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damnit.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ishouldbeking, Mar 6, 2008.


  1. ishouldbeking

    ishouldbeking

    Feb 5, 2007
    Hollywood, CA
    Endorsing: SIT, Eastwood, Hanson
    My newly assembled dream combo of fun vintage-y gear is in my hands, finally, at long last... after waiting 2+ months for my custom Low Down Sound sealed 6x10 to get here, and after buying an Ashdown ABM in December, and after buying my first vintage bass (a Guild JS-2) a few weeks back...

    And it sounds terrible in combination. It does, however, look really cool. It's depressing because I played my Guild through the Ashdown using my old GK 4x10 at a show last week and it sounded outstanding... two rehearsals with the new 6x10 and I can't get it to sound good. Admittedly I need to try the cab out with my other *more familiar* basses, but the Guild's giant humbuckers, combined with the natural fatness of the Ashdown, when played through this cab make for a murky, lifeless sludgy sound that doesn't work for me at all. The low end is tamed a bit compared to my GK cab, which, when dealing with these kind of mudbuckers, is a good thing... but there's a certain sweetness to the tone that's just completely lacking. Perhaps I'm not a sealed cab guy. Maybe it's just these drivers, I can't say.

    So my options are: switch back to the P-bass and keep my new rig, possibly unloading the Guild. Another option would be to throw some Dark Stars into the Guild, hopefully coming up with a new and interesting (hopefully cleaner and a bit less woofy) tone. I'm a bit wary of trying things I haven't heard in advance though, at least at this point. OR, maybe i'll just go back to my ported GK cab and try to unload the custom cab. Man, my rig is a mess. Too much new gear, too many untested factors at play. Ugh. Too much to deal with at the moment. If anyone can make sense of my cluster-bomb of gear and offer any advice I'm all ears...
     
  2. Personally I would look to the bass first.

    I use a Ric in my band. This week I received a Geddy Lee Jazz from a fellow TBer. I wanted one mainly because I am fan of Geddy the player. I used the jazz at rehearsal the other night and the difference in sound between the Ric and the jazz through my rig was more than dramatic to say the least. Usually I run my eq's (preamp and a GK head) pretty flat but with the jazz I had to make some drastic changes.

    So IMO I would start with a bass you know to try and get the rig sounding how you want it and then start swapping basses.

    Actually your experience is a lesson to me. I have been GASsing for Genz Benz and have thought about ordering some of their gear untested as no one around here seems to stock their bigger stuff. Maybe not now...............:meh:
     
  3. I'd suggest starting with a bass that's familiar to you, AND making sure that all your amp EQ is set on neutral. It may be that a small tweak has a big impact.
     
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Definitely at least spend some more time experimenting with the EQ. Try some settings that you normally wouldn't- since the bass, amp, and cab are all emphasizing different frequencies than you're used to.
     
  5. ishouldbeking

    ishouldbeking

    Feb 5, 2007
    Hollywood, CA
    Endorsing: SIT, Eastwood, Hanson
    Yeah, the EQ thing will take some time to iron out, I'm thinking. I've been gigging the Ashdown for 3 months with my GK cab and P-bass, so i'm confident and comfortable with that piece of gear.

    When I got the Guild a couple weeks back the first thing I did was set the EQ flat (the Ashdown is great for EQ tweaking since no matter how you have the EQ set, there's a switch to disable the EQ returning it to flat... really helps when you're messing around at rehearsal). After a few practices I got a few tones I was pretty happy with, and at the first gig I used it on it actually sounded fantastic and got positive feedback from the audience. However, it's a tricky bass and it can require a lot of fiddling with the tone/volume/mini-toggle on the bass itself to get a tone that's usable.

    I've got a gig tomorrow night... my plan is to use the Ashdown + GK + Guild again and see how that goes to make sure the first gig wasn't just a fluke (the P-bass will be the backup if all else fails). We're holding an all day audition for a female singer Saturday, and we'll have a lot of downtime so I'll have a chance to fully test out the cab with my P-bass and maybe even my stingray. I made the initial mistake of getting too excited about all this new gear, which made the disappointment when it didn't work out perfectly all the worse. Alas. There's definitely a lesson to be learned here. At absolute worst I can always revert to the Ashdown/GK cab/P-bass, which was working just fine (even if that combination didn't get me very excited to play it) before I went on my quest for sonic perfection.
     
