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Patrick Madsen
09-08-2015, 05:10 PM
I'm eventually changing out the faunky Artec PP417 passive pickup on my Chennell archtop Bass.

My luthier will have time to take on finding a better pickup in Oct. I want to stay passive cause I don't want to cut into the sides and back for an active p/u. Misi reps have never tried their pickup with the Pahoehoe strings so it's not an option. Hence it'll be passive. The luthier said I'll need a preamp with any passive I buy so might as well buy it now.

He's recommending the LR Baggs Para D1 preamp. Thoughts or suggestions? Thanks.

Jon Moody
09-09-2015, 02:22 AM
The LR Baggs has been one of the leaders of acoustic preamps for decades. I've used the Para D1 a couple of times on an upright bass, and it works really, really well. There are many other ones out there, but you'll be just fine with that one.

Patrick Madsen
09-09-2015, 06:13 PM
Thanks Jon. Are there any others I should be looking at?

I went to the Talk Bass forum and received this to my question: You want your buffering done as early in the signal chain as possible. If you can't put the buffer directly on the bass, then put it on your strap, to minimize the length of cable necessary. If you have to use more than a few feet of cable before reaching the buffer, then there will be tone suck.

Sounds like he is saying the the distance from the preamp and instrument should be short as possible with a piezo p/u. I wonder how much tone suck is there and how important?

Jon Moody
09-10-2015, 02:33 AM
Thanks Jon. Are there any others I should be looking at?

I used the K&K Pure XLR Preamp (http://kksound.com/products/purexlrpreamp.php) for a long time as well. Didn't have as many options/knobs on it to control EQ, but what it did have worked really well.



Sounds like he is saying the the distance from the preamp and instrument should be short as possible with a piezo p/u. I wonder how much tone suck is there and how important?

True, the shortest distance of cable is preferable, although if you use a high quality cable like Mogami, Canare, you will notice a minute difference at best when playing solo, and probably nothing at all in a group.

mrufino1
09-10-2015, 03:04 AM
That last statement is true of a lot of things! Unless you're playing into a spectrum analyzer to create art, a balanced bass signal in a group is going to sound like...a bass.

I do sound on occasion for a guy who is a big session bassist and producer in NYC, he has a very old p bass he plays on many recordings, and he said all the engineers say the same thing about it, "sounds like a bass!" We can start to get carried away sometimes with very minute differences (Eric Johnson saying he can hear the difference in battery brands for example- bless him if he can, but I play weddings and no one is going to care about that in that setting for sure!) when we should just play.

Tele295
09-10-2015, 07:26 AM
I use the Baggs Para DI for bass a lot. It works perfect

Patrick Madsen
09-10-2015, 12:22 PM
Thanks guys!

I'm thinking a Baggs Para D1 with a 10 foot Mogami cable from intsrument to preamp then perhaps a 3' from preamp to the Double4.

Would the distance of 10' be too much for the Artec pp417 piezo pickup to the Baggs? The guys on Talk Bass thought it was an okay piezo. I'm not so sure. In any case if I'm playing with a passive pickup, I'm going to need a preamp.

ricdoug
09-10-2015, 03:13 PM
...or you could opt for a Bass DI:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/373652-REG/Behringer_BDI21_V_Tone_Bass_BDI21.html



http://static.bhphoto.com/images/images500x500/1232897420000_373652.jpg

http://static.bhphoto.com/images/multiple_images/images500x500/1231962789000_IMG_13661.jpg

Jon Moody
09-10-2015, 03:22 PM
Thanks guys!

I'm thinking a Baggs Para D1 with a 10 foot Mogami cable from intsrument to preamp then perhaps a 3' from preamp to the Double4.

Would the distance of 10' be too much for the Artec pp417 piezo pickup to the Baggs? The guys on Talk Bass thought it was an okay piezo. I'm not so sure. In any case if I'm playing with a passive pickup, I'm going to need a preamp.

I've used piezos with 10' cables all the time (that's my usual cable length), and no problem at all. The Baggs and Mogami cables will be a great choice and should give you plenty of headache free playing.

