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Boosting solid state = overdrive?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by shortscale kid, Dec 9, 2017.


  1. shortscale kid

    shortscale kid

    Dec 9, 2017
    Austria
    hey there, I come from the wide overdriven world of the electric guitar and like to play (abuse) my bass with distortion. I like the bite of overdiven solid sate amps more than overdriven tube amps.

    -with tube amps, boosting the imput signal=more preamp gain=but the amp does not become a lot louder because of the power section

    could I run a booster turned way up into my solid state amp and therefore get a nice preamp distortion, or would it just become insanely loud and hurt my speaker?


    booster set reeally high>fender rumble15=preamp distorted amp at manageable volume?
     
  2. shortscale kid

    shortscale kid

    Dec 9, 2017
    Austria
    talking about a booster pedal not overdrive/distortion pedal.
     
  3. voided3

    voided3

    Nov 11, 2008
    It's certainly worth trying, but you most likely will get unpleasant input stage clipping if it's set too high. With a 15 watt amp through an 8" speaker, you have relatively little headroom to work with so you'll most likely get some amount of overdrive, either from the amp or speaker, by simply cranking up the volume without any pedals. Fender Rumbles usually have a "Delta Comp" limiter built in to help save your speaker, but running any amp flat out for any significant period of time can result in a speaker failure. If it sounds bad, it's probably bad for the amp.

    I run an Aguilar TLC compressor as an "always on" effect and I set the output level to be higher than unity gain, but low enough that it won't clip the input stage of my amp. I do this mostly because I have an octave pedal after it in the chain and it tends to track better with a hotter signal. It also interacts nicely with my amp's gain staging (GK 1001RB-II) set this way.

    That said, an overdrive pedal may yield better results. Many overdrives intended for use with bass have a Blend control so you can dial in some clean sound to keep your lows more full. This means you also can completely dial out the overdrive effect and use it simply as a boost with the pedal's volume control, or you can cascade varying amounts of gain or no clean signal at all.
     
    shortscale kid likes this.
  4. I must say that to most of us a 15W amp with an 8” speaker would be a toy. You must also learn that high distortion and a bass are a speaker killing combination. The rules for amplifying bass are completely different than those pertaining to a regular guitar. If you stick with the bass you’ll eventually come to appreciate the difference.

    I would like to welcome you here. There is a plethora of informed that can be gleaned from this site. You should fill out your profile fully. It helps us to match our answers more closely to your circumstances.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
    BadExample likes this.
  5. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    Agreed that overdriving the input stage may lead to less than desirable results. I’d go with an OD pedal of some kind instead.

    The nice thing about a little bit of OD for a bass is it makes it easier to be heard at lower relative volumes. I’m not sure I agree that OD is a speaker killer. Excessive volume certainly is though with any signal.
     
  6. BadExample

    BadExample

    Jan 21, 2016
    Injiana
    Start here: Bassic Gear Review

    Better yet, start here:

    Many or most of our "bass pedals" are actually geeter pedals, but you need to verify they work. Some don't, some need a mod, some don't need, but benefit from a mod (like Way Huge Pork Loin).

    Also I welcome you here, but yah, you need a real bass rig before you worry about overdrive. And no, don't overdrive with a boost. Your combo is good for practice.
     
  7. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass Inactive

    Sep 14, 2010
    Depends upon the preamp and if it sounds decent being hit with bunch gain. Id assume no but then again some really simple 60 to 100 watt combos sounded pretty good kranked up....some

    I dont know if its the simple design or built in limiters sound mean when pushed either way i had a pretty straight forward 60 watt peavey nothing special but it sounded pretty good being pushed
     
  8. Find yourself a G-K 400RB and a good 4 ohm cab and get back to us.
    Explore the boost knob.
     
  9. Sure, it's a cheap amp, but I'd just get a pedal. Heck, a bazz fuss is a very simple and cheap build, that'd probably be fun. But hey, that's me.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
    shortscale kid likes this.
  10. shortscale kid

    shortscale kid

    Dec 9, 2017
    Austria
    thanks for all your support by bassy fellows!

