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Bass distorting badly.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bassist Jay, Jan 11, 2014.


  1. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay Zane guitars and basses endorsed. Supporting Member

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    I use Music Man Bongo basses that have 2 - 9volt batteries for the pre-amp. At church I run directly from the soundboard to my wireless system and then to me. Here is the problem. The low ends distort like crazy so we turn the gain down but even at low volume, we still get distortion. I am at a total loss of what to do? Can anyone help me out?
     
  2. dukeisdog

    dukeisdog

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    Aug 2, 2005
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    Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada
    Lowering the pickups always helps. Maybe one of the batteries are on their way out. Have you swapped both for brand new batteries?
     
  3. growlypants

    growlypants

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    First, change batteries - a MUST!!
     
  4. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Have you done the obvious tests to determine if the problem is in the bass vs the wireless vs the amp -- i.e., try a different bass, and try a cord instead of the wireless?
     
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  6. pedroims

    pedroims

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    Where the distortion is happening? In the mains ,in your IE , both?
     
  7. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay Zane guitars and basses endorsed. Supporting Member

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    The distortion is happening in both the mains and my monitor. On all of my Bongo's too and I have also eliminated my wireless and gone straight into a box.
     
  8. pedroims

    pedroims

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    Have you tried to use a different channel in the board? Sounds to me that the problem is not in your bass but somewhere in the console/ compressor or any other device in between
     
  9. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Something else you didn't mention: Have you been using this rig for a while, and this distortion problem just suddenly appeared recently? Or are you using it now for the first time, and having this problem from the get-go?
     
  10. TinIndian

    TinIndian

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    Sounds like there is a problem on the board or the Gain on your channel on the board is simply too high.
     
  11. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay Zane guitars and basses endorsed. Supporting Member

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    I have used the channel and this set up for I think 3 years now, ever since I started playing bass on this worship team. Right before this happened though we had a wedding at our church and stuff got messed with. Everybody else is good but my channel is on crack even though we set everything back to normal.
     
  12. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

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    los angeles
    Bongos are pretty hot, got any other basses? It should be easy enough to lower the gain somewhere before the clipping.
     
  13. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay Zane guitars and basses endorsed. Supporting Member

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    I am running the gain on my wireless at 10% - 15% at the board we are running it at 20%. Any lower and we don't get sound. But I have also rolled back the eq at the board too. Before, I was running it at 50% or 12 O' clock. Now I am running everything flat at around 20% across the board. It lowered my sound but not the distortion at the lower end strings. So basically at low volume it sounds like I have a distortion pedal on when I play the E or A strings.
     
  14. Kmonk

    Kmonk

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    I have never owned a Bongo so I'm not sure if they have a trim pot in the control cavity but you might want to check. If it does, you can dial it back a bit. Also, try lowering the volume on your bass, turning down the gain on the amp and boosting the master volume on your amp.
     
  15. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

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    Ya missed something along the signal path and/or gain structure. Your comments above are pretty much a dead giveaway. I would tear everything down and re-assemble starting with your bass > cable > amp then extending while checking integrity as each component is added (wireless, DI box, XLR cable, mic channel, etc.). If performed in this fashion, it shouldn't take long to isolate the culprit.

    Somebody does understand how the board functions, correct? I don't mean pushing faders up and down, either. You should be able to utilize the PFL function...this, amongst other things, is mission-critical.

    Riis
     
  16. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay Zane guitars and basses endorsed. Supporting Member

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    At our church, we only have volunteer sound people with little experience. Not a knock on them because I appreciate their dedication and hard work even though they don't have a lot of technical experience.

    I am wondering if where we keep the amps and eq for the board, if something got messed with in that room?
     
  17. Justice

    Justice

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    XLR or line input at the soundboard? Check to see if there is a PAD button for your channel. If your signal is that hot you may need to pad it at the board.
     
  18. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay Zane guitars and basses endorsed. Supporting Member

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    At the board we have a 1/4" cable going into it. I will check for a PAD button.
     
  19. Roland GR 88

    Roland GR 88 Gold Supporting Member

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    We rent out our rehearsal space to a young band 2 days a week and about once a month I have to tear down the whole system cable by cable to fix something. Usually I find a cable that has been pinched, pulled, swapped or otherwise messed with. My advice is the same as Zooberwerx unplug everything and start from scratch and you might consider a cable tester if the system is your responsibility, they're cheap and mine has saved me many hours of head scratching.
     
  20. agreatheight

    agreatheight

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    Portland Area, ME
    This.
     
  21. mrb327

    mrb327 Supporting Member

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    Something else I have learned, once you get everything just right again, take your magic phone and photo the settings on the board. Saves the time of hunting, automatic start point
     

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