Someone please help an idiot!
Ok now I have a GK mbfusion and a GK neo 2-12 cab...my only effect was a mxr compressor. I could play that till my eardrums fell out and it would be crystal clear.....but I miss the fullness of tubes so I got a mesa 400.....still have the fusion for a back up. now it sounds great exept once you get past bedroom level it starts distorting and making the speakers like crackkle.....so i shut the horn off in the cab. and changed the V4 spot of the amp with a Au7 instead of a AX7 and it gave me a little more louder clear....but not enough. So after reading I decided I needed a EQ and got a MXR 6 band EQ pedal and a markbass superboost in a trade. now when I turn them all on my speakers loose all the lows and crackle and make all kinds of bad noises. when I turn the filters on on the markbass it makes it lower and clear.....so I have to turn the amp volume up and even though I have to turn it up to like 4 to get it back to bedroom level the minute it hits that level again it starts to crackle again. now when I turn the mxr compressor on when I turn the input up to dial in the lights before it gets to a couple lights blinking all the lights light up and make my speakers start shaking!!! If I turn the output up on the compressor the volume actually decreases instead of increase! and sounds loudest all the way down! I have no idea what is going on here! is my signal too much?
how do I get this to be this clear at louder levels? Do I need a new cab? or more cabs? I just want a clear loud tone! I have been starting over from just the amp about 112 times today! and now I have come to the conclusion that it sounds best without any pedals!
so why is my signal getting all messed up and my compressor freaking out! and should I just get another cab?
I am pretty sure a 2-12neo shouldnt be freaking out at such low levels. I plug my mbfusion back in and its crystal clear and loud.
I want the fusions clearity and the mesa fullness.
It's hard to know without being right there in person, but I'm going to guess that the Mesa amp is boosting a particular narrow frequency range that (a) the GK amp was not boosting, and (b) the GK cab is not able to handle so well at those levels. This is a big part of "amp voicing", what makes one amp sound different from another, is the built-in hidden EQ profile.
So I do think EQ could possibly help. But you would need to ONLY cut, not boost anything. And you would need more specific control than any 6-band graphic EQ could provide. You would use a parametric EQ like the Empress to narrow down exactly where the problem is, and address it specifically.
As far as why the pedals are all causing such problems, and acting weird, it's usually because of a daisy-chain power supply. Try powering them from isolated supplies, like separate wall warts or batteries. Bet everything behaves better then.
yeah I have only been cutting with the EQ....and they are all on seperate power supplies 2 on separate chords but going to the same powerstrip and one on battery. I even cut with the amps EQ to make it have more headroom.
I have been looking for a mesa cab for this head. I found a cheap used ampeg 6-10 but its 4 ohms so I cant run both cabs together (even though I dont think I want to).....and I am affraid the ampeg cab might suck with this head too!
another odd thing is with my thumb it makes it crackle with my sterling classic it makes it lose its lows till I pretty much cut all the lows from the EQ to get some back.
I will get a paraeq and try......I wish I had another cab to try this out on....maybe I should run down the music store and ask the dude if he will let me try my head on one of his bass cabs.....is that crossing the line asking that? lol
Whew... not sure what to do. And I'm not sure what you mean by "bedroom levels." To me, that implies "The amp's barely on" quiet -- just a hair above, "I'm trying to get away with practicing at 2:00 a.m." quiet. "Bedroom levels" to me, means that your roommate playing along on unamplified ukulele shouldn't have any trouble keeping up. If things are sounding all fart-y and crackly at that level I'd want to make sure there's not some basic issue with the amp. Have you tried the amp with another cab?
EDIT: Today seems to be a day for reading/typing while other people are posting. I don't think it's crossing the line to ask to try your head with another cab, as long as you're decent about it. To be clear, voicing of the amp/trying to find a cab that's a good match aside for the moment, I'd want to be sure that the head is functioning properly in the first place.
Is your place built on an ancient Indian burial ground?
Yeah I thought it was the amp too at first. I brought it to a great tube amp tech and he went over it all and it's in perfect working order. Then one of the eq wires rattled off and he saulder that back together so basically he has checked it twice in a month!
Even when I shut the horn off its still has that crackle a little coming out of the speakers if I hit the E hard
If I don't use the amps eq it's almost unplayable. It goes to like distorted overdrive mode almost right after you can barely hear it.
I am going to ask the guy if I can try his cab at the store. I am almost convinced now its that. I played a ad200b with an orange 4-10 there and it was crystal clear. And those amps are suppose to overdrive early!
Also, check your EQ settings on the Mesa. The graphic EQ is super powerful, so try disabling that and setting bass to 2, mids to 8 and treble to 2 (the amp's flat setting) without using the pedals. If that doesn't help, try the 2nd input. Try different levels for both the volumes and the master volume. Also, bear in mind that the Mesa won't go to extreme lows.
Did you put the pedals before your compressor or after? Are they all in the effects loop? Did the LED monitor on the compressor when you have the other pedals plugged in? Maybe try backing off on the input knob on the compressor.
