Wednesday, February 4, 2015

810BassDriver from 810PedalGruppe

Todd Cox (builder/proprietor of 810 Pedal Gruppe) says,  "I want the bassist to get over on the man!  I want the end user--the working musician--to get good gear at a reasonable price, built by a fellow bassist with over 2000 gigs under his belt. Now, for instance, the AMZ mosfet boost was sold a few years back by catalinbread effects as the "Sagrado pobalno Picoso".  It was well over a hundred bucks.  This occurs with great frequency, in the music gear world.  I build my pedals without a printed circuit board, like the old days.

 I discovered pedal building in early 2012, it’s a great pastime. My primary interest is building circuits related to the bass guitar. There is no feeling like doing a build to solve an issue related to your sound, or how your rig functions and to build a SOLUTION to said problem or shortcoming from SCRATCH, with one’s own bare hands, and a few basic tools.”


Todd calls the 810BassDriver "hot as a stolen pistol", and hot it is!  “The 810BassDriver is a modified Electra distortion that I have worked up.  I read about the Electra circuits being used in so many builders' designs... They charge a pretty hefty price.  The Electra distortion is one of the simplest distortion circuits out there, and many versions of it have been made. The circuit lends itself highly to modification.  There have been a few boutique overdrives based on it, such as the Lovepedal COT 50 (MSRP $229.00), and the Nick Greer Green Giant ($145.00). I envision selling the 810BBassDriver overdrives for $65.00 bucks each."

DBP: Is the 810BassDriver a 'mosfet' pedal?

Todd:  No it’s not mosfet, I used a 2n5088 transistor. A couple earlier ones I built I used a 2n2222, but it seemed to clip too early. I altered the Electra circuit for the bass guitar by changing the capacitor values. I also used different diodes.  I used germanium diodes, which give the overdrive a smoother tone than if I would have used silicon diodes.

I make a mosfet booster.  It’s almost the exact same circuit. It’s a clean boost and its killer--like 36db worth of killer. I use it all the time on my rig. Iit makes my Thunderfunk sound like an SVT!  A lot of builders do this stuff. They alter and repackage the same circuit for different applications.



810BassDriver Review:

I tested the 810BassDriver using a 70’s spacing Jazz, with Fralin singles and GHS Boomers, and a P bass with late 80’s EMG pickups and LaBella 760FL flatwounds.  It did equally well with both basses.  The pedal operates on one 9 volt battery, or a typical 9 volt power supply.  I can’t speak for battery life, as I’ve only used it on battery power for this review.

Let's talk about what the pedal DOESN'T do. It doesn't lose low end. It doesn't alter your basic tone. It doesn't sound like a buzz saw. It doesn’t break your wallet.  It’s just a well done, bare bones  overdrive that'll kick your bass in the butt.

With the knob fully counterclockwise, there is a warm, polite, slight grit that might just be that “always on” effect you would use to add a little hair to that “too clean for your own good” tone. With the knob at around the 10:00 position, my P-Bass w/ EMGs (volume control rolled back to about 80%) netted a beautiful grit reminiscent of the bass tone on ZZ Top's "Cheap Sunglasses" (One of my favorite rock bass tones [Listen during the guitar solo]).  As I turned the knob clockwise, I noticed a slight boost in the volume, but it’s more midrange crunch than a big volume spike—we’re not talking “zero to panic” here, I mean enough to push you through the mix and make your bass sound like the rude guy at the end of the bar who has lived on cigarettes and bourbon for most of his life.

Bottom line: it’s one knob simple and it gets it done in the good kinda’ way. Everyone has slightly different taste, when it comes to 'gritting up' their bass sound.  The 810BassDriver is the sound I look for when I want to 'heat it up a bit'. It makes me smile. :)

Great job on this one, Todd!


The 810 Pedal Gruppe offers two pedals, at this time:

Bass Booster: 

The 810BassBooster is the same circuit as the AMZ MOSFET boost. It adds like 30 decibels of CLEAN BOOST.  I love this pedal.  It’s a one knob wonder that will not color your sound at all. It will slam the front end of a tube amp like a sledge hammer if you play a guitar thru it into a tube head.

Bass Overdrive:
The 810BassDriver is another one knob wonder that will not lose lows, adds headroom and dirt and a little crunch to your bass tone. If you play with a pick, you can channel the sounds of Lemmy, Chris Squire, Justin Chancellor, et al. It’s cool with a pick or fingerstyle.

Todd says, “I am attempting to develop a couple other tonal solutions for the bass guitar. I will never quit ‘till I get the right, tight, nice sound you crave…


www.facebook.com/810PedalGruppe

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Detroit - Rock City!

