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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Strings and things
Dean Pace Bass
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Wout Blommers



Joined: Sep 07, 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 1:00 am    Post subject: Dean Pace Bass Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi,

Anyone some experiences using the Dean Pace Bass?
http://www.deanguitars.com/bnds_v1/pacebass_cb.htm
I bought a new one just yesterday and although it's a wonderful instrument, its electronics are almost useless...

First of all the bass has the looks. An audience will know for sure what kind of music they can expect by just seeing the instrument on stage.
Secondly playing it is pure joy! It plays smooth and easy and compared to my two double basses (9/10 and 3/4) it's like taking a break.
The strings and finger board are capable to get a wonderful intonation and expression to the tone. I was surprized!
Using a strap I can play it like a normal bass guitar and when using 'The Stick' technique tapping the strings with both hands my under arm may rest on the flat side Smile BTW the strings produce very nice over tones...

Going to the practise location will be much easier then transporting a double bass: I can leave the car at home Smile

Only the electronics, which are very important, sucks.
Hum, crackling, buzzing, you name it, all is delivered with the music, even a distortion on just one string. Sometimes it's clean and how it has to be, but only one movement of the instrument, like replacing it to another side of the room, is enough to get in trouble... To bad!

Now I'm thinking, besides returning it to the shop, to replace the electronics. Somebody has some experiences with that? I want to play this instrument. To me it could be a wonderful addition to my creative needs Very Happy

Wout
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Haha, what a cool guitar! I didn't know about this "stick" concept, are there others? That would be a perfect core for my chainmaille guitar concept. About replacing the electronics, you could try my alternate pickup idea from this thread:

http://www.electro-music.com/forum/topic-31138.html

It should work best on a bass due to the larger string motion. Good luck!

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Oskar



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

First off, what a cool piece of kit, congrats, Wout!
I cehecked the link, and I couldn't really tell from the pics what the actual layout of the bridge area is; Off the cuff I can think of a couple of scenarios, neither of which I'm sure would suit the instrument or your needs, but here goes anyway:

- Is it possible to retrofit a Fishman (or indeed, any other brand that provides similar products) bridge with built in piezo pickups? To me, the bridge area looks slightly rounded, which might mean this solution calls for a routing of that area, which is a serious operation to subject an isntrument, and there's no "Undo!"

- There are a few really good contact mics for double bass, and although this is a slightly different beast, maybe one of these might do the trick? Some of these sound really good, and also, they shouldn't affect the visuals of the instrument.

Silly question, but this sounds like a faulty piece of merchandise, so have you asked the shop where you bought it if they can fix it, or at least find out if the electronics are inherently useless?


Lastly, some possibly unnecessary tips, here are the names of some manufacturers of pickups and preamps that might have a solution for you:
Fishman
Schertler
L R Baggs
B-Band
Barcus Berry
Ehrlund Acoustic
Sunrise
Gas Cooker

Not having tried them all, and not being at all knowledgeable about electronics, I'm not going to tell you which of these might be suitable, but they all have received good reviews (and some bad ones obviously), and they all have well respected musos using them on stage and in the studio.

Wout, your bass looks real cool, maybe I should look into getting one of those too!

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Oskar



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A little follow-up from Harmony-Central. Apparently, you're not the only one to have experienced problems of this sort.

Cliky da linky:

http://reviews.harmony-central.com/reviews/Electric+Bass/product/Dean+Guitars/Pace+Bass/10/1

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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yep!
I found this review!
Quote:
This is a follow up to my previous review. I was playing a gig and suddenly the bass developed a HUGE hum during the first set. It went away but as I was waiting to go back on at the end of the night (it was a one day mini-festival and the act was opening and closing) I was jamming backstage and the hum returned big time, but intermittently. I ended up using my Precision for the last set.

As I had to fly out to Goulburn for the Australian Blues Festival a couple of days later, and I can't trust any of the local so-called repair people to respond in a timely manner to what was an emergency for me, I decided to do some trouble-shooting myself

Obviously it was a grounding issue so I decided to start at the bridge - voila! This bass has a problem with it obviousy being designed to be slung together quickly by unskilled labour. The ground wire comes out of a hole drilled in the body between the electronics cavity and the bridge then the bridge is just clamped down on top of the wire. After a time, the wire presses a little indent into the body wood, becomes loose, and contact between the bridge and the ground wire becomes intermittent.