Booli
09-10-2015, 05:56 PM
I went to the Talk Bass forum and received this to my question: You want your buffering done as early in the signal chain as possible. If you can't put the buffer directly on the bass, then put it on your strap, to minimize the length of cable necessary. If you have to use more than a few feet of cable before reaching the buffer, then there will be tone suck.

Sounds like he is saying the the distance from the preamp and instrument should be short as possible with a piezo p/u. I wonder how much tone suck is there and how important?

I can share some info regarding buffering and impedance in general, and you can apply that to any audio signal...bass or otherwise...

With both piezo and magnetic pickups, for longer cable runs there may be an issue with tone suck, but this is primarily due to the capacitance and built-in resistance of copper cable. Too long of a cable without some kind of correction and/or boost and the electrons simply cannot flow any further.

Piezo pickups also have an issue with buffering and impedance which I will discuss below.

This buffering problem is also made worse if you have a huge effect chain. Each effect causes an 'insertion loss', which means that the output signal is going to be less than the input signal, even with pedals that offer 'true bypass'.

This occurs with everything that uses copper cable. lets say you have 10' of cable coming from your instrument, going into a signal chain of 10 effects, each connected with those 6" patch cords, and then another 10' of cable going to your amp or DI. Each connected device causes insertion loss that can be as much as 3-5 db. the db (or decibel) scale is logarithmic. So 3 db of loss is a 1000x reduction (10 x 10 x 10=1000) in output level. This is mitigated somewhat by the input impedance of each device expecting a 10kohm signal but outputting an impedance closer to 1kohm. However, by the time you get to the end of the signal chain, you still have a net loss, and therefore tone suck.

There are 2-3 ways to fix this problem:

1. put a 'buffer pedal' at both the start and end of the effects signal chain, which boost the signal going IN to the chain, and can make-up the loss encountered at the end, coming OUT of the chain. Decent Buffer pedals can be found for as low as ~$70, or you can build your own from parts using a soldering iron, following any of several public-domain schematics, for about $15 parts cost and about an hour of your time. You can also buy them in kit form and solder it together yourself for about $35 for the kit.

2. You can use a preamp or 'boost' pedal as the first device in the effect chain, and a buffer pedal at the end, which will have a similar effect as #1

3. You can use the same as in #2, but add an 'active' DI box that has an impedance-matching transformer inside which will also have a similar effect as #1

Having said all that, MOST external preamp units on the market today, by default combine the buffer circuit inside the preamp, as well as also having a DI function with an XLR output, so you might be able to get by with an external preamp, like so many have been doing successfully for years.

As far as how this interacts specifically with a piezo pickup, and buffering and impedance, I'd like to refer you to my detailed posts over in another recent thread where I tried to explain those concerns with several solution options. While this is not the same question you asked, but the signaling issues are inter-related and might help in understanding all of this stuff.

Please take a look over here:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?110167-Preamp-for-Electric-Acoustic

Please let me know if this information is useful to you.

Booli :)

Patrick Madsen
09-10-2015, 06:53 PM
Thanks Booli, I've read the threads and learned alot. I won't be using any effect pedals; just the one from the bass to the preamp using quality balanced cords in and out.

This is getting kind of frustrating. The Artecpp417 is very inexpensive and volume is extremely low; So much so that I was preparing to send the PJB Double4 back til I tried my old Gibson Es330 on it. I looked at the Fishman and Artec EPP p/u but then again, changing a 9vlt battery with f holes is not going to work.

I'd like an active but the constraints of cutting into the side is not something that's going to happen. Misi didn't feel comfortable as they've never tried theirs with the Pahoehoe strings. So it must be passive with external preamp.

The Baggs Para with a good balanced 10' cable in and perhaps a 3' or shorter cable out seems to be the way to go. Then when my luthier slows down from all the school instrument repairs, perhaps look at a better piezo if the 417 doesn't work out.

To refresh everyones memory, here's a photo of the bass. It bugs me a bit that he makes a great handcarved archtop and throws in a 12 dollar pickup. Course TB sys they are okay.

Thanks again, I've learned more about pickups in the last few days than I had in 55 years of playing.

