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Amplification Distress - Seeking Advice Quickly

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MWBass, Jun 19, 2005.


  1. Eden WT-800B with 2 Eden 210XST's

    6 vote(s)
    21.4%
  2. EBS TD-650 with an EBS 410 and possibly 212

    3 vote(s)
    10.7%
  3. Epifani UL902 Head with a 410UL or 610UL cab

    12 vote(s)
    42.9%
  4. Anything else that would remedy this situation

    7 vote(s)
    25.0%
  1. MWBass

    MWBass

    Jun 19, 2005
    New Brunswick
    Hey everybody, my name is Marc. I am a bass player based out of New Brunswick, New Jersey. I have been searching for the ultimate rig to play through and I am nearing my breaking point. As backround, I am 25 years old, and I started playing bass when I was 22; I was athlete through all of my high school and college days. In my three years experience I have learned that I am a very percussive player, slapping and tapping 80 percent of the time. I like playing fast. Lot of victor wooten meets les claypool for a meeting of the minds type stuff. I have written a few solo songs that very much resemble work like Vic Wooten's song "A Show of
    Hands". I obviously cannot play up to his speed and caliber, but that is where my head is at. I am currently playing through a Fodera Monarch VW Classic 4 string.

    Now for background on what I have owned. Bare in mind that I am a high school Calculus teacher and I stiull live in a cheap college house with some friends, so I have had a lot of money at my expense that I have spend foolishly on many rigs that I have returned. I will list the gear in the order that I owned it and Why I stopped playing it:
    1.) SWR Workingman's head and Peavey 115 - This was the first setup I had and it served me fine, but I had no idea what I was doing back then.
    2.) SWR Workingman's head and SWR Triad (old) - I bought this cabinet from my friend because he was moving on and It was better than what I had.
    3.) Ampeg SVT-3 Pro and 410hlf - This was a cool set up, but at this time I started playing with a hard rock/heavy metal band and it was a little to boomy for my taste.
    4.) Ampeg SVT-4Pro and Mesa Boogie Powerhouse 1000 - Very Very loud, but the port on the back of the Powerhouse 1000 filled the rooms with muddled bass.
    5.)Ampeg SVT-4Pro and Ampeg 810E - I bought this set up because I was big into Mudvayne at the time and wanted to try and match a Ryan MArtini like tone. I played this setup for almost a year.
    6.)Eden Metro and Eden 410XLT - I bought this because I was in a store tryin out some basses and the rig sounded great, so much cleaner than the Ampeg stuff. Problem was that the old Metro did not have enough power and broke up at high volumes.
    7.) Eden Highwayman as pre into QSC3402 with Eden 410XLT and 215XLT - This was a huge sounding rig, but it sure did take up a lot of space. I wasn't to pleased because I lost a lot of clarity.
    8.) Eden Highwayman into QSC3402 with Mesa Boogie Powerhouse 410 and 2 Powerhouse 115's - Once again, a whole lotta stuff. Same as last setup, too much boom.
    9.) Eden Highwayman into QSC3402 and 2 Mesa Powerhouse410's - this was a little better than the last rig it had the same volume and was much cleaner. problem is that this rig was way to thin. There was no fullness and roundness to any notes. No Balls.
    10.)Eden-Highwayman into QSC 3402 with 2 Eden 410XLT's (revisited) - So I basically went back to my old rig because it was the best I had so far. The reason I had 2 410's is because I wanted it to be loud, but I didn't want them to run as hard so that I could have a cleaner sound. I stuck with this for almost a year as well.
    11.)Eden head into Epifani 610NYC - I decided I was going to make a leap and do the Epifani thing. I want to the factory and tried everything. I realized that I much prefered the NYC line over the UL's because the UL's had a little something strange going on in the midrange. I ended up keeping this for a short time, to heavy and awkward.
    12.) Aguilar 750 and 2 GS 212's - Really cool set up great look, but it just wasn't as smooth as I wanted. This is when I realized I much prefer 10's over 12's.
    13.) Ampeg SVT-4pro and Accugroove tri210L on top of an El Whoppo - Figured I would try this after loving it in the store. I'll tell you what, it is as clean as everyone says and fairly loud, but it does get boomy at high volumes. Especially when you are close to it. I was disappointed. So I made the next move...
    14.)Eden Metro head into QSC3402 into 2 Eden 410XLT's - again, back at the eden stuff. It does sound good, but their is still just something off about the sound.
    15.)Eden head into 2 Epifani 210NYC's - This set up I got to test pretty good, The bottom end was great, it was really clean, but at High volumes the tweeter was to harsh and when I turned the tweeter down it was like there was no middle ground at that volume, either it was there and harsh or not.
    16.) Contemplation of getting the SVT-4Pro again and running it into the AMpeg 410BXT and 115BXT, but I realized I just don't like the ampeg sound.
    17.) Eden setup into Phil Jones 16B and 8T - All I have to say is this, it's the cleanest tightest most accurate speaker around, but it has no force to it at all you cannot feel any thump, no thunder, just seemed powerless. Top end was a little strange without a tweeter too.
    18.) Euphonic Audio iAMP800 into 2 - 210NL's - Euphonic Audio is probably the nicest sounding gear ever. It's clean, articulate, fast, light, very studio esce sound. Problem is it doesn't sound like it should be used on a stage, Bass was deep but like the phil jones, not forceful and powerful.
    19.) SWR 750x and SWR Henry the 8x8 - This rig had punch, a bunch off it, but the super lows of the Henry weren't that evident and the piezo tweeter was just wierd, sounded like flies getting zapped in one of the shocker lights. This is when I truly realized how important the sound and style of the tweeter is to a person who slaps and taps a lot.
    20.) Eden Head Setup with 2 Eden 410XLT - So, I'm back at the Eden stuff. It sounds good, still some stuff is off, i just don't know anymore.

