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clipping on a mb500

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by juan13, Feb 18, 2016.


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  1. juan13

    juan13

    Mar 4, 2015
    south america
    Hi, i'm getting to know the mb500. Nothing to complain about it, even this i'm going to say: i have a very aggresive fingerstyle. I tend to clip the signal a lot, i mean, almost always. You may not believe me: but i thing it sounds good to me. Neverthless, my natural technique no matter what tends to clip. And yes, i only play passive basses (i can notice how the neck pickup of my jazz bass doesn't clip near as the bridge pickup does). I am playing the amp with headphones or speakers with the line out at home, no cab for the moment.

    What i found out not to be clipping the amp a lot (on the manual it says to lower your volume, they don't contemplate the option of just letting it clip) is to turn on the -10 db pad. Yes, they say is for active basses but i guess is the only way of not letting the head clip. I notice i need to turn up the volume when i use this but also the gain (by the way, the manual also says this). Is there something i am loosing in my tone by doing all this stuff? I am trying to figure out and sometimes it makes me doubt. But i keep going for one sound to the other by pushing the pad and changing the gain and volume settings so i think maybe an external opinion can help.

    Having a preamp box (mxr or tone hammer, sansamp, etc) can also work notto clip but my goal is to make everything with the head.

    Thank you.
     
  2. jimmeyer176

    jimmeyer176

    Oct 2, 2012
    I run an MB500 through the 4ohm Neo 410, I play a Mosrite Mark II bass with very hot (passive) pickups, as well as a Fender Jazz bass. I too play quite hard as well with my fingers and tend to clip amps regularly.

    I find the Mosrite clips more often than the Jazz, but not enough to warrant the -10db switch. Saying that I rarely have the gain beyond halfway and I'm up against a pair of 50 watt guitar heads running through 412's, so honestly can't imagine needing much more power.

    However, when I've used the -10db in the past I've definitely noticed a tone change (more bottom end) so I adjust the EQ accordingly, and in terms of volume I've needed to put the gain up to about 2:00 whereas it's usually set just below 12:00

    My EQ is roughly:
    • Treble 7:30
    • High Mid 11.30
    • Low Mid 11:30
    • Bass 9:00

    Hope this helps
     
    juan13 likes this.
  3. juan13

    juan13

    Mar 4, 2015
    south america
    The amout of clipping i make really warrants the -10 db pad. My EQ is more open than yours, making it sound a little bit more aggresive. I guess my low action doesn't help either.
     
  4. 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
    What setting is your gain? I find that anything much over 10:30 o'clock clips pretty easily on an MB800.
     
  5. juan13

    juan13

    Mar 4, 2015
    south america
    Well here comes the interesting part i guess. The other day i though my gain setting might be the problem. So i put the volume knob real high and only a little of the gain and the clip was almost constant when i played with my style.
    But here comes the thing, then, in order to figure out if the gain quantity had anything related to this i turned the gain to zero. Nothing was being heard, i started playing very aggresively (with gain at zero, nothing could be heard) and it clipped also. Don't tell me my mb500 has an issue haha

    If it helps, my action is really low, me style really aggresive, and my eq a little bit mid extreme with some treble (the bass i only turn it up or down funcional to the headroom i'm needing at the moment).
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
  6. 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
    What settings do you have on the Master B, GIVE activation switch, and Boost knob?
     
  7. juan13

    juan13

    Mar 4, 2015
    south america
    Usually the boost in an aggresive setting but i turn the master b down a little bit so to have the same volume level from master a. My clip issues go on with and without the GIVE channel on. If it helps also, i always clip amps, that's why the preamp boxes really help me not to turn the red thing and make the soundman/amp owner go mad.

    PS: The best news here will be finding out my head does not have any issues.
     
  8. 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

    Have you tried another GKMB 500? If you can find one at a music dealer or from a friend, you could compare without sending yours in for repair.
     