Easily fixed by someone with some basic electronics skills (like me), but not something which should be an issue on a nearly new instrument, and I can see it being a major unnecessary panic situation for someone electronically-challenged who has to run off to the repair dude for every little hiccup.
Now finding someone with more skills then I have concerning electronics...

Blue Hell!!!

Wout
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ouch ... my eyes Laughing

See you next Sunday then I guess ... or can't you wait that long Wink

Sounds simpler than I thought, from the earlier descriptions it sounded like the piezo pickups themselves would be bad, which would be hard to fix probably.

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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I told you all he's a nice guy Smile
Didn't I?
Well, he is!

Jan, I have to ask my chauffeur about it.
Right now she's cleaning the car... Wink

And I will talk to the shop first, I think.

Man, the control over the sound using that Pace Bass...

Wout
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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It's the only bass 'guitar' on which solo/melody playing sounds nice! It can sing like a Stratocaster...

Wout
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wout Blommers wrote:
And I will talk to the shop first, I think.


It's not 6 o'clock yet, car all cleansed, driver not working elsewhere ... so what are you waiting for ... hmm ... shop closed on Mondays maybe thinking

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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Blue Hell wrote:
... hmm ... shop closed on Mondays maybe thinking
Feedback, that is, for sure...
M-Works, the distributor, can't find any instruments left in their warehouse, so distributions is discontinued. If there is no good working guitar left in the shop, then there will be an arguement Smile

Anyway, Lise wants to come to your place and see her sister too; Menno we don't ask Smile

Wout
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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Tomorrow, if this instrument is still in my possession, I'll open up and take some pictures, publish them here to see what components are used. Maybe the jack connector has to be replaced also.

Wout
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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Oskar wrote:
... Silly question, but this sounds like a faulty piece of merchandise, so have you asked the shop where you bought it if they can fix it, or at least find out if the electronics are inherently useless? ...
Indeed, first things first. I went back to the shop and had a nice talk Smile
The Dean Pace Bass costs in The Netherlands € 832.- including stand and case. The retailer sold it in the past for € 699.-, only lately for € 499, including only the case, so I bought the instrument.

Gladly I received the case, in which was a little note telling the bridge had to be glued, which was done, although the glue was on the instrument (very easy to wipe away, which I didn't do, of course not! Evil or Very Mad).

I phoned the distributor before who told me no Dean Pace Basses were left in their warehouse, so the argument: "We order a new one for you." could be replied by: "Do you really expect the distributor will buy one special for me?" Very Happy
"We'll repair for you." could be replied by: "You didn't notice the failure when glueing the bridge, so I don't have really much faith in a second repair job. You could have told me about the first one though."

My most important argument was I wanted to play the instrument...

I told them I found information on the Net about the troubles (Thank you, guys) and arranged help by finding a solution to the problem, but I have to do the job myself and surely not for the price I paid. They were willing to refund me € 100.-, which I considered to less. I offered them to accept it and to sort things out with the owner of the shop, which I happen to know (Blue Hell and me meet the guy at least once a year at the Frankfurter Messe and he indeed knows who we are) although I added I didn't like to do that. It was the signal for them to go to the floor manager (It's the largest music shop concerning this kind of instruments in The Netherlands). They came back with an extra € 45.- , so I paid € 354.- which I think is almost 'clean of the hook', as we Dutch say...
Quote:
Wout, your bass looks real cool, maybe I should look into getting one of those too!
It surely does. It's an eye catcher on stage.
It can be played in three different ways, which I tried out. This is not promoted by the manufactory, which always shows the bass in a fixed position on the stand. Even on You-Tube the bass is fixed. IMHO this is the worst way to play an upright bass Very Happy All reviews tell the ball-head is used to set the instrument in the angle requested by its player, but it's much more natural to use it in a free rolling condition, so you can swing the bass in every direction you normally do playing a double bass. Because the instrument it highly sensitive to this kind of action, I think this is very important. Secondly, leaving the upper part of the stand attached to the body one can use it sitting in a normal chair holding the bass like a cello. (I bought a steel tube cut down to the desired length, which fits into the attachment clamp instead using the ball head construction) At my old age it's not nice to stand that long Wink I use to stick on a rubber cap for more grip to the floor. And at last using a strap you can I play it like a common bass guitar, having a wonderful flat upper side on which your thumb may rest and even, when tapping the strings, your complete under arm...
Quote:
There are a few really good contact mics for double bass, and although this is a slightly different beast, maybe one of these might do the trick? Some of these sound really good, and also, they shouldn't affect the visuals of the instrument.
I know. Today I tried the Schertler Basik and it makes sound, but there is to much extra noise. When the instrument works (after hitting it hard on the back and threathening to beat it up completely) there is almost no unwanted noises.
I'll go on researching the Net and even read the thread about your new way of pick up. I also like to try a normal coil pick up, if there is a rathe flat one available.

