Post Number: 99
|Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 7:04 am: |
Here is my personal opinion + experience so far: Fatboy in the neck sounded way too boomy to my taste (D.I flat, no EQ/amp or whatever...).
I have tried the Fatboy with different strings gauge and no much difference either, although obviously the 105 was the boomiest.
I find that I had to reduce the volume of the Fatboy in the neck as well as lowering it to get an "acceptable" signal.
Now, I am trying the MXY in the neck, and PERFECT, it is much better, cleaner, tighter and more defined with no "boom".
I would appreciate if you girls/guys give me you "two cents", or your wallet if I may LOL
I can happily recommend a Fatboy in the bridge for anyone who can afford it, it is very juicy!
Post Number: 1061
|Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 7:20 am: |
What about the high frequencies?
Post Number: 100
|Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 7:30 am: |
On the neck clearer/cleaner to my ears with the AXY/MXY now.
It could also be due the fact that there is less boom, so you hear more highs... Is it what you are asking?
AND, forgot to mention, that I am a "hard plucker", so, players with gentle and softer touch might be well happy with two Fatboys.
Post Number: 1062
|Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 7:44 am: |
More thinking about the difference in the bridge position.
Different strokes - well, I'm kind of a soft plucker myself. Plus on an Alembic you don't really need to dig in to get loud, like you might on other instruments.
Post Number: 101
|Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 8:34 am: |
I don't know because I haven't tried the MXY in the bridge, but I am sure that you will benefit from it, because the difference it made in the neck was quite obvious to me, yet, I am very happy with the way the Fatboy sounds in the bridge. As for less or more highs, well, I don't think that any other bass on the market will give you as much highs a Alembic, so I wouldn't worry about it. In fact, with the softer touch, you never hear the boominess I am referring to with Fatboy in the beck.
An interesting comment you made, regarding how soft you can play on an Alembic and still hear big sound, this is very true, I also find that the softer you play the more definition you hear, but I am not complaining about "getting loud", it's just a personal thing, I need the "pull" those strings, I remember a gigging friend of mine try my bass few years back, and he said: "there is no way I could play with the action you have set up..." then, I read + hear a lot of people these days going to lighter and lighter gauge and having the action as low as possible.
It's a question of taste. But once again, I too, feel that Alembics are designed for the "softer touch", it's like it's asking for it...
That is probably why the fatboy in the neck did not suit me well.
Saying that, the Fatboys are the closest to Series sound, so for anyone with a soft touch and want to get that Series sound, go for it, get two Fatboys, you won't be disappointed.
As for me, I am not stubborn and will consider learning to "caress" the Arialembic, and see how I get on. But you know, I have never played with a soft touch, so it is not going to be easy to readjust... at least I'll give it a try.
Post Number: 1036
|Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 6:00 pm: |
After about 60 days of living with FatBoys in BOTH positions fromerly held by AXYs, my impression is they are a bit louder, and the sonic signature is definitely different: The AXYs were utterly as clear as could be from low to highs, and I heard more highs with the AXYs vs FBs. The FBs remind me a little more of pickups in other basses in that the signature seems a bit 'lumpier': Not as relentlessly perfect in all ranges. I prefer having both instead of mixing AXY/FB, as I prefer a 'same' tone base. Yeah, it's punchier in the neck, for sure, but punchier at the bridge: I never felt comfortable soloing the bridge pickup before the FBs.
I'd describe the difference this way: The AXYs are like extremely fine studio monitors, extremely even from low to high, but possibly a bit dry because of it, but only slightly. The FatBoys would then sound, in comparison, like a first rate pair of high end stereo speakers: Excellent definition and projection, but the overall tone is just meatier, relative to the studio monitors' coolly perfect presentation.
Pickups are so subjective, and these descriptions invariably break down into some silliness in trying to describe them. But as best I could, this are my impressions.
You can NOT go wrong with either one!
J o e y
Post Number: 104
|Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 2:29 pm: |
Joey, thanks for your valuable input. I sent you an email, did you get it?
Anyone else... ? Don't be shy! LOL
Post Number: 386
|Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 3:25 pm: |
My Excel has Fatboys in both positions..sounds fine to my ears. I sometimes roll the blend a little more towards the bridge pickup, but most of the time I use them about equal.
I like Joey's analogy, they do have..dare I say it ? Balls !
Over time I've developed a light touch and use lighter gauge strings (45-100).
And since the action is low, if I get a little frisky with my plucking or picking I'll get a buzzy burp out of it (string buzz).
But to each their own taste and sound are so subjective.
Post Number: 105
|Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 4:20 pm: |
G, interesting... you say that you have a light touch... I guess that must be it then, as I already mentioned.
