Post Number: 1465
|Posted on Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - 8:07 am: |
Remember Rogertvr's thread about his Dragon Wing bass and particulary the comment on how the electronics package did not add to the sound.
Having read it many times and having a great deal of thought about it, there is some truth in what he says.
I like him have owned passive and active basses, the active basses do indeed have bass, middle & treble boost/cut controls, it similar to having a single channel mixing desk on your bass.
Passive is either treble or cut with no in between.
I have read loads of posts about the Alembic low pass filter and how it works by only allowing the frequency chosen etc which really a powered version of a passive system - to a point of course(taking out the Q switch)
Now what if we could remove the filter from the system, that is just have the PU's going directly to the pre amp bypassing the filter so the only control you have is the volume(and PU switch or pan pot)
Would this be the true sound of the pick up?
(bearing in mind woods, strings etc)
I use a Zoom B1u as a tone shifter, I re programmed the patches using the EQ options to switch in different tones, everything from heavy bass with octave to high end treble..not as fancy as a SF-1 but it does the job. here I am adding to the sound as the filters don't do that but as the term suggests - filters out that set of frequencies.
A few of you have quite elaborate rigs with many tonal options to assist you..do they add to to the sound or enhance it?
I played a new Status recently and to be honest it was an amazing bass, well crafted and the sound was amazing..the EQ system was very versatile, I will even put my neck on the line and say it was better than my MK in terms of tone manipulation(but I love my Alembic MK and will never get rid of it!)
SO I await your comments and views on this long but hopefully not laborious thread
Post Number: 858
|Posted on Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - 9:12 am: |
As I understand it, Terry, the filter is not a "powered version of a passive system". One is, if you will, vertical, while the other is horizontal; a passive tone control changes the roll-off level of higher frequencies (a change from ŻŻŻ to Ż\, with horz being freq & vert being level), while the filter keeps the same roll-off (I seem to remember 8dB/octave, but maybe 12?) but changes the frequency at which the roll-off occurs (a change from ŻŻŻŻ\ to Ż\).
Post Number: 2730
|Posted on Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - 10:11 am: |
To be honest, I keep the filter on my Spoiler open at all time, and just add 3 or 6 dB of Q boost if needs be. Also, I play through a small SWR combo with the tweeter on and a healthy dose of high boost - at living room levels. It sounds clear, but not clanky (finger style and slap).
I distinctly remember not using the Q switch when it was in still in its original state, since to my ears the 8dB boost was obnoxious.
Then again, I've been told that koa tops are not particularly bright by themselves, so YMMV.
However, I'd be more worried about what happens to my signal when it passes through a digital box like a Zoom. I've been using a Line6 UX1, and one thing I notice is that the effect of the Q switch is pretty much lost when listening through headphones plugged into that unit.
Post Number: 1467
|Posted on Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - 10:13 am: |
Cozmik..thanks for explanation but it wasn't meant to be set in concrete but in relation to what rogertvr's comments to some it may seem that way.
As I said I have read loads of posts about how the filter works but what about the filter bypass where the pre amp only powers the low impedance signal and there is no interaction of the signal with the filter module.
I wonder how it would sound, would it sound like a passive PU directly connected to the output jack??
Post Number: 1468
|Posted on Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - 10:18 am: |
Adriaan...the Zoom handles it perfectly..they are very underrated as an multi fx..maybe because they are cheaper than Boss, Line 6 etc but they have the fastest switching out of all of the known makes.
With the filter open is that the natural sound of the PU??
Again I reiterate...what would the PU sound like bypassing the filter??
(Message edited by TerryC on January 04, 2011)
Post Number: 2731
|Posted on Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - 10:34 am: |
Filter open is pretty much the natural sound, although there is a slight bump at the cut-off frequency (which the Q boost will only emphasize). A complete bypass of the filter may sound a bit different, but probably not by much.
Jimmy Johnson mentions somewhere on his Showcase thread,
I almost never move the knobs. My pickup balance (set with the back panel trim pots) favors the bridge pickup and I tend to just barely boost the Q control at the highest frequency on that pickup for some extra "air". Otherwise the pickup volume and tone controls are wide open all the time.
Post Number: 2732
|Posted on Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - 10:50 am: |
OK - been doing some quick recordings with the different filter settings.
Dry output from the Line6, straight into Window's own Sound Recorder. Recorded with no monitor sound, fingers over the bidge pickup - so the differences you hear are all pretty much due to the pickup and the filter settings.
First track is
(a) pan fully towards bridge pu, filter open
1x no Q, 1x 3 dB, 1x 6 dB
(b) pan fully towards neck pu, filter open
1x no Q, 1x 3 dB, 1x 6 dB
Second track is pan fully towards bridge pu, filter about halfway, 1x no Q, 1x 3 dB, 1x 6 dB
(The clips should open up fine in Windows Media Player.)
(Message edited by adriaan on January 04, 2011)
Post Number: 519
|Posted on Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - 11:10 am: |
"Remember Rogertvr's thread about his Dragon Wing bass and particulary the comment on how the electronics package did not add to the sound.
Having read it many times and having a great deal of thought about it, there is some truth in what he says."
It's a matter to spending time with the Alembic electronics and figuring out how they work. Once you discover the wide variety of tonal variation the Q/filter options can give you this sort of thinking goes away. Or at least it did with me. My first Alembic had Signature electronics and initially all I did was play it with everything up full and the pickups balanced 50/50. After a few months I sat down and really started playing with the controls. That's when I finally figured out what is really possible and had an eye opening experience.
Post Number: 1469
|Posted on Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - 11:28 am: |
briant...It took me 6 months to master the tonal options..using Alembic filters is a world away from Musicman/Jaydee/Status et al.
Maybe it just doesn't click with certain bass players and in a live situation maybe it isn't possible to adjust tones to a fine degree between songs..some players just have the filters wide open in most gig situations.
Personally if I am playing jazz I turn the filters down and just use the front PU as it really has a nice low woody sound.
Post Number: 857
|Posted on Tuesday, January 04, 2011 - 1:25 pm: |
this bass has no filters ...just tone Vol & tone controls
Post Number: 729
|Posted on Thursday, January 06, 2011 - 3:27 pm: |
I think it's a difference between manipulating the fundamental tone (with treble, mid, and bass controls) and being able to alter the fundamental tone (with filters). My Stingrays sound like Stingrays no matter what I do with the tone controls, but my Alembics can produce tones that are drastically different from one-another. I don't buy into the "an Alembic can sound like any other bass" claim, but the tonal palette IS quite diverse. Whatever gets you where your going is good, but I think it's a major difference in philosophy.