    So, there is the saga. Basically over the course of owning all of this stuff I have realized a few things. Tweeters are a very important tone to slappers and fast articaulate players. I have noticed that a lot of people don't like it, but I like the sound of the Eden Cast Bell Tweeter. It isn't harsh at high volumes and can be finely tuned. Other tweeters like the piezo in the Henry and tweeters in the aguilar and epifani stuff, get very clacky at high volumes, sounds kind of like to high pitched pieces of wood getting smacked together real fast. The things i've noticed about my current setup are that the eden head sounds great. It is flat I don't need to adjust it much and has a nice natural tone. The XLT cabs I have noticed do have a midrange hump. Also, the bottom end of the low E when i strike it just seems to be missing. the E is quieter and less round than the A.

    So, basically I have been on a quest to try to find a head cabinet combo that will be extremely quick and responsive like the EA, phil jones stuff, will not be clacky at high volumes when doing a lot of fast double pops and flicks on the G string, will be articulate and clear in the upper register on the E, A strings without getting boomy, but will also have full round thump on bottom notes. I don't want the cabinet to miss everything. Good tracking. And yes I have considered the Shroeder stuff, but I would rather order from a company that I know will be able to replace gear for me quickly if I am ever in a jam.

    So basically after all of this I have realized given my playing style which is percussive and fast, which still desires punch and round/whole notes with excellent articulation, I have narrowed it down to the following setups:


    Eden WT-800B into 2 Eden 210XST's: I haven't had a chance to play the XST cab's but from what I heard they could do the trick. I want to be a little more articulate than before, I already like the not so extreme tweeter on the eden set to like 12 o'clock, and I really want to have a fuller rounder thump on the low E. Since the 210XST's -3db point is at 30 hz I think this can do the trick.

    EBS TD650 into EBS 410 and possible a 212 - I haven't played the EBS stuff either, but Marcus Miller sounds great... I have just heard that the EBS stuff is almost overly punchy and fat, and the bottom at 70 hz sounds a little lacking. That's why I suggested the 212 as well. I kind of want to get rid of lugging massive amounts of gear but I will do it if need be. Sound is well more important than portability to me.

