Amps and cabs: which one is responsible for what?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ChrisIsOurTime, Oct 14, 2001.

  1. ChrisIsOurTime


    Oct 9, 2001
    I've been playing for long enough to know when I like the sound of something and when it sounds bad but I don't know much about why. I was just wondering if someone could explain what makes a cab good. I know the difference between speaker sizes but after that I'm clueless.

    I have a Hartke 3500 and a Ampeg BSE410HLF. I've just found that more and more I'm unhappy with my amp and I've been blaming it one the head but maybe its the cab for all I know.

    Another thing I found is that everyone raves about how good Eden cabs are. I play through one at my practice space with either my head or a Yahama and I'm not impressed. I figure its probly the heads but I'm wondering if there would be any other reason for this?
  2. leper


    Jun 21, 2001
    the bass, pickups, strings, cables, room, lighting, and how recently you showered.....

    i think you get my point...everything affects tone..................EVERYTHING
  3. I'll try to keep this story short, but it's very similar I think to what you're going through now.

    In 79 I bought myself a full blown SVT rig. 350 watts of all tube blood and guts power. My friends oooohed and aaaahed over it and kept telling, you got the king of the monsters...that thing sounds so good...god, I wish I had one. There was only one thing wrong with it...I didn't like it. I spent over two years trying to get the sound I wanted out of it and thinking I was crazy for not liking it because everybody kept saying what a great amp I had.

    About a year later EV came out with a new line of EVM cabs. I tried a 2x15 cab out at the music store and fell in love with it because it was so much cleaner than my 8x10 cab and got down waaaay low. I sold my SVT cab and bought the EV and I was a lot happier with the sound, but it still wasn't quite right. The EV cab was great. The thing was incapeable of producing distortion on it's own. There were times where I pushed the SVT until it flat ran out of power and the EV never whimpered.

    It was 1983 when I tried a Gallien Krueger head for the first time. It was a 400RB and I was astounded by the hi-fi sound, clean, pure and clear as crystal. All this time I had been a die hard tube fan. If it didn't have was ****. But I couldn't deny while listening to the GK that here was the sound I had been wanting all this time. The SVT was history.

    I took the GK home and mated it to my EV cab and it was a match made in heaven. Today I run a Gk 400RB into that very same EV cab, but now it has a little brother sitting on top, an Eden 2x10T powered by a GK 200RB and the sound is just as I like it.

    I don't know what sound you're looking for whether it be the hi-fi sound of GK or the rock and rumble of a Mesa Boogie, but you ought to try out everything you can get your hands on in every music store until you find it. I shouldn't have wasted so much time trying to beat the sound I wanted out of gear that just wasn't cut out to do it and neither should you.
  4. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    Nice story, Mudbass! It is something that should be noted by tube dudes, since it seems a lot of them assume SS amp guys are missing out on something. Anyway - I don't have any interest in the old SS vs. tube debate. They both have their advantages and disadvantages, so it boils down to personal preference.

    ChrisIsOurTime - I wonder if it's that head. I dunno, but I just played on a dude's Hartke head tonight and wasn't that impressed. I've also read some mixed reviews from others in TB.

    I guess it would help if you could express what exactly it is you don't like about the sound. Does it seem compressed? Distorted? Weak in the low bass? Too shrill? Muddy or poorly defined? If you describe what you *don't like* and what sound you would prefer, maybe people will have constructive ideas for you. And, of course, you should spend some time trying out different stuff in music stores - take note of what you like and don't like - then you'll make a better decision.

    - Mike
  5. ChrisIsOurTime


    Oct 9, 2001
    I wouldn't say that I hate the amp completely. Its nice and loud and I like the lows. The mids are okay and it just gets worse on the highs. It just seems like I can never get the sound quite right. Always feels like somethings missing and its not quite warn and full enough. Thats why I think I wanna get a tube amp. I also like GK too but I'm worried I'll end up with the same problem of it just not being quite right. Its hard to really say what the problem is cause sometimes it sounds much better than other times. I like it alot more with a Sansamp but I'm thinking a GK might sound even better and it wouldn't cost much to get one instead of this Hartke. Then I could just save up and get a Mesa 400.

    At any rate my plan right now is to get a Sansamp (for bass, I've just been using a guitar one) and maybe try out GK and see if I can find a good used one.
  6. could it be a bass and string problem rather than a amp/cab problem as the set up you have seems pretty good and you should be able to get a good range of tones from that rig.

    just a view to help u along

  7. My friend, it doesn't hurt to try things out. Try a GK and if it's what you want go for it. If not, try an Eden or an Ashdown or Trace Elliot, or Hughes & Kettner or a Sunn...just don't settle for less than you want even if you have to save up for a very very long time to get it.
  8. ChrisIsOurTime


    Oct 9, 2001
    Its not my bass cause I love it. My current strings do blow but I've tried lots of different stings and it doesn't make a diffenrence. I'm sure I could find a good tone it would just take 2 hours before each show to find it.

    There are alot of different amps I wanna try (especially SWR). I played an Eden rig once and it was amazing. That was with my school jazz choir though and I need something for a hardcore/punk band and I've never seen a band of that style play Eden. I need something that is loud and agressive, rattely and overdriven but still full and able to get my higher fills through the rest of the band.