Well, when I was a teenage, I took a 1 year off bass lessons, 1 hour a week only and my bass frets were such in bad shape that I had to de-fret it myself, but once a week I'd use the teacher nice bass, and Bernard (my teacher) was a double bass concert player.
I remember him saying to me: "pluck harder, pluck harder... pluck harder... Gino, pluck harder...." Well you guessed? I had to pluck hard!
What now, well I realized that on a poor instrument with bad frets you have to have a higher action, and you have to pluck harder on passive basses, especially when you don't have an amp. At that time, I hacked my little radio which had an input for microphone, and made up a custom jack to get the bass going thru... further, I got hold of a cheesy speaker (better then nothing) and I built a cabinet out of my bedside table! Well, I was 15/16 and was happy (I am still). Further... I found that good instruments with good frets (shape/condition) and good amplification allows you to have a much softer action.
I wasn't lucky enough in that respect, until I came across the Aria SBs, and while we can call them the poor man's bass, it has been a like finding a treasure for me. As I have played fretted bass after my first de-fretted, all needed high action/harder pluck.
The other day, at the bass centre, when I collected my Arialembic from Chris, he plug the fing in the amp, and GOD, the sound was so HUGE for me, I couldn't play, I had to cut everything on the amp, including the gain and so on... I saw that the other guys were "touching" the bass, and I though, I know why know... So, I think the Alembic is very well suited, or indeed designed for feather touch, and the cheaper bass are for the "hard working" man if I may.
OK guys, I hope I didn't bother you too much with my stories
Well, this in an interesting story I think, it says that if you start early on a poor instrument that requires hard plucking, you keep habits, and when you play the fine instruments, you are a bit "lost" and confused! Ok, I'll rephrase and add something; I do like the harder pluck, and I don't regret having to learn on the bass I had, because it has been good experience, and I strongly feel that it is easier to switch from hard to soft pluck than soft to hard...maybe I am wrong?
Post Number: 21
|Posted on Saturday, September 30, 2006 - 9:13 am: |
I am about to place an order of a custom Essence ,with
either two Fatboys or 1FB+1AXY and now Im definite that 2 FATBOYS would be perfect,cause I do play with a very light touch.I also slap/pop lightly.
Thanks for the invaluable discussion guys.
Post Number: 108
|Posted on Saturday, September 30, 2006 - 6:17 pm: |
As you said, if you have a light touch you will definitely benefit from two Fatboys.
I would also strongly recommend two Filters and two 3-position Q-switches,
it makes a HUGE difference, but won't cost that much. Make sure that you include
a mono/stereo(dual mono) switch, if you take this route.
I have been testing my two harnesses (one on each pickup) which are simply dual mono for now,
until I get it done properly when I can afford it...
One Filter + 1 Q-Switch is the minimum I think, my previous and first and only Alembic
had the Filter only, and it was my first experience with Alembic, the sound was amazing!
But, lately when I added the 3-Position Q-switch to my Arialembic, it made it even better
sonically, because you have more control over the sound. The other thing I want to mention
which in my opinion wasn't explain the way it should have been is; you can read somewhere that
sonically, the Q-switch only affect the attack portion "sound" of the string, this is "WRONG" in a way and
GOOD NEWS and should be ADDED in the FAQ! Why? well, whoever, try this: set the Q-switch to + 9 db
and set the Filter to a lower setting, then hit an open string, let it sustain and flick the switch... then tell me what you hear?
If anyone tells me that it doesn't make any difference, then your Q-switch is not working! as simple as that. But, if your filter is fully open, then yes, it will mainly affect the attack, so the "sustained" change in sound is more obvious when you close the filter.
This is nice news in my opinion, because some of you my want to consider adding a switch, if haven't done so yet.
Further, with a Filter and three position Q-switch it's amazing what you can do + hear, until you have a set dedicated
for each pickups... Considering the money that you girls/guys are spending on the Bass itself, adding a filter and a Q-switch
is the equivalent of "peanuts" money wise. So, my last word on this, is; if you have two pickups and don't have two filters and
two Q-switches, you are missing something that is impossible to describe or explain with words, just try it + hear it, most importantly,
if you don't know, or not sure what it does, have it explained or demonstrated by a knowledgeable + competent person, this might even
enhance your knowledge on the matter.
(Message edited by LG71 on September 30, 2006)
Post Number: 714
|Posted on Saturday, September 30, 2006 - 11:33 pm: |
I've been trying to figure out what (if anything) to say here, for the last several days, and I'm still not sure my thoughts are very clear, so I'll just summarize my gut feelings.
