4 times more watts then the guitarist, still not enough?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MAD2X, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. Hi there, I need some help/advice because I cant figure out what's wrong with my setup, I need more headroom. I have a Cort bass with 18v EMG's strait in my yorkville XS400T with the XC115 cab (400w into 2X10 and 1X15). My drummer is loud, but I can keep up with him no problem. It's my guitarist that overpowers me.

    He plays a Les Paul in a Marshall 100w all tube head in a 4X12 cab. He doesnt even play it at full power, but man I find his sound to be so bassy, there is as much bass coming out of there then my rig and it can throw me off at times. I need to have my amp turned all the way up most of the time and use my fingers for volume. BUT when I need more power I have to really dig in those strings. Then I dont like the tone that I get because it gets kinda distorted and looses definition. And even at that I just can't play loud enough. Then when he plays softer all of a sudden, I might play a little too loud for the first few notes, so he tells me to turn it down because I play too loud! I wish I could have enough power to play as loud as him without having to drive my amp full blast.

    Then again I think we play way too loud at times and I'm scared to go deaf. I tried using ear plugs but it mostly cuts off all the highs and then the guitar and cymbals don't sound good.

    I know some ppl will say to just find another guitarist/band, but I live in a REALLY small town and they are my friends, plus I have a really good time with them. I always try telling him that his amp is too loud but he says that it's not turned up all that much and that's the only way it sounds good.

    I just bought all this rig this year and I really dont want to upgrade it or even have to spend more money on gear (my wife will kill me!). I was sure 400w would be sufficent for garage jamming! When I have it in my house I cant even turn it up more then 2 before everything starts rattling. But in the big garage it's not the same story. I tried moving my amp around in different spots, it helps but it's not enough.

    Also I tried every kind of EQing possible, even thought I'm still learning everything I dont think it's my EQ. I dont know if I need a sansamp or something like that but I already have a tube preamp on my amp. I have a Digitech BP80 that I could use to boost my sound but I havent used it on my rig because I just use it for praticing at home and I'm not too found of digital effects.

    Really sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for those who will reply.
  2. lookjojoisplaid


    Oct 17, 2005
    San Diego
    I dunno if i think about how physically tall my 15" cab is and how tall a 2 10" cab is and if i stacked them i think it would pretty much that would pretty much go to about my thigh.

    Now look at a guitar stack chances are that goes up to at least your wait maybe higher.

    Bottom line you might nit be able to hear the bass that well because the sound waves are stying close to the ground. try tilting your cabs back so that they point more to your head.
    Another thing would be seting up so that you guitar players cab isnt pointed torward you and dont stan in front of his cab on even really in the line of sight of the front face of his cab. Those are two really easy options to try before you get involved with the power delivry on your amp and with you cabs.

    If those dont help it most defintly something wrong with how you are getting power to your cabs. or something it broken.

    Seems kinda werid to me you having this problem even with a 100 watt 15" ampeg combo i have been able to out play both my guitarist and my drummer and they all have marshal stacks.
  3. nls666


    Jul 31, 2005
    The Netherlands
    I've had the same kind of experience with a guitarplayer with Marshall 50 w tube. I was playing with 300 watts tube through 2x12/2X10 setup and I had problems keeping up with it?!?
    So I checked his settings and he had is bass setting on full?!? This way the guitarplayer is competing on bassplayer frequencies, which makes it very hard to cut through the mix.

    This might be the problem here, if so, tell him to turn down the bass and turn up the treble and mid settings. Those damn guitarplayers should stay of our frequencies!... :)

    Did you turn up your mid setting and lower your bass? This might also help...
  4. Thanks, my rig is actually much taller then his. What you say about standing in front of his cab is probably the problem. We stand in the middle with the amps surrounding us, I'll move back beside the drummer and away from his cab and see how that works, thanks.

    Here's a pic of my setup.
  5. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    check your two cabs speaker polarity. i think you said you have a combo and extention. turn your gain most of the way down/min disconnect cord from your guitar and place a small 9v battery across the tip and sleeve of the plug. MAKE SURE ALL WOOFERS MOVE THE SAME DIRECTION. IF SOME MOVE IN AND OTHERS OUT then you have a polarity problem (switch + and - on one cab or other) if you have a polarity problem the bass from one cab will sorta cancel the other leaving mids and highs.

    if not a polarity problem turn up mids, I know it sucks but so does not hearing your notes. make sure you are not too far from your cabs. if you are more than 5-10feet away you might not hear all the lows. (at least this has been my experience) ask your guitar player to lower his bass control, why does he have a bass player if HE plays those ranges????
  6. Thanks, I will have to look at his EQ settings because I do think his bass is really high. I tried that with my EQ on my amp, I pretty much tried everything on mine. Now I have to get him to change his EQ!
  7. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
  8. DerekP


    Jul 24, 2005
    Toronto, On
    ask your guitarist to turn down...... and turn down some of his lows or add more mid's, if you can stay above your drummer then your fine... theres no reason for the guitar to be any louder than either of you. it could also have to do with your tone.. could you describe your tone?
  9. That really should be sufficient for your needs, but believe me, we can all sympathize with you regarding loud guitarists!

