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Can't Hear My Amp!!!!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lowend99, Dec 31, 2001.

  1. lowend99


    Dec 31, 2001
    Baltimore, Md
    I am running a Ampeg 1100W head with a 4X10 and a 1X15 which has all the power I need, but when I am in a bar, I can't hear my bass at all. I have tried turning it and even standing away from it, but can't hear it at all when everybody is playing. I am told by the people it is very loud, but I can't hear it. I was wondering if anybody else has had this problem. Any help would be appreciated.

  2. CaracasBass


    Jun 16, 2001
    Madrid, Spain
    Hey Lowend, by the way welcome to TB.

    Well, after reading your post I can only think in two things:

    1.- Do you turn on the amp before start playing??? :p
    if your answer is yes, then:

    2.- Are you kinda deaf????:D

    ........ wait wait, before you start yelling at me, maybe you need to make some EQ adjusments, try boosting some midrange at 800 HZ, it should give more pressence to your sound.
  3. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    String presence comes more around the 1200hz area than from 800. How you set your EQ has a big effect on your sound and range. Bass isn't always heard from close up, even though you're using small speakers. I've dealt with this for 20+ years. When you set up, go out as far in front of the amp to hear what you sound like. The audience is more important than you. You learn to adapt your hearing to pick up what you sound like in the room. If you really need to hear it, you might try stacking the cabs at ear level (if you aren't currently doing this) and that will give you a better reception of your sound.
  4. I love this question and I'm gonna answer it then send it down (up?) to amps cuz it'sa classic!

    The G-man is right - your sound is actually forming about 15 feet in front of you and levelin' em from there out! I had the same problem (wayback) with a Sunn rig. Sounded sorta puny until I took about a 40 foot coily cord and stepped out into the audience area one night. Whew, even with my P, I was comin' thru loud and clear.

    If you still can't find it, try using a set of headphones from your amp or a bass monitor at your feet.
  5. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    I had the same problem with my Ampeg 4/10 and 1/ 18 set up. When I cranked up loud enough to hear my 410 cab the 18 cab was blasting everything at 30 feet away. I agree with Hambone. I cured the problem by adding one of these.


    Of course you'll need another power amp to power it. But you will be able to turn your 4/10 over 1/15 stack down and still hear yourself.
  6. If the Ampeg head can bi-amp, try that - bring up the level of the 4x10 more'n the 1x15.

    It's midrange that will cut through and allow you to hear what you're doing. Anywhere from 500Hz to 3000Hz (string presence "living" at 1200Hz is subjective IMO, different basses and amps will require different settings). But a boost at 1000Hz is a good start.

    btw, if you're running the dreaded smiley-face EQ, stop it now! :D That'll suck stage volume faster than Tracey Lords.
  7. Also, if you are running 8 ohm cabs on stereo. you are probably getting only 200 watts/channel-(reals watts, not Ampeg watts). The 1100 watts is probably into 2 ohms bridged/peak rating.(not sure, but they tend to over rate them).
    Also, if your cabs are not effecient (higher SPL ratings), then it probably ain't that loud, really.

    Try going in bridge mono, or mono.
    When you plug your cabs in, go from the amp out to one, then chain (daisy) the two cabs together.

    ONLY DO THIS IF the total ohms (2 x 8ohms = 4 parallel, 2 x 4ohms = 2 parallel) is ACCEPTABLE on the amp FOR THOSE LOADS. You can fry your amp otherwise!!

    Read the post- "How do ohms work"
  8. Good suggestions.

    One more: try wearing earplugs. These tend to attenuate high frequencies more than low IME. With less treble, you have--voila--more bass.

    The downside to plugs is that things can sound slightly "wrong." They can be hard to get used to.
  9. I can't imagine ever playing without ear plugs. We hit 100 ~ 105 dB at 20 feet from the band stand, which I personally think is just awful. Blisteringly loud for me, and yet not nearly as bad as the younger guys play.

    The cumulative hearing damage being sustained today by the younger players must be nothing short of devastating.
  10. ganttbos

    ganttbos The Professor Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2001
    New Orleans area
    I know that in-the-ear monitors are not within everyone's budget and that some guys just don't like them (which in my opinion is mainly due to not giving them a sporting chance while you adjust to the difference). But here's my experience.
    We switched to ITE monitors about 6 months ago. I'm still adjusting but liking it more and more. We're a 7-piece band with horns. We used to have wedges blasting in our faces - those of you who haven't heard an amplified horn section right up your you-know-what wouldn't believe what it's like. We got the Furman ITE (hard-wired) monitor system - not real expensive - but I do use Shure E5 phones with custom ear pieces (made by an audiologist). We have 5 monitor submixes individually controlled by each player with a personal mixer - vocals, guitar and keys, drums, horns, and bass. (Bass is in its own submix because I designed the system hook-up :D ). My bass, in fact all of the submixes, sounds great. I find that I relax and play more evenly and carefully because I can here my fingers on the strings, rattling fret noise, etc. so clearly. The overall effect is like listening to a CD (sometimes it's unnerving to hear what we're all doing - really keeps you honest).
    All of the advice given above still applies, especially since what the audience hears is the final truth.
  11. Laddieo


    Dec 16, 2001
    AMEN !! (about the smiley eq part). The mid's and highs are ALL you're going to hear on stage. And most clubs are driving sub's into the house anyway. So lower your low end and bring up the mids.

    Also... read up on impedance. You may be strangling the daylights out of your amplifier!
  12. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA

    i have the custom plugs like you most likely have - it hurts my chest to stand infront of my rig at full stage volume, i can't imagine what it'd be like to actually have that stuff hit my ears full blast. ow.

  13. I too use ear plugs (i work for a hearing aid manufacturer and i dont want to be wearing one cos they are never in a million years going to be as good as your own hearing no matter what the ads say) and i find once the ear plugs are in u can hear the bass and drums much better because they cut out all of the horrible trebley racket and you dont have to crank it up to hear yourself, thus saving the paying public from internal organ damage and bleeding from orifices.
  14. That's strange. Some of you claim that they hear the bass BETTER with earplugs. I've experienced that using earplugs saves your hearing :)eek: surprise!) but especially the bass gets hard to control because of the missing top end. Everything sounds a bit muddy, and when I adjust my highs for slapping with earplugs inside, I'm close to blowing the horns because I just can't tell whether it's right or not!

  15. I use Musician's Earplugs ER-9.
    Cost $125.
  16. I use something latex from the safety shop. $9.95. Works sweet...

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