Bass Preamp???

rorym

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I’ve been learning to play bass on my two UBasses. A Kala Scout (acoustic) and a solid body Kala SUB. It’s time, I think, to up the ante.

I’ve been running the SUB directly into a small guitar amp set at a fairly low volume. That’s what I have, and has been sufficient while I learn the basics.

I’d now like to amplify using a powered PA speaker, rather than a bass combo amp. This should allow my son and I to play together (him on electric drums) without breaking the bank.

From what I’ve read, I think I should be using a preamp to help shape the sound. Does this seem correct? If so, any recommendations? If not, any recommendations?
 
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UkerDanno

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You'd be way better off just getting a bass amp. Fender Rumble 25 is $100. Orange Crush bass 25 is much better, but twice as much. Look for a used amp on craigslist...

And, the Orange Crush has a built-in pre-amp...
 
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Wiggy

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What UkerDanno said. An electric bass will only sound its best when plugged into an amp designed to operate at bass frequencies. That's why they are called bass amps. Powered speakers are designed to reproduce the full spectrum of music, but typically (unless you spend a lot of money) do not go deep enough with "authority" for bass. That's why they make powered subwoofers. Also, powered speakers do not have a preamp with EQ for bass. Bass amps do.

Just buy a bass amp.
 

rorym

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I found a small bass amp for sale on FB. A older fender rumble 15. The seller was a good friends daughter! That will have to do for a while. I still need to eventually find my son a practice drum amp.
 

casualUkuleler

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I am looking for a bass amp and was considering the Orange Crush 25. Will use it just for learning and home practice. Any other nominations for a practice amp?
 

tluxtele

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I’ve been learning to play bass on my two UBasses. A Kala Scout (acoustic) and a solid body Kala SUB. It’s time, I think, to up the ante.

I’ve been running the SUB directly into a small guitar amp set at a fairly low volume. That’s what I have, and has been sufficient while I learn the basics.

I’d now like to amplify using a powered PA speaker, rather than a bass combo amp. This should allow my son and I to play together (him on electric drums) without breaking the bank.

From what I’ve read, I think I should be using a preamp to help shape the sound. Does this seem correct? If so, any recommendations? If not, any recommendations?

Old Thread, but bass is my primary instrument... been playing for over 30 years. I would say there's a number of ways to skin a cat. Having a bass amp is great. Yes, they are made for the instrument. But like anything, there are good and bad amps. There are "bass" amps out there that would surprise me if Victor Wooten could sound good going through them. So just getting a bass amp isn't the answer.

If you already have a PA, there is nothing wrong with plugging direct into your PA. Bass amps are for bass frequencies. PAs should be able to cover all frequencies. But just as there are bad bass amps, there are PAs that aren't all that great. I'm not sure what you're working with.

If the PA is decent, and you want something to shape your tone a bit I would suggest tech21. I've used a number of their pedals over the years and they are great. The only bass one I've tried is their ampeg pedal. It was pretty good but I'm not an ampeg sorta guy.

I mainly play in church now. My electric guitar rig is based around their flyrig pedal. I used to lug my 5E3 clone amp to church and fight the sound people. I switched to using a pedal as my amp and it's so much easier. I've had other guitarists come up and ask what amp I was using. They don't believe me when I point to a pedal.

Back to bass. My bass is active with an EMG preamp in it. With our system at church, I don't need any sort of pedal to shape my tone. I can do that all on my bass. I often get complements on my tone and playing going direct. But if I were to get a preamp pedal I would look hard at tech21 or the gallon-krueger plex. The tech21 because of their track record and the GK plex because I grew up with hair metal and my Spector just sounds wonderful through a GK. Plus, the plex is designed to run a GK powered cab if you were to need an amp for stage use.

Let us know what you ended up doing and how it's worked for you.
 

rorym

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@tluxtele thanks for the info, it aligns with my research on the topic. I’ll be using the little Fender Rumble as a practice amp for now.
 

casualUkeDude

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I haven't bought an amp for my ubass. Have been looking at an Orange Crush 25w combo to be used for learning and home practice only. Comments on this as a practice amp and any other suggestions.
 

UkerDanno

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I haven't bought an amp for my ubass. Have been looking at an Orange Crush 25w combo to be used for learning and home practice only. Comments on this as a practice amp and any other suggestions.
It's awesome for practice and for playing with ukulele groups...even in large rooms.
 

tluxtele

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I haven't bought an amp for my ubass. Have been looking at an Orange Crush 25w combo to be used for learning and home practice only. Comments on this as a practice amp and any other suggestions.
I don't have any experience with it but listening to a few sound samples... it seems like a pretty good starter amp. And as @UkerDanno said, it should do just fine pumping up your volume to play with ukes.