    Try adding more mids to your sound - I know it probably doesn't sound good when you play by yourself, but in the mix it should cut through better.

    and maybe try putting your 210 upright on top of your 15, it'll help get better dispertion. The room might just be similar to out practice room... it just loses all the low frequencies through the thin walls, but bounces back all the higher ones, which makes the guitar seem super loud. I have to play at double the volume at practice that I do onstage , all because of the stupid room!
  10. lookjojoisplaid


    Oct 17, 2005
    San Diego
    ohh okay so the tall thing is defintly not it.... Well i mean the only other thing i can think of is how you are setting the controls on your head. If you really want to just get the loudest cleanest sound out of your bass turn your mast volume knob all the way up and then add your gain/drive knob until you cant stand the distortion or it starts to clip.

    Ohh thought of another haha i actually recently had this problem. What ever socket on you wall you decied to plug into make sure nothing else is being plugged into it. So dont plug you guitar players stack in the the same wall socket as your bass amp. I have that problem with my trace and the only thing that was plug into the socket was two strands of x-mas lights. so good rule of thumb make sure your bass amp is the only thing pluged into you wall socket
  11. Thanks I will also give that a try, I was standing farther away from my cabs now because I heard that bass frequencies sounds better and louder from far. I guess that doesnt work lol. Worse comes to worse I guess I will have to turn my mids up I know that it helps it just doesnt sound as fat.

    Thanks for all the suggestions I should be able to resolve the problem next time we jam. I will move away from him, stand in front of my cab and check the polarity of my cab. As for him I dont know why he likes to play guitar with so much bass....
  12. lookjojoisplaid


    Oct 17, 2005
    San Diego
    The reason guitar players play with so much bass is because its a desired tone. Maybe he wants a very flat big tone. Or another good reason is because they use allot of effects. Sometimes your effect used with guitars will sound like crap through guitar cabs. My guitar player plays through bass cabs for both these reasons.
  13. Well the garage is actually all wired on the same breaker I guess... I use a socket for myself but it's all wired together in there I wonder if that could be a problem? How can I figure out if there is enough power coming from the wall socket?
  14. Yeah I think the room as something to do with it, I think my rig sounds better outdoors then in that garage.
  15. I like my tone with just enough bass, boost the low mids and lots of highs and also scooped, it's pretty deep and growly. I know that when I put the mids up it helps to cut through. I have a hard time to explain my tone because I dont know what to compare it to really. If anyone had some XS400 presets they would like to share it would be appreciated.
  16. This problem can be solved with a bit of compression.
    The overall volume problem is a bit harder to solve... without asking the guitarist to turn down or secretly disabling 2 speakers in his 4x12 :p
  17. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.

    Your line voltage won't affect your tone this way. If you're not popping breakers don't worry about it.

    It's one o'clock feeding time for the 6 mo. old, so I'm tired and don't have the wind to type it all out, but do a search on "standing waves." Depending on the frequencies you're putting out, the location in the room of your cab, and the shape and size of the room, the waves eminating from your cab may be cancelled out by their out-of-phase reflections from around the room. It would seem as if your room were literally sucking bass, and it may only happen where your rig is standing.

    Try moving your cab around the room, pointing it at an angle to walls, whatever. This could easily be your problem. Even if the guitar player has his marshall wide open, 400 watts should be audible, even if only a little. Standing waves are a no.1 bass killer, and the statement that your bass sounds bigger outdoors makes me suspicious.
  18. Your guitar player definately needs to turn his bass knob down. Your band will sound much better.

    When guitarists practice at home by themselves, they crank the bass knob because it sounds good. But when they get into a band situation it sounds like crap. Same thing goes for bass players who practice at home by themselves with a mid scooped tone. When you play with a band you need to boost the mids a little, so you're able to cut through the mix.

    I had the same problem before with my guitarist and his infatuation with turning the bass knob up too high. After I told him to turn it down, he agreed that we sounded much better because of it.
  19. The best place to learn this is in a recording studio...

    you realize pretty quickly that your sound in the mix is not what you are expecting it to be when you dial in the nice tone you like on stage or at home...