Craving quality sound, but not getting it...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by GrandMarkie, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. GrandMarkie


    Feb 7, 2004
    Waltham, MA
    First off, I'm just going to list my equipment:

    Gallien-Krueger RB400-III
    (1) Ampeg SVT 410 HE
    Modulus Q5
    Monster Performer 500 Cable

    Well about 2 weeks ago I was stuck with a really crappy Clark bass used with the same equipment above, minus the cord. Obviously, it didn't sound good at all. So my next step was to purchase a quality bass. The bass is exactly what I was looking for and thensome. But at reasonable high volumes I'm getting terrible distortion on the low frequencies. I had a no-name cable and upgraded to the Monster (they offer a great warranty, so I couldnt pass it up) and this helped the quality but not the distortion.

    What is the main issue here...the head or the cab? I was thinking about getting a 15" cab to cover the low frequencies, but i've never seen anybody used a cross-over to distribute the frequencies properly, so i'd still have the same issue. I'm not new to the high-end home audio, but I am with instrumentation.

    I play in a rock/hard rock band, and I crave quality AND amplitude. The head doesn't seem to have quite the power I would need to keep a clean sound at high volumes, but I could be wrong.

    A little direction on what should be my next purchase, if anything, would be great! Thanks
  2. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    My guess is that you've hit your amp's power limits. A bigger amp would likely help.
  3. inazone


    Apr 20, 2003
    ditto R.L. also look into a pre/power rig for more ideas.
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    As Richard implies, your GK model is hardly even close to being a powerhouse of an amp. I agree with him - that's the place to start.

    Down the line, you may want to consider a 15" or two. IMO, 15"s eat 10"s for a light snack. One 15" has more sq. inches of cone area than a 2x10", (in other words - pushes more air).
  5. VS


    Jun 6, 2002
    Mountain City, Tennessee
    Discounted Gear: Peavey
    Yes,invest in a 15" cab of some sort. More of an amp would help as mentioned before. Also,the SVT-410HE isn't as efficient on lows as it's not ported. -Luke
  6. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    I am not very familiar with that amp, but I know that the Modulus has an active output. Is it possible he is clipping the input of the amp?
  7. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    Well, that crappy ampeg cab has just about no bottom end, and is tuned at 60hz. A low E is 41hz, and a low B is about 31 hz. These frequencies pumped through a cabinet that cannot handle it will probably cause distortion.
  8. Do you have anymore money to spend? The speaker / amp combination just isn't working for you, you need something else. Playing 5 string you need a cab that will respond down to 31 hz. As mentioned above, you cab rolls off pretty sharply below 50 hz. As a rule, low frequencies take a lot of power. It is not uncommon to see players using 1000+ watts just to get enough headroom for the trancients.
  9. GrandMarkie


    Feb 7, 2004
    Waltham, MA
    Thanks for the replies. I kind of figured my setup wouldn't suffice :meh:

    Since I just bought the Modulus, money is tight. I am researching now for my next head/cab combination. I will trade in my current setup that I have now and start fresh.

    So if I ended up adding a 15, how do the low end frequencies just go to that cab rather than 10's?

    I've been hearing good things about the Mesa 400+ and also Mesa cabs and Aguilar Cabs. I'm aiming maybe for (2) 15's and (1) 4x10.

    I've been reading alot about the pre-amp/power amp setup, but I don't understand why get that rather than 1 unit (head) Thanks again!
  10. Unless you bi-amp the lows and highs are sent to both the 10's and the 15. The response of 10's and 15 are different so they tend to balance each other out.

    1st class stuff. The Mesa 400+ is a big heavy tube amp with a tone to die for. The matching Mesa cabs will do you right. Aguilar is also making some great cabinets and some of the most expensive and well made amps available.

    All single unit amps contain both a pre-amp and power-amp all in one box. With seperate units you can mix and match. I personally have 3 different pre-amps that I use from time to time. I'll use one for a while and then change it out. It's like getting a whole new rig. Also you can use a much higher power amp like 3000 watts if you like. That kind of power isn't available in a single unit amp head.

  11. You may be overdriving the preamp a touch, but you probably need more power as a more permanent solution. The gain on the 400RB tends to be a bit hot. The clip light would not indicate if you were overdriving your preamp so you'll need to dial it in by ear. Turn the preamp volume down a couple of notches and boost the master output to about three oclock.

    As a tone test, set the master at 11 oclock and the preamp at 10 oclock. Set your boost, voicing filters and eq the way you like it. If you like your tone at that volume but wish it was louder, then you should get a more powerful GK amp. If you can't get your tone at a lower volume, then you should try some other brands.
  12. GrandMarkie


    Feb 7, 2004
    Waltham, MA
    I realize my power is not all there. I also understand that my cab only goes as low as 41Hz, but as i'm searching around for peoples preferences in cabs, most seem to choose, for example, a couple Aguilar 212's. This has the same low frequency response (41Hz). And I assume all these people aren't using just 4-string basses but also 5's and 6's? I think i'm confused as to what cab I should be aiming for. A 15 for low end, or just higher quality 10's or 12's.