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Am I driving my amp too hard ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bassmike62, Apr 22, 2017.

  1. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Punch'n Ooomph provider Supporting Member

    'Evening :).

    I've been using a GK MB 212 since January and it's (IMO) a stellar amp. What I'm wondering about is this: is my signal too hot when it gets to the amp ?

    The amp's gain and master knobs are around 9 oc, while the boost knob is noonish, so that seems OK. On my pedalboard (chain is sigged), I always have dry/dry signals when not using effects and wet/dry signals when using them. The comp's output knob is at noon and the input is at 3 oc, the PBDDI level knobs are usually around 2 oc and the ART tube preamp's knobs are at noon (the rest don't really come into play).

    So... am I feeding fire into the amp, leading it to burn somewhere along the road ?

    EDIT: forgot to mention: my basses are passive.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    What problem are you having?
    Jeff Scott and Bassmike62 like this.
  3. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Punch'n Ooomph provider Supporting Member

    None and wanting to avoid them down the road :).
  4. Probably not fire, but maybe hitting it a bit hotter than normal.

    Do you have an input attenuation on your amp? Either a passive/active switch or a separate input?
    Even if you use a passive bass, once you run through any pedals the level going to the amp may be out if whack.
    If you have an active setting or input, you might have to use it when using pedals.

    If not, plug the bass directly into the amp, play something typical and adjust amp and bass levels to your liking.
    Then without adjusting anything on the bass or the amp, play through you pedals as you normally do and adjust any pedal volume levels (not affects) down to where the loudness seems about the same.
    Doing this, you are attempting to normalize your pedals to the amp.
    The goal is to have about the same voltage fed to the amp from your pedals as is fed from you bass.
    Since you can't measure the voltage as a practical matter you should just go by ear.

    Numbers on knobs really are not very helpful since they are not calibrated. They're usually not even linear. So 6 is not twice as much as 3. They are just there so you can repeat a setting that you liked the next time you play.
    12BitSlab and Bassmike62 like this.
  5. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Punch'n Ooomph provider Supporting Member

    I edited my OP as to indicate I use passive basses. There is an active/passive switch on the amp, but honestly didn't give a single thought.... thx :).
  6. What! If nothing is wrong, then nothing is wrong.

    Running something a bit too loud is not cumulative.
    20 days at 5% more doesn't equal 100% more. It equals 5% more for forever. Your amp won't blow up on day 21.

    If you start hearing stuff that doesn't sound normal, then back off and see what's going on.
    But if everything sounds fine, Then don't worry.
    Gearhead17 and Bassmike62 like this.
  7. When adjusting your gear - the general positions of knobs mean nothing.

    Use your ears (and any indicator lights if available).
    Gearhead17, moles and Bassmike62 like this.
  8. moles


    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    ^^^ What he said.
    If you're being really conscientious about it, plugging straight in to the amp, and comparing the input level with the level coming off your pedal chain (and adjusting, shooting for unity, or close) is not a bad idea.

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