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Do you "play" your amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jfh2424, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. I was thinking about the amps that I have and I realized that I tend to set a certain sound out of my amp and not fiddle with the knobs again. Sometimes, not for years. I do a lot more fiddling with my bass knobs than my amp knobs.

    I realized that I don't really "play" my amp. Some guys seem to be bragging about the different sounds they can get out of their amps. But I realize that I don't get a lot of different sounds out of mine.

    How about you?

  2. Mark_70


    Dec 31, 2013
    Just depending on the acoustics of where you're playing some minor adjustments.
  3. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    I usually just tweak the mids depending on what it sounds like at the venue.
    I use one or both of the tone knobs frequently all night while playing, though.
  4. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    Depends on the bass and cab I am using at the time.
    I always have to move the knobs to get the sound I need.
  5. thunderbird66


    Sep 30, 2012
    west Texas
    No adjusting or "playing" of the amp. If I need different tones I get more different bass's.
  6. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    My amps are super responsive to playing, plus I ride my volumes a lot.
  7. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    yup. Amp controls are for dialing in and room adjustment.
    mid gig knob tweaking is a sure fire way to ruin your FOH mix.
  8. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I only change settings when I play a different bass (Fender P with flats VS active 5 stringer with rounds).

    Beyond that, the only thing I might change is preamp gain. EQ usually stays flat as it's cut only (passive tone circuit in the amp).
  9. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I play with the gain staging in my Bass 400 all of the time to shape threshold overdrive and feel. I use a Sansamp either up front or in the FX loop. Between the SA (adjusting settings and also which stage it's placed in) and Gain/Master I can do a lot in terms of hair, type of hair, and tight vs spongy feel.
  10. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I "play" my amps....as in, setup, adjust a baseline eq for the room....and adjust gain structure in such away as to make the amp be clean, or get varying amounts of "growl", or "grind", or something other than clean by playing my bass harder or softer, adjusting technique, etc. It also means getting my amp power in such a spot in relation to speaker cleanliness or breakup so it also responds to adjustments in playing style.....I treat the whole thing as a "system", and I "play" the system by "playing" my bass, and can go from "clean" to "fairly dirty" without ever touching a knob after initial setup, just by changing how I play the bass.

    Works for me.

    What I don't like is rigs that won't breakup no matter what, or having to setup and hit pedals to change sounds....I like to be able to do all that with my hands.
  11. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    set it for the room, then forget it. same with controls on the bass. I get my tone for the room at soundcheck, then leave 'em alone.
  12. bass12

    bass12 And Grace, too Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I hardly ever adjust the EQ on my amp. It's mostly set flat with sometimes just a bit of boost in the bass or mids. If the room is particularly boomy then I'll make further adjustments.
  13. I do. I play my amp just like my basses. I switch from bass-to-bass and I change my tone settings to suit the: bass; room, and volume level.
  14. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    My amp is flat I have a problem constantly changing my pedal knobs.
  15. amps are the wrong place to look for multiple sounds, in my world. unless it's in a recording studio and it's an all-tube amp, i get that. but at a gig i would never touch anything other than my gain and volume, after getting it dialed in (almost always flat.)
  16. Tonetodiefor


    Feb 25, 2014
    Marin County
    I have always adjusted my amps for gain/overdrive and it will primarily be dependent on the song. I hardly ever touch the tone unless switching basses.

    For many years I ran my main bass stereo out (one pickup for each amp) but have simplified my setup to mono out basses. Depending on how I route my signal, that will play into the need for one or more amps

    It is highly dependent on your style and if you are also switching from fingers to pick (which I do quite often).

    Hope that helps...
  17. Only time I mess with the amp is if the room is boomy. Then I'll dial the low end back a bit and boost the mids a bit. The high end stays flat. Any tone change I need , I do on the guitar.
  18. Less with active bass than with passive bass. If I want a massive fat bottom, that's what FOH is getting....
  19. So there are a bunch of posts saying they set their amps "flat". Does that mean everything at noon or are you adjusting the eq to get a sound that is flat? Because that's two very very very different things. Even with a passive cut only eq everything on full doesn't always mean a flat sound. I also question how many people actually know what a flat tone sounds like since it is very hard to recreate.
  20. waveman

    waveman Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2008
    I flatten the EQ on my amp at every gig, and adjust it to the venue. I have a general sound I normally go for though. OTH, when just goofing off, yes I play with different EQ settings for fun.

    BTW, yes, flat eq means all eq knobs at noon.