffy on control. I’ll check this out soon.

5. Behringer Modification

My Behringer sounds cool, but I really dislike the limiter that is built into it. It just flattens out the sound, often when I least want it to. I’d like to have it modified to eliminate the limiter circuit and pull the whole thing out of that box it is in. If I can find a chassis for it, I can rack mount it and carry it and the preamp in one rack – much easier.

6. 6 space rack

Will be smaller if I can’t un-hinge my Behringer.

7. SWR Workingman 4×10

Ultimately, I’ll need to go from the 4×10 and 2×10 set up to a pair of 4×10’s. It just works better overall and I don’t have to push everything as much. I will want to modify all my cabs to put in a sturdier switch on the back. Word to the wise: be careful with the switch that controls the tweeter on these. It isn’t recessed and can break pretty easily.

So, that’s the gear list for now. I’m sure it will grow, but if I had this stuff, I’d be happy…for a few minutes.

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