    Epifani UL-902 into either a UL-410 or UL-610 - I dunno, i didn't really like the UL cabs as much as the NYC's but maybe things would be different through their heads. I did like the way the Epifani's sounded just not the tweeter so much, but maybe this setup is different.

    So, that's what I have somewhat narrowed it down to. I have set up a poll and am curious what you guys think about these three rigs. Don't just answer given what you like, but instead think about what I have been through and the style I play and mix that with what you know about the rigs. Any other gear outside of these are welcomed as well.

    So, if you have made it through this brutally long description and still care to comment I would much appreciate any advice that you guys can give me... I am a first time TB'r and really need the help. Hopefully I can put an end to this gear hunting madness and get back to the source, my playing.

    Thanks, Marc.
     
  2. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    So let me get this right...

    You are using your stage rig as a monitor and for power out front.

    You will rarely be happy unless you only play a few rooms and know how to dial your rig in perfectly for each room.

    You've gone though a lot of really good gear and are still not happy.

    There is no perfect rig! There are way too many variables involved to always have a perfect rig.

    Either get a good rig to always use as a stage monitor (you will still have to know where to stand in relation to the speakers to get your 'perfect' tone) and go through the p.a. or put up with the fact that your sound will not always be perfect.

    :D

    Joe.
     
  3. Whappo Grande

    Whappo Grande

    Feb 9, 2002
    Santa Clara, CA.
    Manager: AccuGroove Speakers
    That's a lot of great gear that you have owned!

    My suggestion is that whatever you get; invest the extra time needed to adjust the EQ to the given venue. (More than you normally do) All the gear you mentioned is good & should work fine; it just takes time to hone it in so you can enjoy it.

    It’s better to invest the extra time than to continue to buy & sell rigs.

    Humbly,
    Mark
    AccuGroove
     
  4. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    You have gone through so many combinations of gear that I could only dream of coming near... and yet you are not satisfied. A puzzlement... until I noticed this passage in your post:
    You need to spend less time worrying about gear and just practice more.
     
  5. MWBass

    MWBass

    Jun 19, 2005
    New Brunswick
    Wow, you guys respond fast.
    Yeah, I completely understand what your saying about no perfect rig and the fact that I should spend less time worrying and more time playing.

    Basically what happened was, when I first went in to try some new gear I decided that I was going to find the best rig for me and how I play, so that I could just move on and not worry about it... thus allowing myself to set aside the gear issues, and really focus on expanding as a player. Unfortunately I got stuck in this testing situation and now I can't break that mentality. I just wish I could find a piece of gear that I felt solid about every time I plugged up to it. Now I am kind off mentally stuck and I guess i just need some piece of mind.

    Thanks for the advice though.
     
  6. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Why don't you get the EXACT gear you favourite bassist uses, the one you most want to sound like. That will give you piece of mind in knowing that if it doesn't sound just the way you want at least you can take all your gear out of the equation and move on.
     
  7. Kael

    Kael Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    Just curious...

    If you liked the EA NL-210's but felt that it did not belt out enough low end, did you try the CXL-112?

    That's definitely a lot of gear to go through to never find a tone you were happy with.
     
  8. MWBass

    MWBass

    Jun 19, 2005
    New Brunswick
    That's true,

    But I have kind of done that with the Ampeg SVT-4pro which I played for over a year and it just wasn't feelin right...

    I see what your saying though, I really just gotta get something that makes me happy so that I can get deeper into my playing.

    I got another question. Do you buy gear to fit the situation that you are in, or do you buy gear to fit yourself. I was in a band for almost 3 years and the music was all hard hard rock/ metal with a little progressive feel to it. I was lugging around the 2 410XLT's just so that I could hear myself.

