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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Cappuccino Tech: Amplifying a double bass (5) Tech: Amplifying a double bass 08 Aug 16

Does anyone have any practical experience of amplifying a double bass? I use a three-quarter size bass with Weedwhacker nylon/Kevlar strings (which are cheap as chips and, surprisingly, are pretty good!) I'm a folky picker, not a classical double-bassist; I don't use a bow or anything like that. I come to acoustic bass from many years of electric bass.

Our ceilidh band, made up largely of melodeon and wind instruments, say they like having the bass to keep the tempo. But double basses don't have natural volume (which is why there are several in an orchestra) so I need to boost the sound a bit. Double bass pickups are phenomenally expensive, so that's out; I've tried cheap piezo-style transducers instead. Through my guitar amp (which is super for my acoustic bass guitar) they give me a sound like kicking a suitcase. Through my 25w practice bass amp the sound is better, but still not as good a bass tone as I want. I suspect that through my Ashdown 180w bass combo even the cheap transducers will sound better, but that amp is too heavy to cart round all the time.   

I suspect that my best course is to ditch the idea of a pick-up, and to play through a mike positioned in front of the bass - I suspect that a bass through a microphone and a PA amp will sound far better than the transducer method.

Does anyone have any useful experience?

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