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Bass distorting badly.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bassist Jay, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay

    Dec 28, 2009
    Sterling, CO.
    I use Music Man Bongo basses that have 2 - 9volt batteries for the pre-amp. At church I run directly from the soundboard to my wireless system and then to me. Here is the problem. The low ends distort like crazy so we turn the gain down but even at low volume, we still get distortion. I am at a total loss of what to do? Can anyone help me out?
  2. Lowering the pickups always helps. Maybe one of the batteries are on their way out. Have you swapped both for brand new batteries?
  3. growlypants


    Nov 10, 2012
    First, change batteries - a MUST!!
  4. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Have you done the obvious tests to determine if the problem is in the bass vs the wireless vs the amp -- i.e., try a different bass, and try a cord instead of the wireless?
  5. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    Where the distortion is happening? In the mains ,in your IE , both?
  6. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay

    Dec 28, 2009
    Sterling, CO.
    The distortion is happening in both the mains and my monitor. On all of my Bongo's too and I have also eliminated my wireless and gone straight into a box.
  7. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    Have you tried to use a different channel in the board? Sounds to me that the problem is not in your bass but somewhere in the console/ compressor or any other device in between
  8. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Something else you didn't mention: Have you been using this rig for a while, and this distortion problem just suddenly appeared recently? Or are you using it now for the first time, and having this problem from the get-go?
  9. TinIndian

    TinIndian Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2011
    Micco Florida
    Sounds like there is a problem on the board or the Gain on your channel on the board is simply too high.
  10. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay

    Dec 28, 2009
    Sterling, CO.
    I have used the channel and this set up for I think 3 years now, ever since I started playing bass on this worship team. Right before this happened though we had a wedding at our church and stuff got messed with. Everybody else is good but my channel is on crack even though we set everything back to normal.
  11. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    Bongos are pretty hot, got any other basses? It should be easy enough to lower the gain somewhere before the clipping.
  12. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay

    Dec 28, 2009
    Sterling, CO.
    I am running the gain on my wireless at 10% - 15% at the board we are running it at 20%. Any lower and we don't get sound. But I have also rolled back the eq at the board too. Before, I was running it at 50% or 12 O' clock. Now I am running everything flat at around 20% across the board. It lowered my sound but not the distortion at the lower end strings. So basically at low volume it sounds like I have a distortion pedal on when I play the E or A strings.
  13. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I have never owned a Bongo so I'm not sure if they have a trim pot in the control cavity but you might want to check. If it does, you can dial it back a bit. Also, try lowering the volume on your bass, turning down the gain on the amp and boosting the master volume on your amp.
  14. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Ya missed something along the signal path and/or gain structure. Your comments above are pretty much a dead giveaway. I would tear everything down and re-assemble starting with your bass > cable > amp then extending while checking integrity as each component is added (wireless, DI box, XLR cable, mic channel, etc.). If performed in this fashion, it shouldn't take long to isolate the culprit.

    Somebody does understand how the board functions, correct? I don't mean pushing faders up and down, either. You should be able to utilize the PFL function...this, amongst other things, is mission-critical.

  15. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay

    Dec 28, 2009
    Sterling, CO.
    At our church, we only have volunteer sound people with little experience. Not a knock on them because I appreciate their dedication and hard work even though they don't have a lot of technical experience.

    I am wondering if where we keep the amps and eq for the board, if something got messed with in that room?
  16. Justice


    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.
    XLR or line input at the soundboard? Check to see if there is a PAD button for your channel. If your signal is that hot you may need to pad it at the board.
  17. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay

    Dec 28, 2009
    Sterling, CO.
    At the board we have a 1/4" cable going into it. I will check for a PAD button.
  18. Roland GR 88

    Roland GR 88

    Sep 16, 2013
    We rent out our rehearsal space to a young band 2 days a week and about once a month I have to tear down the whole system cable by cable to fix something. Usually I find a cable that has been pinched, pulled, swapped or otherwise messed with. My advice is the same as Zooberwerx unplug everything and start from scratch and you might consider a cable tester if the system is your responsibility, they're cheap and mine has saved me many hours of head scratching.
  19. This.
  20. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    Something else I have learned, once you get everything just right again, take your magic phone and photo the settings on the board. Saves the time of hunting, automatic start point