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Defining notes

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ChadonBass, Aug 7, 2012.


  1. ChadonBass

    ChadonBass

    Mar 12, 2012
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Wouldn't consider myself a great bass player by any means, but I want to hear the notes I play. Not just in combination with the guitarist( that's important too).

    I guess it seems that my current set up lacks definition and I'm looking for a change. Right now, I have a pf500 and a Bigfoot. The volume would be fine with a definition of the tone. It's just not there for me.

    Would a 410 improve that? Or is it more than that? I would like my next major purchase to be something versatile to me. My feeble search attempts haven't given me the answers. Please help:).
     
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    What's a Bigfoot? The PF500 is a very versatile amp with a heck of a lot of mid and treble control that should give you all the definition you should want or need, but I have no clue what a Bigfoot is.

    The problem comes in defining precisely what you mean by "definition." What bass players have your idea of "definition" that you like?
     
  3. IMO a speaker cab change is in order. A couple good 210s, 410 or 212 should be a move in the right direction.
     
  4. ChadonBass

    ChadonBass

    Mar 12, 2012
    Pittsburgh, PA
    The Bigfoot is an older swr 212. I wasn't lucky enough to get the bag end drivers in it. Regardless, I've played through a few different cabinets with the ampeg head and thus far, the swr golight is the forerunner. I just don't want to miss something.

    Defining definition: I want to hear the front end of the attack. To know where the notes start is important to me. When I do the chance run or whatnot, I want the audience to know too.

    If I'm playing a cover song, I want people to notice what, say, Robert DeLeo from stone temple pilots, put into the song.
     
  5. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    IMHO, for note definition you want an SS amp. Again, IMHO, they tend (but don't have to be) quicker. Some will argue the opposite ;)

    Any chance you can try an 800RB, or any other GK, with the bigfoot?
     
  6. I use a pf500 with pf 210 or pf 115 cabs and they are ok for definition, but I can't use that rig in a high volume situation, really, so whether or not that amp has enough guts for you depends on how loud your band plays. Does your cab have a tweeter? Is it on?

    BUT... what kind of bass do you have? If you have a jazz bass, maybe back off the neck pickup a bit. My bass has active electronics, so I have a pan pot to switch beween the pickups. When I want more definition, I give it more from the bridge pickup and boost the mids a bit.
     
  7. ChadonBass

    ChadonBass

    Mar 12, 2012
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I use a ltd viper right now, with an ltd pj bass as back up. It has an active preamp where I usually boost the bass and mids, keeping the treble at the middle (I assume neutral) position. The pj has the tone boost thing ltd offers.

    My head has the mids at the second position on the selector switch, bass boosted and, again, treble in the middle.
     
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You could try not boosting the lows so much.
     
  9. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    +1 Ironic as it seems, bass boost on a bass is usually a really bad idea.
     
  10. WingKL

    WingKL

    May 12, 2007
    A note is defined by it's timbre, which is the collection of harmonics that an instrument produces for the note and the balance between them. If you are having trouble hearing the note, there is a good chance your speaker is not producing the harmonics in the right proportion. Related to this is the Fletcher Munson curve which maps the changes in human perception of different frequencies based on volume. The louder you turn up the amplifier, the more the bass frequencies start to dominate. At some point the fundamental frequency will drown out the higher harmonics of the notes and you lose definition. Solution? More midrange or reduce the lowest bass frequency by EQ so your harmonics can be heard and/or investigate full range bass speakers like the Fearfuls/Barefaced/BFM and see if they will work better for you.
     
  11. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Philadelphia
    That was my first thought. I've played my Jazz through a Bigfoot that was part of a house rig, I believe using my old G-K head, and I thought it had plenty of definition. I really loved it, in fact.
     
  12. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I'd be looking at your bass and strings first, besides it's the cheapest option to start with.

    You said that you're boosting the lows and mids. Try cutting back on the bass
    What strings are you using, and more importantly, how old are they?
     
  13. nysbob

    nysbob

    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    Myth.
     
  14. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Opinion. Says so right in the post you quoted :)
     
  15. ChadonBass

    ChadonBass

    Mar 12, 2012
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I will definitely try rolling back the bass. The strings are what came on the bass. S.I.T. brand, I believe. They're fairly new
     
  16. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    There ya go.
     
  17. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    IMHO/IME, strings have a huge impact on tone. Do some reading over on the strings forum and see if you can narrow it down to something new you'd want to try. I'm not saying it's the end all be all for fixing your issue, but it certainly might help.

    What kind of music do you play, and what kind of tone are you going for? It would help in trying to pick out a string.
     
  18. JFOC

    JFOC

    Oct 23, 2010
    new hampShire
    Off-Topic: is that a Cursive quote? if so, kudos! +1 interwebz
     
  19. +1 to strings. I know a lot of people hate them, but I started using ProSteels and I haven't looked back... but I play lots of funk, and I like a bright tone.
     
  20. WingKL

    WingKL

    May 12, 2007
    Well the 800RB would have good definition even at high volumes because it has a built in rolloff below 80hz, there by eliminating the definition obscuring rumbly frequencies. Flatwounds alre also touted to make the bass more audible in a mix, so thats another thing to try.
     

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