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Cleaning & Punching Up My Tone

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Stingray_EB, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. Hey TBers

    I am at the end of my tether. I feel guilty for not being in love with the rig Ive worked so hard to afford and get. Trouble is my tone is just not clean enough, no punch. Its not muddy it just sounds compressed and stiff if you can try and imagine that. I am running straight into my BB750 ( please no change your amp ) and GS212 with a Stingray strung with Sunbeams. I dont expect it to be GK sounding but I need more thump more punch. I must stress I am not getting lost in the mix rather I am just unhappy with my tone. Not full sounding to my ears :bawl:

    I am willing to hear the change your bass thing.........Major Sadowsky Gas lol
  2. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    I never knew a stingray to really to be full sounding. It always sounded like a twangy & rumbly mess when I played them. Those basses never seemed to have much of any low midrange to their sound - most full sounding bass's have a good low mid response. My red padauk Spector Euro 5LX has a very thick tone and it's very punchy. Love the sound!

    GK amps are good at giving you a GK sound along with letting the bass's inherent tone shine through. Although the Backline series amps are not my first choice in amps, I would suggest finding a bass with a thicker tone and seeing what that does for you.
  3. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    I've been having trouble sleeping lately and need some advice (please no change your mattress).

  4. El-Bob

    El-Bob Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    Hamilton, ON
  5. limit6


    Dec 5, 2007
    Philly, PA
    Have you dabbled with compressors?
  6. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    ...great tone-ugh, what a bitch!

    First and foremost, yes, getting a full-sounding bass along with a solid amp and cab are what form a good-sounding foundation.

    I have a Peavey G-V, which has a graphite neck, and an 18-volt 3-band eq with dual VFL pickups...it's a monster. I pair it up with a GK 1001RB-II, which has a lot of great rock and overall muscle. But, like you I wasn't totally happy or just not really fulfilled. You need to experiment with different eq's (starting with your amp), effects, strings, etc.

    Strings should come in after your bass and amp/cab choice, as dead or crap strings can sound great through a good rig and your favorite strings will sound that much better. I had these things in the bag, but like you, I still wasn't happy.

    What made my sound come together were a couple of pedals-one being the Yamaha NE-1, and the other a Boss Bass EQ (GEB-7). The NE-1 was discontinued years back, but you can find them occassionally on Ebay and other places. It basically is a parametric shaper that gives your midrange various contours or curves, like a "smile" shape for cutting the mids for slapping, or a "bump" for more punch for fingerstyle. Midrange is what (to me) makes a bass have character and growl. This pedal really polishes the big bump settings that otherwise sound good enough on my amp by itself.

    I noticed though, even as clean as my tone was, through my in-ear monitors there wasn't enough ballsy "oomph" on the E and low B strings to kick you in the chest. That's where the Boss EQ really helped. I used to only dial in some hi-mids from it, until I felt the need to screw around with it some more, after enough gigs trying to hear my bass over our loud drummer. I bumped the lowest two frequency sliders up and what a big improvement. My E and B were there. I then added some additional upper-mids (4.5-5k) to compensate for the low-end increase. I did recently add an Electro Harmonix Soul Preacher compressor into my arsenal, and it really puts the high-end range into the forefront with authority for those Billy Sheehan riffs.

    I now have an overall crushing, but crystal-clear modern tone that gives me a smile from ear to ear. I love that hi-fi "fresh string" sound, but you may prefer something completely different.

    The bottom line is...even though trial and error can be a long road, experiment with effects and strings and you'll get what you're looking for with your "dream" tone.
  7. Lol walked into that one....touche.
  8. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    Seriously now, you need a bass with two pickups, make it a jazz, a 44-02 or whatever but the Stingray won't give you the fullness you're looking for. (but then how are you gonna do with your TB user's name?) :D
  9. SwitchGear

    SwitchGear Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2005
    Perhaps a new set of strings will help.
  10. Well I am gona try out the DR Hi Beams after my Sunbeams come off. Alexcosta: You really shouldnt be encouraging me to get a sadowsky AND give me an excuse to keep my Stingray lol

    Ok say that getting a new bass isnt really the best option financially right now what would something else be to consider ?
  11. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    I just don't see this happening with the Stingray... Think a SX would fit in your budget? Just to try it out?
  12. SwitchGear

    SwitchGear Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2005
    In my experience, Sunbeams where a warm string. The Hi-beams should give your 'Ray some sparkle.
  13. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    P bass? About as different from the Stingray as you can get...
  14. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Get a P-bass or a Metro P/J. Oh, right, they are not cheap.

    How about an outboard pre with some serious EQ? However, you are just fighting your stingray. They do what they do well. To get low mids boosted is not so easy on those without a flexible preamp, IMHO.
  15. :( This is not a happy day. Maybe it is my Stingray, Im just scared that whatever I get wont give me such a good slap tone like the Ray does ? I am very very interested in Sadowskys and I hear that the J Pickups are very full sounding. If I cant get it with the Hi Beams I'll maybe try an outboard pre but if after that Im heading to GuitarGuitar to try a Sadowsky.
  16. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    I was never happy with my stingray tone. It sounded good played very softly by myself, but in the mix, really killing it, sounded like garbage.

    my suggestion. jazz or a p-bass. or something with two pups. maybe a stingray with a j neck pup or a dual humbucker? maybe check out the g&l L2K. that does all of those tones and then some.
  17. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    ping caca de kick - He's a Stingray guy IIRC -

    Personally I expect your 'Ray and your Amp are fine - but a bad match for the GS Series cab. So far my impression of those cab's is that they are quite scooped. Add that to the Stingray sound and no wonder it's a mess ... sometimes the whole is less than the sum of the parts...
  18. dsDodgers

    dsDodgers Banned

    Sep 7, 2008
    sunny so cal
    sounds like a job FOR:
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I like Cartoon Mr. Clean better. CGI Mr. Clean scares me.
  20. WOW! my stingray's has gotten nothing but compliments. Studio or live. I have had certain strings that make it sound FUGLEY though. Especially thru transparent amps. With my markbass, sansamp, or alembic pre's its sounds huge deep and cutting. Its my go to rock and roll bass. Even heard one in a free form jazz group...def. didn't shine then but sounded good. Try some new strings man. You got a great bass tho I am not familiar with your amp. Your cab is tasty as well. May need to sansamp it with a clean setting and some bass gravy on it 1/2 blend, no drive... This bass will never achieve EMG Spector thick/deep low end though I do believe the Ray has plenty O' bottom. Great with a pick or aggressive fingerstyle.

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