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Fender Tone without the Fender Price?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by wdinc01, Mar 22, 2009.


  1. wdinc01

    wdinc01

    Nov 19, 2005
    Jacksonville, FL
    I'm sorry if this has been answered, but I could never really find specifics.

    Basically, my situation is my full size rig is a AMP BH-420 (predecessor to Thunderfunk) running into a Mesa/Boogie Diesel 4x10. I'm just not digging the Mesa/Boogie, alot because of the sound, and also because of the weight. So I'm looking to replace the cab with something else, preferably smaller and lighter.

    I've also concluded that I really like the tone I get out of my small Fender Rumble 15 practice amp. Maybe its because I use it every day, I dunno. But I think my bass sounds really good going through it.

    Doing some searching, I hear people generally say that Fender is over priced and you can get same kind of sound only cheaper. So my question is what are some cabinets I could look into that'll give my a very similar sound to my Rumble 15 (although if it were a a little meatier, that'd be nice)? I'm really thinking about going with two 2x10s, or maybe a 2x10/1x15 combo. Something modular so I can take what's needed.

    And also if it's not ridiculous expensive, that'd be great. Price is what's stopping me from getting new Mesa/Boogie cabs. I just don't have that kind of money.

    Thanks in advance for any help
     
  2. wdinc01

    wdinc01

    Nov 19, 2005
    Jacksonville, FL
    Anyone?
     
  3. David1234

    David1234

    Jun 1, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Endorsing Artist: SWR Amplifiers
    I like my fender rumble 15, and I think it's EQ'd with a treble spike and a mid cut, for a sound that's a nice place in between clear and beefy. I have had it 2 months, and use it for teaching. I'm not convinced it's "a fender sound" particularly. You can get a good sound from a lot of brands!

    Still, as your taste is somewhat like mine, I'll tell you that I mostly like SWR amps. Right now I have an SWR combo, and a rig with an SWR amp and Dr Bass cabs. These both sound good to me.

    This suggests that you should be able to get your sound from a lot of different cabs, particularly if you are willing to tweak the EQ on the amp a bit.

    A few things to try when you get a chance: SWR's new GoLight 115, Dr Bass 1x12 and 2x12 cabs, that excellent Eden 112... but there's lots more out there, depending just how light you want to go.
     
  4. BassJunkie730

    BassJunkie730

    Feb 3, 2005
    Brooklyn
    If you are digging your little 15" combo when playing alone - then I can't really suggest what you'd need to do to get a similar sound in a mix - because it's almost universally accpeted that a built in scooped EQ curve does not help you cut in a mix.

    My suggestion is that you keep the AMP (for it's superior tweakability) and pursue a different cabinet.

    The diesel cabs are known for their cutting mids.

    I'd look for a cab that is flatter in the lows.

    That way you can experiment with the midrange (using the AMP's awesome semi parametric EQ) to dial in a somewhat scooped tone that gets you what you want without having you drop out the mix OR loose a pillowy bottom end.

    If you are an enterprising soul - I think greenboy's fEARful 12/6 would be right up your alley. Small and you can push it pretty hard - and it's VERY flat.
     
  5. wdinc01

    wdinc01

    Nov 19, 2005
    Jacksonville, FL
    By 15 they mean its 15 watts. But thank you for your help, and confirming that the Diesel cab does indeed have a sound that I'm not into. I don't like a whole lot of mids.

    And I did see the thread about fEarful's 12/6, but didn't look into it too much.
     
  6. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Quebec
    Two questions:
    a) What type of music do you play ?
    b) How do you EQ your sound ?

    If you play in a setting where cutting through is not a priority (low volume levels, no percussions, vocal oriented music, etc.), you might cut your mids around the 1kHz frequency. This is where most of the "clank" from bass comes from in my experience. Your combo probably already has this frequency cut inherently (most bass combos do have some form of scoop). I sometimes do so when I use a pick since I also have a mid-oriented cab (BW 215).

    This has the very obvious advantage of costing nothing.
     
  7. wdinc01

    wdinc01

    Nov 19, 2005
    Jacksonville, FL
    I play a variety of music, ranging from experimental rock to jazz band, and I also like doing solo bass stuff by myself. But I pretty much EQ it all about the same, which is a bass boost (not a whole lot), cut the mids, and treble I move around depending on what I'm feeling at the time.