By Brad Russell

Much like musicians from the south may feel as if everyone thinks they only play country music,  players from Chicago may feel as if they are solely labeled  blues players, or musicians from California may feel as if they are expected to play surf music, when I tell someone I'm a musician originally from Detroit I feel as if  I get the "Motown" label. Please don't misunderstand, Motown Records played an extremely important role in the history of music and in my opinion (and the opinion of many others) was some of the greatest pop music ever written & recorded. Motown is often the first and only music associated with Detroit. As great as Motown music is, there's more to Detroit than just the Motown sound! Simply put, Detroit can rock  too, and rock hard! Let's put it this way, there's a reason KISS wrote a song called "Detroit Rock City". Rock musicians from Detroit have a regional sound that often combines aggressive no nonsense hard rock with a distinct soulfulness you don't find everywhere.

  As a bass player raised in the metro Detroit area, I heard all types of great music growing up: Motown, Jazz and Rock. I remember my parents taking me to Bakers Keyboard Lounge to hear Ron Carter, my mother taking me to the old Hyatt  hotel in Dearborn to hear the Johnny Trudell big band,  my brother taking me to sit in with the late great bassist Rod Hicks and me sneaking into bars on the east side to hear rock bass player Freeman James--not to mention all the rock bands/artists I listened to who become nationally recognized: Bob Seger, Ted Nugent, Grand Funk Railroad (originally from Flint, Mich), Alice Cooper, Mitch Ryder, The Romantics, The Rockets, Kid Rock, The White Stripes, etc... There's never been any shortage of hard rocking bands from the D, yet it seems like it's mostly characterized by the Motown Sound. Granted, as a bass player, I've studied the great baselines of James Jamerson just like everybody else, however, I'm also equally influenced by the raw aggressive grooves of the above mentioned rock bands.

  My point is just this, Detroit is a town full of great music. Musicians from "the D" play with a certain commitment and really "own" the music they are performing, regardless of the style. I just think the Motown Sound (as great as it is) often overshadows the distinct ass kicking rock music  produced out of the Motor City!  Perhaps most local Detroiters know all of this, but as a native of Detroit who has lived in different cities, I often see this typecast  Detroit receives, and I just want to point out that it's a city that rocks as hard as it grooves!


A short list of rock, pop and punk acts from Detroit:

  • Bob Seger
  • Ted Nugent
  • Alice Cooper
  • Grand Funk Railroad
  • Glenn Frey of The Eagles
  • Brownsville Station
  • Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen
  • Sonic's Rendezvous Band
  • The band simply called Detroit, which featured Mitch Ryder on vocals and Johnny "Bee" Badanjek on drums. 
  • Destroy All Monsters (band)
  • Death (band)
  • The Dogs
  • MC5
  • The Stooges
  • The Gories
  • The White Stripes
  • The Dirtbombs
  • The Von Bondies
  • The Rockets
  • The Hentchmen
  • Electric Six
  • Sponge
  • Big Chief
  • Goober and the Peas
  • Broken Toys
  • Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise
  • Flash Kahan
  • Adrenalin
  • D C Drive
  • His Name Is Alive
  • Brendan Benson
  • Demolition Dollrods
  • Kid Rock
  • The Sights
  • The Suicide Machines.
  • Marshall Crenshaw
Read more about Detroit musical artists here:  Music of Detroit



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Major 7th Extensions - Eddie Kohen

Now that Eddie has the video thing figured out, here is an additon to the previous lesson and something else to work on.



Thanks Eddie, for taking the time to help broaden our knowledge!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Detroit Bass Players Skull Caps / Beanies

You have until Sunday, January 4th to place your order!

The time to order has passed.


Nathan Brown and Dennis Patterson sporting their DBP skull caps!


  • 100% acrylic outer shell
  • Inner shell with wicking properties
  • 8" height
  • Embroidered Detroit Bass Players logo
$20.00 per hat, plus shipping.  Discounted shipping for multiple hats.

You do not need a PayPal account to order!

Just follow the instructions provided during the checkout process.


The hats are made to order.  I do not buy a load of hats and sell them.  I take your order, you pay--in advance--using PayPal, then I take all the orders to the shop at once.  This means you will have to wait a bit before you get your hats.  This is the way I have always done it. The hundreds of members, proudly wearing their DBP hats and shirts, all ordered theirs the same way.  Please be patient.  I will keep everyone informed on the Detroit Bass Players group page (www.facebook.com/groups/DetroitBassPlayers/).

You do not need a PayPal account to order!  The checkout process allows for you to use whatever method of payment you choose.

No pick up service will be available.  Every order will be shipped to the address provided through PayPal.

Shipping is $5.50 for the first hat, and and additional $1.50 for each additional hat--up to $12.00 for five and up.  If you want to order more than 7 hats, you'll need to place two orders.





Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Gary Shea - 10 Questions


Rocker Gary Shea grew up in Conneticut.  Gary has shared the stage with many incredible musicians, including Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen, and toured the world with Alcatrazz and New England.  His travels have led him to his his home in Royal Oak. He currently records and performs with New England.

Gary on stage with Steve Vai, in the band Alcatrazz

Gary kindly took some time out of his busy schedule to answer 10 questions about his journey, his musical interests and his gear, for Detroit Bass Players.



1.) How did your bass journey start?