    -why do bass speakers have problems with distortion? do ALL bass speakers have problems with that (10',15'..)? why can guitar and PA speakers handle distortion then?

    -I absolutely agree that a simple bass od pedal would be the best solution, but I actually got the idea to overdrive the transistor preamp because I just couldn't find any bass od pedal that I liked. (very undynamic to playing style, swampy, unpleasant frquency spectrum...)

    -I knew I would trigger some experts with the rumble15 ;D (I obviously know that thats not the ultimate perfect top notch amplifier, can't afford anything els at the moment, know what a decent one sounds like)


    -so we do not really know if the built in limiter of the rumble will save my speakers, or if the preamp will distort?
     
  11. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I think nobody ever thought to test the theory on that particular amp. So how that amp reacts to serious boost, and the ramifications of doing so, just never crossed our minds.

    That little box is hanging on by it's fingernails to produce "normal" bass tones. It's a make do until I can do better amp by any standards. And I'm not picking on the Fender in particular. I would answer the question the same for any other brand's entry level bass combo.

    Your best bet would be to tuck away dollars as they free up to get an upgrade amp. If you never heard a bass overdrive you liked, you won't like a preamp overdrive from this combo either.
     
  12. shortscale kid

    shortscale kid

    Dec 9, 2017
    Austria
    yeah, already saving, Im just too curious about solid state and my amp... ;)
     
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    All depends on the amp. Some yes, some no.
     
  14. It ain't BASS SPEAKERS that won't handle distortion. ...it's any speakers. Guitarists do often blow speakers. . Add the extra stress of handling the low frequencies & higher wattages. ....
    And. ..oh yeah, I'm no expert in these matters. . In case you couldn't tell :laugh:;)
     
  15. To create the same perceived SPL at bass frequencies, it takes far more power and excursion than what's required for a guitar. This places far more demands on the speaker. Add distortion, and you have speaker killing combination.
     
  16. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    The whole distortion damaging speakers things is a myth IME, but don't take my word for it - search any number of TB threads (like this one) for more information on the topic. Don't take it from me, take it from those much smarter than me like some of the posters in that thread.

    There are of course exceptions to any rule, but in general, distortion doesn't harm speakers - overpowering them does.
     
    shortscale kid likes this.
  17. BadExample

    BadExample

    Jan 21, 2016
    Injiana
    I think the 40 watt practice amp will fall into no land :D

    By handle distortion, do you mean handle a distorted signal or the speaker itself breaking up from a high level signal (as open back geeter speakers do)?

    I don't know of a bass cab or driver that won't handle a distorted signal as long as you don't crank it up to the level of damaging it.

    Bag Ends are known to sound great driven into breakup and handle it well.

    Check the last video link I posted and listen to the Way Huge overdrives. You'll have to skip ahead to get to overdrives. There are quite a few. I use:



    No, limiters, compressors and distorted signals all contribute to a higher RMS content at the output. You can usually damaged your cab without any pedals or effects. It's up to you to protect your own speakers. Over-excursion is the most common cause, but voice coils can burn as well.

    What kinda music do you like or want to play?
     
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I don't know, bro...I have a 40w practice amp that sounds quite lovely when you push it into breakup. Granted, it's no B-15, but it's pretty decent.
     
    BadExample likes this.
  19. BadExample

    BadExample

    Jan 21, 2016
    Injiana
    I think the 40 watt Rumble is pretty well accepted as a practice amp. I'd drop a WH Pork Loin and/pr Russian Pickle in front of it though, if I wanted safe distortion :D If today were black friday, I'd suggest a $40 new Gonkulator from sweetwater. It makes a decent diistortion pedal, although I only have about a half hour on it. Tonight I'm onto a one-off preamp from one of my beloved forum mates who makes such things, and will know where the Gonkulator got it's name.
     

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