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"Cutting through"

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by SamuelHarris, Oct 26, 2018.

  1. SamuelHarris

    SamuelHarris Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2009
    Detroit MI USA
    Looking for some signal chain advice.

    Currently using Yamahiko single sensor>acoustic Image series 4+ clarus sl>MAS 18 w/super tweeter

    In some rooms I have a very hard time hearing myself clearly . It doesn't feel like a volume issue, I can hear my bass but it seems as though there isn't enough mid-range or treble definition to hear clarity in my sound. I've tried cranking the mid eq controls on the clarus, this helps a little but not much.

    I think this rig gets a great, natural sound but it would be nice to have the option to get a little uglier but more cutting tone at times.

    Many people add preamps in front of their amp to make it sound less "electric". Is there a way to do the opposite?

    There's a local rehearsal space I play at that has a Peavey max110 combo. My Yamahiko straight in with the eq flat is an ugly, unnatural sound. Much "grosser" sounding than my usual rig. But damn, the sound "cuts" even with a big band. I'm wondering if the clarus is a relatively dark, mid shy head? Should I look into a different head?
    Fat bob likes this.
  2. Several people love Samsamp ParaDriver for its BLEND control. @Chris Fitzgerald had a very good thread on it somewhere.
  3. I've had this experience, mostly with low range notes, and talked with my bass guitar playing son about it... I found my EQ-BASS was too high, plus the room was very prone to echos. Cranked EQ-BASS down to about 20%, turned up mid and treble and clarity happened.

    I run a 2-channel pre-amp primarily for blending 2x pickup volume balance, with EQ high-but-flat and low gain into my main (combo) amp where I exercise most of my control, including EQ, gain, voicing, compression and effects. Generally if I have amp volume above 50%, the compression gets turned off.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
  4. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I too am a very happy user of this preamp. It can do just about anything.
    Groove Doctor likes this.
  5. flatback


    May 6, 2004
    one easy way to do it is to get the other Yamahiko pickup on the other side of your bridge and then tie them together the way they are supposed to be. This will cause some phase cancellation of the lower frequencies which will cause you to trn up the volume some but the net effect is that you have a way more mid rangy signal without adding any post piclkup gear. I most often lately use the Y just the E side but when presented with a room or band where I really need to cut I tie them together.
    Earl likes this.
  6. Jeremy Darrow

    Jeremy Darrow

    Apr 6, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Fishman Transducers, D'Addarrio Strings, Aguilar Amplifiers
    FWIW, I've found that 400 and 800 can be helpful frequencies for me. On their own, they can sound a little...off-putting. But in the mix, bumping one of those zones helps me pop out a little more.
    lrhbass likes this.
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Still loving this unit. Here's the thread link: Sansamp Para Driver DI for DB amplification

    On the amp/speaker side of things, one of the reasons I love Phil Jones Flightcase combos so much is the up firing drivers that allow me to sit the amp beside me and still hear myself directly. @SamuelHarris - if your amp supports the option, adding another speaker that is more or less aimed at your head could be a nice addition for you. I know PJB makes a little monitor unit called the "earbox" for this purpose, and I'm sure there are many other options as well.
  8. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    More highs and mids than you like for the bass alone normally helps. Also Spiros can sometimes be the answer!
  9. Hi all,

    I've done quite a bit of work recently recording my bass into protools and then analyzing the sound, mainly with the hopes of optimizing a DI feed to FOH engineers. What I've found is that, through various pickups and mics, the range frequencies around 1K-2k is pretty nasty- but very cutting. (2Kish is also where bleed from cymbals start to really enter the picture if you happen to ever use a mic). Sam, perhaps you'd benefit from a preamp that has an adjustable midrange EQ, so you can dial in the frequencies you're missing?

    Here are the preamp specs for the Series 4 AI amps:

    Bass Control Shelving type, ±15 dB at 60 Hz
    Mid Control ±15 dB at 650 Hz
    Treble Control Shelving type, ±15 dB at 10 kHz​

    I'm guessing the Treble knob doesn't affect a double bass whatsoever. Perhaps these settings are catering towards the jazz guitarist?