Down the road, if you begin to play in louder environments, you will have to have more power. My experience as a bassist is band settings with guitars. Because the frequency is low it takes more power to have the same perceived volume as a guitar. If I were in a band with a guitarist who had a 20w amp I would want ~250w for my bass. That's why you'll see bass amps with such high wattage. But for starting off... and playing small acoustic jam sessions... I think the amp you're looking at would do fine. Wish that would have been my first practice amp. Man technology has gotten so good.
 

UkeOkay

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I'm the original poster. I've had to create a new account as all my comments using @rorym are "awaiting moderator".

I ended up finding a older, small, Fender Rumble 15 on the FB Marketplace. It was being sold by the daughter of a family friend, so I at least knew it was well taken of. This thing will suit me fine for at least the next several months of stay at home practice - our local uke group won't be meeting anytime soon with the latest CDC recommendations in place.

We still need to find a suitable amp for my son's electronic drumset.
 

tluxtele

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I'm the original poster. I've had to create a new account as all my comments using @rorym are "awaiting moderator".

I ended up finding a older, small, Fender Rumble 15 on the FB Marketplace. It was being sold by the daughter of a family friend, so I at least knew it was well taken of. This thing will suit me fine for at least the next several months of stay at home practice - our local uke group won't be meeting anytime soon with the latest CDC recommendations in place.

We still need to find a suitable amp for my son's electronic drumset.
I've read good things about the Rumble series. Glad you found something that works well for you. I got nothing when it comes to amplifying an electric kit. That's not my wheelhouse at all. Good luck.
 

Wiggy

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I'd be curious as to how an acoustic-electric ukulele sounds through the Rumble 15.
 

UkeOkay

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I'd be curious as to how an acoustic-electric ukulele sounds through the Rumble 15.
I prefer it amplified, though I as my playing improves Im starting to really notice the intonation being off the further I adventure past the 5th fret.

I still consider myself a beginner - I’m mostly practicing walking bass (roots, fifths, and third mostly) - and have a long way to go. Somehow my musical timing has just gone out the window. I’m fine on the uke, but bass is a totally different beast.
 

tluxtele

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I prefer it amplified, though I as my playing improves Im starting to really notice the intonation being off the further I adventure past the 5th fret.

I still consider myself a beginner - I’m mostly practicing walking bass (roots, fifths, and third mostly) - and have a long way to go. Somehow my musical timing has just gone out the window. I’m fine on the uke, but bass is a totally different beast.
yes it is. Maybe I'm biased, but I don't think bass gets the respect it deserves. You're a drummer with notes. You're a part of the rhythm section. You have to learn to play with the drummer and set the groove of the song. Pete Thorn has a great video learning some things from two good bassists. Might be worth checking out since you're coming to it from a different instrument.

 

UkeOkay

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There are a lot of good tips in that video. I have respect for Adam Neely, especially. Though I mostly watch him and his fellow YouTubers’ videos about composing.
 

ampeep

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Noticed that guitar players that try to play bass need to change their outlook. Often play too many notes & runs, lose their timing, which is critical. One thing I really miss is playing with a drummer.

Haven't played bass for over a year due to the pandemic - have been playing guitar with my uke group. Started playing bass again recently; had to concentrate on timing, something I didn't need to as much on guitar.
 

KohanMike

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Noticed that guitar players that try to play bass need to change their outlook. Often play too many notes & runs, lose their timing, which is critical.
I played rhythm guitar for almost 50 years before I switched to ukulele, then bass uke, to which I slipped into very comfortably knowing the tempo is most important, so I didn't over do it. I'm very content doing 1-5 with walkups and downs.

Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
8 tenor cutaway ukes, 4 acoustic bass ukes, 10 solid body bass ukes, 14 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 36)
•Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
•Member The CC Strummers: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers
 

Mickeyj4j

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Not sure if you have already got something or not. Here are my thoughts to add to this discussion.
1. AMP: As others said a bass amp will be good, so you can be heard on stage playing together. Some amps have a built in DI Box to also plug into the Sound System/PA.
2. Direct plug in via Preamp: When I play bass I use a Bass Preamp DI Box. There are many different ones available most can plug into an amp and PA system at the same time. I plug bass int any effects then the Bass Preamp then out to an amp and the Pa at the same time.
I have the Behringer BDI21 V-Tone Bass Driver Di Pedal $30usd. This is a great unit, it is a copy of the Tech21 Sansamp Bass Driver $300. It works like an amp. I also have the Behringer ADI21 V-Tone Acoustic Driver Di Pedal $30.usd. this is a great unit, it is a copy of the Tech21 Para DI. While this is an acoustic instrument pedal, working on any acoustic instrument guitar, ukulele, violin etc, it does have a setup for Bass in the manual. It works good on my electric basses and perfect for a Ubass with piezo pickup. Both these pedals will work for bass/ubass and as they are so cheap you could get both to try. See my post here on my blog for more information Bass With The Behringer BDI21 & ADI21
 
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