Apr 11 2015

Pimping My Bass With John East, Part II

*** Geek Alert!! Non-bassists might find this post a bit boring but I don’t care***

***Brace yourselves boys and girls!! ***

Welcome to Spring folks!

A lot has happened since my last post when I first visited bass maestro John East at his workshop with my Marcus Miller bass. Those of you that have been following my updates on Twitter and Facebook will be well aware of all the various gear I’ve bought and sold over the last six weeks or so. But that is for another post entirely…

John East Triumph Bass #4

This post is a little late coming (apologies for that) as I actually visited John again a few weeks ago now. This time I took back my beloved Warwick Triumph electric upright bass. In the fortnight since our previous encounter, John had been busy building a brand new custom preamp for the Triumph.

Based on his famous J-Retro design, the new preamp features stacked bass/treble (with a pull/push bright switch), stacked volume/pan and a stacked parametric mid control. Very much like the Marcus-retro preamp in fact.

John East Triumph Bass #6

Having now done couple of gigs on the Marcus bass since John’s modifications I can now firmly say that his system is by far the best preamp I have ever used! The vast array of tones now available to me from the one bass is astounding. From the classic Marcus slap tone right down to a convincing P-bass thump; it’s all there.

John East Triumph Bass #1

I was very excited to see what John could do for the Triumph. It has always had a beautiful sound of it’s own but with only the one tone control and pickup blend (magnetic/piezo), the tonal variations possible were incredibly limited. I was relying heavily on amp EQ to get my sound. Which basically requires quite a lot of extra high-midrange boost and a touch more bottom end.

John East Triumph Bass #5

It ended up being quite a long process to balance the two pickup systems. The original Warwick preamp had some kind of passive mixer so some on-the-fly modifications had to be made when it came to fitting it. The bass now sounds incredible! Like the Marcus-Retro it offers complete control over the tone of the instrument and now I can set the amp flat for total onboard tone-shaping. The bright switch is like a secret weapon on this bass!

John East Triumph Bass #2

We’ve got a little more tweaking to do in order to match the response of the two pickups (I will be paying John one last flying visit sometime soon for the fine-tuning!) but I am over the moon with what he’s achieved. I recommend anyone with one of these instruments (or any electric upright that has space for it) to get in touch with John for this upgrade. He’s a genius.

My next post will invariably also be about gear so apologies to those of you in search of glamorous touring tales and photos! The big bass gear-shift continues. Next up for sale will most likely be my entire looping rig. You heard it right folks. I’m desperate;y trying to scale right down so everything is as portable and lightweight as possible. I’m halfway there with the amp rig but the looping rig is next. If you’re in the market to seriously upgrade your looping rig, I have the perfect solution for you. Send me a message on Twitter or whatever.

Until then…

Simon Little's Bass Rig 10/04/15

Oct 12 2012

Gear Clearout Alert!!!

Hello folks,

Just a quick post to let the bassists and guitarists among you know about a couple of bits of gear I have just posted up on eBay for sale.

First is my Lexicon MPX G2 guitar effects processor and R1 midi controller. This is the processor I used to create all the sounds on my first album Mandala (CD’s still available by the way… hint hint). And those of you familiar with Steve Lawson (aka the mighty @solobasssteve), this is the unit he uses for all his solo bass work. It’s a great piece of kit and they are pretty hard to come by, especially here in the UK. Here’s the link…

Lexicon MPXG2/R1 Controller

The second offering is my beloved Warwick ProTube IX bass amp. I bought this from a guy who got it from Cass Lewis from Skunk Anansie. It sounds absolutely amazing and has been my backup amp for a couple of years. I’m attempting to scale down my bass rigs at the moment and this is just a bit too hefty for my usual requirements so I’m letting it go. The fan is a bit loud once it’s revved up and the little W light doesn’t light up anymore but these are minor issues. The amp works a treat. And it’s essentially 1000 watts. Which is rather powerful folks. Here’s the link…

Warwick ProTube IX

Happy bidding folks!

I’ll be at Nolia’s 11 on Stamford Street, Waterloo tonight 9-12 with the Alex Hutton Trio if you’re about. Hopefully see some of you there.

Until next time…