Stick preamp and routing matrix from BassLab and Greg Howard,
version 2 now available. Take your sound in a new direction
WHAT'S NEW IN VERSION 2?
The new version of the StepABout features a sleeker housing, with modular components and an easy access battery compartment. Also, the headphone/tuner jack has been split into two separate jacks, a mini plug for headphones and a 1/4" out for the tuner, which can also function as an extra unswitched mono output of both channels. The bass and teble controls for each channel are now on separate pots instead of the higher profile stacked pot.
STUDIO QUALITY IN A VERSATILE FOOT-PEDAL
This versatile floor unit combines two
studio-quality, low-noise preamps with a 2-in/2-out routing matrix for live and recording
applications. The StepABout™ was conceived as a device to suit the unique signal
processing needs of Chapman Stick® players, but it quickly became evident that bassists
and guitarists could also benefit from its features.
(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)
The housing is built of thick anodized aluminium with solid powder-coated aluminium end-pieces. All connector jacks are panel mounted for durability.
The four footswitches open individual signal paths from the two inputs to the two outputs. They are pop-free on/off switches, and are positioned so
that one single stepping motion can also change two switches simultaneously.
Two TS unbalanced 1/4" jacks (A,B out) (can also accomodate standard TS plugs)
output impedance: 47 kOhm unbalanced
frequency range: 5Hz to 40kHz ±1.5dB
Headphone and Tuner Outs:always active
mono mix of both inputs, with mix volume control for headphone.
max gain boost over preamped signal: 20dB Headphone amp: DC-coupled for loud
7 in (17.8 cm) deep
7 3/4 in (19.7 cm) wide
2 1/2 in (6.4 cm) high
PREAMPS BassLab's BassXX (pronouced "bass-ics") preamps have an extremely low noise floor and tube-like dynamic response, but have no discernable hiss even at extreme 15dB high-frequency boosting. The natural sound of the preamps is warm, full and clear. Because the StepABout's input impedance is much higher than most guitar and bass processors, passive pickups will retain their natural frequency response and tonal character, which means less need for equalization. And when you need to equalize your signals, the BassXX preamps do it in a very musical way.
Each input channel's sweepable midrange filter boosts broadly but cuts more sharply, providing
an extra dimension of musical tone sculpting. The treble filter does the opposite, boosting like a
parametric but cutting like a passive roll-off tone control. A few modifications to the original
BassXX were made for the StepABout to better match the full-frequency output of The Stick,
which make the unit even better suited to electric and acoustic guitar and even acoustic
bass processing, without altering its low end compatibility with electric bass.
These accommodations to the sonic characteristics of various basses and guitars also enables the
player to switch between them in live performance without having to make any adjustments to
amplifier or effects settings. You can match output levels and shape the tone of any two mono
instruments or one stereo instrument. The excellent dynamic response and low noise of the
BassXX preamps also provides an ideal front end for direct recording and processing through
computer based live effects processors.
The BassXX preamp is co-designed and produced by Andreas Richter.
The StepABout's routing matrix consists of four pop-free on/off switches. Each of the two inputs
has two switches to send the signal to outputs A and/or B for any combination of inputs and
outputs: 1) from both inputs to both outputs, 2) to split channels, 3) to reversed split, 4) to
full bypass. The mono tuner/headphone output is always active, and can even be used as a third
unswitched output with its own level control.
Bassists can conveniently match instruments with
different tones and output levels for compatible
instrumentation on-stage and in the recording
studio, using the built in pair of custom quality
Guitarists can switch back and forth between
their guitars, or from acoustic to electric,
without having to unplug anything. Having the
ability to shape your tone before that first
stomp box can greatly improve your sound.
Any instrumentalist who has to manage more than
one signal path can take advantage of this very
flexible front-end processor.
The tone controls for each input can be bypassed,
making it possible to mix instruments with active
and passive pickup systems.
HEADHONE and TUNER OUTPUTs
Both of these jacks are a mono mix of the two preamplified signals, and are always active regardless of the output switching. The headphone output is always active, so you can check your signal before going live, or use the StepABout as a practice headphone amp. the
Power is provided by an external 12 DC power supply or 6 1.5 volt AA batteries.
Comparative Sounds Samples
Here are some comparative samples played on the Chapman Stick through the StepABout and a couple of other preamp units:
For customers outside of Europe, please contact Stick Enterprises, Inc. at:
email@example.com or call us at 818-884-2001.
The price direct from Stick Enterprises is $775 US plus shipping. This includes a DC power supply (batteries not included).
"StepABout" and "Take your sound in a new direction" are trademarks of Greg Howard. Chapman Stick is a trademark of Stick Enterprises, Inc. BassXX is a trademark of Richter Electronic Engineering (Ingenieurbuero Richter).
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