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Cleaning & Punching Up My Tone

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

  1. ibnzneksrul


    Feb 2, 2007
    So Cal
    +1, put flats on that Stingray.
  2. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    this will sound impossible if not stupid, simply owning a sadowsky wont solve all your problems. (did i say that?!)

    but seriously, alot of the suggestions you're getting are great! nobody has really dealt with your amp, so i'll add my two cents there.

    bass base

    first off, lets get your bass right. if it has the good ol' active EQ that i love on the stingray's, set everything on the EQ to 5, while your volume knob is cranked. if its passive, leave the tone knob wide open.

    max headroom

    to the amp, i'm thinking your feeling like your sound is compressed cause your signal is hitting the front end tube preamp stage really hard to the point of "i'm the tube, and i cant take it anymore! so i'm just gonna sit here and push out a semi overdriven signal, which can be really compressed sounding" wall, i.e making your tone sound compressed.

    try rolling back the gain to about 9 o'clock on the dial, and you should get more "dynamic headroom", which is just a fancy pants word for "not so compressed sound that's more open and free".

    pay attention!

    start with all the EQ knobs at noon.

    for added punch and thickness, anything w/ a wide frequency Q in the lower mids should work. ok, more fancy pants words, but simply the more you narrow the amount of freqencies you're cranking, the more punch and clarity you'll hear in the lower end of the bass' sound spectrum. the wider the amount of frequencies you're cranking, the fatter and thicker your sound will be.

    FYI, for the lack of better words, the "wideness" or "narrowness" of what you're affecting is known as the "Q". (oh man, somewhere my grammar school teacher is having a railing headache)

    on your amp, that's gonna be tricky to do all that, but lucky for you, most semi parametric EQ's (which usually just feature the ability to cut/boost, and pick your fav centering frequency) are usually voiced w/ a wide Q. looking at your amp, here's where it gets fun:

    - crank the "active mid" knob to about 3 o'clock on the dial
    - simply rotate the frequency knob *counter-clockwise*, until you hear extra thickening in the middle to lower mids (going clockwise would probably thin out your sound).

    another way you could do this:

    - pull back the active mid knob to about 9 o'clock
    - rotate the frequency knob *clockwise*, and hunt for that frequency which is making your sound too harsh and well, upper middy-like. when you roll back those tinny upper mids, by default, you're also fattening up your sound.

    both cases, use the passive mid knob to taste. adding more mids for inyourface thickness, rolling it back for relaxed clarity.

    what's happening is that your literally going thru all the frequencies w/ the frequency knob until you hit the right one that sounds more pleasing to you. the counter clockwise end of the dial is the lower more thicker sounding lower mids, while the clockwise turn is the upper more tinny thin sound mids. kapisch?


    now stay with me, but you might also want to dial BACK the lows. it might actually give you a tighter punch that's leaner and meaner feeling. just dont over do it, cause then yes, you'll sound like you're banging on a big ol' guitar string. but on the other hand, if all these mids make your sound, well, too middy, then add in more lows to fill it all out.

    after all that...

    if your sound too hammerin', back off the the active mid knob, to something more tasteful. if its not hammerin' enough, crank it! it might be a good idea to also add more treble to your sound, cause the overall tone might be too woolly, and oddly, despite all the mids, it might be hard to get some nice detail and articulation. also, dont be afraid to climb back around your amp to roll back the tweeter. it has a dramatic affect on your sound, too.

    back to the base

    and finally, on your bass, use its active controls to fine tune your sound. its affect on your overall sound might or might not be as dramatic as the amp's EQ, but every little bit helps.

    frankly, i love stingray's, and anything w/ a back pickup as big as the humbucker on that sucker is pure punch to me. and the BB750 is an awesome amp! and it goes without saying that anything slapped w/ an aguilar logo is going to rock. hopefully all of this puts you in a similarly healthy state of mind.

    if not, report back, and we'll go from there...
  3. Nicely-done post, jokerjkny.
  4. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    Yes, to get that American Idol sound on a Ray, that is what I would do.

    Rays can give you that rich, burbly sound like a Jazz, but in my experience, it's easier with flats, especially La Bellas. Really, really dead rounds are okay, too, but the OP doesn't sound too patient. :)
  5. Ok guys gonna spend the next day tone hunting with what I have just now. I shall report back like you asked jokerjkny !

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