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Author Topic: MB-1 for guitar? Oh yeah..  (Read 5107 times)

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van Sinn

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MB-1 for guitar? Oh yeah..
« on: Time Format »

Over the years I never really hooked guitars to my MB-1, other than for some brief testing.
Just did some more extensive testing, and what a most cool guitar processor it is!
While distortion isn't up to Big Hair Metal standards, the cleans, crisps and crunches has some serious powwow.
The compressor, being post-preamp, works very different than in i.e. the MP-2; it keeps the sound solid without sounding squashed.
And the chorus has an interesting ability to have a ringing effect to it, almost small reverb sound-alike.

It makes my old Dan Armstrong, modded with MightMite Motherbucker and ToM/tail, stand out like cut from a solid sonic wall.
Going to hook it up to a Digitech TSR-24S or Lexicon Vortex for having that proverbial Simple Minds cutting-through rhythm-sync'd multitab delay sound.
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rnolan

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Re: MB-1 for guitar? Oh yeah..
« Reply #1 on: Time Format »

Hey Van, when my my MB1s' arrived I had a brief play with a guitar through one of them and was quite impressed for cleans. I never got back to using guitar again yet as I bought the bass and that has been keeping me entertained.

Any pics of this Dan Armstrong ?  Haven't seen much of them since I was quite young.
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Peter H. Boer

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Re: MB-1 for guitar? Oh yeah..
« Reply #2 on: Time Format »

 :thumb-up: :thumb-up:
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rnolan

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Re: MB-1 for guitar? Oh yeah..
« Reply #3 on: Time Format »

Actually, I have to say the MB-1 is a very underrated preamp (well not with Peter LoL, or now me BTW), it was way ahead of its time and still holds its own easily among the bass offerings.  I was checking out a video on the Bergantino B|Amp yesterday, (http://bergantino.com/product/bamp-bass-instrument-amplifier/), apart from the built in power amp, the MB-1 had it all covered plus more (and better) years ago.
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Harley Hexxe

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Re: MB-1 for guitar? Oh yeah..
« Reply #4 on: Time Format »

   The MB-1 is everything to bass guitar that the MP-1 is to lead guitar. I still have one, and have no plans to sell it because I'm shopping around for a bass guitar to have on hand for my recordings here at home. It's probably not going to be any kind of top of the line name brand, and I'm undecided about a 4 or 5 string bass, but when I get one, at least I'll have the MB-1 to plug it into.
   The only issue at that time will be what kind of poweramp and speakers to hook it up with, since all the ADA gear seems to have a home with other bass players by now.

     Harley 8)
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rnolan

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Re: MB-1 for guitar? Oh yeah..
« Reply #5 on: Time Format »

Hey Harley, 2 entry level basses worth checking out (IMO) are the Squire Jag (short scale) and the Music man Subs (5 string looks better than the 4 string).  There's a bunch of posts I made about them when a friend decided to get into bass playing, he bought the Jag first then gravitated to the sub.  But these days there's so much choice....
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Samuraipanda

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Re: MB-1 for guitar? Oh yeah..
« Reply #6 on: Time Format »

Hey Harley,
I've had lots of good bass tones from my Ibanez soundgear Bass from the late 80's early 90's. really good active preamp on board. $80.00 on Craigslist.
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Dante

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Re: MB-1 for guitar? Oh yeah..
« Reply #7 on: Time Format »

Hey Harley,
I've had lots of good bass tones from my Ibanez soundgear Bass from the late 80's early 90's. really good active preamp on board. $80.00 on Craigslist.
I have a Soundgear too, they play very nice and the active EQ is HOT.  :thumb-up:
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van Sinn

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Re: MB-1 for guitar? Oh yeah..
« Reply #8 on: Time Format »

The Harley Benton 5-string fretless is quite good - and dirt cheap.
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Harley Hexxe

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Re: MB-1 for guitar? Oh yeah..
« Reply #9 on: Time Format »

Hey Gang,

     Thanks for the suggestions, I've already checked out some of those and here's what I've figured out so far:

   @ Richard, I've looked at Squires and MIM Fender Jazz and P-Basses, and came to the same conclusion about both; The hardware as well as the electronics would be something I'd end up replacing on either one. New bridge, tuners, and better pots, along with DiMarzio stacked humbuckers. In the end, the cost would be almost as much as the American Standard series, which I'd still replace the pickups on anyway.
    The Sterling Ray series basses also have a flimsy bridge on them, and I'm not too sure about the active electronics. The Stingray basses have a Mid-cut adjustment as well as high and low, but MusicMan seems to have the best active electronics on bass guitars out of all of them. (Not counting high-end basses like Alembic and similar brands).

   @ Panda and Dante, one of the bass players I worked with in Toxxsick a few years ago, had one of those Soundgear basses, and it didn't really sound as good as his passive bass in a live band mix, I don't know why. He played through a Hardke bi-amped system, and it didn't really have any clarity on the high end EQ, plus there was a noticeable hum with that bass when he plugged it in, so he didn't use it much. I suppose it could have had a short in the circuit somewhere, but I'm not looking for another technical puzzle to solve.

    @ Vansinn, a fretless is a cool unique sound to be sure, but that's the beauty of the MB-1, it already has a factory preset to make an electric bass sound like a fretless, so that eliminates an extra instrument if you need that sound.

