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Bass EQ

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Astroman, May 25, 2003.

  1. Astroman

    Astroman Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    Winston-Salem, NC
    My latest acquisition is a Benavente 219-5 that is an outstanding instrument. Custom-made to my specs, it is beautifully crafted and a magnificent player. Alder body, maple top, 5-piece neck-thru construction, Bene 9-volt 3-band pre-amp, and EMG jazz pickups.
    I settled on the EMGs after trying Aeros and Dimarzios, both excellent p/ups but didn't have the tone I was after -- a full, smooth hi-fi tone, kind of a Alphonso Johnson/Victor Wooten blend. I achieved this for the most part. Good solid low end, nice mids, and a healthy sizzle.
    My problem is typical of alot of Jazz-style basses I've played: the bottom drops out on the D and especially the G-strings.
    I have an excellent rig with plenty of booty: Stewart 1.2 amp, Avalon U5 preamp, and Bergantino 2x12 cab. I also play a Roscoe LG-3005, Smith BT6-G, Streamer Stage 2-5 fretless, and a Warmoth PJ4. I don't have this "drop-out" problem with any of these axes - none have strictly single coil or jazz-style pickups.

    My question is: What is the best solution for getting Jazz-style pickups to be consistent string-to-string/up and down the neck? My Avalon doesnt have a parametric EQ - is that what I need?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated...
  2. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    You might try adjusting the pickup height to be closer to the D and G strings, or further away from the E and A strings. However, if you get the pickups too close to the strings, you can lose sustain due to the magnetic pull affecting the string vibrations. I don't think a graphic or parametric EQ will solve this problem, as whatever tone adjustments you make will affect all the strings.

    Or, you might try some different strings.

  3. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    Ditto whay jd said. But I'm dumbfounded that a Benavente with EMGs has ANY problem with string balance. Go figure!
  4. Darth_Linux


    Oct 12, 2002
    Spokane, WA
    boost the 150 to 250 hz range on your EQ and see if that helps. seriously.
  5. marc40a


    Mar 20, 2002
    Boston MA
    I've had success w/ tilting the PU's.

    I'd focus less on particular measurements and just depend on your ears.

    Rather than tilting both PU's the same way, I've had great results by tilting the neck PU towards the G string and tilting the bridge PU towards the E string (albeit slightly.) When the pickups are blended equally it sounds very even. It also doesn't seem to effect the balance when th PU's are panned.
  6. vanselus

    vanselus Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    I find that string balance will change completely depending on the room and the amp - makes sense, if different frequencies are absorbed or bounced around you're going to hear changes in string volume...
  7. DeadPoet


    Jun 4, 2003
    Sorry to dig up this somewhat older thread, but I'm having some problems with str-2-str balance myself (or I fooled myself into having them ;) )

    I'm playing a top instrument (Ken Smith BSR6G) and I'm still figuring out how to get more punch when playing with full band and when playing in a higher register.

    My latest finding: I used to have my bass control on the amp at about 3 o'clock. I put it back on 12 o'clock, added gain and immediately I seemed to have better tone, more pumping/volume with less speaker cone movement, and the amp didn't got as hot as it used to.

    I'm gonna try the pickup adjustment soon.

    Any thoughts/comments on the fact that Smiths have adjustable poles on the pickups themselves ? Maybe I should experiment with that???

  8. Darth_Linux


    Oct 12, 2002
    Spokane, WA
    you can try adjusting the poles so that the ones in the middle of the PUP are a little higher than the ones on the ends, following the radius of the fingerboard. other than that, you may be fighting the bass. the Ken Smith basses I've heard are always real bright and stuff, but they lack punch where it counts and end up sounding thin to my ears.
  9. vanselus

    vanselus Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    I second the "bass knob down, gain up" idea.

    Quite often when i'm having "tone troubles" I set everything flat again and simply turn up a touch. Solves it (almost) every time!
  10. Astroman

    Astroman Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Thanks for al the valuable suggestions...
    Only exception is EMG's have no exposed poles, so not an option there, but definitely a good idea with exposed poles.
    I have stumbled upon a big factor in this tone "drop-out" problem with single coils: 10 inch speakers might help to overcome it every time!
    I took my Benavente 219-5 to a music store and plugged into a new Eden 2x10 XST, and WOW! did
    that really bring the tone to life even more! Clear, full definition on every note!
    So, two things I learned: 1)Those new Edens are badass! 2)These or other high-end 10's added to my Bergantino 2x12 will likely make my ultimate custom-built Jazz 5 sound like its supposed to at every gig! :bassist:
    I may stick with Bergs, but check out those Edens fellow players!;)
  11. I prefer parametric, but oh well :(

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