    So I like a deep kind of sound, but not so deep that it gets muddy. Kind of like punchy or meaty. I guess it's what you would usually EQ for a slap tone.

    In my current band situation, I don't really have to worry about cutting through because I'm really the only one sitting in that frequency. But then if I start getting more rock projects started, it may become something of concern.
     
  8. wdinc01

    wdinc01

    Nov 19, 2005
    Jacksonville, FL
    I'm going to bump this so I can get some more help, and also because I had an opportunity to try out a few different amps today.

    I went to Guitar Center and was able to try out a Markbass 2x10, 4x10, 1x15 and even a Bag End 2x12, which I thought was cool because I've never seen one in person.

    I tried out the Bag End with an Ampeg head first, which I thought sounded terrible. So I changed it out for a Markbass head, and although I liked the sound more (I seriously can not dig the tone of Ampeg heads), it wasn't my thing. Ran it through the 2x10, and I thought it sounded a little thin (not saying the cab is bad). Going into the 4x10, definitely had a nice even sound to it. And finally the 1x15 seemed to be the money maker, as it had that big fat sound I was looking for. My buddy who was with me also agreed that the 4x10 had a more even, full sound, and the 1x15 was just fatter, and he really doesn't much about amps at all.

    So my conclusion was, although it was just to give me a rough idea, I like 1x15s and 4x10s. 12" speakers aren't really my thing because they focus on frequencies that I emphasize less on, although that Bag End cab by it's self seemed like it was pretty good. I wanted to try the 2x10 on top of the 1x15, but didn't feel like moving anything to do so.

    Which leads me to my question: Would there be any advantages of having a stack of two 1x15 cabs versus say a 2x10/1x15 or maybe just a 4x10? Am I just over thinking and should I just get whatever sounds best to me? Of course that's always the answer, but Guitar Center is a noisy environment, so "best to me" in there may not be the same at home or with a band.
     
  9. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    *Staying with multiple same-sized/brand speakers mounted in same-sized/brand cabinets is a good idea when running a full-range bass amp (head plugged directly into the cabs without any active bi-amping scheme similar to that which is used in larger PA systems).

    Mixing different speaker & cab sizes together can lead to phase cancellation of varying frequencies (depending upon the speakers & cabs which are being mixed) leading to a bass sound which is 'unfocused'. (Plenty of players do this however. I used to. I no longer would.)

    **I don't believe that you are over-thinking, and yes, getting the rig which sounds best to you is a good idea since only you have your ears.

    (Besides, your tastes in tone will likely evolve over time roughly in parallel with your growing experience as a musician. Most of players are on a tone quest the same way most painters seek out new hues.)

    Stacked, two identical 15" cabs will deliver plenty of 'whump'. A single 4X10" yields a meaty 'tonk'. Two identical 4X10" cabs offer a tony and visceral 'thump'. Four identical 4X10" cabs serves up a deep tissue massage. :)
     
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    #1. Every mixed cab rig I've ever tried left me wanting, and the phasing issues are why. Some do it more than others, but IMHO they all do it to at least a slight degree.

    I like different cab sizes for different reasons. I'm big on the 810 right now because it's snappy and has a lot of meat in the low mids without overbearing lows. I'm big on the 215 because of its old school thump. But mixing them, IMHO, takes away from them instead of adding to them.
     
  11. thumpbass1

    thumpbass1

    Jul 4, 2004
    Go with the 15's if that's your sound . I've been gigging 15's for years having once gigged on a regular basis through two 2 x 15 cabs as my usual rig long ago. If you have some good e.q. ability in your rig you can get a pretty wide tonal spectrum from any decent single 15 or 2 x 15 cab imho.
     
  12. Mikio

    Mikio

    Feb 21, 2009
    Santiago de Chile
    the only thing that sounds like a Fender Amp is a Fender Amp.... and Squier too, but those sound crappier too, the tone is almost the same, but the quality is bad xD
     
  13. With that particular head, and with the tone you generally describe, if you can afford them, a pair of Aguilar DB112's is just KILLER KILLER KILLER. It has all that old school warmth you hear from a traditional style 115 cab, but with nice mid definition, and a bit of sparkle if you want it from the tweeters. They aren't feather weigth, but will feel that way compared to that ridiculously heavy and large Mesa 410 IMO.

    I've yet to hear a better match-up with the Thunderfunk amps myself, if you want a sort of 'modern meets vintage' sort of fat but still punchy and articulate tone. WONDERFUL mix and match IMO and IME.