    But, when it comes to me and how I play, I listen to and play a lot more jazz and fusion on my own: like Vic Wooten, Marcus Miller, Medeski MArtin and Wood, Ben Folds.

    That's why I wonder... An eden XLT will cut through in a live setting like crazy but may not sound that great for Jazz and Funk. Stuff like an EA iAMP800 and a pair of 210NL's sounds great, but would get murdered in a hard rock band, but it sounds great for quick slap and funk.

    So, anyone with thoughts on this...
     
  9. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Good idea.

    That's exactly why I buy the best gear I can afford, to take equipment out of the equation as much as possible.

    :D

    Joe.
     
  10. MWBass

    MWBass

    Jun 19, 2005
    New Brunswick
    No KAel,

    I have never gotten a chance to use the CXL-112. I have a strange fear of twelves. I have yet to play one that I liked. But, as you can see, I'm willing to try anything.

    I have realized that I desire great clarity and articulation, especially on fast slapping and tapping (obviously at stage level volumes), but I definetly want a nice round thump on the bottom.

    That's why I feel stuff like an EBS 410 wouldn't be right up my Alley, given the lack of lower bottom on the cab.

    The EA's were nice though, I guess i just didn't think they'd make it in the band that I was in...

    I think The Eden 210XST's, The Epifani 410UL, and the EA's are kinda tops on my list write now, if I just solely think about myself and no band situation.

    I got problems...
     
  11. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Is it possible that part of the problem is your bass?
    I know that you're using a Fodera, and that it's a nice bass, but its the ONE thing in common with all your setups.

    Maybe a different Fodera? Or maybe you should look at a few other basses in that pricebreak?
     
  12. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    This is a path which will lead to dispair, chaffing and flacidity! The process of purchasing new gear should be a happy time. Order-up the EA's(they are clearly the best out of those 3), make sure you've got plenty of wattage, put out some milk and cookies and enjoy the anticipation. In the event that you aren't happy with the sound keep a mirror handy so you can quickly identify what the problem is.

    Do you feel better now?? I sure do!!
     
  13. MWBass

    MWBass

    Jun 19, 2005
    New Brunswick
    Very good point...

    I would have to say it would be damn near impossible for me to part with that bass. I had also gone throught the same thing with basses. I have owned Warwicks entire line, Peavey Cirrus's, Custom Basses, A Ritter Classic, and when I got the Fodera, I just loved it. The playability is amazing, the tone is great and the bass looks absolutely gorgeous ( Buckeye Burl top over Mahogany.

    However, I do think a change in strings could help. I have been playing thin gauges 40,60,80,100 forever, but every time I try somethin thicker, it just feels so awkward.

    I can safetly say the things in my rig that I love are my Fodera and my Phil Jones SS-4 speaker cables. Something about an immensely thick well protected cable that gives me confidence in my connections.

    But, I appreciate your responce. The thought has crossed my mind, but every time I pick up my bass it goes away immediately.
     
  14. Hrothgar

    Hrothgar Guest

    Sep 22, 2003
    Seattle
    Here's my experience: I play in speed metal band with an insane drummer, 2 guitarists with full Marshall Stacks, and keyboards. What do i take to a gig? My Aguilar AG500 and Bergantino HT/EX 112 stack with my passive Mike Lull V4 :D . Then, they ask me to turn down... :rolleyes:

    When I haul this stuff into a gig in one trip, the other bands think I'm crazy :eyebrow: (as they're rolling in the ol' 810), but then i sound louder and ten times better :spit: .

    That kind of gear, I think, should be fine as long as your not clipping the amp and you have speakers (like Bergs) that can handle the power for extended periods of time. They haven't failed me yet! and I sound sooooo good.
     
  15. MWBass

    MWBass

    Jun 19, 2005
    New Brunswick
    Lowphatbass,

    I know I am probably dredging here, but you would put the EA's above the Epifani's?

