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400+ Owners... What kind of compression are you using?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Dan T., Jan 9, 2006.


  1. Dan T.

    Dan T.

    May 9, 2005
    Minneapolis
    Searched around for a bit and couldn't find anything. I've been toying with the idea of picking something up for some compression for a while now, what are the rest of you using right now?
     
  2. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio
    I stopped using compression when I picked up my 400+.
     
  3. Dan T.

    Dan T.

    May 9, 2005
    Minneapolis
    i know i'm asking to be crucified for this sin but i'm actually looking for something to take a little bit of the growl out of my sound, i love the gobs of tone i get out of my 400+ but i'm looking to tame the distorted sound down without sacrificing too much of my volume.
     
  4. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio
    Hmm....that's kind of confusing. My 400+ doesn't distort unless it is cranked way beyond a usable level. That is one of the reasons I like the 400+ so much, is that it is clean sounding, while still sounding "tubey" at the same time, if that makes sense.

    Maybe it's the apparent "slowness" of tubes compared to solid state, but once I hooked up the Mesa, the compression seemed to have little effect, (or at least the effect it had, seemed unnecessary) compared to what it did with my previous solid state rig. FWIW, I used an Aphex Punch Factory with a GK1001RBII prior to obtaining my Mesa.
     
  5. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I've never needed it with mine either, in all the years I've been using Mesa all-tube heads.
    Last year when I bought an all transistor Ampeg...yeowzer! those do need it.

    All I have is a simple DOD compression pedal that's sufficient enough.
     
  6. Dan T.

    Dan T.

    May 9, 2005
    Minneapolis
    hmm see, i'm really starting to wonder if there's something wrong with my amp cause i've pretty much had the same response from alot of people when it comes to my clean sound. everyone else i've asked has definitely been scratching their heads as to why i get such a distorted sound, at relatively low volumes even, almost like excessively "mid-y". if that makes sense. it seems like the only thing i can do right now to combat that is to pull almost all of my mid out of my sound right now. i was wondering if the element i was missing was compression, perhaps not i'm starting to think?
     
  7. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio

    Sounds to me it may be time for a retube or possibly there is another problem with your mesa. Anyway, compression will not solve an excessively distorted tone. How are you running your tone controls/eq/ and volumes on your Mesa? Perhaps some other of us Mesa owners could suggest some settings to at least see if you're distorted tone is unusual.
     
  8. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Maybe there's a problem... but it isn't necessarily the head. Try your 400 with another rig: different speakers, cables, even a different bass.

    Also, make sure everything's hooked up correctly. No insult intended: even after 25 years of playing I occasionally goof when setting up my rig.
     
  9. Dan T.

    Dan T.

    May 9, 2005
    Minneapolis
    nothing really out of the ordinary really. i do like to keep my mids pretty clipped, so my eq is pretty scooped out in the middle, yet nothing excessive on the low and high ends. i can't pretty much set my gain or volumes levels above 4 or a 5 without things getting too distorted sounding.

    the most disheartening part is the amps only about a year old and i was hoping i wasn't already on my way to a retube job.
     
  10. Dan T.

    Dan T.

    May 9, 2005
    Minneapolis
    no insult taken for sure, i appreciate the suggestion, i'll definitely do that again, i've played it between my ampeg 810, mesa 215, and two eden 4x10 xlts, with pretty much the same results every time, and gone back through after the fact with my svt-4 pro and not encountered the same issues. i'm gonna give it another whirl though with double checking.
     
  11. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio
    Well, judging from you gear list on your profile, you're using some decent sized cabs, so that shouldn't be a problem. Your amp should definitely NOT be distorting with with the levels around 4 or 5, unless you are running an insane amount of bottom through your cab. Just as a suggestion, for gigs, I usually use both channels (with the use of a Y cable), middle on around 4, bass on 3 to 5, depending on the room, treble on 5, both the bass and treble knobs "pulled out" the EQ almost flat, the channel volumes on about 6 each, and the master volume knob used
    to control overall volume, usually between 3 and 7, depending on the place and volume level. I run through a bergantino NV 610.
     
  12. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    You've done a thorough job of troubleshooting already. I'm not sure a triple-check is warranted, but it won't hurt... :p
     
  13. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio
    One last thought....are you possibly overdriving your preamp?
    Are you using active basses with the bass cranked to 10?
     
  14. Dan T.

    Dan T.

    May 9, 2005
    Minneapolis
    thnaks for both of you guys suggestions... i've tried the y-cable trick already as well with many of the same results. same thing with my basses, all of my basses are equipped with active pickups but i do back my volume off a considerable amount to compensate.

    i'll also give your setting a whirl cheeze.
     
  15. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Man, sounds like it's time for a re-tube. You definately soundn't be getting distortion unless you are truly aiming for it. Like, Gain set between 7 and 10 and plugged into the #2 input with an active bass!
     
  16. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    I guess there's no delicate way to say this. But the problem may be in your right hand. Once you master your right hand technique you can throw your compressor away. Try using a soft touch and let the amp do the work.
     
  17. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Yup.

    No compression, no distortion, no growl. Loud and clean and low.
     
  18. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    I have a 400+. I use compression to record when I don't have my 400+ and/or a cab with me. Live, with the tubes cranked, I get tons of compression and actually want a bit less for popping. So I plan to get a tweetered cab and a separate small tube power amp to power it, not because my 400+ doesn't have enough juice for em both, but because the cab I want to hook up with my Bergie 610 has such a lower wattage rating. As for the distortion, do you use Mesa tubes? I hated the sound of the 400+ with Mesa tubes, and the distortion you seem to be getting reminds me of the first time I tried a 400+ when it had Mesa tubes in it. I have JJs in mine.
     
  19. murphy

    murphy

    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    Another obvious, but sometimes missed thought.
    Have you tried different cables...to eliminate bad cords.
    Second..Have you put fresh batteries in your basses, which will distort as they drain...

    Good luck
     
  20. Tualatin

    Tualatin

    Feb 7, 2005
    Atlanta
    I've been having horrible problems ever since I bought it. At first it was a horrible farty distortion, I took it in to the shop and it was retubed under warranty(6months) which got rid of the farty sound, but now it had a real tuby distortion (kind of cool sounding) but at way too low volumes, no headroom.
    I just dropped it off again, so it will be a few days to see what the problem is.
    I kinda hope they only replaced the power section the first time, and it's the pre-tubes that are not working properly, otherwise bigger problems may exist.
    I'm sure it will be sorted out, I love Mesa products and don't plan on switching anytime soon, and I'm confident the 400+ is an amazing head, bad luck has just given mine some issues.
    Talkbass has been infinintly helpfull with my problems thus far, but the only way to really tell is to take it in to a shop I guess.
    Good luck sir, I'll let you know what I find out about mine.