My clear choice is a FatBoy at the bridge, and an AXY at the neck.
To me, there is absolutely no question that a bridge FatBoy is the only way to go, and I almost think they should be standard equipment (where the routing is sufficient). I don't believe I've heard anyone say that they actually prefer an AXY at the bridge.
As Joey says, you really can solo a bridge FatBoy. And if you happen to have an SF-2 and can boost the lows with a low pass filter around 300 Hz (or perhaps better yet, a band pass centered around 80 Hz or so with just a touch of Q), you can get some really great tone out of just one pickup.
The choice for the neck position is less clear. I've spoken with Joey about this a couple of times, and though we tend to talk about it in slightly different ways, I'm beginning to think we pretty much mean the same thing - and end up making different choices!
I've said before that it feels to me like you can overload these things, so that may be consistent with the notion here that it depends on whether you play hard or soft. I'm not sure I would make the decision on that basis, since you can always adjust the pickup height, and usually the preamp gain, but if you did not have those options, then I'd be inclined to agree that a softer player would more likely accept a FatBoy for the neck. I say "accept", because I'm still not sure it would necessarily be better.
Joey describes them as sounding "lumpier" in response. My take is that the wide aperture increases the comb filtering effect (which has been discussed here, but I won't provide a link since you probably don't really want to read all that stuff - search at your own risk). This would result in a lumpier response with the pickup in the neck position, and (my personal pet peeve) get worse as you played higher up the neck.
So for me, I prefer a cleaner and more consistent tone from the neck pickup, and would not put a FatBoy there (having tried it). But depending on your playing style, the tone you want, and especially if you rarely venture above the fifth fret, then you might very well prefer a FatBoy in the neck.
The nice thing is that as long as your bass is routed for AXYs, you can always change your mind.
Post Number: 28
|Posted on Sunday, October 01, 2006 - 1:07 am: |
I have done both the dual Fatboy and the paired AXYs, i.e. neck and bridge with either set, but don't recall if I have mixed them. I prefer the AXYs as they give me a cleaner sound for slap bass... less grunt. But for fingerstyle grooving, I really like the fatboy sound at bridge. I have kept the Fatboys and hope to use it in a fretless situation. I have had to raise the trim pot quite a lot for the AXY compared to the fatboy at the bridge position though. Am using a dual vol set up.
Post Number: 219
|Posted on Sunday, October 01, 2006 - 7:05 am: |
(Message edited by lidon2001 on October 01, 2006)
Post Number: 220
|Posted on Sunday, October 01, 2006 - 7:05 am: |
My experience with two FatBoys leads me to agree with Bob.
Post Number: 112
|Posted on Sunday, October 01, 2006 - 8:47 am: |
Thanks for adding further comments.
We spoke about this off line via email with Joey, and I suggested something interesting (I think).
AXY/MXY could be the better option for recording/tracking...
Fatboys could be the better/good option for live work...
I heard some guys use lighter gauge for recording and heavier for live work, and many use strictly D.I (direct (butox) injection)for recording, and Amps for live work. So, I though that this could translate in AXY/MXY for recording and Fatboys for live gigs. I personally don't gig, so I don't need huge bass, and I don't have an amp, I always D.I for tracking. I haven't had the chance to try two AXY/MXY yet, I hope I will somedays...
Post Number: 44
|Posted on Sunday, October 01, 2006 - 3:23 pm: |
Intersting comments fellas. Anyone added Fatboys into a SC in either position?
Post Number: 193
|Posted on Monday, October 02, 2006 - 7:57 pm: |
Hi Raymond, I bought a used fretless Excel a year ago and it has the Fatboy at the bridge, with a MXY situated mid-ships. The usual descriptives apply: muscular, yet clear; gritty, yet detailed; I sound like a wine critic, yet I'm discussing a bass. Is the bass pictured in your profile one of your custom builds? It's a beaut!
Post Number: 29
|Posted on Tuesday, October 03, 2006 - 4:19 am: |
If you are referring to me yes, they are self made basses. My fave is the fly shaped one, now with 2 alembic Js. The one in the profile has a spalted maple top & back , sapele core. The neck is a status graphite ebay acquisition. The hardware is ABM and the pickups were Fatboys but now AXYs. Dual vol and filter set up, and a neutrik locking jack.
(Message edited by 0vid on October 03, 2006)
Post Number: 116
|Posted on Tuesday, October 03, 2006 - 2:34 pm: |
You girls/guys have got some nice basses showing in your profile!
My favorite is the Dragon Breath, nothing else ;) I don't want anything else thanks!
Dave... For Christmas maybe? ..or could do a deal.. how about 10 Christmas in row, in exchange for one of these?