Bass Tone Troubles

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Quazlpa, Nov 27, 2022.

  1. Quazlpa


    Jul 22, 2022
    I cant get a tone I like. I want a very smooth bassy tone without a lot of treble or high mid snap. My tone is just to trebly for me and I cant get rid of it without my amp getting bommie.

    So what's the best way to get rid of the treble and get more bass without it sounding muddy and terrible.

    I have a MIM Player P bass and a Gallien Krueger MB 210.
  2. Dumb question, but have you rolled back the tone on you bass all the way?

    If it's still too bright and you've even rolled off on the amp a bit, you could look into the cap values on the tone pot and swap for something that will roll off at a lower value.
  3. That amp has a 4 band eq... I think. Bump up the low mids and fiddle with the hi mids.... should help
    Obese Chess, red_rhino and SJan3 like this.
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Both the tone knob on the bass and the EQ section of that amp should he able to get you to fat, round bass bliss.

    We're not getting the whole story.

    What settings are you using on the amp (pic would help)? Have you turned the tone knob way down on the bass?
    scott sinner and Bass4Brkfast like this.
  5. Quazlpa


    Jul 22, 2022
    I have the tone down all the way pretty much all the time. The amp setting are kind of what I'm trying to figure out but right now I have the treble and high mids turned down quite a bit, I have the bass turned up a bit past 12 and the low mids turned up quite a bit but there's still a trebly snap that I don't like and if I turn the bass and low mid up any more it gets boomie.
  6. thewildest


    May 25, 2011
    Florida, USA
    Perhaps a low pass filter? A simple way to try would be with a wha-wha pedal (a friend may lend you one) and depress the pedal up to a depth you like the way it sounds… if you do, perhaps a filter may help things out.
  7. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    In my experience, GKs can sound great...but they can also sound awful. It sounds like you want a tone that the GK does not excel at. It could also be your bass. I suggest thinking of the amp, cab, bass, strings, and setup as a system. All parts of the system are potential sources of the problem.

    I own GK RB series amps. The me they are fairly bright, they are not the best choice for heavy lows IMHO. If you like lean lows, they can produce some really nice growl and grind. But when you crank the lows up too much, they seem overly woolly and loose :vomit:.

    It can be challenging to find amps and cabs that are voiced the way you want. Play a bunch of different gear and there is a good chance you will find a better choice.
  8. BigDrew


    Jun 1, 2016
    Try some tapewound strings. Or foam under the strings at the bridge.
  9. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Don't forget that the "GK sound" includes a non-flat voicing of the 4-knob EQ section. I measured the curve, and twiddled the knobs until it was roughly flat. The settings on my MB200 and Backline 600 were both similar, about:

    Treble = 10:00, Hi-Mid = 2:00, Low-Mid = 1:00, Bass = 10:00, Contour = Off

    Now, flat response is not necessarily the holy grail, but might be a useful starting point for finding a tone that you like.
  10. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Two thoughts:

    1) Have you tried experimenting with strings? What's your take on flatwounds?

    2) It sounds like you're trying to set your tone in a bandless setting. Frequency masking in a band setting may tell you that your tone is already dark enough actually, it's just that without any other instruments, anything that wouldn't stand out in a mix will jump out at you because you're putting it under a microscope.
  11. tvbop


    Mar 11, 2021
    There's ur problem...bassy and smooth..just about the worse type of bass tone there is as it will emphasis the treble frequencies as well as rendering you basically inaudible. You need more mids to balance things out. Strings, plucking hand..amp settings all contribute.
    bste9 likes this.
  12. RattleSnack


    Sep 22, 2011
    OP, GK makes great amps, but they are scooped so you need to fix that by boosting low and high mids. Than try cutting treble and/or tone on your bass.
    If it gets boomy, back of bass or low mids. Also, try moving your cab. Raising it above half a meter (2 feet) from the floor and out of room corner will help.
    DrThumpenstein likes this.
  13. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    1. Flatwound strings. No need to go for the bassy sounding ones (like the LaBella Deep Talkin Flats), a standard set will do - whatever tickles your fancy. These will have way less high frequency content, less sliding noises and less 'zing' right out of the box, and they will get more mellow with age. They are expensive at first, but when you've had a set on a bass for more than two years, you're actually saving money. They last a very long time.

    2. It sounds counter intuitive, but a high pass filter will help you. Even better, a high & low pass filter.
    A variable high pass filter will eliminate the low end rumble (AKA mud) from your tone, but keep the bass intact.
    By cutting off everything below the threshold, you're able to boost more bass above.
    A variable low pass filter works a bit like your tone knob (if you're running a passive bass) - a tone knob is a low pass filter by itself, but I found that with a filter pedal, you have a different feeling.
    I set my HPF and LPF the same way: I start with the filter wide open and then slowly close it while playing. The sound gets better and better until I hit the area where it starts cutting stuff I don't want cut. Now I back off a little and I am done.

    3. Your means of transferring the bass signal from your fingers to your ears should be capable.
    When you want deep, clear bass, your cabinets and/or headphones need to be able to produce that bass without breaking a sweat.

    4. Peak limiting/compression.
    When you have something in place that will catch any unwanted spikes, you will be able to turn up your signal so loud that playing softly gets you loud enough. Do that and you will play with less noise. Pluck the strings further towards the fretboard for more bass response. Don't do that without a comp/limiter, though - on occasion, you might hit a hard note by accident and when your amp is set that soft playing gets you audible in the mix, hard playing will earn you dirty looks and requests to turn down your rig.
    rllefebv, mrcbass, TimB1226 and 7 others like this.
  14. Jeff Hughes

    Jeff Hughes

    May 3, 2020
    Play closer to the neck, and make sure you are using the pad of your finger and not your fingernail.

    I apologize if you already know this.
  15. KidAmnesia


    Jul 13, 2022
    Buenos Aires
    Don't boost the lows on your amp (maybe even cut it a little) and cut the highs but not the high mids. You want to keep your high mids there to retain clarity and cut (all the way to 0 if necessary) just the trebble to avoid that snappy brightness.

    Flatwounds and foam mutes are also your friends.
  16. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Fresno California
    Are we talkin solo at home playing by yourself tone or what you sound like in the mix with other instruments? 2 VERY different things in my experience.
  17. What strings are you using?
    ArtechnikA likes this.
  18. jthisdell


    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    When I was amp shopping I found GK has a very bright baked in tone that I did not really care for. Start w bass tone control, amp eq, strings.
  19. Lync

    Lync Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2004
    I find that GK's (I have an MB112-ii and an MB212-ii) take a compressor really well to smooth out clicky highs.
  20. Quazlpa


    Jul 22, 2022
    since its been mentioned a few times, I'm using DR legends which are flats
    Tad and GrapeBass like this.