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Bass and amp settings

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by captaind, Apr 9, 2005.

  1. captaind


    Apr 9, 2005
    New to forum!

    I was wondering if anyone could give me advice on settings for clean sound. I play bass in a praise band at my church and was o.k. with my sound until i heard it on a recording. It sounds farty and rough which is not what i want.

    I currently play a JB-2 G&L guitar through a PB-250-15 Carvin combo amp. The amp has a 6 band EQ with compressor and gain controls. It has (1) 15" speaker with a piezo tweeter built in which has its own volume control. The guitar is passive with (2) volume and (1) tone control.

    Our church is relatively small with high ceilings which could create echo if it was empty.

    I play finger style with no slap and distortion is a little much for the type of music i'm playing. Clean is what i'm trying to emulate with low end plus clarity.

    I'm looking at upgrading my amp to possibly a Ashdown Mag combo. Unsure if i should purchase the (2) 10's or the (4) 10's and even the (1) 15 cab.

    If anyone can enlighten me on the proper guitar and bass settings for the sound i'm looking for i will experiment from there. Also, does anyone have any knowledge of the Ashdown Mag combo and would this be a good choice for what i'm after?


    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA

    As you could probably tell by my member name, I also play in a Praise and Worship band, so I'm familiar with the sound you're after.

    I googled your amp because I wanted to check your wattage, but it only came back with the PB-200 which maxs @ 160 watts@ 8 ohms and 2x80 watts @ 4 ohms.

    That might be the problem.

    More headroom in your amp tends to make your tone "cleaner" since it's not being pushed so hard to have adequate volume for the size venue you're in, so you may have to think about a more powerful head/combo.

    Again, this is one of I'm sure several possible reasons, but I'd probably start there.

    Hope this helps!
  3. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    It's hard to tell what's going on without a bit more information on your set-up... but for some very basic basics...

    When people talk about 'farting' with their amp, its usually because your asking the speakers to push too much low end. I'd try rolling off a bit of the low lows and maybe a touch of the mid-lows on yer amp.

    Assuming you have both a master volume and a gain or pre amp volume, run your master hot. I usually run my master at around 75% of full volume and my pre's I run around 10-30%.

    If you're looking for a new amp, look at something with smaller speakers...12's or 10's...They're pretty good at reproducing lows without as much 'flab' as 15's can have (especially if it's a 15 alone). Also look at an amp with higher wattage, as that means more clean headroom for your sound.

    Lastly, I also note that you didn't mention how your material was recorded. Is it possible that the 'distortion' is due to recording technique? You could be overloading whatever mics you were using unless you were running direct. If you were running direct (say multi-track) is it possible you were running too hot and distorting that way?
  4. captaind


    Apr 9, 2005

    Thank you for your reply!

    A more powerful amp has crossed my mind, alas, the Ashdown Mag combo rated around 300 watts.

    You are right on with my amp specs. I'm planning on getting to church early tomorrow and play around with the sound.

    By the way, happy to hear you also play praise and worship. What setup do you use and do you run your rig through a mixer?


    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    The Ashdown MAG 300H has 307 watts if I remember correctly. 300 watts is plenty of power for a smaller church. Heck, I'm running 300 watts and I've barely had the master past 2 o'clock!!

    For the past 4 years I've been using a Fender BXR 300C for my Yamaha 5 string. As a result of this forum, I've had major G.A.S. (gear acquisition syndrome). and I bought an AKG wireless system, BOSS VF-1 effects unit, and next month I'll replace my combo with a Groove Bass 1200 head and a 410 and 210 cabs from Avatar. I currently don't run thru a board, although we travel to other churches that require me to from time to time

    Try BurningSkies suggestion about eq'ing your sound tomorrow...he's on the money with that.

    Good luck and God Bless!
  6. captaind


    Apr 9, 2005
    Well i will answer what i can.

    I line out from amp to mixer board. I'm in the main speakers only and use the amp for a monitor. Settings are about 6 volume, bass and mids boost on, bass and treble controls about 5, no gain and eq set at bass full, mids half and highs close to full. Guitar settings are both volumes half or less and tone control on 1/4 or less.

    Thanks for the advice. I will try different amp settings.

    Quality of recording i don't know as it was done by the church. After hearing it though, i asked one of the guitar players to play my rig with my guitar and i stood in back and listened. It is definately not clean and does sound wicked which is opposite of what i'm looking for.

    Thanks again for your reply.
  7. captaind


    Apr 9, 2005

    Although i'm not familiar with most of your rig set up i bet it sounds awesome!

    You mentioned a BOSS VF-1 effects unit. Does this boost your sound quality? Do you also use it through the sound board?

    Personally, i played bass in rock bands back in the day. Back then it was hook up and play with very little tone control on the amp itself. Wow, how things have changed! I quit playing, got marrried, raised 2 children and was asked to join our praise and worship team. Well, if this is what the Lord had in mind for me then lets to it! I didn't realize how for behind i was until i started. I'll keep trying though and learning as i go especially with help from fellow bassist like yourself.

    Again, Thank you
  8. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I'm not sure how the tone controlls on that Carvin work specifically...but if you don't get the wanted results by readjusting your eq, then you may just be overworkin' that lil' guy. :(

    Some amps, like my new Mesa the bass control is all boost, so fer instance 0 would be flat and 5 would be a fair amount of boost. But this would seem odd for the Carvin.

    Check out the amp/cab deals at Avatar (www.avatarspeakers.com). They're good people make good cabs and you can find that MAG300 there with free shipping.

