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Alembic Club » Owning an Alembic » Fun Stories » Archive through December 05, 2003 » How do you use the SF-2 SuperFilter? « Previous Next »

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Username: paul_boulet

Post Number: 23
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Friday, May 23, 2003 - 1:45 pm:   Edit Post

Hello All:

I am the very satisfied owner of an SF-2 unit as an integral part of my bass gear (as I know many of you here are also). I use it for all of my basses and even use it along with amplifying my upright (BTW: I just ordered an Acoustic Image, Coda R Series II combo. I canít wait to add that to the line-up and see how it impacts the bottom line. For those of you that may be new to those amps, check this out: I have found that the SF-2 adds a ďprofessionalĒ edge to my sound I could never get otherwise.

Iíve got two motives for this post: First, Iíd like to assemble all of our collective thoughts on this component in a single document. I did some searching through the club and I found a few posts to get started. Here is a link to that doc so you can all check it out.

application/pdfSF-2 How-to Draft Document
Notes on SF-2 Superfilter.pdf (33.2 k)

If you know of a great post that I missed or would like to add your own thoughts we can compile a final draft for posterity. I think many of us would benefit from that Ė even those still looking into taking the SuperFilter plunge.

My other goal is to better understand the use of modifying tonal settings in general to compensate for different playing environments, i.e. how ever do you determine what to change in order to compensate for the room youíre playing in? I have a very clear grasp of changing tone for the sake of finding the sound Iím after but I couldnít begin to attempt to tweak setting to compensate for other factors.

Thank you in advance for your contributions.

Iím looking forward to what turns up.

-Paul (Leo)
Senior Member
Username: palembic

Post Number: 450
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, May 25, 2003 - 11:26 pm:   Edit Post

Hi Paulleo,

now this is what I call a club initiative!
As soon as I get my SF-2 (soon I hope) I'll start my contribution to it!
Great idea!!!!

Paul the bad one
Username: xlrogue6

Post Number: 16
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 - 2:15 pm:   Edit Post

I use my SF-2 with the same goal as Michael D., but with an almost opposite approach. I run my SF-2 in "series mono"--i.e., in stereo, with a jumper from the A output to the B input. I set channel A as a high pass filter, frequency usually around 40, but sometimes as high as 100 depending on the room. The low frequency rolloff this introduces works very nicely with the low B string of my Rogue 6's, and I can use the damping control to add low end boost as necessary. I set channel B as a low pass filter, with the frequency at 5K. Back when I was playing Epics and Orions, I would turn the resonance control up all the way to get the sounds I now get from the onboard filter and Q switch in my Rogues. These days I rarely turn up the channel B resonace control.
This approach allows me to filter out muddy, power hungry subsonics. If I wanted to add them back in, all I'd have to do is turn up the channel A direct knob, and there they are. This, BTW,is why I run the SF-2 in "series mono" instead of the standard mono mode. In standard mono, the B channel lowpass signal would still contain the subsonics I'm filtering out with channel A, regardless of the direct level setting. Being able to fine tune the frequency range of my system in this manner really works for me--YMMV.


Oh yeah--here's my signal path

Demeter VTBP-2 preamp
SF-2 in Demeter loop
BBE 461 Sonic Maximizer (the 30 HZ shelving low countour control comes in handy sometimes)
Rane DC24 crossover/compressor/limiter
Crown Power Base 2
Pacific 15 w/ Fane Colossus for lows
Ampeg 810 (early 70's) for highs, sometimes replaced by Pacific 210 w/ Fanes. One of these days I'm going to have a 410 built that's basically half the Ampeg--no ports, no tweeters.
Senior Member
Username: palembic

Post Number: 616
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 11:03 pm:   Edit Post

Hi have it installed, two rehearsals yet but please give me some more time in "Tweak Peaks". On the moment I use it as a 3 band filter = mono.
I'll be back soon with detailed report and maybe some pictures.

Paul the bad one
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 60
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Wednesday, November 26, 2003 - 5:32 am:   Edit Post

I'm the owner of a SC Deluxe signature and have just ordered an SF-2 from the American Guitar Centre in London after doing some research on the net and finding just how good it apparently is. I'm already amazed by the sound of my bass through my Mesa Boogie rig, and I'm prepared to be blown away if this SF-2 is gonna give me sonic orgasms. However my question is.... can the SF-2 get you anywhere near to the series I or II sound I hear on Clarkee's records. I don't play like him ( i wish ) but I love the tone he gets from his basses.
In the meantime I'm looking forward to spending the Christmas holidays twiddling my knobs.....

Is it best to wire it up through the send-return loop or put the thing in series A +B channels then put it through the normal input jack of my amp.
Advanced Member
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 221
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, December 04, 2003 - 7:31 am:   Edit Post

Just a few musings. First off, from my own experience and reading the posts of others, it takes a while to get used to an SF-2, so you will be spending some time twiddling knobs. On the comparison to a Series bass; I've never owned one but my guess is that it can't be the same because of the significant difference of the pickups. However, the SF-2 adds versatility with the hi-pass and band-pass options. I would think you would want to run the SF-2 in the effects loop rather than putting it before the pre-amp; but trying it couldn't hurt.
Username: bob

Post Number: 88
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Thursday, December 04, 2003 - 11:13 am:   Edit Post

I keep meaning to offer more suggestions here (and never seem to get to it), but perhaps the most important tip for new SF-2 users is to *not* start off in series mode. Use it as a 3 band mixer in mono mode, until you get really comfortable with it, otherwise you'll just confuse yourself and possibly give up in frustration.

In fact, if anyone out there has some particularly interesting sound, or flexibility, that you can only get by using the channels in series, I'd be interested to hear about that. I can imagine some things, but they mostly seem pretty obscure and not terribly useful.
Senior Member
Username: palembic

Post Number: 793
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, December 05, 2003 - 4:04 am:   Edit Post

I agree with Bob;
I work with the SF-2 for some gigs now and the 3 channel setting is after some time really sweet to work. I read Brother James is selling his SF-2. He wants to simplify things. Makes sense but my experience till now is that the SF-2 gives me a more defined sound with better controllable lows (I'm not into the high-controls yet ...well it will come with time. THis is a F1-X, SF-2 and Power-amp combination.

Paul the bad one

(Message edited by palembic on December 05, 2003)

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