I have received a couple do questions about how I amplify my UBass. One of the key things to get a good sound it that it’s super important to get a sound that has a lot of low end! The UBass is a really serious ‘low-end-monster’ and much of the greatness (besides playability and portability) is it’s ‘larger-than-body’ sound! So the key to a great sound lies very much in the amplification. I have done a great deal of gigs using the below signal chain with super great results.
This chain is ‘a killer’ setup! It’s not the cheapest but the sound is really HUGE with plenty of low end! And if you are going to play with others in a small to medium venue/room you can use it to amplify the other players as well. I’ve been using this setup with ‘Barnjazz – jazz för barn’ quite a lot and we manage to use the same single Bose L1 Compact System för lead- and background vocals, electric jazz guitar and of cause my UBass through the T1 ToneMatch mixer with a really great result. The Bose L1 Compact (or it’s ‘big-brother’ L1) is designed to be used as a ‘personal’ sound system (the idea is that the sound that you hear on stage is the same sound the audience hears. So ideally every musician should have a separate system so the audience can clearly hear where the musician is located on the stage. This is to get a perfect amplified stereo image of the ‘band stand’. BUT having one L1 (Compact or full) per musician is a bit pricy so using one L1 Compact for more than one musician is a good start! Than you can add more systems when you got the money (if you like) 🙂
More about the using a preamp like Fishman Model B Bass Pre Amp (and other ones) before plugging into an amp or mixing desk
This is crucial if you want to get a warm, round and full sound! USE A PREAMP! You will definitely get much more greatness out of your UBass if you follow this advice! The little preamp I use right now is a ‘used’ (must be at least 15 years old) preamp designed to be used with an upright bass. It works really well! I’m planning to try out a couple of more pre amps soon for comparison. I’m especially interested in Headway EDB-1 Acoustic Preamplifier I’ve heard a lot about this little acoustic preamp and have got friends using it for acoustic guitar or upright. So it could be the next upgrade in my signal chain. But for now the Fishman Preamp suits my needs. I believe this one should be nice to try as well.
My other setup is quite new (part of it anyway). It starts with my trusty Fishman again. Then it’s a MarkBass Little Mark II that I’ve had for a couple of years. The MarkBass head is then hooked up with a quite new Aguilar SL-112 (Super Lightweight) 1 x 12 equipped cabinet. I’ve only used this setup for a couple of gigs so I’m still experimenting with EQ- and Compressor settings. Stay tuned for more about this set up later…
Battery powered bass amps for outdoor gigging where there are no ‘wall’ power or you want to be super movable 🙂
I found a good forum thread. So if you’re interested please read more about this at TalkBass.com
My ‘signal-chain-tips’ are just a couple of solutions that could be a starting point for your amplifying needs. Please feel free to write about your setups in the comments or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck on your ‘amplify-my-ubass’ quests 🙂