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Am I EQing my tone out of existence?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MacheteJames, Dec 11, 2003.


  1. Here is my setup:

    Peavey Nitrobass head
    BBE Sonic Maximizer
    Sansamp Bass Driver DI

    I am using 2 basses, a DeArmond Pilot Deluxe 5 and an MTD Kingston. Ever since I got the Sansamp, I haven't been able to get a clear, articulate tone. The Sansamp adds tons of thick tube tone, but it seems to be at the expense of clarity - I can't even tell what note I'm playing if I use this with my rig at band practice.

    I'm thinking that maybe it's my EQ settings. I am using the SVT emulation setting on the Sansamp. I've got the Sonix Maximizer set with the Lo-Contour at 3 o'clock and the Process knob at 2 o'clock, and on the Nitrobass, I've got the Contour knob at 12 o'clock, the "low" knob at 3 o'clock, the mids knob at 1 o'clock, and the highs knob at 4 o'clock.

    Maybe the problem is that I am running both the Sonic Maximizer and the Sansamp? Is there just too much signal processing going on here?
     
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Yes.
     
  3. try putting everything on the peavey at 12 o'clock... see if that does anything for you
     
  4. There may be too much processing on the BBE. A 3 o'clock setting for low contour seems high. I usually run mine around 11-12 o'clock. Does it ever clip? Actually, I think that you should back off on the low eq settings on everything. This could be why the clarity isn't there.
     
  5. I own a Nitrobass head, and I can get a nice,clear articluate tone out of it. I actually keep the eq on it flat.
     
  6. The BBE Sonic Maximizer can do wonders in the right situations, and when used in moderation.... but, I tried one with my bass rig and didn't care for it personally. I use it for other things though.

    Bumping the lo countour on the BBE at 3 o'clock, and "the Nitrobass, I've got the Contour knob at 12 o'clock, the "low" knob at 3 o'clock..."

    That is a shiite load of low end enhancement!!! I would expect to get the result:

    " I can't even tell what note I'm playing "

    WHOOOOMMM WHHOOOOM WHOOOMMMM

    :meh:
     
  7. Exactly. I was trying to be more subtle. However, I think you got the point across better then I did ! So yeah, back off on the bass eq...you're probably using way too much. What speaker cabs do you have?
     
  8. hahah... thanks folks. I guess I should back those knobs off a little.

    I'm running an Avatar 2x10 and a Workingman 1x15, but the Workingman's speaker blew and was replaced by an Eminence Kappa Pro 15 LF. I think I may take the Sonic Maximizer out of my effects loop and see how it sounds.
     
  9. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    I would start over again. Set everything flat and make one small adjustment at a time until you get the tone you're looking for.
     
  10. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    A BBE is intended to be the last piece of the puzzle. If you don't have a post EQ loop, so you can stage it directly in front of the power stage, you shouldn't use it. Any enhancement post BBE is going to FU your tone.
     
  11. vanselus

    vanselus

    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    None
    Amen. Sell all three and get something that has the clarity that you're looking for plus the thud.
     
  12. Probably.

    :D

    If you are a Bedroom Performing Artist, then twiddle your tone to your heart's content.

    But, if you are a stage performer, it doesn't make a damn bit of difference. Over the last 3 years, I've watched a parade of boutique basses and all flavors of amps on my stage. Every last one of them sounds the same in a live mix.

    Wals, Fenders, MM, Fodora, Ibanez, Warick.. they all sound like basses in the middle of a live mix. Some cut through a bit better than others, but they all sound about the same: like a bass.
     
  13. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    My opinion:

    Too many bandaids patching up your tone. You need a good sounding bass, a good sounding amp, and a good sounding speaker, and THAT'S IT.

    Unless you are using it for recording or as a standalone preamp, the Sansamp shouldn't be necessary. They only help cheap basses or cheap rigs sound better. Let your amp do its job.

    Several years ago I used an Aphex Exciter on my bass rig. After many months, I wasn't happy with my tone, and I couldn't dial in what I wanted no matter how I tried. On a whim, I removed the exciter all together. Bam, perfect clarity. Try it, don't think that "more is always better".
     
  14. "They only help cheap basses or cheap rigs sound better."
    The Alembic I used my SABDDI with was definitely not a cheap bass, and it benefited a lot from the pedal.
    However, most every bass besides Alembic requires a certain amount of midrange for definition. Cut those freqencies out, and you get impressively deep, powerful mud.
    My rule of thumb is to boost the low end enough so the bass sounds full in a band context, crank the low-mids until the sound gets wooly then back off a bit, tune note definition with high mids and use the treble control to make the bottom sound open and full. Slappers might need more treble to get snap in their tone.
     
  15. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    You've just answered your own question. Just because others like what a sansamp does to their tone, doesn't mean you have to like it as well.

    I found the same thing with my Sansamp. I also found that it "blocked" my other effects. I now use it as a DI and for overdrive only, meaning it stays bypassed most of the time.

    I'm sure I've angered a lot of sansamp users by saying that but you have to go with what sounds best to you.
     
  16. This is all fantastic advice.

    I will say one thing though, about the Sansamp. While it seems to be hurting note definition and clarity, in a rock band context, it thickens up the overall sound a whole lot. Is that just how vintage tube amps tend to sound? Maybe this is the antithesis of hi-fi that I'm hearing. I always liked a clean, articulate, and sharp tone, like an SWR or GK head, but I found in my experience that that kind of tone gets completely drowned out by 2 distorted guitars. I figured the warmth and grit that the Sansamp added would be the key to solving this dilemma... but it looks like that's not the case.

    I'm finding that too many knobs is a bad thing. I plugged my Kingston into my cheap Hartke practice amp. I plugged straight into the effects loop, to bypass the combo's EQ. The tone was just pure.. so pure.

    Time to rethink my rig...
     
  17. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    The tube emulation seems to scoop out the mids somewhat, which isn't what I'm used to with a tube amp. I generally don't use the emulation, or use it very mildly.
     
  18. bizzaro

    bizzaro

    Aug 21, 2000
    Vermont
    OK maybe you know this but? Turn up your mids if you are trying to be heard over a couple of loud guitars.
     
  19. Yep. The question is.. which area of mids is the best to boost to cut through distortion? I'm thinking high mids.
     
  20. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    How long is a piece of string? It really depends on what gear you're using and what frequencies the guitars are generating.

    Whenever I'm being drowned out, I boost 250Hz and 500Hz. Seems to work...... but it all depends