Booli
09-10-2015, 07:30 PM
Thanks Booli, I've read the threads and learned alot. I won't be using any effect pedals; just the one from the bass to the preamp using quality balanced cords in and out.

This is getting kind of frustrating. The Artecpp417 is very inexpensive and volume is extremely low; So much so that I was preparing to send the PJB Double4 back til I tried my old Gibson Es330 on it. I looked at the Fishman and Artec EPP p/u but then again, changing a 9vlt battery with f holes is not going to work.

I'd like an active but the constraints of cutting into the side is not something that's going to happen. Misi didn't feel comfortable as they've never tried theirs with the Pahoehoe strings. So it must be passive with external preamp.

The Baggs Para with a good balanced 10' cable in and perhaps a 3' or shorter cable out seems to be the way to go. Then when my luthier slows down from all the school instrument repairs, perhaps look at a better piezo if the 417 doesn't work out.

To refresh everyones memory, here's a photo of the bass. It bugs me a bit that he makes a great handcarved archtop and throws in a 12 dollar pickup. Course TB sys they are okay.

Thanks again, I've learned more about pickups in the last few days than I had in 55 years of playing.

WOW that looks awesome. Thanks for sharing the photo.

OH NO! Don't get rid of the PJBD4 just yet - do you know the impedance of the INPUT on the PJBD4? Does it come with a manual, if so you can check the specs page. I looked on his web site and there's no provision to download manuals and barely any specs listed at all, with no 'support' section on the web site. Bad bad bad to me. Any way, you might have to call or email them to get this info, of the EXPECTED impedance at the instrument input for bass.

Likely the volume/tone problem between it and the Artec is due to an impedance mismatch.

I think that MiSi is just being overly cautious and trying to avoid being responsible if you have issues. The only thing I see with putting a MiSi in an instrument with a bridge/saddle like that is that you'd probably have to install the silver pickup ribbon right under the feet of that bridge, which is kind of more like a banjo bridge...but I've never seen one of these basses close up, so I could be wrong.

Also, there are a couple of smaller-sized preamps that are in a belt-pack style and could probably be mounted to a strap, that would fix the worry about having too long a cable first coming out of the instrument. One of these, which are mostly under $100 might be an interim or even a final solution with your installed Artec pickup. Also pretty easy to change a 9v on an external. Otherwise for $40, you might want to try the Behringer unit that Ricdoug linked to in a previous post, as MANY folks here have good luck with the ADI-21 version of that preamp.

Take a look at the ones of this type from Schatten, LR Baggs, K&K and Fishman:

http://www.bluestarmusic.com/Single-Channel-Preamps_c_108-1-1.html

(if you click VIEW ALL, and then from the drop-down select PRICE: Low to HIGH, it may be easier to compare what they are showing for sale)

Even if it says MIC PREAMP, or GUITAR PREAMP you should have no problem also using it with a piezo pickup on a bass uke with poly strings, meaning that it should work electrically, but I've not used any of these myself, so I cannot attest to the sound.

I've bought several items from Blue Star music before (MiSi and other misc) and they ship fast with good prices on most items, but am not compensated by them in any way.

kohanmike
09-10-2015, 08:12 PM
I'm sure it's not the Double Four, it has a 3 way switch with mute, low for active instruments and hi for passive instruments. Did you have it on high? I've emailed and talked to Freda (Phil Jones' wife and answers the phone), and Steve their tech guy. Here's his contact info:

Stephen Simpson
Phil Jones Pure Sound
Tech Support
steve AT philjonespuresound DOT com
314 - 814 - 1264
(Phone support hrs.- 10:30am - 6:30pm central time Monday - Friday)

Patrick Madsen
09-11-2015, 05:59 AM
Just spoke with Steve. He said no matter what, with a piezo,I'm going to need a preamp. He looked at the schematics for the D4 for input impedance. He thought they were wrong and was going to check it out but said their stuff is at the least 1.5-2.0mg.

We have a uke jam tomorrow. I think I'll call the leader and see if he has a preamp we could throw on mine to see how it works.

