The Gear Page (for the double bass geeks)

Us double bass players need help! Carrying the thing around is difficult enough... playing it: don't get me started, the many many many hours of pain and frustration that never ever end... and then, when we get on stage, if we don't choose the right gear, we sound like a tin of sardines!

So, this page is not a show-off endorser page, but just my contribution to the cause of the struggling double bass player in search of a decent live sound. Over the years I have learnt what works for me...unfortunately this may not work for everyone...

1) MY BASSES

I have 2 basses. My own main bass is a lovely big carved bass made in England by Ken Miller in 2006. It is very unusual, full of battle scars and character (a bit like myself), and I am in love with her. She's called Fortuna

 

Fortuna

Fortuna

My other bass is a plywood called Mags, with Frank Zappa stickers on and frankly it's not the best sounding bass in the world, but it has a lovely story of kindness attached to it. I use it for festivals and spaces where I'd be nervous to take Fortuna.

Mags with Freak out sticker

Mags with Freak out sticker

2) STRINGS

Fortuna:

I use a modified set of strings to meet my needs: I love the power and growl of steels at the bottom, and the sweetness of gut at the top, so...

E - Thomastik Spirocore Stark E (4/4 length) -

A: Thomastik Spirocore Mittel 4/4. They need no explanation http://www.thomastik-infeld.com/family-detail/Spirocore%20Bass  they are the quintessential growly, muscular, precise and wonderful double bass strings in my opinion)

I also like Danny Thompson's own strings made by the Bass Centre http://www.basscentre.com/elites-signature-series/elites-danny-thompson-double-bass-strings.html

D - Pirastro Oliv

G - Damian Dlugolecki gut G tension 45 www.damianstrings.com

(Mags bass at the moment has a full set of Spiros Mittel)

3) PICKUPS

I love my Remic 5400 and 5400LB microphones. At the moment I am using the 5400LB https://www.remic.dk/shop/upright-bass/remic-d-5400-lb/

For festivals and places where I need volume and I'm worried about feedback, I blend the Remic with a Krivo magnetic pickup. The sound is less pure, but no feedback... can’t use a magnetic pickup on gut strings though...https://www.krivopickups.com/store/p6/The_Krivo_Magnetic_Pickup_for_Upright_Bass.html

4) PREAMPS

An essential part of any gigs on double bass. I use the wonderful Acoustic Box II from Vintage Revolution. This and the Remic have been total game changers for me https://www.vintage-revolution.com/acousticbox2

5) AMP

I almost never use an amp, but if needs arise, my favourite is the Markbass CMD121P http://www.markbass.it/product-detail/mini-cmd-121p/

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