  10. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    two things
    elevate the cab. The 18 does not lose bass like other cabs when elevated. It's like a tone control. More mids and highs---less low bass.

    As was stated---I find that most guys run their bass controls up too much.

    I hate to say it, but I'm still working with Eminence on the 8's. Try to refine them with each order. What is coming--2db higher efficiency, and a bit less mid bass a bit clearer mids.We're switching to aluminum edgewound wire. I lose a few hz of extension (still lower than any other bass driver) but gain efficiency and midrange clarity. Don't worry guys with 18's---it's a small improvement.
    kerrycares, Ric Vice and Zbysek like this.
  11. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    PJB Earbox happy owner here. It helps to add definition and clarity for the player without increasing volume or changing EQ. It can be used with any amp up to 1000watts. It has virtually no load on amplifier so it can be used even in combination with 4ohm amp and 4ohm cabinet.

    Ear-Box – Phil Jones Bass

    Ps: Just a clarification: Earbox produces a near field sound. It will help you hear yourself better, but it will not help you being heard better by the audience.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
    rknea and Chris Fitzgerald like this.
  12. rickwolff

    rickwolff CGJ Emeritus (Certified Gear Junkie) Retired??? Supporting Member


    I wasn't going to put up the classified ad yet since I am going to be out of town for the next week, but since it came up here I thought I'd mention in.

    I found it extremely useful when using my Acoustic Image combo, but I am now using my Genzler Acoustic combo which I put up on a pole and, especially with the line array, I get all the highs, mids, and clarity I need. I you need some help in hearing those highs and mids the Ear-Box is a simple, clever, and relatively inexpensive solution. I'm going to be asking $160 shipped CONUS. Give me a shout if you're interested.
    rknea and Zbysek like this.
  13. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Interestingly enough, the JBL D130 speaker that Ampeg used in their early B-15N’s had a copper clad aluminum voice coil.
  14. Fat bob

    Fat bob Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2013
    Thanks for postings this, I have been boosting the high mids and sometimes treble lately and been much happier with my tone. Also this Bose Pro Portable PA Community

    I had been EQing with my eyes more than than Id care to admit!
    Earl likes this.
  15. I certainly have done so too. Or with my mind...
  16. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    You (collectively) just have to come to a concenses with your band mates, as to how you’ll balance with one another. Then EQ ing the bass is so much easier. Provided your chums are intelligent enough to comprehend this.
    JeffKissell and JimmyT like this.
  17. kerrycares

    kerrycares Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2006
    The only reliable fix I’ve found is to elevate the cab , roll the bass back a little with a slight boost in volume.
    After playing bass since 1976 I stumbled across my best “upright” tone in my electric rig -Aguilar TH500 , SL112 , straight in no Pre (aka John Patitucci)
    My AI Clarus is consistently too “dark” but at low volume with the upshot , the portability of the rig outweighs the lack of cut so I compensate by digging in a little more with my right hand.

    I am so tired of buying gear , lol!
    Fat bob and Ric Vice like this.
  18. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Good ideas, I have used a Amp Wedge
    to tilt the cabinet up, but with either the MAS 4/5 or the MAS 1/8 the cabinets do all the work. They can be elevated without loosing much low end.
  19. Ben Rolston

    Ben Rolston Supporting Member

    Aug 30, 2006
    Ann Arbor, MI, USA
    Weirdly I've found having a bit of mic blended in helps me with this; supplying the snap or pop on the front of the note that I'm (We're) always after. A great thing about the 18 (at least sans tweeter) is that its not very feedback prone.

    Recently I listened to both the yamahiko and realist pickups through Felix out into headphones, and was kind of surprised at how dark they both sound-- the yamahiko is definitely brighter but not in a natural sounding way, mostly just higher mids and string noise.

    Totally agree with Kerry too: "The only reliable fix I’ve found is to elevate the cab , roll the bass back a little with a slight boost in volume."
    Ric Vice and Fat bob like this.
  20. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    In my particular setup, with the Ehrlund EAP, I don’t really use the Remic unless I’m doing a outdoor concert or a large venue. The Remic does actually help to put an edge on each notes envelope. Unfortunately, as the volume level rises this edge starts to dissappear.

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