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BX500 Settings

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Eekum, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. Eekum


    Mar 4, 2013
    I am having a bit of trouble dialing in my BX500 through my BRX10.2 cab. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions or could share their exact current settings. Just to give me some things to try... The only time I can get close to a sound that I like is with the following setup, If you notice in the picture, I am having to fully scoop on my contour.

  2. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Is that the sound when you are playing alone or with a band? What kind of music are you playing?
  3. Eekum


    Mar 4, 2013
    That is the setup I am using when playing alone which I know will probably differ from when I am in the mix with a band. We play pop punk mixed with punk rock. We play in half step down. Nothing like the gutter punk sound though where bass is distorted, I want to hear the bass lines coming through with some low end. I don't want a ton of low end to where it sounds growly though. Just warm sounding. If that makes any sense.
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
  4. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
  5. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I see you've already got the contour cranked...I was going to say that when A/B'ing with my other amps, the BX500 sounds boxy and weak unless the contour is cranked.
    Eekum likes this.
  6. Eekum


    Mar 4, 2013
    I noticed that and had to just crank it all the way up. Strange to me but it sounds pretty good with it like that.
  7. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    I never used the contour on my BX1600. I think I ran about +3db bass and +6db on the parametric, play around between 100 and 200 Hz, maybe cut it back some. I was pretty easy on the volume doing that, but you have a stronger and more sensitive speaker than I do.
    Eekum likes this.
  8. Eekum


    Mar 4, 2013
    Okay, I wonder my mine sounds so empty with the contour off? It sounds good with it cranked full though.
  9. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    You might still want some or most of the contour for your tastes. I like heavy on the lows, low mids and the treble backed way down. Generally, the way we hear LF, when you crank up the volume, you don't need as much bass and low mids cranked. So scouping might effectively be doing some bass boost (and highs) by decreasing the mids while you turn up a little more for a lower volume.

    Be careful boosting deep bass though. Even at lower volume, you can chew up a pretty good speaker. It's been reported here before by someone who thought they were playing quiet enough to dime the bass knob. Unfortunately, the only way to really tell for sure where that boundary is costs a speaker.
    Eekum likes this.
  10. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    Set the Low Mid FREQ to 100 and boost it low mid gain up to 6, for starters. The best tones are in those mid knobs. Contour, only a touch and leave the graphic EQ off until you find the sound you like, then use it for gigs (rooms sound different) and bass changes. I always keep the DRIVE straight up around noon.
    twc1313, Eekum and BadExample like this.
  11. Eekum


    Mar 4, 2013
    Do you have the BX500?
  12. twc1313

    twc1313 Practice is the cure for GAS...or so I've heard.

    Oct 28, 2013
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    I had this same amp and gigged it for a few years, it always gave me a great tone; it was my most complemented tone out of any amp I've owned. My settings are below (for an alternative band that was loud). Granted this was for a live mix, much different than a bedroom tone.

    All settings described in "o'clock settings"

    Drive 1 (or a touch off when the clip light would be on from my hardest playing)
    Contour fully off
    bass 11
    1st mid frequency 10
    1st mid level 1 (combo set to bump some low mids)
    2nd mid frequency 1:30
    2nd mid level 10 (combo set to take away some clank)
    treble noon
    graphic eq off (for me this was the biggest trick to a great tone for me, I hate graphic eqs)
    compressor 9

    any room and it was gravy
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  13. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    I have the BX250 and the BX1200. I find they have similar voices. Everything flat it's very clean, too clean, but all the tones are in there.
    Eekum and Joe Nerve like this.
  14. BassikBrad

