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Boomy Sound Amped (What is Wrong)

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by SirFunk, May 31, 2005.

  1. SirFunk

    SirFunk Supporting Member

    May 24, 2001
    Topeka, KS
    Hi there, I've always had a fairly boomy (not in a good way) sound with my upright, Well it's finally getting on my nerves and I want to do something about it. My bass (unamped) seems to have a very bright, not boomy sound... so I'm fairly sure the problem is gear related. So I will go ahead and list my gear and if anyone has any comments, I would love to hear them.

    Bass: 3/4 1/2 Carved Romanian something or other
    Pickup: D'Dadario Soundspot (re-braned Bass Max.. i think)
    Preamp: Cheap Behringer acoustic preamp (doesn't seem to make much of a difference with or without the preamp.
    Head: Genz-Benz GBE-400
    Cab: Eden D210XLT

    I guess that's it... I tried some other better pre-amp with a compressor (generic preamp not intended for bass) That didn't make much of a difference either... Does anyone have any idea what the problem is... the "boomy" sound is almost like lots of "ambient" noise finger/string/resonating stuff.. it's hard to explain but it makes my sound very undefined.

    Any Feedback would be great, Thanks
  2. This is just a shot in the dark, but have you tried to mute the string afterlengths?
  3. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    I found the bass max to be boomy on my ply upright, and I usually ended up cutting bass frequencies. I switched to a fishman full circcle and it got less boomy. But I still sometimes find that in some rooms in need to cut the bass frequencies pretty sharply.
  4. SirFunk

    SirFunk Supporting Member

    May 24, 2001
    Topeka, KS
    Afterlength being under the bridge? Well the Bass MAX does a pretty good job of muting the D + A strings... as it clips on to them... what would you use to mute it?
  5. JonB


    May 27, 2003
    Just about anything soft will work. A piece of felt, foam. etc. There's a thing you can buy (Lemur) that I think is a hollow plastic tube woven through the strings.
    Another thing you might try is to reverse the phase. If your preamp doesn't have a phase switch, you can make a cable with the leads reversed on one end. Then your speaker will be out of phase with your bass. This cuts out low-end feedback.
    Have you tried raising the speaker off the floor? Sometimes that helps. Good luck.
  6. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    It's the cabinet. I have a couple of those. Eden 210xlts sound great for Fender Bass, as they have really enhanced low end. They made my double bass sound like it was swimming in mud and the low freq feedback was brutal. Switched to EA cabinets and the low end tightened up immensely.

    Temporary fixes as per others, Turn the bass knob way down and turn the amp up, get the cabinet off the floor so it decouples from it, keep it out of corners in a room so it doesn't get horn loaded. On super loud gigs I mute the afterlength of the strings too. I use a sports wristband that is held on by Velcro that is one long piece. I weave it through the strings and use the Velcro to hold it on. If you need even more dampening put a foam block between the top and the tailpiece to minimize its vibrations.
  7. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    I have had a similar problem and my cab has the same prob as de eden.

    Place the cab on a table or a high stool. You should be between the cab and the bass.

    Stay away from the eq, try getting the sound by moving the cab and/or the pickup.

    this should resolv must of the boom.

    If you want to improve some more...
    Get any small diag conderser mic and playe it between the legs of the bridge with rubber bands (there is a thread explaining the procedure).

    The mic will give you the mids and the clarity, the pickup will give you the volume and the lows. A very little mic signal will go a long way when combined with a piezzo pickup. You will need to mix the signals before the amp

    I might get bashed but if you are on a budget you can try behringer. They have new small diag condenser mics and really small afordable mixers with phantom power. Should be fine for a live set up.

    If you have the money, get a specific mic of course. Then you will probably only use de piezzo as a complement.

    A mic is must if you want to get the best bass sound.
  8. SirFunk

    SirFunk Supporting Member

    May 24, 2001
    Topeka, KS
    Just a little followup here... I I've solved this problem somewhat. My dad just happened to have a cheapo bheringer small diaphragm condenser mic... It sounds much better mounted between the legs of the bridge with rubber bands than it does under the tailpiece.. atleast on my bass it's boomier under the tailpiece. Also getting my amp off the floor helps some too.

    So thanks for all the feedback guys, Any more suggestions would be appreciated if anyone has any brilliant ideas..

    I think for the time being i'm goign to save my pennies for a d-tar solstice, EA iAmp 500 and a 12" EA cab.. or something like that.

  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'm of the opinion that if everything is working properly in any instrument/amp rig, then there's no excuse for not getting a good sound. I play lots of rented amps and have to make do with amps I hate, but I always manage to get a good sound. Maybe it won't be as good as my perfect sound with my own rig but it's always good.

    Start with your tone controls flat or at 5, then adjust from there but try to keep everything as close to flat as possible. A lot of boominess problems come from trying to jack up the tone controls too high, like some guys will boost the low end and high end because it sounds massive by itself but it gets overwhelmed by the other instruments in a band setting. EQing bass is all about mids and finding that spot in the mids that gives your bass definition without making it sound too twangy or too boomy. Listen to the acoustic sound of your bass and try to duplicate it in the amp.

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