 I grew up in Southington Connecticut in a musical family. My grandfather played piano for Rudy Valee in the 20`s and my dad played played drums in a fife and drum corps. I started my career late at 14 years old, playing guitar, taking lessons and working my way up to buying a brand new `65 Fender Strat. One day I was in an electronics store where a guitarist friend and I had gone to use their tube tester. On the wall were a few used guitars and a bass. I took down the used Fender Bass and had a melt down. It was huge, like an aircraft carrier, kind of like a big Strat. It felt incredible in my hands and being tall it was a great fit. When and plugged it in and discovered it was the heart of all music, no matter what style, I was hooked forever. From that day on I set out to shake the buiding where ever I went.


 2.) What was and do you still have your first bass?


 The bass I picked up at the electronics store was my first bass. It was a sunburst 1964 Fender Precision Bass for $125.00 used. It was amazing, but after seeing Ronnie Wood play with the Jeff Beck Group, I decided I had to have a new Telecaster bass that Fender reissued in the late 60`s. I traded in my P Bass at Manny`s Music in New York City to get one. Bad move, I hated it. Very weak in comparison. I now have a sunburst Fender American Standard Precision 5 string trying to make up for it.


 3.) Who influenced you most?


I grew up on 60`s radio, listening to James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave etc, as well as the English bands. I always loved John Entwhistle who sounded like a freight train and marveled at the musicality and rhythm of James Jamerson. I also love the playing of David Brown on the first few Santanna lps. Amazing groove. I got to see David, Larry Graham with Sly, and The Who all play live at Woodstock. The Earth shook and everyone was dancing to the bass.



4.) What are your favorite recordings?


I have a wide range of favorites and influences. I love Stan Getz with Joao & Astrud Gilberto, Weather Report Heavy Weather, Pat Metheny Letters From Home, Diana Krall The Look Of Love, The Beatles Revolver, Magical Mystery Tour, The Who Sings My Generation, Spooky Tooth Spooky Two, The Nazz, The Jeff Beck Group, Soft MachineTwo, The Court Of The Crimson King, James Brown Live At The Apollo, Stevie Wonder Music Of My Mind, Holtz The Planets, and Samuel Barber`s Adagio For Strings.  Its very hard to only name a few.  Some artists I am a listener and some I listen to for the bass playing, like Yes or Stanley Clarke.


 5.) What do you enjoy most about bass?



Bass is the pulse, the heartbeat of every style of music. It`s what people groove to listening to music, or dancing along with it. The bass is the ultimate instrument of depth and the bedrock of the band.
When the bass is swinging and grooving on the one it`s unbeatable and hypnotic. Every day when I play my bass all troubles are left behind and I am smiling. I love making thunder.


 6.) Is there a favorite project you've worked on?

  
I am very pleased to be working on new music with New England. We have a wonderful history together and when we stop joking around we get to play some very satisfying music.  Also I am currently recording with my good friend guitarist DH cooper in London along with guest vocal and drum spots from Pete French ex Cactus and Herman Rarebell ex Scorpions. We had a band together in the very early seventies but Herman and I ran into immigration problems in England. It`s great to be part of that again as well.





 7.) Do you have a "go to" bass for recording or live use?


I have many basses but my all time love is my `65 L series Fender Jazz Bass, with a Precision C neck. I`ve been playing it every day for almost 45 years and it is part of me. It sounds and feels fantastic. It is the bass I judge all others against. It sounds amazing in the studio, direct or live in concert. I also have a brand new Dudacus Tiberius bass which features Bartolini pick ups and an Aguilar pre amp. It is super low and thunderous, with beautiful workmanship.

Gary with his Dudacus Tiberius bass



8.) What effects do you use?



I have used many things over the years such as Moog Taurus foot pedals, but at the moment I am keeping it very simple with just a Boss Octave OC-2 and a Sans amp Bass Driver.


 9.) What is your signal chain, from the bass to the board (live and recording)?


From the bass I use My Star cables ( made locally in Sterling Heights Mi ), into a Fender volume pedal, into the Boss Octave 2, into a Korg PX4 processor ( I helped design some of the presets ) and into the Sans Amp. From there I use a One Control Black N Loop A B switching box allowing me to switch between two basses and into an Ampeg PF 500 amplifier and Ampeg SVT HLF4x10 cabinets. From the back of the Portaflex I send a clean signal to the Front Of House.


 10.) Do you have any advice for young players?


The best advice is to play with older muscians as much as you can and play around in different styles. I had a chance to do this and it helped me progress and learn music at a faster pace. Take the time and learn how to play a polka or country tune before jumping into hardcore or thrash metal. Always practice to a click and be honest with yourself if you are doing your best. Try nailing the kick drum in perfect time, every time. Without great timing your cool licks mean nothing to a band. If you want to make music a career never take no for an answer. If a band breaks up or you fail an audition, dust yourself off and come back out swinging. Learn and be as prepared as possible. A lot of this is attitude and being in the right place, at the right time, with the goods.



All the best to my bass brothers and sisters,

Gary Shea



--

Find out more about Gary at GaryShea.net