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Bassbone V2 USING & APPLICATIONS

The following page is a quick guide that describes how to use the Bassbone V2. For full details, feel free to download the complete manual by clicking on the icon at left.

Introduction

The Bassbone V2 is extremely powerful, yet simple to operate. There are two instrument inputs with separate level and EQ controls for each. It is equipped with a ¼" output to feed a bass amp, an effects loop, separate tuner output and a low-Z balanced Radial DI output to feed the PA or recording system.

Make sure the volume level on your amp and audio system are turned down before making connections. This will help avoid plug-in and turn-on transients that can damage more sensitive components such as tweeters. There is no power switch on the Bassbone V2. As soon as you connect the 15VDC power supply, it will turn on.

Making connections

In order to familiarize yourself with the Bassbone V2, we suggest you start with one bass, connecting it to the ¼" input on channel-1 and the ¼" stage amp output to your bass amp. Always test at a low volume and set the Bassbone's channel-1 level to around two o'clock. Channel-1 is equipped with a 3-position EQ switch that is used to set the character of the primary bass. Start by setting this to the flat or off position and adjust the tone on your amp to suit. Try experimenting with the EQ switch. This introduces two carefully crafted preset EQ curves that are designed to bring a more modern character to older vintage bass amps that may not have the tonal range needed for a particular gig.

When using only one instrument, you can still enjoy the power of both channels as input-2 is equipped with an innovative switching jack that automatically routes the signal from input-1 to channel-2. Simply depress the select footswitch to switch to channel-2. Here, you will find a very powerful EQ that can be used to sculpt the tone of your bass and override the EQ settings on your amp. Start by setting the EQ with the controls set to 12 o'clock and experiment by rotating the knobs. The passive-interactive EQ is so powerful that you can dramatically increase or decrease the output of the bass, depending on the settings. Simply compensate by adjusting the gain settings on your amp.

It is important to note that the Bassbone V2 is a unity gain device. In other words, it is not designed to boost the signal on your amp – only manage it. Your amp is still the main signal driver and should be used to determine the level on stage. Once you are familiar with the settings, you can now add a second bass and toggle between them.

Setting the impedance on the pickup

Years ago, we discovered that by varying the load or impedance on the pickup, you could dramatically change the tone and response of the instrument. We found out that passive basses like a Fender Jazz or P-bass sound warm and natural when they 'see' a 220k-ohm load while active basses do not react at all to the input impedance as they are already buffered by the internal battery powered preamp inside the bass. To this end, we set the default impedance on the Bassbone V2 to 220k-ohms. We also figured out why piezo pickups often sound terrible! Turns out that in order to get a piezo to sound good, you need to elevate the impedance to a much higher level.

Blending two pickups together

Some basses are equipped with a stereo output that lets you combine the sound of a magnetic pickup with a piezo transducer. To address this eventuality, the Bassbone V2 is equipped with a BLEND switch that turns both inputs on at the same time. Connect using a ¼" TRS to dual ¼" jack cable. This common 'insert' cable takes the dual source from the bass and then splits it using the Y output for each of the Bassbone V2's channels. As channel-1 is optimized for magnetic pickups and input-2 can be set for piezos (with PZB on), make sure you connect your bass accordingly.

Depress the recessed set & forget BLEND switch so that it is in the 'in' position and you can now control each of the pickups independently using the channel-1 and channel-2 controls. If combining a condenser mic with a pickup, add a Radial SB-48UB 48V phantom power supply and it will convert the low-Z balanced output to a hi-Z output suitable for the Bassbone V2.

Using the effects loop

The Bassbone-V2 is equipped with an on-board effects loop that lets you assign your pedals to either bass-1, bass-2 or both by setting the 3-position loop switch to the desired setting. Connecting pedals is done using standard ¼" guitar cables beginning from the send jack to the pedals and then back to the Bassbone-V2 via the receive jack. In order to familiarize yourself with the setup, start with one effects pedal. This will make trouble shooting much easier.

Set the LOOP ASSIGN switch to BOTH, and the WET-DRY control to 12 o'clock. Activate the loop using the footswitch. The LED will illuminate to let you know you are set to go. You should now hear your effect. If you do not, check the level on the effect to make sure it is on, then rotate the wet-dry control to either increase or decrease the amount of effect you hear in comparison to your natural bass tone. In some instances, you will want a lot of effect, in others only a little bit. Have fun and experiment.

If you notice that the sound becomes thin when using certain pedals, the pedal may be inadvertently reversing the phase. This is a common problem with pedals. A 180° polarity reverse switch is used to fix the problem. Simply push in the recessed switch using a small screwdriver and this will bring the phase on the effects loop back to normal.

Using the power booster

The Bassbone V2 power booster is designed to do more than simply add gain for soloing. It can also be used to compensate when using certain effects that may reduce the bass output. You merely stomp on the footswitch to activate and adjust the amount of boost to suit.

As the power-boost function is not required by all bass players, we added a second function whereby you can assign the footswitch so that when depressed, the stage amp and DI box outputs are muted, leaving the tuner output on. To use it this way, push in the recessed set & forget side access switch to the LOOP position and connect your tuner to the Bassbone V2's dedicated tuner output.

The built-in Radial direct box

The Bassbone V2's built-in Radial direct box is equipped with a separate XLR male output to feed a mixer. This is a mic level output, designed to run alongside microphone signals in a snake without causing crosstalk and is connected to the mic preamp input on the mixing console.

It is important to note that the XLR output of the Bassbone V2 is post-everything. This means that all of the Bassbone's EQ and volume settings will be heard on the XLR output. This is of particular advantage when playing gigs without a sound engineer as the bass signal going to the mixer will be boosted or altered to follow your Bassbone settings. An example would be on a solo where the engineer would normally increase the bass volume. By engaging the Bassbone's power booster, the level would increase on your bass amp and at the mixer at the same time.

The XLR out is particularly cool for studio session work or small coffee house gigs where bringing an amplifier would be an extra hassle. Simply connect the Bassbone's XLR output to the mixer and use the Bassbone as your miniature amp. All your EQ settings are now right at your feet!

The XLR male connector is wired to AES standards with pin-1 being ground and pin-2 hot. A ground-lift switch disconnects the audio ground on pin-1 at the output to help reduce hum and buzz caused by so-called 'ground-loops'.

Using the Bassbone V2 for Recording

If you have read through the various pages on this site, you know that the Bassbone V2 is in fact a preamp designed specifically for bass guitar. The magic lies in the warm sounding EQ and ultra quiet operation. Connecting the Bassbone's balanced lo-Z direct out to your mixer, or favorite mic-pre, blossoms into the ideal front-end for direct recording. Simply plug in and play!

How will it sound? Well, that depends on how you set the tones. Will Lee uses the Bassbone for many of his session gigs and you can hear it on recordings by George Benson and Billy Joel. Nathan East recently recorded several album cuts for Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Alicia Keys using the Bassbone. Suffice to say that some of the world's best bassists use the Bassbone every day to do their job.