  6. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    :D I have many many basses ranging from old and classic Fender to headless Hohner to Kramer flying V to a Guild etc. etc. I normally use 3 for each gig (1 per set) not necessarily for sound or tone, but I love to play the different ones. I said that to say this. I spend a pretty good bit of time fooling with the EQ on the amp for each bass and once I find the ones that I want for each, I enter the various settings on a pad/notebook labeled with the bass and a drawing of the EQ set up for future reference. Makes it simple to pull the settings up so I don't have to "start over." That's why we have EQ. Unlike others, I've never played with the EQ flat, too much shaping being ignored. But I digress. Point being, don't think you've got a "bad" deal without using the EQ to find your sound with the different basses. With a good amp EQ, I can get virtually any bass from the $100 ones to the $1500 ones to sound like I want them to, but you gotta move the knobs and sliders. Good luck in your hunting.
     
  7. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Massena NY
    Yeah, try using the p-bass with the ashdown and 6x10. We talked about your new cab alittle before you got it. Did you ever find out what speakers are in it? That will make a big difference. You mentioned something about it having two different kinds of speakers. I believe. I'll be watching this one.
     
  8. ishouldbeking

    ishouldbeking

    Feb 5, 2007
    Hollywood, CA
    Endorsing: SIT, Eastwood, Hanson
    I'd have to call Don to get the exact models of the speakers, but yeah, there are two types of 10" drivers. Basically it's set up like 2 separate cabs wired together in one box... and I can actually run either the bottom 4 or the top 2 separately as an 8 ohm cab, or run them all together (using a jumper) to use it as a 4 ohm 6x10. The top two have a higher power rating and when run on their own have more treble and upper mid-range, while the bottom four have more low mid push and more low end in general. The total power rating is 1500 watts (which I'll never use, that's for sure).

    I'll post an update sometime this weekend when I've had a chance to try the P-bass and experiment some more with the EQ.
     
  9. ishouldbeking

    ishouldbeking

    Feb 5, 2007
    Hollywood, CA
    Endorsing: SIT, Eastwood, Hanson
    Yeah it seems you see a lot of people saying to just run the amp flat no matter what you're playing, and in some cases that might not work, but obviously not all the time. I like to be able to switch the EQ on and off to see how my weird settings compare to the flat EQ sound, but I pretty much always have to use some EQ to get "my" sound. Man, i gotta say... i like the idea of just playing different basses for variety sake. I love the way this guild feels compared to the fender-style basses I usually use, but it's fun to switch around. Even if I decide this guild isn't gonna be my main player I'll probably hold on to it... for variety sake!
     
  10. Just to clarify I wasn't necessarily meaning you had to run your EQ flat. Mine is pretty flat with my Rics because that's where my rig/bass sound good. I do tweak the EQs for sure a bit. Usually the mids are boosted.

    What I meant is get your new rig sounding good with a bass you know and then introduce the new bass. The new bass may need a lot of amp EQ tweaking or maybe not much. That's for you to discover. :)
     
  11. Fretlessboy

    Fretlessboy

    Nov 29, 2007
    St Augustine Florida
    Endorsing artist GENZ BENZ/HERCULES STANDS/XSonics
    I feel for you brother. I went through that. I have a beautiful pair of Ken Smith basses and when I changed rig company's I could get a decent sound but nit an amazing sound. I'd plug in my '6Pbass and it was great. I'd plug in the Smith's and had to start tweaking. The I got the Lakland, I plugged in the 55-02 and all setting from the Smith had to be zero'd out. Now I run pretty flat with the pbass and Lakie and all is great in tone land. I guess my point is , sometimes you must start from ground 0 and finr what works for your combination and not worry about what the knobs say. A frien of mine was playing a bass/rig combination a few years ago and the eq seamed real exreme to him ... once he dialed it in, he removed the knobs and put them back on so when he looked at it, it appeared to be flat. He then loved his sound because the knobs looked right.
    DO NOT BE AFFRAID to experiment with extreme setting as well as mild settings.
     
  12. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Massena NY
    I use an ashdown abm500 into a berg nv610. The berg is bright for a cab with no tweeter but since the ashdown is a dark sounding head I really need to crank the highs to get the sound clear enough.

    On the ashdown head I turn the treble knob all the way up, the middle knob is between noon or 2 o'clock and the bass knob is usually at noon or cut to 10 or 11 o'clock. The I boost the 180hz slider up two dots, and boost the two higher sliders up two dots. Adjust the gain and drive to taste, make sure that the horrible pre-shape, scooped eq button is pressed in. This should give you a great rock tone with a p-bass. Your other bass may be a bit dark for your amp/cab setup.
     
