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Do I need a new amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SteveC, Apr 17, 2010.


  1. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I have a Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0-12T. I think I like it. I have had issues getting some really good basses to sound good - although I think my Yamaha BB605 w/Barts sounds good.

    I seem to have trouble getting a sound that I like with some basses, although others don't seem to complain much. Currently it's a Rob Allen that I can't seem to make sound like a $3,000 instrument. My friends "cheap" WAV 4 seems to sound better.

    I don't want to start a gear merry-go-round with amps. I have enough trouble with basses. I need something small as it has to fit in the trunk of my Accord until I can afford a Pilot or something.

    Do I just not know how to use EQ? Ken, Jerry and others have offered advice and I've tried my best to listen, but maybe I just don't get it. I used to think I knew a little something after all the gear I've tried. Maybe it simply means I don't know anything.
     
  2. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    This "thread" can be closed/deleted for lack of interest.
     
  3. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Dumb question, but have you tried the Rob Allen through any other amps?
     
  4. Worldeeeter

    Worldeeeter Banned

    Mar 29, 2010
    Asheville, NC
    Simple solution: take the Rob Allen to your local music retailer and play through the various amps they offer. I'm guessing there's probably one music store in the state of ND, so this should be easy :)
    Anyway, if you have that "this sounds much better" revelation while playing at the store, you'll know you found a better synergy than what you currently have with your equipment. Tone comes from the guitar and amp; any preamp effects, sound-shaping, etc. is just color added to the tone. If you keep it simple and plug right into the amps, you'll be able to judge the tone for yourself and find something you like.
     
  5. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Unfortunately, GB is about as good as it gets around here. There's MESA but it's big and heavy. There's lots of little bedroom amps. Not a huge selection.

    I'm going to try and make some time to experiment with EQ, but to really hear how it sounds you almost need to be on a gig.

    I beginning to think I'm just an idiot and don't know a good tone when I hear it.
     
  6. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Try playing a few steps away from yourt rig and see how it sounds in that context.
     
  7. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Maybe it's the bass?? I know you've mentioned how happy you've been with the GB stuff with the various other basses you own/have owned.
     
  8. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    fwiw, I really don't care for the tone of GB heads, although that is based on playing a Shuttle 6.0. It also depends on what you're expecting the RA to sound like. It should have a huge low end and will not have a ton of attack in the mids unless you're right near the bridge. I tend to eq the bass down and increase hi-mids. I do that both with my MB an TC heads.
     
  9. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    See, I think it may be the bass as well. I'm thinking it sounds how it sounds and that just may not be the sound I want. I have had numerous GB amps/cabs and I get a good sound out of them - just not always a sound I want/need. For big sound and portability I think the GB is going to be tough to beat.

    I think I want/need/feel the EUB thing more - even though it isn't as easy to play or transport. I think coming from an upright background, I am skewed to this option.
     
  10. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    A Rob Allen is a *very* particular sounding bass - and if you don't like that sound...

    You really need to fire this up in a few other rigs before you judge. I don't own a GB, but I was just playing one at a store over the weekend and it sounded dandy - I suspect you just want a different tone...

    As for your wanting an "EUB" thing - an Allen is pretty darned close, but you said you dig the one of a Yamaha with barts, which is *nothing* like an EUB... I suggest you spend some time deciding what you really want to hear using your ears rather than what you "think" you should want.

    Good luck!
     
  11. Steve, can you be more specific about what's missing from "your" sound when you play the Rob Allen thru the Genz Benz rig? And, as others have suggested, is there anyway to play that bass through another amp...any amp?

    For me, my Rob Allen seems to be a great match for the 6.0-12T. I know I've mentioned this in a PM, but I generally run everything flat on the amp, with the exception of pre-gain...which I boost a bit (even with the Rob Allen). Occasionally I will dial back the lows on the amp when playing the Rob Allen in a difficult room. Otherwise, it's pretty much the same with all of my basses. I generally don't use my Sadowsky M5 or MTD through this rig - the only basses I have that just don't sound too good (to my ears) with this amp, but that's no biggie. I generally wouldn't use such "aggressive" sounding basses on the types of gigs where I use this amp...so it all works out.

