Gear Lesson, Gear Lesson

Paul Warren's picture

The Importance of a Good Setup

I want to talk briefly about bass guitar setup. Many of us think we have a handle on setup issues, I know I did, but this isn't always the case. Let me tell you what happened to me and how it has affected my playing then judge for yourself how important proper setup is.

How to EQ your PA

Tips on how to get the most out of your PA at a live gig.

Cheap Studios

Why not to record at the cheapest bidder's studio

Preparing for the gig

How to make sure you show up prepared, and with all your gear.

jamesnotjim's picture

Recording Bass: Mics vs. DI

There are two ways to get your bass into your computer or other recording device. You can choose Direct Input (DI) or use a microphone. This brief article discusses both approaches.

DIY Bass Setup Guide

Here's a little guide to how you can make your beloved bass feel better. I know this has all been said in the FretBuzz forums over at ActiveBass many times before, but I thought I'd make it a little more structured and easier for the beginners to understand. Remember, nothing is set in stone when it comes to bass set-ups. Some like the action high, some like it low, etc. This guide is an explanation of how I've always done my own set-up (and a few other peoples), and there are as many ways of doing this as there are bass players. You'll eventually find the set-up that suits you the best, and then you choose the way of achieving that set-up that suits you best.

Buying a Bass Online

There can be many reasons for wanting to buy a bass via the Internet. Maybe you live in a place with no music stores? Maybe the only music store in your area only carries Fender? Maybe you came across a great deal on ebay? Whatever the reason is, buying on the Internet is not always as straight foreward as it might seem. There are some dodgy people out there who will rip you off if you're not careful. I've talked to quite a few people to whom this has happend, so here's some tips you can apply if you consider buying a bass via the Internet.

Understanding Materials: Graphite

Most of us have heard about graphite necks and graphite bodies. Flea [bassist the Red Hot Chili Peppers] is often seen playing a Modulus with a graphite neck, so is Oteil Burbridge, Stefan Lessard, and many others. [Who bassist] John Entwistle even had a whole bass made from graphite. Some companies use graphite for the body, many use it for the neck, and many more us graphite rods to make wooden necks stronger. Both Status Graphite and Moses Graphite offer replacement graphite necks for your bass, as well as graphite bridges and nuts. Steinberger and Modulus are two household name companies that use graphite to a large extent in their basses. So, what exactly is graphite, and why is it a good material for basses?

Physics of Bass

This article is intended to explain the actual physics of how a bass guitar works. I'll start with explaining some of the theory involved around the movement of the strings, and how different tones, or pitches, are achieved. Next I'll explain how this movement of the strings interact with the pickups to produce a signal that can be transfered to the amplifier. The last bit of the signal chain, from the amp input to the speaker cone, will not be covered in depth, but will get a superficial explanation. I don't assume any advanced physics skills from the reader, so I'll try to keep things as simple as possible.

Amps & Cabs 101

The purpose of this article is to explain how amps and cabs work together in a rig. I'm going to explain how the power from the amp is distributed to cabs, and what effect the cab load has on the amp's power output. I'll show the three most common combinations of amp and cabs, and explain how you can calculate loads.

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