Presence,what is it

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bassmachine2112, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. bassmachine2112


    Mar 23, 2008
    hiho,I,ve got an old bass head-Selmer treble n bass and a few pre amp pedals and they have a control called presence.
    Here,s the question-what is it and how does it work,cause I like it a lot.
    maybe it has other names on other equipment.
    Hope this isn,t a silly question
  2. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    Not a silly question but it only can be fully explained by the equipment maker. "Generally" it is a broad band midrange control.
  3. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    On bass it's going to be boosting roughly 4khz or thereabouts *or* it will be a mid cut control (between 300hz and 2khz). It's so common for bassplayers to scoop the mids that it's almost a cliche. I think there's one plugin maker that even labels an EQ preset "Every bass player does this" and it just scoops out the mids.
  4. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    I'm my experience with tube amps, it's a control that alters the feedback loop and provides a high frequency boost. That said, as Mr B opines, it really depends on the implementation that a particular manufacturer decides upon.

    I don't remember the TB50 having a Presence control. Then again I haven't seen one in over forty years. <sigh> If only I could just be grumpy instead of being old with it! :scowl:
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  6. MrDOS

    MrDOS Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    Colorado Springs, CO
  7. Does the Selmer have push-buttons or dials? I had the 1965 Selmer Zodiac Twin 50 Mark II which had five buttons. One said 'presence' and it just added a bit of sparkle to my guitars mid-neck. The Zodiac was only for guitar.
  8. MethodsofDance


    Nov 19, 2013
    On my old "Soundking" practice amp it was slang for "more crackle".
  9. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    The presence in the Selmer decouples the negative feedback in the higher frequencies. Negative feedback takes a bit of signal from the output tubes and feeds it back into the phase inverter but it is out of phase with the signal. It tightens response and lowers distortion. It also improves headroom although it does drop volume some. By decoupling the high end, the highs are removed from the negative feedback loop and are heard as louder and more raw.

    The effect is like a treble control that is voiced higher than the treble control with a little different quality.
  10. gpx1200

    gpx1200 Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    the manual for my gk rb700II lists the presence controle as +9db@10k and decribes it as adding sparkle to the tone
  11. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Gold Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    I thought 10K was fairy dust and 6k was sparkle. oh well.

    presence = shelving boost above 4khz seems to be the average.
  12. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    Definitely hoped the thread was going to be about this.
  13. Hi.

    That's what my experience about the Marshall tube amp and the clones is as well.

    I do prefer the presence control over the high control as well. At least in Marshall tone stack.

    OTOH there's no standard, so as has been said earlier, the manufacturer can label whatever they feel that adds "presence" to the signal presence.

  14. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    Presence is the opposite of absence. :)
  15. webmonster


    May 19, 2013
    New Zealand
    Is it a 1970's Treble n Bass like this one?

    I've got one of these. The presence comes across as a 'higher treble' control.
    Using it for bass I tend to have the presence at 1/2 way, for guitar (12 string Ric) presence at 3/4.