    BTW, there are a lot of folks in these parts who are part of worship bands...you should get along just fine. :)
    I'm in a Reggae band, and while doing club and bar shows, most out music has a spiritual message too (our singer grew up down south singin' in the church an' her dad is the musical director for one of the big gospel bands in our area).


    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    Glad to help....that's what's so cool about TalkBass. Everyone here goes out of their way to support a fellow bassist....even cats that play music I don't even listen to try to share as much info as they can. My effects, head, and cab purchases are all a result of recommendations from this site.

    The effects unit is pretty sharp. It's not designed exclusively for bass. There are effects for keyboards, lead and acoustic guitars, even a vocorder. 200 preset banks and 200 user created banks. I just got it so I'm still tweaking. I've run it thru a board and it sounds great.

    Hey one other thing. I don't know how you learn new music, but you should check out Tascam's Bass Trainer. Do a search on the forum for opinions.

    Keep the faith, send up the Praise, and let me know if you need anything.
  10. captaind


    Apr 9, 2005
    Having been to avatar.com, i was wondering what you're opinion would be of the Mag 300 H head coupled with their B210 cab. Would this suffice for the clean sound with punch i'm looking for or would i be better off with the B410 cab. Of course, they offer the SB112 cab also.

    After reseaching all i could find on the MAG 300 H it sounds like it puts out good sound quality but i am a little gun shy with some of the problems some have experienced. Is there another equivalent amp that would be more reliable with equal quality for the price? What would be your recommendations?

    Does Avatar match up the ohms or do you specify what you want? What is the difference? What does 2 ohms verus 4 ohms verus 8 ohms mean to me?

    Hate to be a pain in the neck but i would really like to get it right because i don't have a money tree in the back yard! Wish i did though!!

    Lastly, how do i access Tascam's bass trainer? What exactly is it?

    I thank everyone for their patience.
  11. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Avatar will make your cab either 4 or 8 ohms, depending on what you want. I have a SB112 myself...that I'm pretty happy with. I'd be a bit leery of using it alone without any other cab unless you're in a low volume setting(which given your band, you may be). Check out the 2x12 cab. I know people around here have been raving about it being pretty stand-alone. The 12's have a bit more low end response than the 10's but are still pretty punchy.

    (my choice for a bass practice tool is a Korg Pandora...Dunno about the Tascam).

    In terms of cabinet ohm ratings, especially when dealing with a solid state (non-tube) amp you need to match to your head. An amp like the MAG300 or the Hartke 3500 will work at either 4ohms or 8ohm loads, but may deliver lesser wattage at a higher ohm rating. If you check the FAQ section there's a pretty complete description of how/what/why it all works. It's not necessarily terribly tech-y but is important.
  12. for recording, a line out usually isnt the best unless you have something with emulated speakers (like a line6 pod). i have a couple recordings i did with my mesa 400+ on www.innuendomusic.tk . The song Identity Theft is recorded with a line out, with my onboard bass preamp eq at 0, 800khz mid frequency, on the mesa, master at 7 (its always supposed to be there), volume 1 at 1, bass at 8, mid at 10, treble at 8, graphic eq in at a sort of crooked frown (upper mids highest, lower mids second, treble third, low end last). I ran all the tracks from the recorder and eq'ed from there, lots of tweaking, the sound before the tweaking was kind of round, but not fat and juicy the way it should sound. it was kinda dry. So that is a fixed version of direct out.
    The song Comatose is recorded with an sm58 (mic'ing one of the 10"s) , into a mixer, into the recorder. the mixer eq was pretty close to 0. same bass onboard preamp eq at 0, on the mesa, the bass at 9, mid at 10, treble at 8, master at 7, volume 1 a little above 1, the graphic eq had slightly more on the bass side, a more symmetrical frown. that sounded much much much better, i did a little bit of eq'ing on my computer, but the quality of the sound is much better. much more full. Im sure it would sound amazingly better if i could have turned up the volume 1 to somewhere around 7 (tube amps sound best near full vol). so thats my takes on recording so far. hope this helped
  13. flange


    Feb 22, 2005
    Cochrane Alberta
    Have any of you tried eqing by just cutting frequencies?
    I'm not talking massive negative eq but subtle shaping.
    Its been my experience that you can get a more cohrent sound out of this approach. I will probably have to spend some time in purgatory for the amount of times I have fought with soundmen. Causing problems simply by over boosting certain frequencies to get "My Sound"
  14. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    The best thing for you to do is run an output from your amp through a DI and go directly to the board for recording. There will be no farting, just the pure tone of your bass. EQ the bass pretty flat. When we record (even live) I don't put a mic on my amp, I just go direct. I can post-process my EQ, as long as all the frequencies are there. That's why you want the EQ flat coming out of your bass.


    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA

    If I were going with 1 Avatar cab, I'd do the 212...hands down. Coupled with the MAG 30H, you should have plenty of tone and headroom. I dare say you won't even use all of it in most churches. I don't know about the negatives, though.

    Impedance (ohmage) basically means the amount of resistance the signal from your bass has to get thru the speakers (ie. to impede the electrical signal). The lower the number, the more freely the signal can travel, therfore, less is more. In your case, get an 8 ohm 212. It keep you for a good long while!

    For the bass trainer, you can go to ebay, google, or here in TB. Do search for Tascam Bass Trainer to get info. And don't worry about all the questions...we were ALL there at one point, just share what you learn to the next person (Each one, Teach one)