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Best sound: is simple the best?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Rockin John, May 9, 2002.

  1. I've been struggling with my sound for ages. I just never seem to get it right. The old HH combo (1x18") I use usually sounds horrible one way or another. [It's one of those combos where you can unplug the speaker from the amp section.]

    I've been rebuilding a Laney 300 Watt slave for some time with a view to using it for my bass. There are no tone controls at all. It's flat response throughout.

    I tried it for the first time at rehersal last night. I plugged the 18" into the Laney and used the Yammy fretless. Well, what difference from previously. The sound was clean, solid and powerful. It cut through nicely, I could hear myself properly and had a warmth that I've never heard from my playing before.

    Funny thing is, I completed the tone control section for the Laney yesterday, before I heard the power amp on its own. I mightn't bother with eq, now. :rolleyes:

    Anyway, the whole thing reminded me of a comment on a recent thread by Brad Johnson who enthused about simple setups (tonally). And if Brad thinks that's OK then me too!!:D :D

    Anyone else prefer simple tone control setups?

  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I always set all the tone controls to "flat" on whatever amp/setup - I paid a lot of money for my bass and I want to hear how it sounds - not the amp!
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Or in other words, you can't polish a turd.

    A good amp (and cab) will sound good, even when set flat. But no EQ in the world will turn a bad-sounding amp into a good-sounding amp.
  4. Yep, I like plug 'n' play bass!!! Leave the amp controls flat and plug the bass in - play with the bass control to get the sound just the way you want it!!!
  5. I suppose I feel a bit of a twit - or stronger - for not being smart enough to realise this fact sooner [like years ago:eek: !:eek: ].

    'Still, the light has now dawned.:D

    Going back 30+ years I could never understand why my old Orange amp had but one large knob on the front and little else. I guess I now know, don't I?

    Does that mean, gents, that you're all almost always strictly flat on stage?

  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I hate knobs...
    (If have even omitted the 'Tone" knob from a couple of my basses).
    Best amps I have ever owned-
    1)'64 Fender Bassman...3 knobs: Volume, Bass(set @10), & Treble(set @8).
    2)'77 MusicMan 65...5 knobs: Master Volume(which stayed @10), Volume(approx. 2-3), Bass(10), Middle(10), & Treble(dependent upon the room/club & condition of my strings).

    I have yet to figure out how to get the same tone from the new s*** I use now...it's pretty discouraging(& pathetic on my part). ;)

    BTW, no, I do not like a "Flat" setting on-stage(though I may send the PA-putz a "Flat"/Pre-EQ signal...I figure, why not?). ;)
  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    When I use my Eden or SWR amp, they are basically set flat. I like to add a little mids to cut through the distorted guitars.

    When I play my old Peavey TNT 130, I have to do some major tone sculpting to make it sound good.

    I like an amp that sounds great flat. From there, you just tweak it a little for the room you are playing.
  8. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    exactly. it's nice to start with a bass that sounds great DI'd though...

    for example, since my IOD has been toast i've been running straight into my bellari tube compressor, then into my poweramp and my goliath jr. sounds facking awesome.

    on my IOD (if i ever get the damn thing back! :mad: ) i set all the EQ flat, the aural enhancer at 12:00, and the blend at 12:00, with the drive right before it starts clipping. sweet sweet tone.

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