1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Amp Positioning

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Al Garcia, Oct 15, 2017.

  1. Al Garcia

    Al Garcia

    May 28, 2016
    I sometimes have problems hearing myself clearly when playing upright even when using an amp. I've seen others laying the amp back a bit so that it is pointing up slightly. I've also seen people place the amp up on a crate. That helps a lot, but tends to thin out the sound.

    What do you do? What is most effective?
  2. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    Either flat on the floor with my ear in the sound path, or tilted on an amp stand if i am working with a boomy stage. I think it is all acceptable, you do what you have to.

    As for "thinning out the sound" i kind of disagree. If anything it adds clarity to the sound, removing alot of unwanted vibrations/interference by uncoupling the amp from the floor. I suppose that can create the perception of the sound thinning out, but in a positive way. You are actually get the more so true sound of the amp.
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I use this when I don't take a stack. I have set all kinds of heavy rigs on it. It puts my speakers right at my shoulderblades.


    That being said, are you using a scooped tone? Accentuating some low mids will help you hear your self much better. Scooped tones get buried.
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    This is a great topic, and there is no clear answer because of all the variables with pickups/amps/speakers and the rooms we play in. I currently play a combo amp that has two up firing speakers and four front firing ones. I love this, because I can put the amp beside me, usually between me and the ride cymbal of the drums, and it allows me to hear myself clearly but sends the majority of the sound out toward the audience. It also provides a bit of bass presence and immediacy for the drummer.

    Before I used this system, I had many different systems for positioning the amp. Some observations:
    - Amp/speaker on a pole: good for clarity and self monitoring and fills the stage as it fills the room. The downside is I find the sound coming from over my shoulder to be kind of unnatural... a couple of drummers I play with feel the same way.
    - Amp behind and tilted up: allows me to hear... better than on the floor. On the down side, sometimes the partial floor coupling sounds weird.
    - Amp on a stand or chair: acts as a high pass filter, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the space, It can be a bad thing when the rolloff frequency is too high, which as you say can make the sound too thin.
  5. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    Yeah, last night I was playing in a small room with lots of hard surfaces and I kept turning down bass and increasing treble but all I could hear was low frequency booming, but could hardly distinguish pitch. But when another guy played my bass/amp, it sounded just fine. A difficult night. I have a small amp with a tilted front, but I had it down in a corner. I think I should have put it up on a chair, but the logistics would have made that difficult.
  6. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I usually leave my cab on the floor near the drummer for the best tone, but sometimes struggle to hear myself clearly. At our last gig, I put my cab on a chair. I could hear myself much better, but it changed how well I could hear the drummer.
  7. @Chris Fitzgerald pretty much sums up all the factors..
    I used to play with monitors only, which could work because the sound is send towards your ears. Down side: it's also send towards the bass's front, which will resonate at higher pressures, resulting in a whooly sound, or feedback.
    Amp on a chair can work. It rolls of some lows, like a natural HPF.

    Phil Jones has a "Ear Box", i have no experience with it, but it looks like a "best of both worlds" -solution? Maybe somebody here has real life experience with this gadget?
    Ear-Box – Phil Jones Bass
  8. I always use a cheap amp stand from Stagg. I like it because the amp is still coupled to the floor so not to much low end loss.

    lowplaces and Jason Hollar like this.
  9. MDrost1

    MDrost1 Supporting Member

    Oct 16, 2009
    Grand Haven, MI
    I have an ear box and use it with my Acoustic Image rig. It is great. Allows me to hear everything I am missing with the amp on the ground.

    FWIW, I have a MAS26 pole mount and used it for quite a while. This IMHO is much more effective for my use.
    GoofusInsanius likes this.
  10. Roger Davis

    Roger Davis

    May 24, 2006
    Another impediment to a good amplified sound is a carpeted floor. I was playing yesterday in a room with a thick carpet, must have been approaching 20mm thick. With my Lifeline and Genzler 10-2 Array cab I had a very mushy sound. The previous week I had fitted a new Kremona (KNA) pickup to try, didn’t prefer it but left it on. So at the gig I used it and although it was a bit quacky in part of the range it produced a clearer sound.

    I’ll be returning to the same venue in a few weeks and I’ll bring a tilting wedge with me to see whether that effects an improvement. Or I’ll use a chair. But I don’t like chairs anymore than I like carpets.
  11. EZ Foldz 12-Inch Folding Step Stools

    Not your standard issue piece of equipment but I've been using one of these to elevate my cabinet just enough with excellent results. Folds completely flat for easy transport.
  12. Follow-up to my previous post in this thread...

    I've been experimenting with putting the amp on the floor but in the vertical position. (I'm using a 1-12" w/ tweeter). Not as booming as I thought - it helped making some minor EQ adjustments - and I'm enjoying the beefier low end.

    We'll see how long this lasts.
  13. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    I've mentioned this in other threads, but in problematic rooms I have turned my cab around to face the back wall and let the reflected sound come forward. It has worked very well and gives a nice spread across the playing area.
  14. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar It Don’t Mean A Thing... Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    I’m definitely prefer the sound of my amp (Markbass 1x12 combo) on the floor.

    However I just discovered a great use for my Countryman DI which is usually stashed in my kit bag. It’s the perfect size wedge to kick the amp back if I need a little extra monitoring.
  15. If you have hpf, vertical on the floor seems to work for me. Btw I try to nudge the guitarist in our trio to have his amp on a chair or something, to separate our sounds somewhat.
    Jason Hollar likes this.
  16. Those hemispherical cabs from Moses Graphite look interesting. 1 x 10" 450w pointing straight up but radiating in every direction.
  17. So, I’m back to (most of the time) elevating the cabinet. Sometimes I’ll get a sense that the room can handle or absorbs a lot of low end, and I’ll place it on the floor.

    I’m also back to having a lower setting on my endpin. But that’s a whole other story isn’t it? :D
  18. Frits


    Sep 21, 2007
    Belgium (Europe)
    Buy an upshot speaker by Acoustic Image. All your hearing problems solved. Works great!
    BobKay likes this.
  19. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I like the Upshot concept, I saw the prototype at last years ISB convention in Ithica. It's definitely the smallest lightest DB speaker out there.
    That said, Ric had a different prototype at the convention in Fort Collins Colorado with an up and downfiring speaker. Definitely heavier,
    but it was a very interesting idea. Just my take. A simpler solution, would be the Ampwedge, especially if you already own a cabinet you
    like. Mike Arnopol's MAS 4x5 will cover a room sitting up or on the floor.

  20. Pat Harris

    Pat Harris Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I may be old before my time and and crotchety, and possibly lazy, but if I'm having trouble hearing myself on a gig, 95% of the time, even if the room acoustics suck, it's because the stage volume/mix isn't right.

    I know my gear, and I know how to dial in a very workable sound/tone. If I'm in a sonic situation where I've got to compete for sonic space with kick drum, low toms, low end from a keyboard or low end from a guitar I simply don't compete. If a guitarist thinks that they need to move more air on their low E string than the bass and brings a Fender Twin to a restaurant gig, that's on them.

    Most sonic solutions for me really come down to having conversations with other musicians about frequency slotting, because there are some great players out there, but they haven't taken the time with their gear to figure out "functional tone" versus their "concept for optimal tone in a vacuum." The players that have figured this out are amazing to make music with, and those are the folks I gravitate toward.
    Povl Carstensen and Roger Davis like this.

Share This Page