Also, I run a 400+ with an obc410 with great results
I have switched the compressor back and forth from first to last a couple times....doesnt seem to make a difference.....it sounds better though in the send/return loop then infront of the preamp.
every bass I use I always have to re set the input and output of the compressor to get the lights to light up a little. if I turn this up to say almost band practice level the compressors lights all light up without hitting a note and the cab speakers start like vibrating and making a terrible humming.....till I turn the input or output on the compressor down more that stops the lights and the vibration.
the graphic EQ on the amp I have to use to pretty much get any headroom at all I have to turn down almost every one or it just goes into overdrive/fuzz at a hair over bedroom level.
thats why I brought it to the tech in the first place....so after he said it all checked out fine I discovered I could turn the EQ down and get some headroom.
The only thing I can think of is its a combination of problems.....The cab doesnt match and the markbass super boost pedal just doesnt go with this. that is the weirdest pedal I have ever used! it has a boost you can turn on on one side and filters on the other side....so day you just use the filters....you have to turn the amp up to master 10 volume 4.5 to get it past living room with everyone home and not minding you playing bass level.....and you now how 400s are you dont have to go past like 2 to hear it so the filter cuts your signal a ton....now while the amp is at 10/4.5 its low and clear as a bell. so would that mean when the cab hits a certain volume level the speakers distort and crackle?
doesnt this ever drive you guys insane??? get a couple new pedals and spend all day trying to get a tone!!!?
I'm not specifically familar with a lot of the gear you are using, but it sounds like something basic and fundamental is wrong somewhere. No gear (used properly) should distort that much at those levels if it is working properly.
You've had the amp checked twice, but simplify your signal chain and start using process of elimination until you find the culprit. Eliminate all your pedals and just plug your bass straight into the amp. You get the rattling/distortion anyway? But if you switch to the GK head, it goes away? If that's the case, then it's got to be something with the Mesa.
The Mesa is all tube, so you have to set the ohm setting for the output, right? Are you sure it's properly matched to the cab? That's something that you don't have to deal with on solid state amps.
It sounds like it could also be an issue with gain levels in your chain. Different manufacturers label things the same way, but sometimes mean different things. Gain staging is critical in getting the sound you want. Maybe your input signal is too hot for the Mesa. That seems to be the case since you have to cut the eq across the board on the amp to get any use out of it.
what do you mean set the ohm setting? I have a 8 ohm cab in the 8 ohm slot in the back?
I just used a passive bass and it sounded better....but get this....with the master on 10 and the volume on 2 on the amp I can now turn it up to 6 with very little difference in volume! ***? I shut off all the pedals and its back to cranked....I mean volume on 6 on this amp will almost blow the windows out of the house!
The superboost pedal is the one doing the weird things. it has a boost signal button and a filter button so one boosts and one cuts. I think both on is messing up the mesa.
you know what I forgot is the mesa has the effect control knob inside the back of the amp.....its on 5 now I will try turning that down some maybe it is just too hot a signal.
So when the pedals are out of the equation, things seem to be working normally. Somewhere in the effects loop, things are going awry. Good call on the effect loop control. And I can't offer any advice on the superboost. Never used one or looked into it at all.
Oh, and yes, the ohm thing seems fine.
I am not exactly sure how the effects loop knob works...it was on 5....but when you turn it up to about 7 the krackle goes away and everything becomes back normal again. the output on the compressor works again and it doesnt freak out. It must have been all that it sounds fine again! I dont know exactly what the knob does but turning it up made it pretty much all better!
I haven't read the manual for that amp (hint hint) but the knob does one of two things: either it controls the level of the signal, or it controls the mix between the original signal and the signal at the output of the effects. Either one could cause problems with distortion or phase, and could dime the lights on the compressor, but neither should cause pedals to completely freak out.
Also, is the super boost being powered at 12v? I also definitely would put the compressor in front of the amp and not in the effects loop. For me, the comp sounded best with the release knob dimed, but that probably wasn't the norm for most people. The loop control on the amp is a blend, fyi.
I tried running the compressor in front of the amp and I thought it just gave a more even tone in the loop.....but now that I know what that knob in the back does I will try hooking that up in front and the EQ and booster in the loop.
I had my warwick thumb all dialed in then tried my sterling classic and I had to pretty much start from scratch EQn everything.
That 6 band eq is kinda useless.....I should get the paraeq. anything I can do on that pedal the amp has a 7 band graphic EQ that does whatever that pedal can do....I have it on and pretty much flat just cutting a little....and the booster pedal I am just using the filters which actually cuts way down. I traded for these 2 pedals thinking I would boost the signal an get more clean headroom.....theres not much difference with these pedals on or off.
The booster pedal and the MXR compressor both take 9v batteries but I am using the 12v plugs. the EQ just a battery.
Another odd thing about the signal being too hot I just figured out...when I put the thumb bass in passive it actually got louder instead of more quiet like usual.
I will try running the compressor before the amp tonight.
you know with the mxr you have to nail that release spot on just the right spot! with the MBfusion my release was almost 0.....on just a hair to hit that spot....but with the tube amp it seems like you need much more release...like the tube amp has this slight delay to it if you dont turn the release up.
any suggestions how to get more clean headroom?
HARD TO FOLLOW WHAT YOU HAVE GOING.
START FROM SCRATCH. BASS, AMP, CAB. THEN ADD ONE PEDAL AT A TIME.
I solved the whole problem! I got rid of the pedals. Just kept the compressor and got another cab. Now I have a million miles of headroom!! And it's crystal clean! Running a neo 2-12 and 4-10! Woo can't put my mesa 400 past 2 now without blowing the windows out of my house ! And it's clean!
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