#1
Hey everybody, my birthday is coming up soon, and I've been really wanting to take my tone a step up. I don't know where to start as far as upgrades/effects/EQ though.

Tonally, I play a pretty wide range of stuff. Death metal with one band, fusion with another, progressive rock with another, and I also do solo bass noodles by myself.

As it stands, I've been pretty content with my sound. The only issues I have are these:

-my B sounds weak, and lacks definition
-my high C is too nasally (my guitarist likens it to a fly buzzing in and out of your ear)
-with my bridge pickup solo'd, the low-end and midrange of the instrument sound great; clear, and with a definite low punch, but this causes the high-end to become too thin and abrasive
-with neck pickup solo'd, the high-end sounds warm and full, but the lows become muddy and undefined
-the bass's onboard EQ isn't the greatest; the bass control is way too boomy and the treble doesn't do much besides add hiss

I usually just keep the bridge pickup on, since it typically sounds a bit better in an ensemble setting.

I play through a Carvin BX600/Avatar B212 set-up, but am considering adding a 2x10 or 1x15. My EQ has a definite mid-boost, with a slight cut to treble, and the bass is about flat. The only pedals I use are an Akai Headrush for delay and looping, and seldomly a Boss ODB-3.

I'm strung with Carvin flats right now, but have been thinking about switching to DR Sunbeams. I'm worried about what they might do to my uncoated rosewood fingerboard though.

I've looked into pickups, preamps, DI boxes, EQ pedals, compressors, cabs, and I just can't seem to pinpoint what I need.

So, do you guys have any suggestions as to what I should look into? All advice is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Pricerange is around $300, give or take.
#2
y not get better pickups installed
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#3
Roundwounds will murder an uncoated fingerboard. Maybe get it coated with epoxy, Jaco style.
#4
Quote by pwrmax
Roundwounds will murder an uncoated fingerboard. Maybe get it coated with epoxy, Jaco style.


Yeah, exactly why I'm hesitant to put the DRs on, although I've heard they're not as harsh as most most rounds.

I've considered epoxy, but am hesistant to risk my fingerboard by doing a shoddy job.
#5
Have a go with a digitech bass squeeze and really compress them higher frequencies. Really gives my fretless a sparkly high end.
#6
You could get the fretboard epoxied professionally if you're worried about getting a good job gone, shouldn't be much in terms of price, wether its worth the peace of mind is up to you. You may want to consider half-wound strings, if thats where you think your problem lies.

The onboard EQ is something I get the feeling you wouldn't mind seeing go and replacing with something a little more potent. I don't know what sorts of EQs you like, but I reckon that an upgraded preamp would really help with some of the tonal ills you described. As to wether you want a 2-band boost-only like a Sadowsky or an 'all mod cons' 4-band John East is, again, your call. Personally, that would provide a lot more tonal finesse and options for dialing out specific problems. More importantly, you could tailor it to deal with separate issues, e.g. each individual pickup, and also affords more versatility between your different bands.

You did say you've tried preamps, but let us know some more specifics and we'll be able to help you further.

As an aside, I would steer away from adding outboard pedals, especially if your using a graphic EQ, simply as they add a lot of complication to your rig.
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#7
Quote by the_underling
You could get the fretboard epoxied professionally if you're worried about getting a good job gone, shouldn't be much in terms of price, wether its worth the peace of mind is up to you. You may want to consider half-wound strings, if thats where you think your problem lies.

The onboard EQ is something I get the feeling you wouldn't mind seeing go and replacing with something a little more potent. I don't know what sorts of EQs you like, but I reckon that an upgraded preamp would really help with some of the tonal ills you described. As to wether you want a 2-band boost-only like a Sadowsky or an 'all mod cons' 4-band John East is, again, your call. Personally, that would provide a lot more tonal finesse and options for dialing out specific problems. More importantly, you could tailor it to deal with separate issues, e.g. each individual pickup, and also affords more versatility between your different bands.

You did say you've tried preamps, but let us know some more specifics and we'll be able to help you further.

As an aside, I would steer away from adding outboard pedals, especially if your using a graphic EQ, simply as they add a lot of complication to your rig.


My local luthier doesn't do epoxy jobs, and from what I've seen, the ones that do charge way too much.

As far as preamps go, I've heard a lot of good things about Aguilar. I'd probably want 2-band boost/cut with active/passive switch. Maybe an 18 volt power supply.
#8
http://www.aguilaramp.com/products_preamps_obp2.htm

If you wanted 18V, you may need a new battery cavity routed into your bass, depending on how it's set up. Just a word of warning.

Id also recommend Audere's preamps, which are normally mounted on a Jazz-plate but are available as a standard installation kit. Their "big thing" is a switch that controls the "impedance load placed against the pickups". Manifest as a switch that gives you three different overall tones for your bass, as well as traditional EQ options. I tried a US standard J-bass with one and it was a very solid bit of kit:

http://www.audereaudio.com/3ZB.htm
http://www.audereaudio.com/FAQ_Pre.htm

However, they only work with passive pickups.
Attendez la creme!
"Harry dear, its an inaminate object"

"YOU'RE AN INANIMATE OBJECT!"