Arg - Bass amp Dilemna!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by red40, Mar 25, 2003.

  1. red40


    Mar 25, 2003
    Wilmington, DE
    Hi everyone, I'm a newbie here, though I used to post in the newsgroups and I hang out on HC too. I play in red number40 and have been playing bass for a few years now.

    My band has been recording and its left me frustrated trying to get the right tone not only for recording but for live shows (I am going for a similar sound for both). I use a Gibson Ripper bass or RD Artist through a PSA-1 preamp, then a 72 SVT as the power amp. My cabs are an SWR Goliath III and Son of Bertha.

    Here's my problem, the bass just seems a little too muddy, sometimes with this odd midrange thing going on, but not a good midrange and not a growly midrange. When we record I don't use the 1x15 so it isn't that. And the SVT preamp sounds muddier than the PSA-1, so it isn't that. So its either my Gibson basses, the Ampeg SVT or the SWR 4x10. I am going for something that rumbles a bit but I do want some clear midrange for when I am doing more than root notes. Its indie rock/power pop so I don't need jazz-like clarity. Any idea what part of my setup is lacking? I know its a lot of variables and I was planning on trying some different cabs and maybe even selling out and trying a P or J bass :)

    I've been reading a bit and options for cabs include a real Ampeg 8x10, though last time I tried new Ampeg 4x10s I thought they were incredibly muddy. There's also the SWR Henry 8x8 or even a Mesa cab. I definitely appeciate the help and sorry for dumping a novel in here on my first post
  2. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    All I can speak for is the Goliath III. Rest assured this is not creating your mud. It's something else.
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I hate to say that is likely your basses.

    An SVT head into a Goliath is not what I would call a muddy rig.

    Why not borrow another bass (i.e. Fender!) and see how it changes things.
  4. And why use a separate preamp, the preamp section of the SVT is pretty killer.

    edit: oops, I now see you feel the SVT pre is muddy. It shouldn't be IMHO, so maybe change preamp tubes? (are the right tubes in there?) Are you getting any crackling or popping, maybe a coupling capacitor is going south.
  5. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    One man's mud is another man's idea of perfect tone. I cop it every time I say it but tube amps sound muddy compared to Solid state amps. That warmth and growl your hearing is a trademerk sound of an SVT and a lot of people love it. I don't and maybe you don't either. Nothing wrong with that, everyone has different taste.

    Also, is that bass active or passive? Active basses are generally punchier than passive bases.
  6. red40


    Mar 25, 2003
    Wilmington, DE
    So I feel like such a dork now. I went to practice tonight and was messing around with my Ripper/PSA/SWR setup except with my friends Hartke since I dropped the SVT off to be serviced. Well, I was still frustrated that I wasn't getting the sound I wanted so I tried playing with a pick and bam - all muddiness was gone, the articulation I wanted was there. I haven't played using a pick in years but I guess I have to relearn all my bands songs with one now since it sounded so much better. I can't wait to get the SVT back, the Hartke was clear enough for me but the low end was flabby and not beefy like the SVT, as of now I am confident I have a pretty winning combo for me. I am also happy to report the Ripper has a great tone with the pick, its not mellow like it used to be. Its basically halfway between a P and J bass.