  9. juan13

    juan13

    Mar 4, 2015
    south america
    Nope, is not easy for me to do that comparing thing. One thing i noticed is that when i tried the head on the music store (the head i tried is the exact same head i own), this didn't happen so much. The difference between then and now is that then i was using the head with a cab, and now i'm using it with headphones. Can it be a problem of the head? or myabe my playing style, eq, and action are the thing that does this?
     
  10. 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
    Does it sound distorted in the headphones when the clip light goes on? Are the strings hitting the pickups?
    Can you test the head with a good speaker cabinet and evaluate the sound by ear, not by the clip light?
     
  11. juan13

    juan13

    Mar 4, 2015
    south america
    To me it sounds like i like it to sound, that hard hitting on the strings give me that extra "harmonic" for that honk tone i like. I coulnd't try it on a cab right now, i had only tried it on small speakers using the line out feature, same thing.
    By the way, using the -10 db pad no matter how hard pourposedly i do it i don't get a single clip light.
     
  12. 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
    Besides the clip light, how does it sound through the headphones? Is it distorted?
     
    juan13 likes this.
  13. juan13

    juan13

    Mar 4, 2015
    south america
    Before i cointinue, let me thank you Jim for your help.

    New news, part because its brand new (the head) and part because i'm a little dumb, i noticed that the clipping thing goes a lot without the -10 db pad when i play the lower string (4 string bass here), i didn't remember it like this, but i played with total aggression on the other strings and no clip light appeared, strangely i remembered that yes but it seems that only is when i do it on the low string with my natural aggression. This i guess i more normal, and maybe it has to do with the distance the lower string is from the pick up? Should it be at the same distance than the other strings, more near or more far?

    Thank you.
     
  14. BasturdBlaster

    BasturdBlaster

    Feb 19, 2012
    Crandon WI
    Isn't it odd that the input is still clipping when the gain is off? I have had this same thing happen with GK stuff, their gain knob doesnt seem to drop the incoming signal that is introduced into the preamp. I felt that the clipping sounded yucky so I sold my GK. The only way I could deal with this (other than the input pad on the amp) was to use a pedal to attenuate the bass signal going into the GK. Of course you can do this with your bass but I prefer to keep the bass all the way up.
     
    juan13 likes this.
  15. Zebra

    Zebra

    Jun 26, 2005
    Clipping could be alleviated by adjusting the setup on you bass (i.e. pickup height). Also are you judging clipping solely by the light, or by the sound through headphones? Headphones will distort more easily with bass than most cabs will, and it may not be an issue with the head. Otherwise the best solution is to turn down the gain/turn down volume on the bass itself.

    Do you have any effects between the bass and amp?
     
  16. fast slapper

    fast slapper

    Dec 11, 2001
    Fresno, CA
    The clip indicator for the preamp is BEFORE the gain knob by design. Use the pad if it sounds bad. If it doesn't keep on rocking.
     
    dincz and Killed_by_Death like this.
  17. Blankandson

    Blankandson Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2010
    Gallatin, Tennessee
    The MB500 has a limiter switch on the top. Are you using it?
     
    Jim Carr likes this.
  18. juan13

    juan13

    Mar 4, 2015
    south america
    Yes i'm using the limiter and i'm not using effects. I know that this is another wooooooorld of discussion but can it be that my pickup is almost in staright position to all the strings, how about putting it in a longer distance with the lower strings? is a good idea?
     
  19. Tommyc

    Tommyc

    Nov 11, 2015
    Midwest
    Well my musical background training was in classical guitar and when I was a kid my first teacher observed, "Tom, if you play forte all the time, it ceases to be forte." That made an impression. Perhaps,
    you might consider controlling your attack.
     
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  20. jimmeyer176

    jimmeyer176

    Oct 2, 2012
    A few questions on clipping with the MB500:
    • will clipping (say every 10 seconds or so) damage the head or cabinet?
    • will typical clipping damage the head or cabinet with the limiter switch engaged? Does the limiter switch protect the amp / cabinet from clipping?
    • what happens long term if the amp clips?
    • will running through a compressor remove clipping issues or just reduce them?
     
    juan13 likes this.

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