    I would also consider the Epifani PS112's... I have not heard them with the Thunderfunk, but they have a somewhat similar tone profile as the DB112's, and are quite a bit less expensive.

    Edit: Per your post above, I would NOT eliminate a whole class of speakers (12's for example) due to hearing one or two 112 or 212 cabinets. Speaker driver size has VERY little to do with the tone of a cab. It's all about the box design and tuning.
     
  14. Marko 1

    Marko 1

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
  15. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    KJung is right on the money with the Epifani PS112's. They sound AMAZING. Creamy and rich. Definitely give those a try if you can. I know you say 112s are not your thing, but try a pair... they always sound better than one alone.

    Get a pair of those and I guarantee* you'll be satisfied!

    *note: this guarantee is nonbinding, and basically means nothing!
     
  16. wdinc01

    wdinc01

    Nov 19, 2005
    Jacksonville, FL
    One, maybe. But I definitely can't afford two of them. Not at this point in my life, anyway. But thank you for the suggestion.

    I didn't try to make it sound like I'm totally eliminate any combination of 12" speakers based on just one cab. I'm just sort of putting it behind other considerations.

    By the way, I don't remember if I gave a price point, but I'm hoping to keep this under $500. I'm not sure how much I would get for my current cab or my other bass head. I also won't have a job until summer, and I'm still pretty set on spending money on effects (I could really use a looper). Honestly, amps are the last thing on my mind, and its really something I just want to buy once and be done with it (for now, anyway).

    But I still appreciate everyone's help and would like all suggestions possible. Just keep in mind that some of these things are difficult to try out, i.e. I don't know of any place that has them near my house.
     
  17. BullHorn

    BullHorn

    Nov 23, 2006
    Israel
    If you really like the sound of the Rumble, you should go for a Fender Rumble 100W 15" x2 and stack them together. I play through such a rig at our rehearsal room and it's beefy, loud enough to play with a loud drummer who's kick drum is amplified, a vocalist who goes into 3 JBL speakers and 2 gui****ists, where one is using two Fender Reissue 60W tube amps.

    And at the same time, such a stack would cost you half the price of a Markbass combo (Shoot me now).
     
  18. wdinc01

    wdinc01

    Nov 19, 2005
    Jacksonville, FL
    So I'm really considering going with the stacked 15s route. The only thing I'm worried about, though, is that I won't be able to get enough highs in the mix. I figured that's what a tweeter is for (please correct me if I'm wrong, I'm not an expert on this stuff), but I've heard people say how tweeters can make some fuzz pedals sound like you have a can of bees.

    And to Bullhorn, are you running through two Fender combos? Or is it a combo and a 15" stacked under it?
     
  19. Tweeters are for the very highest frequency 'sparkle' to your tone (usually above 3 or 4K). However, you are correct in that if you like to use a very distorted tone, fuzz, etc., that can sound VERY harsh through a traditional horn type tweeter. A well constructed, modern 15 cab will have plenty of highs up through the upper mids which, unless you are into a very bright stainless steel rounwound sort of tone, should be just fine for what you are doing.

    There are a couple of other ways to deal with the issue that you describe. One is the get a cab with a paper cone mid driver (typicall a small 6" driver crossed over near the upper range of the woofer's capability). Since it's paper cone, it won't have that harsh, clacky type tone if you have a bit of dirt in your tone, but will extend the high end quite a bit more than just a solo woofer, up into the lower treble region. There are quit a few companies that have these type of cabs (Dr. Bass and Low Down Sound are the first that come to mind).

    The second way is the GK model of having their heads bi-amped with a separate low powered amp driving the tweeter signal (their cabs are designed to take advantage of this). That way, you can have the grind coming out of the woofer and keep the upper treble coming out of the tweeter pure and clean. To me, that's a bit of 'overdesign', since most that like a more growly, grindy tone have very little interest in 'pure, clean 4K+ sparkle.
     
  20. xbassmanx

    xbassmanx

    Jul 29, 2007
    Dude, You can get plenty of highs out of 15's.
    For years I played though either 2-15's or 2 1-15's and never had a tweeter. Nowadays I play through 12's with tweeters and love it too.

    Just try a few 1-15 cabs with and without tweeters. When you find one you like buy it. Then later, if you want , buy another. :)
     

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