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Clearly I have no idea what i'm doing.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by airrore, Jan 4, 2006.


  1. airrore

    airrore

    Aug 10, 2005
    Dayton, Ohio
    Warning: Noob questions... You'd think after years and years of playing, I'd know what the hell I'm doing by now.

    I recently put myself in serious debt (for a students salary anyway) in equipment upgrades. However, I'm having some issues and didn't know if anyone could help.

    Plugging straight in to the amp, I clip the hell out of it, even with the -6db pad on, plus it sounds like complete ass at high volumes. Running through my effects loop i've managed to reduce the ass sound at the expense of compressor hiss and LOTS of volume.

    That's the conundrum. I'm playing a large theatre saturday and need to be louder than i am currently.

    The pedal setup currently:

    |bass| - > Sparkledrive - > Boss DD-6 digital delay -> Boss LMB-3 - > |amp|

    I know there is a ongoing debate for positioning of the compressor, but I have The LMB at the end because I play Guitar through it sometimes (i have no choice) and that REALLY peaks it out. The LMB, as hissy as it is, is doing a hell of a job resisting peaking. On the backburner is the idea of a new compression pedal as well.

    The amp is a Fender Bassman300 (300 tube watts should be PLENTY loud) and it has onboard compression that seems to be worthless. The EQ settings on the amp are set to neutral. (6's) I have the Master and Channel volume at 8 and i'm barely competing with twin reverbs that are set at 4. I'm theorizing that the signal from the bass is just WAY to hot (i normally play with the high's neutral, bass boosted and volume control all the way up on the bass) and that's why it sounds like butt, but could it be effect order? is the amp messed up?

    Sorry If i'm excessively vague or dumb, but ANY help/ideas/suggestions would be appreciated.

    For additional reference: I play a Musicman and a P-bass with the same result for both (although there's aftermarket pickups in the P-bass that makes it way hotter) and i have a ampeg 4x10 cab if that makes any difference.
     
  2. JJBluegrasser

    JJBluegrasser Wannabe Snazzy Dresser

    Apr 17, 2003
    USA, Raleigh, NC
    Sounds like a bad preamp tube to me...

    Jason
     
  3. TaySte_2000

    TaySte_2000

    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    You haven't got the volumes on those pedals turned on to full have you? Try them at 12 o clock if you are doing this.

    Hope this helps
     
  4. airrore

    airrore

    Aug 10, 2005
    Dayton, Ohio
    Yeah, everything is neutral on those. The Sparkle Drive is up a bit, but this happens regardless of it being on.

    Oh god, bad pre-amp tube? is there anyway to test this? It HAS to be under warranty still...
     
  5. Petary791

    Petary791

    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    You're supposed to replace tubes every-so-often anyways, so don't worry about it. It's normal.
     
  6. ...is that with the...
    ??

    Have you tried a lower volume setting? (damn ambiguous control names, by that I mean turning the volume knob down and the master up. So, same physical voume, but less preamp gain.)

    Have you tried a different amp to be sure it's not something else about your set up?

    Are you sure it's clipping at the preamp and not the power amp? (ie; have you done something wrong with the speaker impedances maybe?)

    That's all I've got for now. Good luck!
     
  7. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    I think I am going to also recomend a new pre amp tube. This is something that you can easily remedy by Saturday. Probably a 12AX7 very common, should not be a big deal to replace.

    With the pre at 8 and master at 8 you should be rattling teeth I think. Because you are getting the problem when you plug straight into the amp without pedals then its clear that the pedals are not the issue, its in the amp. For it to happen with 2 bass's reinforces that. Also the situation with the effects loop as you described also point toward something up in the pre stage, the power amp side sounds fine. I bet if you took an outboard preamp and plugged it into the FX input it would probably sound fine, but replacing the preamp tube is easier.
     
  8. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    Oh yeah, you are using a speaker cable between amp and cab right? Not an instrument cable. That not what it sounds like, but I thought i would ask.
     
  9. airrore

    airrore

    Aug 10, 2005
    Dayton, Ohio
    Wow, THANKS for all your feedback guys. You guys rule.

    Yeah, 1/4" to speak-on speaker cable.

    This amp is relatively new, three months maximum... do pre-amp tubes go bad that often/soon?


    Haha yeah, the ambigous names are "Channel Volume" and "Master Volume" I keep the channel dropped normally and turn the master up to what i need. I have not tried another amp, I do not have one readily availible to try. I wouldn't know how to tell where the clipping occurs, but i checked impedence and it's 8 ohmns all around.

    Yeah, my guitar player has some two pre-amp tubes laying around that we could switch, but neither of us know anything about biasing so we're a little intimidated. We have a show tonight at a small club so a lower volume will be fine and I REALLY can't afford to mess something up. Apparently there's 4 pre-amp tubes? (two are "Driver" tubes?) Could this be the problem too?

    I reall appreciate all this guys.
     
  10. JJBluegrasser

    JJBluegrasser Wannabe Snazzy Dresser

    Apr 17, 2003
    USA, Raleigh, NC
    I'm no expert at this, but here's my two cents in case no one else responds today. I'm pretty sure that Preamp tubes don't need to be biased. Do a search here on tb, as I'm certain that's been discussed before. So I think you should just be able to switch 12ax7 tubes into any socket that they fit in. Keep the volumes low at first in case the tubes you use are higher gain.

    In reference to the age of the amp and the tube failing, then answer may be that the tube was slightly 'bad' when you got it, and now it's completely worthless.

    Jason
     
  11. TrooperFarva

    TrooperFarva

    Nov 25, 2004
    New City, NY
    Try a flat EQ on the bass. And boost low mids live to cut through the mix. Sounds weird by itself, but its the only way to sound good when competing with guitars.

    Also, what kind of bass is it? Is it active? If so, try changing the battery.
     
  12. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    Yeah, I don't think you should stress about the pre amp tubes. I think you can just pop in new ones. Avoid touching to tubes with your bare hands, the oil is no good for them.

    I checked the specs and its says your amp has 3 12AX7s and 1 12AT7, though 2 of the 12AX7s are for the two channels. Not sure what the other 12AX7 is for or the 12AT7, the compressor? At anyrate, I would buy 2 tubes for the pre amps and replace the old ones that is probably where the problem is.

    Is it possible that although its a new amp that it was played in a store before you bought it? Rough handling during shipping could shorten tube life I would imagine.
     
  13. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    This is bunk. If oil was no good for them, do you think they'd print the manufacturer's name on them? One's skin oil can't quite possibly be as thick as that. Preamp tubes shouldn't be getting very hot anyway.
     
  14. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    More people have told be not to touch them than to touch them. It may be bunk but its an easy precaution in case its not. It costs me $300 bucks to retube my amp anything that might increase tube life is worth doing for me.

    At any rate I still think its a bad tube.
     
  15. airrore

    airrore

    Aug 10, 2005
    Dayton, Ohio
    In theory, no one should have played this amp before me. I had to finance it through musicians friend, so unless they went and pulled one of the shelf at guitar center it should be good, however it was shipped UPS, so it very well could have fallen down ****ing stairs before I got it.

    I'm going to let one of the guitarists do it, I'll advise him to avoid touching the tube barehanded. He says the odd preamp tube is for an overdrive channel that i don't use. (in the drive tube circuit) We're going to try the replacing just the pre-amp tubes
    and go from there.

    Thanks for everything guys, you guys rule.
     
  16. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    Ah, that makes sense. Best of luck.