Doug Robinson Bass Gear

 

Instruments:

Doug Robinson currently uses three basses in rotation.

For live performances with Martin Simpson, the Burns Sisters, and Tino Gonzales he uses a 1983 Fender Precision which he customized with an EMG P-J pickup harness, wired with two batteries in the 18 volt configuration for richer tone, and a Hipshot D-tuner. The Fender has its original bridge, and is strung with Dean Markley SR2000 'Will Lee' strings.

At Jacksonville, FL (photo: Randi Anglin)

For session work and jazz gigs Doug occasionally uses a Rick Turner 4-string or 5-string Renaissance fretless. These instruments, which Doug describes as "unbelievably expressive" and "truly incredible" have a 35" scale and a single Turner/Highlander transducer pickup under the saddle. They are strung with the nylon core, bronze wound Thomastik strings for which they were specifically designed, and use the exclusive Rick Turner 18-volt pre-amp system.

Using the 4-string Turner Renaissance fretless at the Festival D'Été in Québec (photo: Claude Adams)

Doug also frequently uses a hand crafted, carved solid wood German upright bass for jazz and swing gigs. Built in 1956, the bass was owned by Jamestown, NY native Russ Phillips, who was one of the unsung big band road warriors of the '40s, '50s, and '60s. Russ used the bass with most of the big time working bands of the day, including those fronted by Harry James, Billy Eckstine, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, Tex Beneke, and Dean Martin, until his untimely death in the late '60s. The bass is currently fitted with an Underwood pickup.

 

Above L: with the Frederic Manoukian Big Band in Quebec City. R: jamming with bass guru Bernie Upson

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Amplification:

His favorite electric rig is a setup using a mono preamp by Raven Labs, and a Stewart PA-1000 (1000 watts) driving one of several Daedalus Music bass cabinets. "It's the most killer sound for any of my instruments, especially the fretless.", Doug says.

For upright gigs and low-volume electric performances Doug uses a Gallien-Krueger 150-watt head with an SWR Baby Blue cabinet.

Doug frequently plays through a Daedalus B125 bass cabinet, which uses a single 12" speaker and two 5" drivers, or one or two Daedalus floor wedges. "The Daedalus speakers give me the absolute best tone for the upright and the Turner fretless. Sometimes I have the luxury of using both wedges as a stereo rig for bass...with a little subtle chorusing or verb, it's killer. I also use the wedges more and more often for small combo jazz, swing, or folk gigs where I have to sing...I can use them as a small PA, and run both the bass and my voice into them without sacrificing any quality at all. With their position on the floor, I can hear them very well in small clubs or restaurants, and they easily fill a small room."

Link to the Daedalus Music website