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Bad sound

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Tactgman, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. Tactgman


    Oct 18, 2013
    El Paso, Texas
    I currently am running an Ampeg B2RE bass head through an Ampeg 4x10's. I also recently acquired a Kustom Tuck n' Roll bass head 200, more than likely late 60's.

    I have two Fender J basses which are passive and a Washburn XB-400, which has active P/U's. I run no effects or pedals.

    I have a hell of a time competing sound wise with volume hogging guitarists with Laneys and Marshall's, etc.

    I can never get good sound in live or practice settings. Even when I mic the cab to a soundboard, my tone is distorted and mediocre at best.

    Originally, I played exclusively the Ampeg head which I think is @350 w and could never compete. I was told by a gear head at a local shop to up the wattage. I got the Kustom which is suppose to be at 1000 w, but find I have worse tone than with the Ampeg.

    Is it my cab, or do I have two duds for heads?

    I just want to have the best sound I can possibly have to gig with.


    Are there any good literature to learn about settings and sound?

  2. That Kustom might put out 100 watts, on a good day, into 4 ohms...and that's assuming it's been serviced with new power supply capacitors. I'm serious. 100 watts. No I did not leave off a 0. (I had the K250 and it barely eeked out 140 watts.)

    Whoever told you it put out 1000 watts was in fantasy land. If the gear head at the local shop that sold you the Kustom told you 1000 watts, get your money back and go buy your gear elsewhere. He's full of bull.
  3. Well first the Kustom is not 1000 watts, more like 100 watts. Second you need to check if all the speakers are okay in the 410. Third, try cutting some on the bass control of the Ampeg. Then set the master at about 9:30, turn up the input gain till you start hearing distortion and back down till you like the sound. From there use the master for your volune needs.
    That is not one of the more loved Ampegs but still has more guts available than the old Kustom.
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Which cab do you have?
  5. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    The B2RE puts out 450 watts at 4 ohms; 250 watts at 8 ohms. You probably need more speakers.
  6. Hi.

    +1 for the Kustom being 100W.

    Also +1 for checking the cab, a battery test will reveal whether all the speakers are in phase.

    That said, IME You don't have either the power, nor speaker(s) to compete with any guitar amp if the guitarists You play with behave like they usually tend to.
    You can keep up with a guitarists using ~20W tube amps or ~50W SS amps but if they choose to, they'll still drown you.

    IME/IMO a war with a guitarist is not worth waging, unless insane amounts of money is spent.

    I'd approach the problem from another, cheaper, but not necessarily easier angle though.

    Ask the guitarists to either raise their cabs to the ear level, or at least tilt the cabs so they can "enjoy" the same spl as they force everyone else to suffer.

    With rigs like Yours, no earplugs have to be a rule as well.

  7. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    As Jimmy says, there are many Ampeg 410 models. The SVT-410 HLF can get rather loud if you have an honest 500W at 4 Ohms of amp. The sealed models SVT-410 HE are 8 Ohms and you would need minimum 350-400W at 8 Ohms amp to get its full potential.
    In either case I would not start with any Ampeg SS amp to these cabs. Rather a Trace, Peavey, GK etc that are known to give lots of power, which can nog be said about your current Ampeg.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Alex, while the B2RE isn't my favorite amp ever, it does have 450w, which ain't exactly shy wattage.
  9. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    I know, but over and over I see comments from people that have problems hearing themselves while using SS Ampeg amps. There seems to be much less reports of that kind from people using for instance Peavey, GK or Trace Elliot SS amps. And, yes I am familiar with the gain setting "thing" for Ampeg's hybrids as well.
    NB. It seems many users say the tube SVT is much more "powerful" than its SS Ampeg siblings. Still I (personally) belive that many players would say a 1001RB or a Firebass is even louder and punchier than the SVT (unless well over-driven) so there should be a very pronounced step up from the B2RE to an 1001RB?

    I have not tried the B2RE but I have tried other small/mid size Ampegs and they have not "wowed" me.

    YMMV, etc!
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I use SS Ampegs a lot and I've yet to have a problem hearing myself. I consider that to be in the category of "myth." Sorry.
  11. AdamR


    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    What cabinet is it and how are you EQing it ? If your dumping ypur mids and cranking your bass thats your problem. Roll the bass back and bring the mids up.
  12. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    Sounds like you have a couple of problems going on including bandmates (jammates?) who don't respect the rest of the band.

    A single Ampeg 410 may not be able to keep up with the power your head is putting out. If it's a B410HE or B410HLF, the amp is definitely capable of farting it. Same goes for some of the older model SVT410HE's. If you're up against 412's, it's an issue of math. As a general rule, bass guitarists need more surface area and more power than guitarists to keep up the same volume. As was mentioned, if that Kustom is a vintage tuck'n'roll model it will be 60w @ 8 ohm and 100w @ 4 ohm assuming it's up to spec.

    To answer your question, I think it is your cab. It's definitely the weak point in the rig. However, if the guitarists are all stupid loud "for the tone" or some selfish reasons I'd tell them to get lost or buy a smaller amp. Otherwise you'll always be fighting an expensive uphill battle. Marshall and Laney have produced plenty of 5-50w tube combos in a variety of formats from 1x8 to 2x12. ;)

    As things are, your best bet is to buy a new cab or try to EQ it to hear yourself (cut your lows, boost the low mids and/or high mids, and set treble to taste).
  13. If you want to play in a loud band then you need to invest in a cab that can do the job. If your're competing with a couple of 100 watt 412 guitar stacks then you'll probably need more than a 410 to keep up.
  14. fbny71

    fbny71 Supporting Member

    May 28, 2010
    West Hempstead, NY

    No question about that. I have one that I bought used to keep as a backup, it's plenty loud and I only have one 8 ohm 15" cab! There's no winning the volume wars...everybody loses especially the audience.

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