    I clearly hear that the Epifani's as well as EA's are above the Eden's, but I am still a bit curious about the Eden XST's. I have read a few things on tb about them but nothing solid, especially compared to the aforementioned companies.

    What do you play through if you don't mind me asking...
     
  16. I'm very happy with my gear setup, generally.

    But a big part of bass sound (WAY more so than guitar) is the room acoustics. If its a cement floor/wood stage, it makes it more boomy. Carpeted rooms sound totally different, tighter.

    You have to learn to adjust the rig to the room. Boomy rooms, try raising spkrs off the floor, or do the auralex padding thing to decouple from the floor. Or turn down the low freqs on the amp.

    Also, if you're using the amp for monitors on stage, and going through the house system, there could be lots of low end bleeding back to you, so its not your amp that sounds really muddy, it's your amp + the extra bottom bleeding back to you that makes it sound muddy. In some cases, if enough low end bleeds, you don't have much chance of getting enough mids/highs from your rig to compensate. And the sound will change depending on where you are on stage.

    Life's a compromise.... No rig sounds great in every situation, even the best. Guarantee you Wooten hates his sound sometimes...

    Randy
     
  17. man... i need a job!!!!! (although i think i should finish school first) regardless, you have gone through a lot of equipment.

    p.s.-let me know when you get tired of that fodera next week ;)
     
  18. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    My reason for suggesting the EA's over the other two "E's" are that they are the most accurate and "flat". You seem to be confident in yourself and your bass, we share that in common. I have come to the conclusion that the best cabs for me are like the best water, no taste, no colour, just simple and refreshing, and it's taken me a while to get here. I don't use much amp EQ so the natural "voice" of a cabinet has a big effect on my sound.
    I have some different cabs, what I am using now?: A Bag End Q10BX-d, it's not entirely flat for sure but it may be the loudest, cleanest and heaviest 4x10 I have ever heard or picked-up. The highs sound like someone built a wall of silk dome tweeters like they use in nearfield studio reference monitors, it's amazing, the lows are REALLY deep. If I need brut force that's what I use. I also have an EA VL208, flattest thing I have ever heard, handles the low Bb on my Dingwall like it's nothing, if I had another one I would be set for 90% of the situations I play in. I put the VL208 on top of a Bag End S15D that I recently got for mid sized stuff, I like the sound of the two cabs together so much that I even use it just to take some strain off of my EA.
    I love the sound of Eden cabs, they seem to be eq's perfect for me to slap through. The reason I no longer use them is my discovery that they are eq'd to put a smile on MY face, not the people's listening out in the room.
     
  19. MWBass

    MWBass

    Jun 19, 2005
    New Brunswick
    lowphatbass,

    wow that really basically sums up a lot of the problems I have been hearing. I have noticed that when I play my eden rig at practice in my basement it sounds incredible as well as at low volumes, but when I am out playing, especially outdoors I have noticed that when I am 15 feet plus away from the cabs my slap sounds very, I dunno fake. It doesn't stay tight and quick... basically away from the rig in a loud live setting what is coming out of the amp doesn't sound like what I am putting in.

    I guess I need to ask a question of anyone who is looking at this thread. Projection!!!! What amps and cabs sound great to you the player in a playing position, as well as out in the crowd to the people checking out the show. I want to know what stays crisp, fast, transient, and tracks notes to a t while you are somewhat close as well as way out in the crowd, at low and at high volumes...

    Thanks man, that makes a lot of sense...
     
  20. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I also play alot of gigs where the sound co. provides the bass rig and it's usually a SWR or EDEN head through 1x15+4x10 or 4x10+4x10, I even see a GK set-up from time to time. I can pretty much get "my sound" out of just about anything as long as it isn't crap, one of the best features of my current set-up is purely the fact that it fits in my trunk!!! The best feature about using the sound co's rig is I can use their drivers as hostages to get a good monitor mix, "hey, I'd hate to blow a driver in this sweet cab, could you PLEASE take the percussionist OUT of my monitor?"