    I know I've said this before too, but just IME/IMO, if you're truly after replicating the upright vibe, I'm not sure the 35" five-string MB-2 is the perfect choice...hence the hope that you can try your Rob Allen through another amp just to confirm/deny for yourself.

    It's not easy finding a sound that speaks to you...I just wonder in this case, since you have enjoyed this amp with other instruments, whether the amp truly is the issue. Of course, the RA offers an amazing array of tonal options. I've never experienced an instrument that speaks so differently depending on the position of your plucking hand. Might be worth experimenting there too. Good luck!
     
  12. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    If I were you, I'd take the Rob Allen over to Kenny's and try it out through a couple of the Mesa combos he has there. I know you don't want the Mesa stuff due to the weight, but if you like the sound of it through one of them, then you know that the bass is at least capable of getting the sound you want. I'd also try it through the 9.0/cabinet of your choice setup at Poppler's, too.

    If it still sounds like butt through one of the Mesa combos, and through the 9.0, then you know that the bass just probably isn't for you.

    Does your Yamaha get your sound through the Genz rig?
     
  13. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I think my Yamaha sounds great through the Genz. Maybe the Allen does, too, just not the great I want. I don't know. We have a rehearsal again this week and a gig this weekend so I'll try some more EQ'ing and see what I can do.
     
  14. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Nothing's missing. There's a lot of low end boom and mud. Maybe I need to dial back the bass even more than I have tried so far. I just don't want so much out that the high end gets thin. I can try to find time to try another amp and see. There's not much better than GB around here though.

    Yeah, I maybe should have gone 4 string as it is an upright vibe substitute...

    I really don't think (maybe it's more hope) it's the amp. I've had good luck with GB so far. I'm going to try some more EQ and hand options.
     
  15. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    NS WAV isn't a fair comparison.. the string scale alone will make it sound different.

    It really does sound like a porting or EQ issue.
     
  16. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Yep, the string scale is big. I think that's part of my issue. As nice as the Rob Allen (well for most people) can be infilling this niche, I think part of me misses the physical part of playing the upright for jazz. I noticed when I got excited I tried to "dig" into the RA which of course, didn't yield good results.

    I'll keep trying to EQ and hone my technique.
     
  17. Steve, I wouldn't be at all afraid to dial back the lows some more on the amp. That Rob Allen undoubtedly puts out a lot of lows, and they can get boomy in a hurry. Plus, the EQ on the amp really is responsive and flexible...if you feel the bottom fall out, boosting the mids in the ~200-250HZ range would probably bring things right back in line. Good luck - I'm rooting for you...with a bit more experimentation hopefully you can find THE sound.
     
  18. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Yeah, I'd like to make the RA work as it is easy to travel with and play, looks great, too. I still won't get the same "upright vibe" but maybe I can learn to change my style.Everyone else who has them loves them - not that that means anything - so we'll see. Like I said, I have rehearsal and a couple gigs this week so I'll try again. And as much as I like the vibe of an upright, it kills my hand and I don't have time to keep up my chops, which is also important with an upright.
     
  19. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    You may just need to rethink your technique. When I dig into the RA it sounds awesome. But it has HUGE low end, so it depends on what you're expecting to happen and exactly *how* you dig in. One reason I like the RA is that it is more physical than playing my Zon fretless. The action is higher, and I have to work the bass more. The good thing is I can do that work and not have my hand/wrist fall apart like when I play a real upright.
     
  20. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    This is why I'm kind of glad it hasn't sold yet. Although I still don't have it sounding like it "should" I want to keep trying as playing the EUB is tough on my wrist. Of course, that i sprobably a technique issue as well.
     

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