    One of my concerns about an active circuit in a bass in the MB-1 would be if I added gain to a preset, would I get an electronic hum with it? That includes any bass with an active EQ or preamp that takes a 9 volt battery.

       Harley 8)
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van Sinn

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Re: MB-1 for guitar? Oh yeah..
« Reply #10 on: Time Format »

    @ Vansinn, a fretless is a cool unique sound to be sure, but that's the beauty of the MB-1, it already has a factory preset to make an electric bass sound like a fretless, so that eliminates an extra instrument if you need that sound.

What? MB-1 can slide your fingers up'n'down the shaft? It can have that moiing sound? It can sound like a set of Chromes on an ebony board?
(exit joke)

Quote
    One of my concerns about an active circuit in a bass in the MB-1 would be if I added gain to a preset, would I get an electronic hum with it? That includes any bass with an active EQ or preamp that takes a 9 volt battery.

MB-1 won't add/create hum when using the EQ. If your instrument produces hum, upping the [MB-1] low bass control will of course boost the hum level it's being fed with..
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rnolan

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Re: MB-1 for guitar? Oh yeah..
« Reply #11 on: Time Format »

Hey Harley, the MB1 will cope with whatever you throw at it.  Some of the factory presets are for passive PUs and some for active.  I've had no gain issues with either active or passive based presets with the Alembic active circuit, they all work fine  >:D well actually better than fine, more like sublime  :whoohoo!: The presets (attached chart) show a 9v battery icon for the active inspired presets.

Obviously what bass to go for depends on your wallet (no doubt LoL).  I found the Squire Jag hardware to be ok for the price point, and yes you could change it all...
The MM Subs are great value IMO, and the PU/electronics are very good, not "quite" as good as the much more expensive MM Stingray, but very close, again I was impressed and they set up very nicely, although I'd only go for the 5 string just from a "looks" perspective.  Do you want a long scale though ??

When my 2 MB-1s arrived from their rehabilitation in Belgium (go MJMP  :bow: ) I kind of had the same/similar quandary, ok now I need a bass.... so what to buy...  While it was allot of money  :facepalm: the Alembic SC Brown short scale (30.5 inch) basses are just awesome, particularly for a guitarist (like you or I), but even 2nd hand (and there are a few around) they are serious coin.  However, if you got your hands on one you'll just wet yourself they are that good.  Fortuitously for me, my falling for the bass I bought coincided with the Banks offering 0% credit cards so I can pay it off.

I played a $6.7k Suhr (P bass ?) along this journey, nice bass and quite similar to a very nice L Series P Bass I re-fretted along time ago (when I did guitar repairs etc), though not in the same league as the Alembics and you can get one 2nd hand for that sort of money.

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Harley Hexxe

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Re: MB-1 for guitar? Oh yeah..
« Reply #12 on: Time Format »

Hey Richard,

    I'll probably go for the long scale bass since the last bass I had, ( Gibson Victory ), was a long scale, and I had no problems playing it. It was just a very bright sounding bass that didn't seem to have enough bottom end. and it was rather heavy, (solid maple body and neck).
    So, the active circuitry all depends on the shielding in the guitar itself from any interference it might pick up from surrounding electronics.
    There have been a lot of bass players over the years who have inspired me to pick up the instrument and learn it better, among the  them are Tony Levin,  Stu Hamm, Randy Coven, Billy Sheehan, Dave Hope, T.M. Stevens, duG pinnick, and Micheal Anthony to name a few.
    There are a lot of basses on Evil Bay in various price ranges, and while I haven't compared MM SUBS to Stingrays, I did compare the Sterling JP50 to the MM JPX, and found there is quite a difference in tone. The playability of both were very good, but the Sterling doesn't give you the electronics that you get with the MM, and the Sterling was darker sounding. I'm sure I would notice something similar with the bass guitars.
   Do you have that preset chart in .pdf format? I don't have MS Office on my laptop. I might be able to open that with one of my older laptops, because I have older versions of Office, but they don't work in Windows 8.1.
    While John Suhr makes some fine instruments, I've never been a fan. As for Alembic, I played a few back in the day. Like Rickenbacker basses, they just don't feel right in my hands, so I probably won't be looking at any of those. A friend of mine has a John Entwistle Explorer model he's been trying to sell me, but I just don't like the feel of it.

      Harley 8)
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rnolan

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Re: MB-1 for guitar? Oh yeah..
« Reply #13 on: Time Format »

Hey Harley, pdf attached  :wave: I got it from the back of the MB-1 v2 release notes (also attached but is also in the MB-1 mods area IIRC.  I made a .doc and .pdf so I could print it.
The MM Sub is definitely worth checking out if your happy with a long scale.  The electronics are fine, no interference or anything.  And while not being quite as good as the original MMs (which are very nice sounding basses), they are close.  Hardware was also pretty good, and not very expensive (around $600 - $800 AUD IIRC).  If you get a chance give one a try, see what you think.
Cheers R
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Harley Hexxe

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Re: MB-1 for guitar? Oh yeah..
« Reply #14 on: Time Format »

Thanks Richard,

     I think I have the preset chart somewhere, but it's been years since I've seen it. I didn't have the release notes though. I doubt I'll be doing much with MIDI CC in the MB-1 though. For the most part, I like a bass to be just that, a solid low end groove, and any volume swells work better with a passive volume pedal IMHO.
   We'll see what kind of a bass I eventually end up with and go from there. So many choices out there :o

     Harley 8)
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