Patrick Madsen
09-13-2015, 10:41 AM
Lot's of research and learning from here and the TalkBass site. I've narrowed it down to either the Fdeck 3 or Baggs Para DI with either a Mogami or Canare Cable. Has anyone tried the Fdeck. I'm not concerned about the extra cost of a Baggs if it is more efficient but if the Fdeck will provide the same efficiency with fewer knobs I'll go with it.

Thanks for trudging thru this with me. Your input has really educated this old guy.

Booli
09-13-2015, 12:14 PM
Lot's of research and learning from here and the TalkBass site. I've narrowed it down to either the Fdeck 3 or Baggs Para DI with either a Mogami or Canare Cable. Has anyone tried the Fdeck. I'm not concerned about the extra cost of a Baggs if it is more efficient but if the Fdeck will provide the same efficiency with fewer knobs I'll go with it.

Thanks for trudging thru this with me. Your input has really educated this old guy.

I myself have not had hands-on with either device, and would only be telling you what I've read others say. It seems that the LR Baggs preamps are spoken of most often, but I'm not sure if that means anything.

Patrick Madsen
09-13-2015, 03:27 PM
Thanks Booli, The Fdeck is spoken of many times in the TalkBass. The Baggs not so much. It was recommended that either was sufficient. I leaning towards the Fdeck 3.

Booli
09-13-2015, 03:54 PM
Thanks Booli, The Fdeck is spoken of many times in the TalkBass. The Baggs not so much. It was recommended that either was sufficient. I leaning towards the Fdeck 3.

Do you have a link to the specific Fdeck unit you are looking at? I did a search but it seems my google-fu is in remission, and I'd like to learn more about this brand.

Also, the other 'big' name for bass-specific preamps that a few of my friends were talking about for a while was Mark Bass. They make bass amp heads, bass combo amps and a few other items that can be use alone or together in a sort of modular way (mix & match various preamp, tone-stack and power amp modules), and the parts snap/fit together. Kind of like Legos for audio.

Sadly their modular products seem to be discontinued, but you might find some new-old-stock or used items like their S1M or S1 preamps at a pretty good price. See here: http://www.markbass.it/discontinued.php?markbass=Discontinued

Most mainstream online vendors seem to carry their products.

Patrick Madsen
09-13-2015, 06:36 PM
http://personalpages.tds.net/~fdeck/bass/hpfpd.pdf is the description for his Series 1&2. Since then he has released a series 2m and 3. Sounds like he is a bassist, Francis Deck, with this as a part time business. The series 3 goes for 108 dollars. Here's a comparison of the models https://sites.google.com/site/hpftechllc/home/hpf-pre I'm thinking the series 3 if I don't go with the Baggs Para DI. The series 3 has an optional dc power. I think the Baggs has better fine tuning.

i'll wait to see what you of them in comparison with the Baggs and go look at the Markbass.

Patrick Madsen
09-13-2015, 09:39 PM
I'm going with the Baggs Para. It has dual capabilities for active and passive pickup and a few other options FD doesn't. It's a bit more but I only need to buy it once so no biggie.Gonna order in the morning before I change my mind...again.

Patrick Madsen
09-14-2015, 10:34 AM
Ordered the Baggs Para1 preamp along with Mogami 10' and 18" Gold cables from Sweetwater today. Looking forward to hearing if they make a difference.

Patrick Madsen
09-19-2015, 12:37 PM
IT WORKS! Received the preamp yesterday. Set it all up and nothing. The battery was a new 9 volt or so I thought and of course the last one in the house. I picked some up today, threw one in and dang, that little guy rattled the windows. The sound so clean and; it sounds like an acoustic bass. Wow, it's like Sleeping Beauty waking up..

Will get up sound samples with a preamp and without.

Now on to the Chennell Bari and figure out which steel strings to try on it, light gauge, and perhaps a pickup. Thanks for all your help.

kohanmike
09-19-2015, 10:08 PM
Nice, good for you Pat.

Booli
09-20-2015, 01:17 AM
IT WORKS! .

Way to go man!

I'm happy that you can rock out with the right level and tone and found the right piece of gear that makes it all work for you!

....sound samples..........please.................pretty PLEASE.......:)

no rush :music: