Upton Bass offers a selection of high quality bass preamps, pickups, amps, and cables. Many of us here are regular gigging bassists and have the opportunity to play on many different systems, so we know the ins and outs of trying to amplify your upright bass. The need to increase the volume of the double bass has created what we refer to as the “signal chain,” which includes the bass pickup, cable, preamp, and amplifier.
Take a look at our Rev Solo Double Bass Pickup for a great first link in the chain, couple that with an Acoustic Image Ten2 Double Bass Amp and…watch out…the sound is all you and your bass, only louder!
So, what is the “signal chain”, you ask? The “signal chain” is all of the pieces of the puzzle between you (the musician) and your audience.
First is the Bass pickup, most being Piezoelectric Ceramic Crystals, or just called piezos by many today. From the Greek word piezo, which means to squeeze or press, the piezo crystals are “squeezed” by the vibrations of your instrument and give off an electrical charge (voltage) that is sent along the signal chain via your cable. The different pickups we sell have different qualities, like strings do, and matching the right pickup for your instrument and style is as important as the strings you choose. Our luthiers can help guide you in your pickup selection!
Often you will hear the word impedance when talking about pickups. Impedance is a way of telling you how much of the voltage introduced at one end (the pickup) will really make it to the other end (the amplifier). A good cable is essential in making sure a strong, clean signal is being sent along. Too many times we see musicians using old, worn out, soldered, or duct taped cables. For the relatively low cost of a good quality cable, treat yourself (and your band mates!) to a fresh cable!
Third is a preamp, a near-essential tool in making sure the signal coming from the pickup is fully making it’s way to the amplifier, but not always needed. Many top quality amplifiers today meant for the double bass have a built in pre amp, but if you rely on house PA systems or often borrow equipment, a pre amp is a great way of brining some predictability to your tone and putting a lot of control at your fingertips. Often overlooked…it can seem like a mysterious little device, but our luthiers can help you to decipher the mystery!
The last piece of equipment in the signal chain is your amplifier. For the bassist who plays out for a living, a good sounding, reliable amp is as important as your double bass. So much can be packed into such a small unit today, accurate amplification has never been more portable than it is today!