    BassikBrad IndigoBurst Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2018
    Las Vegas. New Mexico
    I had a BX 500 prior to getting a BX1600. The BX 500 is a fantastic amp & is very much overlooked. I ran it with four
    12's & it kicked butt. IME, two 10's are not very efficient, usually about 2-4 dB less efficient than 12's right from the get go. There are other considerations. For years I didn't like the sound I was getting in my practice room. I had to crank up the bass, scoop the middle & cut the top. But when I gigged , with those settings, I had way to much bass & couldn't figure why I couldn't cut thru' the mix. Until I recently discovered that my room acoustics at home just sucked up the bass like a sponge. Just for the hell of it , at home, try setting your gear up in a larger room & see if that makes a difference to your perceived sound. However, try this, crank drive up to at least 4 o'clock, don't use compressor, turn contour back to zero & judiciously twiddle your para eq to reduce irritating sounds & have your graphic eq with a gentle smiley face, also adjust bass control up to about 2 o'clock. Also check to make sure your guitar volume knob is almost @
    maximum output to ensure your gain levels are driving the amp properly but not overdriving to the point of distortion.
    I just noticed twc1313 offering some suggestions you should checkout. Good luck.
    jeff7bass, Eekum and Joe Nerve like this.
  15. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    People like different sounds, so what works for me might not work at all for you - but that setting is a huge OUCH for me. I'd never set mine like that. I'm playing through a BX700, but use the same setting I used when I had a 500. I honestly can't tell the difference between the 2 outside of the color and lights. Anyhoo...

    I keep the parametrics flat like you, compression just barely on (enough to just hear it kick in, like at 1/2), then I push the treble to around 3 and same with bass (depending on the room). With the graphic EQ, I start flat and then tweak it by pushing at 80 and 125 just a bit, and then at the 1.3 and 2.6. I also keep the drive about where you have, sometimes pushing to to 5.

    That works for me with pretty much any bass I use. I tweak the bass and if necessary the head, but minimally.

    I'm currently playing it through a GK Neo 212. My preferred setup is with 2 Carvin 15s that I own, but I'm using the GK because it stays on the band's truck.

    I'd take a picture of the head settings, but that's also on the band's truck :).

    If you try the above setting please let me know how it works for you.

    Good luck.

    Now I'll take a look at what others are doing :)....
    Eekum likes this.
  16. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    You have a full scoop, which is more of a solo/bedroom tone. You want mids to cut through with the band.d
    Eekum likes this.
  17. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Don't forget to try to try the tube bypass on the back. You may like it better.
    Eekum likes this.
  18. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    This works nicely for me in a very small room :
    Tube bypass (tube off)
    graphic eq off

    All settings "o-clock":
    Drive 12:30
    Contour 9:15
    bass 2:00
    1st mid frequency 8:45
    1st mid level 2:15
    2nd mid frequency 9:00
    2nd mid level 10:00
    treble 11:00
    compressor 8:00
    jeff7bass, Eekum and BadExample like this.
  19. Cowboy in Latvia

    Cowboy in Latvia

    Mar 1, 2015
    On my BX250 and BX1500 I find the contour to be nice on its own but as soon as you add a band, cranking the contour makes the sound disappear. I also find that if I'm using an active bass and want more bass sound through these amps, turning up the bass eq on the bass itself helps a lot. If your bass is passive, roll off the tone knob a bit.

    Another thing to think about is that the low mids, can help you perceive more bass. So, try taking out the graphic EQ and turn the low mids knob to around 1:00 (+3 according to Carvin) with the frequency between 100 and 200. Also, slightly bump the bass and take out some treble. When you do this, keep the contour at 9:00 or less and take out the compressor. Should help a bit.

    I'll post pics later of my favorite settings on both and maybe that will help.

    EDIT: Wow, how many times can I use the word bass in a sentence? :bag:
    Eekum likes this.
  20. When I'm looking for boom, I find it in the 80 to 150 hz range. I rarely get much out of anything below that. You should be able to find that in the parametric section. Crank the contour down, level up the graphic, boost the lo-mid parametric a shade, then sweep the freq knob to find the lows you're looking for there. If you're still looking to reduce some mids you should be able to find that in the high mid parametric.

    That's what I would do, anyway.

    Seeing those extreme settings on the contour and the graphic makes me... uncomfortable.
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
    Eekum, Joe Nerve and Cowboy in Latvia like this.

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