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Crate BFX-50 questions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Usul, Aug 25, 2000.

  1. Greetings all!

    I purchased a Crate BFX-50 not too long ago at the Guitar Center in Sacto. and am really happy with it.Finally,I can hear my notes above my puter speakers! *grin*

    The "owner`s manual" was a bit lean,at best.There is one function on the amp that I am not sure about.I think it is more geared toward a bass with active pick-ups/on board eq.etc...It is the "Contour" function,which consists of two knows: one labeled "Gain" and another labeled "Shape".On the side of the "Shape" knob there is a little push button labeled "Active",which I assume has something to do with higher end basses wich can take advantage of this function?
    I am using the generic "rock" settings in the owner`s manual,as that is what I mainly play(or attempt to!).As I said,the info that came with the amp is not too good,but I think the amp suits my purposes for now and am very satisfied with it.Have a great weekend all!
  2. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    Hey, I've got a Crate BX-100 with the Shape control as well. The manuals are pretty crappy on this, I agree, though the BX-100 manual is a little better about it. In fact, I asked the same question when I first got my combo! At any rate, the "Active" switch turns the contour effect on or off. The contour control itself is more of a tone control. When it's set at 12' o clock, then the unaffected tone from your bass is being sent to the EQ section. When turned more to the left of 12' o clock, the control will suck out the mid range and add bass and treble. If turned the opposite direction (right of 12' o clock), the midrange will become more pronounced while the bass and treble will be cut slowly.

    I find the 9' o clock setting extremely useful for jazz and softer songs. One thing I've noticed however, is that even in the 12' o clock position, then sound is slightly different than when the control is turned off.

    The gain knob works just the same as the "Preamp Gain" or "Preamp Level" control on other amps. What you want to do is set it to a point just below clipping, or audible distortion. One way to know if it's distorting is if there is a small LED light next to it that reads something like "Peak" or "Clip". When this light lights up, the signal is being clipped or distorted as the preamp has run out of headroom for the strength of the signal you're putting in. If you don't have a LED indicator you'll just have to listen for distortion. The BX-100 manual reccommends swetting the gain to a point where the LED lights up only momentarily on the stringest notes you play.

    Once the gain is set correctly, you can adjust the "Master Volume" or "Level" control to how loud you want to be. Oh, one more note about the gain control: I tend to set mine to a point just below what the manual reccommends (ex: if the light goes on occasionally at "7" then I leave it ay "6").

    Hope this long post helped you out a little bit. If you have any more questions then (as always) feel free to ask. Oh, one final thing: when I refer to the Contour control, I actually mean the Shape knob; just to add a little confusion there! :)
  3. Thanks Sir Knight!

    That really clarifies things for me!Talk to you later!


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