I'll try to make the photographs as soon as possible.

Wout

Last edited by Wout Blommers on Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:08 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Oskar



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Happy New Year, Wout!

A long shot, but I came across this manufacturer that apparently makes a combination bass bridge (adjustable along several axes) and piezo pickup.

http://www.rmcpickup.com/powrbass.html

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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Oskar wrote:
Happy New Year, Wout!
Happy New Year to you also Smile
Quote:
http://www.rmcpickup.com/powrbass.html
I think that's the one on the Pace Bass!! Thanks!

Not clear to see in the picture, but anyway...

Wout


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The same saddles?
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wout Blommers wrote:
picture


OT : I love it how you often have a border around pics Very Happy

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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Blue Hell wrote:
OT : I love it how you often have a border around pics Very Happy
Yeah... Some results of five years study on the Royal Academy of Arts, department photographic design Shocked
But sure looks proffesional Smile

Wout


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Publicity for my wife's shop about winning a bicycle when the costumer would guess the weight of the cheese.
Reached almost every local news paper. The black border line or het smile? :-)
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Oskar



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Any news, Wout?
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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Oskar wrote:
Any news, Wout?
Yes, the 'hum' due to bad grounding is gone. Now the bad A string sound is the next chapter. The URL you send me last monday was right about the strange wire underneath the pick-up. I took pictures, but aren't able to upload these yet, so maybe tomorrow.

I made contact with the distributor about the A string to check what replacements they still have in stock. First I will replace the string, because it's a bad one: no flagiolette possible, so it's an option (Jan disagrees Smile
Then I'll start replacing the pick-up elements.

Another thing: there is room underneath the fingerboard to place an electro-magnetic pick-up and maybe room to create the electronics inside. Does such a pick-up influence the string motion and the sound?

Wout
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wout Blommers wrote:
(Jan disagrees Smile


Uhm well ... the string obviously had bad Flageolets so we do not disagree there, but I'm afraid the pickup for that string is bad too. Time will tell though Wink

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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Here are some pictures how Jan and I get rid of the hum.

The pictures show the bottom side of the comb. The red arrow indicates the loose wire which is clamped between the under side of the comb, which is made out of metal, and the body of the guitar. The screw in the left upper corner is underneath the E string and could not be removed without disturbing the saddle settings of the comb, so we left it in the hole...

The solution...
The wire is soldered to a little ring around the second screw, so grounding is fixed.
Bringing the wire in contact with the mixing strip of the print will mute the instrument completely, so using some tape and a plastic isolation strip could prevent an unwanted connection.

Wout
(who wrote this, but Jan did it Smile)


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This "little ring", where did you get it? I needed such an object, well six of them, for my guitar modification. So I made them out of tuna can lids. I would like to find a source of where to get them. Any ideas?
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Inventor wrote:
where did you get it?


From a pile of stuff I could never throw away Wink

It's a a solder lug from an RCA type socket, googling for "solder lug" will find you some.

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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

They were used to ground the chasis of a turn table to the chasis of the amplifier, so I think any radio shack should still sell these...
They were attached to a screw at the back.

Wout
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I tried Radio Shack and Digi-Key, they don't carry them with a big enough hole. But I'll keep on Googling, I'm not in a hurry. I tried different keywords before like "spade lug" and such, but "solder lug" seems to work the best, thanks.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Found a wide selection of them!

http://www.zierick.com/pages/ha_sl_flatb.php

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