  13. ishouldbeking

    ishouldbeking

    Feb 5, 2007
    Hollywood, CA
    Endorsing: SIT, Eastwood, Hanson
    Hey, no i understood your advice. I should have been more clear... a bunch of random people on the boards seem to advocate running amps flat no matter what and only adjusting EQ to suit the room; i wasn't suggesting you were saying that, and i'm sorry it came across that way. I appreciate all of your advice!
     
  14. amos

    amos

    Oct 23, 2003
    SE Portland Oregon
    ishouldbeking: Post pics? Also kringle77 has some good advice..
     
  15. ishouldbeking

    ishouldbeking

    Feb 5, 2007
    Hollywood, CA
    Endorsing: SIT, Eastwood, Hanson
    You're right, i definitely haven't tried setting it like that. I'll give it a shot tomorrow and tweak from there. One thing I forgot to mention is that I'm a pick player 99% of the time, which may present me with slightly different challenges than fingerstyle players, but my main sound isn't a super-bright clanky pick-style, I usually aim for more of a slightly overdriven "finger-like" sound with just a bit more edge than a typical finger-style sound. One of my main issues when using a pick is that i have to keep the hi-mids in check to keep the clank tamed.

    And yeah, my fear is that the Guild just might be too dark to pair with a naturally dark amp and dark cab. But i'm not giving up all hope yet. At absolute worst I'll switch back to the P-bass and save the Guild for a future Dark-Star experiment.
     
  16. My .02: Keep your equipment. While your "dream setup" did not meet your expectations, you might find a combination of bass/amp/cab that will work for you. My buddy only plays his fender P Bass through his Hartke... but his Music Man sounds better through this little SWR combo he has. He breaks out the music man for home studio work and the occasional coffee house gig.

    Also, if it is too muddy... try a new brand of strings. Light and bright.

    I didn't like my Ken Rose until I found the right strings.

    G
     
  17. EBodious

    EBodious

    Aug 2, 2006
    Iowa
    this is off topic, but, a bass player i once knew turned me on to felt picks. i believe they are sold as auto-harp picks. they don't click and clank. i am a fingerstyle guy 95%, but the felt picks are a nice in between once and a while. they wear out fast though. i know you are dealing with bigger issues rite now, but i thought i'd mention it.

    good luck with the rig
     
  18. ishouldbeking

    ishouldbeking

    Feb 5, 2007
    Hollywood, CA
    Endorsing: SIT, Eastwood, Hanson
    i'll try to bring my camera to rehearsal tomorrow.

    something else i didn't mention -- which is the reason i hadn't posted pictures yet -- is that Fedex was unconscionably brutal, and the cab arrived with some minor yet annoying cosmetic damage. Basically they bashed a small hole in the box it shipped in causing a visible dent about 1/2" wide on one side, they dropped the whole package hard enough that one of the casters got crushed (making it impossible to roll until i get the replacement from Don), and worst of all, they pierced two holes in the side of the box near the bottom corner, causing two puncture "wounds" where the right side of the cab meets the bottom. The punctures are each about the diameter of a cigarette, and presumable from a box / package hook, which they should NEVER have been using on a heavy package like this that was clearly covered with fragile stickers. Luckily the holes only go in about 3/8 of an inch, so there's no air escaping. I plan to fill the holes with black silicone (per Don's recommendation) and swap out the broken wheel. The cab itself is fully functional, which is a testament to Don's built-like-a-tank construction, but the annoyance of what looks like intentional damage by Fedex is just another thing that's bugging me right now.
     
  19. Go visit Tom Bowlus :smug:
     
  20. ishouldbeking

    ishouldbeking

    Feb 5, 2007
    Hollywood, CA
    Endorsing: SIT, Eastwood, Hanson
    seriously, right?

    btw... just got from back from an outstanding gig. I used my Guild, running through my Ashdown head. They had an Ampeg 8x10 as backline, so for the hell of it i used that instead of my GK 410 and it sounded pretty great. As suggested above I used a good amount of extra treble and it seemed to help deal with the "darkness" of a tweeterless sealed cab, and though I probably could have been louder tonight, everything sounded really good. Two of my friends came up to me immediately afterwards to say that "you cannot sell that bass!" So... i'll make it work one way or another. Tomorrow i'm gonna work on the new cab some, really experimenting with EQ and such.
     

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