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Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Archive: 2007 » Archive through January 09, 2007 » F-1X or F-2B? (and a stupid question) « Previous Next »

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fmm
Intermediate Member
Username: fmm

Post Number: 178
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 1:29 pm:   Edit Post

I've scraped together some $$$, and I think I'd like to buy a new pre-amp.

I'm currently running either a Furman PQ-3 (which I like OK) or a Behringer V-Amp Pro (which I hate). If I need to bi-amp, I use a Peavey CS-800 (sounds OK, but weighs a ton; crossover cans are hard to find & fragile) or a Bi-Amp crossover (noisy). I have a SF-2, but I havenít gotten the hang of using it yet, so I usually donít use it. Thereís also a couple of EQs BBE units floating around, so I donít lack for available pre-amps.

My main bass is a Series I. I havenít tried running in stereo (I have no gigs where it would matter to anyone but me, and there would be a lot of gear overhead).

I like the crossover & direct out on the F-1X, but I wonder if Iím missing out on the full Series experience by not having the two channels of the F-2B.

Or should I just look for a cheap electric upright?

As for the stupid question: Is there any difference other than the CVQ between Series I & II electronics? Can you convert a Series I to a II by replacing the 3-position switches with pots?

Thanks in advance.
2400wattman
Advanced Member
Username: 2400wattman

Post Number: 274
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 2:51 pm:   Edit Post

F. Michael,
I have an F1-X and I love it. BUt I could imagine that using an F2-B in conjunction w/ the SF-2 would be awesome. Also that would allow a form of bi-amping w/ the separation of the neck and bridge p/ups going to separate cabs.

I would also check out Demeter and Aguilar pre's as they are equally great sounding units. I really don't know about the Series 2 conversion but I believe the Super Filter is very similar to Series 2 pre amps.
Good luck!
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 1951
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 3:43 pm:   Edit Post

Not using your SF-2! Sacrilege! It's not really that difficult to get your head around. The key, as I experienced, is to set each channel separately with all other channels at 0, and then mix them together. I use it in mono. First I turn the filter gains all the way down and tweak my rig to get the tone I like from the dry channel. Then I turn the dry channel all the way down and set one side at low pass filter and find a low frequency I like, then turn this channel to 0 and set the other side at high pass (and sometimes band pass) and find a sweet trebly tone, then turn down this side as well. Then I turn up my dry channel, usually all the way to 10, and bring up the two filtered channels to taste.

If you want to use your Series in stereo, you are going to need two amps or a stereo amp at the end of the chain to maintain the stereo. If you use only one amp, you will wind up using the F-2B in mono, or at best in stereo then summed into mono, so what's the point? The F-1X has one other advantage over the F-2B that you might want to consider - the F-1X has an effects loop while the F-2B doesn't.

Another thing to consider: you can use the SF-2 as a pre-amp. It can be set internally for 0-10-20 db boost.

Electronically, I believe you are right about Series 1 vs. 2. There are also some cosmetic differences.

Bill, tgo
fmm
Intermediate Member
Username: fmm

Post Number: 179
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 5:13 pm:   Edit Post

I've got the power amps & speakers necessary to go bi-amp or stereo. Heck, I could go bi-amp AND stereo.

Bill: Iíll give that approach a try with my SF-2.

I know about the cosmetic differences between a Series I and II. I suspect the only way Iíll ever get an Alembic exactly the way I want is to win the lottery. Iím trying to narrow down the list of features that would constitute a ďPerfect Bass LiteĒ (quilted maple, ebony neck lams, Series II electronics (maybe), LEDs).
lothartu
Intermediate Member
Username: lothartu

Post Number: 200
Registered: 8-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 03, 2007 - 10:06 am:   Edit Post

"As for the stupid question: Is there any difference other than the CVQ between Series I & II electronics? Can you convert a Series I to a II by replacing the 3-position switches with pots?"

I'm not sure about the CVQ/Switch question but the SII electronics also provide a master volume pot in addition to the individual pickup volume pots.

-Jim
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 4670
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, January 03, 2007 - 7:29 pm:   Edit Post

Bill; I run my Series stereo into the F-2B and then go mono out. The "point" is this; the sound coming from the neck pickup is significantly different from that of the bridge pickup, thus the preamp EQ setting (bass, mid, treble) that is the sweet spot for the neck pickup is probably not going to be the same as the sweet spot for the bridge pickup. Thus I have dialed in a separate EQ for each pickup that, taken together, enhance my overall final tone. For instance, because of the different tones of the pickups, I may want to take some mid out of the neck pickup portion of the overall tone but add mid to the bridge pickup portion. Then when I'm playing and I bring up the volume on the neck pickup and reduce the bridge volume, the change in tone is more what I'm going for than if I made the same pickup volume changes going into a single channel preamp. Another example, I may want to add a little high end to the overall sound, but maybe I would rather it be the cleaner high end of the bridge pickup than the dirtier high end of the neck pickup. So, having thus EQ'd each pickup, I then come out of the F-2B in mono and go to the SF-2 to use the parallel mono mode for my final tone shaping of the combined signal, because at that point in the process I'm interested in smoothing and balancing the overall curve. It makes sense to my ears. It's been a while since I've touched the settings on the F-2B; where they are now seems to be working well. When I do make a change, it's to the SF-2 and it's to accommodate the room, mainly small changes to the gain controls. Of course that's where I am now; a year from now, who knows? <g> So yes, I do think there is a "point" in going stereo into the F-2B and mono out.
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 1953
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 03, 2007 - 10:43 pm:   Edit Post

Dave:

I hadn't considered that use for a Series, but it sure makes sense. I do love the sound, though, of a two amp set up, either in true stereo with a Series or Rickenbacker type set up, or with a mono instrument and a slight delay on the second amp.
Happy New Year.

Bill, tgo

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