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Big Boy Bass sound?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by LowEndWooly, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. LowEndWooly


    Sep 3, 2013
    I was in Sam Ash last week fiddling around with basses and amps and pedals. I tried a bunch of stuff, but stuck with playing on the Tone Hammer 500 through an Aguilar 410 neo cab. It sounded fine, not amazing, but better than most other similar rigs. I picked up a few basses, including one that was identical to mine. The one that impacted me the most, however, was a Warwick 5 string. I wish I could remember what model... it had two soap bar humbuckers and resembled a corvette or something. I didn't really like the feel of the bass, but MAN! The low end that came out of that thing was astounding. Not just the B, but the E and the A, too. I mean, it made me grunt audibly.

    My rig is a Ray34ca with the Nordstrand MM4.2 pickups. I play through an rh750 (swapping for a GB Streamliner 600) and a fender rumble 2x8 over a fEARful 1x12 on a GRAMMA. I use a BBE Sonic Stomp, Empress ParaEQ, and a Wren & Cuff Phat Phuk B for my clean sound.

    The problem is, I can't get it to sound anywhere near that good. The bass seems boomy (not good boomy, sloppy boomy). The mids and highs are okay, though I could use for smoother highs. And, when I use effects pedals (Swollen Pickle, WMD Super Fatman, MXR288 Octave Deluxe), the sound becomes really not that great.. like.. either harsh, or (in the case of the fuzz) almost like it isn't doing what it's supposed to do.

    I don't know what the problems are (multiple, I'm assuming, because I can't get a great clean or effects sound).

    I was wondering if switching the Ray34ca's preamp with another preamp would be beneficial or if I should change my cabs or what.. any advice is welcome. :help:
  2. Goatrope

    Goatrope Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    Maybe try stripping down to just your bass, amp, and one cabinet to hear the raw sound. If the bass sounds poor without all the other stuff, sure, a new pre could help.

    I don't know which Warwick you picked up, but it just could be that you simply played a much nicer bass than yours. No reasonable amount of gear is going to bridge that gap.
  3. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    Yeah, a good suggestion, above. Try to isolate each part of your rig, starting with the bass. Try your Ray in another amp and cab--seem to have the sound you're looking for? If so, turn your attention to your usual amplification. And pedal chains are notorious for tone suck, so take them out of your signal path and see what's up.

    I'm very fond of my TH500, but it does respond to EQ differently than most other amps I've owned. KJung, Eublet, and others have posted some good tips on using it. Might be worth pulling up the thread, and checking them out. What I can tell you for sure is that it's quite versatile, but it's important to get a feel for how the gain, drive, and semipara mid controls interact. Once you do, you can get major booty, major grind, or major grit out of it, as you please!

    Edit: and check that TH500 thread for info on the clip light. It's placed differently in the amp topology, and there's no worry if it lights up fairly often. Dave Boonschoft explained that point, in the TH500 thread. Again, it's a bit different--good different, IMO/IME.
  4. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    Your bass seems like it should sound fine, though you could consider trying to find an actual EBMM preamp to put in it. They're not easy to get, but they are out there.

    But, all I all, I would expect your real issue is the cabs you're using. They are mismatched, for one thing. For another, I would never expect a Rumble 2x8 to sound anywhere near as good as an Aguilar 410. Nor would I expect any 1x12 to crank out the bottom like an Aguilar 410. But, being not matched together, your two cabs could easily have phasing issues that are making the overall sound actually worse than if you just used one cab or the other.

    I'd say to take your bass and cabs back down to Sam Ash, if you can and use their same head and try A/B'ing it between the Aguilar 410 and your stack. Or take your head, too, and use that to A/B between the 410 and your stack. I'd bet that you'll find that your bass and head sound way better through that Aguilar cab than through your own stack.

    I'm actually selling my Aguilar 410 cab just BECAUSE it actually puts such a huge bottom on my sound. I also have a Bergantino NV610, which is sealed (versus the ported 410) and it gives a much flatter sound from bottom to top, and with my basses and amps, there is still plenty of bottom. The Aguilar is just overkill for what I want.
  5. LowEndWooly


    Sep 3, 2013
    StuartV, that seems the general thought..

    I guess I really don't understand how cabs are matched and why..
    What's the difference between a sealed and a ported? I've heard that sealed takes more energy because air (energy) isn't able to be released properly, but I've also heard that some people prefer the sound.. would something like the [sfx] micro thumpinator be appropriate for a sealed cab?

    Would you sell me that Aggie? ;)
  6. Turxile


    May 1, 2011
    I didn't like the feel of it when I got my first Warwick. Now I'm addicted :)

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