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Awful muddy sound...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mirthoneist, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. Mirthoneist


    Jul 28, 2006
    Hey guys, I've been playing the bass for a good few years now, but am totally not a gear/tech guy.

    I have an Ampeg SVT 3 Pro head and a Ampeg BSE-410HLF cab.

    I leave my equipment at my friend's house, where we practice, and one day he had some of his friends who were amateur musicians come over and play with our equipment, which I wasn't informed about.

    Anywho, my friend said the "bassist" had turned up the gain 75% up, and the master about 20% up, and when he tried to play his bass, a "weird" noise was made. =\

    Anywho, ever since then, my rig hasn't had the same sound. A week after that happened, we had our first gig, and my rig just didn't seem to have as much "oomph" to it.

    I was trying to practice with it the other day, putting it on low, and the sound was like, really muddy and the tone was just, awful. It almost sounded like my bass wasn't tuned (but it was/is).

    I've used my 2 other basses on it; same awful sound. I've changed the cables, and get the same awful sound. I don't know anybody in town that plays bass, so I can't just borrow someone's amp/cab to test mine with. My settings on the amp are the same as I've always had them and liked.

    So my question is, what can I do to find out what the problem might be? Would bad tubes make it have an awful sound? How can I check if/which speakers are blown if that might be the problem? What can I do to figure out what the problem is?
  2. SERPENT865


    Jan 1, 2007
    Wichita , KS
    Make sure your FRIEND pays for what ever might be wrong because he let someone else use YOUR equipment. try each piece out on other equipment for starters.
  3. Mirthoneist


    Jul 28, 2006
    Yeah, we are going to work something out; he's gotta redeem himself somehow. :D

    But if it's just new tubes I need or something, I'll have him pay for those. I just need to figure out what's the problem though. And like I said, I don't know anybody with bass equipment in this tiny town I just moved to, so I really can't test my gear with someone else's gear. :(
  4. 4StringTheorist

    4StringTheorist Supporting Member

    Blown tweeter?
  5. peterbright


    Jan 23, 2007
    On The Bayou
    Sounds like it.
  6. fenderhutz

    fenderhutz Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Harpers Ferry WV
    Yeah those BSE's aren't built to take a beating.

    You probably need to replace the inline fuse for the tweeter (I know the Classic HLF has it, not sure if the BSE does).
  7. Mirthoneist


    Jul 28, 2006
    Okay guys, thanks for the suggestion! I will definitely take a look at that; I think there is even a switch on the back to turn it off. I thought it might be the speakers though because the actual muddiness is seems too be coming from the "deep" tones rather than the highs, which actually sound normal. But yes, I will take a look!
  8. Is the deep button pushed in? I accidentally hit mine and spent about a week trying to eq out the boom. Then I checked the buttons again :scowl:
  9. Mirthoneist


    Jul 28, 2006
    Hehe, yeah, I made sure that it wasn't pushed in. I actually had hoped that all the kid did was push the button in to make it sound not as good, but unfortunately it's not that. :(
  10. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Blown tweeter's a good place to start if you say it sounds muddier or boomier than usual. I'd also do the battery test on the speakers to see if they're all moving. If one or more is blown, the cones will still move as you play due to the changing air pressure inside the cabinet caused by the speakers that are still moving. What this amounts to is a dead speaker acting as a passive radiator when it isn't designed to be one, can really screw up your sound, also cause weird ohm loads the amp may not like.
  11. An easier way (imo) is to plug your computer into your amp (1/4 in) and play back a 10 hz test tone at a low volume and watch the speakers. They will move back and forth nice and slow. Then bump it up to like 1000hz at low volume and listen for the tweeter.

    You can get the test tone gen off of the QSC website. Free. You just need a 1/8 to 1/4 cord so you can plug the sound card into the Ampeg.

    I don't really know what a blown tweeter sounds like, but with this tool, I am sure you will find out.
  12. Liko


    Mar 30, 2007
    If they turned the gain up that high on a tube amp and then plugged in an active bass, they probably blew the preamp tube. If this is the case it's not an expensive fix (but make your friend pay for it anyway and tell him that under no circumstances is anyone to touch your rig without your express permission and supervision).

    If changing the preamp tube doesn't fix it, you may have a bad power amp tube. These are more expensive to replace, but not the end of the world.

    If it's neither of these, the problem is likely to be expensive. Hope your friend has some savings.

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