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jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 4039
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, May 24, 2014 - 10:10 am:   Edit Post

Is there a difference in what is going on at the speaker and power amplifier in your rig if you. Use a distortion effect pedal vs turning your guitar up and your gain to drive your pre-amp into distortion?

In other words is one method more likely to damage your speaker than the other as one would be sending a low level distorted signal fed into a clean pre-amp then sending to the power amp and the other would be creating distortion within the pre-amp then sending that to the power amp

The reason for this question is that I have a gig coming up in July and I am covering Detroit by Marcus Miller and the last bit of his solo includes a distorted bass sound and whilst I'm not a fan of distorting bass in this way and unlikely to use it on the gig, it just brought the question to my head. I may just concede on this one occasion or maybe do something different like use a wah pedal instead if I understand what is going on.

I have a ProCo Rat and a Radial Trimode that I could use from my guitar rig.

What say you?

Jazzyvee
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 3399
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Saturday, May 24, 2014 - 10:56 am:   Edit Post

jazzyvee , There are indeed many variables involved in distortion, and many was to achieve it intentionally , some of which can indeed limit the longevity of your speakers and amplification signal chain depending on what you are doing. The safest in my opinion would be distortion created before the input stage of your amplification chain. In addition for recording purposes one can then also take a DI mult from the outboard distortion source. Another advantage of outboard distortion would be to take a multi-spectral approach and split the high frequencies from the lows and experiment with insertion of the distortion at different frequencies until the desired effect is achieved . One can still have clean lows that way and just distort the highs . You could utilized the crossover function of the Alembic FI-X preamplifier for such a novel task ! Jazzyvee you have two F1-x units , do you not ? If so there are many ways that you can proceed . I once experimented with a Morely Fuz-Wah and heard very interesting and useable sounds .

Sonic regards my friend ___
hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 1362
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Monday, May 26, 2014 - 11:04 pm:   Edit Post

I think a pedal is going to be a LOT easier to manage live. I'm just thinking of the nightmare of adjusting the output level on the fly if you are cranking the input gain of the preamp to overdrive it.

It's hard to describe - I actually don't have that much experience pushing tube preamps into distortion territory, though I do have a fair amount of experience with pedals. One thing to watch out for with pedals is that they might lose some of the lower frequencies, especially if they weren't designed with bass in mind. Even the Fulltone Bass Drive has a rep for losing a little low end, though I've never had a problem - a lot depends on the context, technique, etc. If it's a melodic solo then that might not matter, but if it's a "bass line" then losing the low end could suck!

There's also the issue of how much distortion you actually want, and the tonal character of said distortion. I got a Homebrew Electronics Hematoma bass distortion/clean boost - love the boost for solos, but the distortion was a little too mellow for me, so I've gone back to the Fulltone for now. Fuzz can be great but can also be a little too over the top? Also, fuzz often doesn't work with active basses - that's why I picked up the Z Vex Mastotron, because it is compatible.

I haven't heard the Marcus Miller song you mentioned so not sure what tonal character you might be after.
pauldo
Senior Member
Username: pauldo

Post Number: 1164
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - 3:32 am:   Edit Post

This song:
http://youtube.com/watch?feature=kp&v=ahfsr5kD-e8
At about 4:13 Marcus switches from funky to fuzzy! :-D

Harry, can you explain more about active basses and fuzz?
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 4040
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - 5:20 am:   Edit Post

It's actually this version we are basing our track on which is the album version. The overdrive/distiortion comes at 4:26
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=dwqWhEsAOJQ#t=227

I love the version you found there pauldo and I may just let the band hear that version to jazz it up and the end of the track before we finish.
Jazzyvee
moongerm
Junior
Username: moongerm

Post Number: 13
Registered: 8-2013
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - 7:37 am:   Edit Post

Hi Jazzyvee,

Not sure if you looked into this already? I had very good luck with the Rodenberg GAS pedals. I only own the boost pedal but the overdrive pedal option has had very good reviews. MM uses them live from what I gather too. Maybe consider the boost & overdrive combined pedal as I believe you will find the boost very useful even if you don't use the distortion all that much. http://www.station-music.de/gitarre/gitarre_amps/rodenberg.html

best, Brian

(Message edited by moongerm on May 27, 2014)
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 4041
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - 9:05 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Brian, I'm not really into effects on bass so I'm only looking to see if I can do something with the gear I already have as an experiment. If not I will just stay clean. But buying a distortion boost pedal would not be used enough to make it worthwhile.
Thanks anyway.

Jazzyvee
hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 1363
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - 9:45 am:   Edit Post

I heard the distortion at 3:47 of the original - I actually think your Rat could work - I was kind of surprised how thin it sounded, though it works in the context of the song to give a different color at the end - plus it's that much cooler when the bass freqs return! I think you could also easily get away without an effect on there.

Re: fuzz & active electronics - I'm no expert, but apparently it can be an issue. Something to do with mismatch of impedance. Z Vex made the Mastotron with a knob so you can adjust it to work with active basses - the class Woolly Mammoth doesn't like active basses much, though some people claim to have had no problems.
moongerm
Junior
Username: moongerm

Post Number: 14
Registered: 8-2013
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - 9:56 am:   Edit Post

I with you Jazzyvee, I am not into pedals either that much at all becuase for me it's one more thing to have to fiddle with. I am excited about the boost pedal Rodenberg makes as it really makes the Alembic bass standout even more (as if that is possible) :-) without having to turnaround to increase the volume on your amp. I really dig it. BTW here is a video of MM using the Rodenberg boost with overdive pedal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLtMJmJYlZQ

The other option is to use a guitar amplifier and the over-drive channel connected out of your highpass x-over output of the F-1X. I found that to work live really well during solos and is what I still do. Connect a volume pedal between the F-1X and the guitar amp so you can easily include it when you need it.

(Message edited by moongerm on May 27, 2014)

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