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Has this ever happened to anyone - Same tone settings sound different?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Achyuth Mohan, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. Achyuth Mohan

    Achyuth Mohan

    Aug 15, 2018
    I was recently working with my tone settings on couple of pedals I have, and kind of narrowed down to tone I like. But when I came back, like after 30 mins, the same settings don't sound the same anymore. Is this simply a psychological or could it be anything others related to bass, pedals, power supply etc.?
    SirMjac28 and Bassbeater like this.
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Welcome to TalkBass!!!!!

    More than likely "psychological".

    I like to watch baseball games while I'm piddling around in the kitchen or at my desk. During the hours when my kids aren't asleep I run really nice computer speakers. The sound is full and rich.

    Once they go to sleep I unplug the nice speakers and use just the laptop speakers. At first they sound incredibly thin. After a few minutes, the sound isn't nearly as thin as it was when I first unplugged the nice speakers.

    Sure, that's anecdotal. But I think your mind is messing with you.

    Sometimes a tube amp can change subtly over the first half hour or so. Other than that, I would be surprised if solid state devices sounded different after "warming up".
    Jborg, HolmeBass, five7 and 1 other person like this.
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Psychology does play a part in it, and so does ear fatigue. Always best to judge different tones with fresh ears.
  4. Achyuth Mohan

    Achyuth Mohan

    Aug 15, 2018
    Thanks for responding! As of now, I do not have an amp. My signal chain is bass>MXR envelope filter>Darkglass B7K ultra V2 with cabinet IR.

    I take the cabinet IR input direct into my interface and monitoring through headphones.
    two fingers likes this.
  5. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    Some pedals don't have stable tone or control circuits. I have a Fat Fuzz Factory "clone" that changes if you look at it wrong. It is very reactive.
    SirMjac28 and Microbass like this.
  6. As has been mentioned ear fatigue or burn in is a factor and also changing reference points can also be a factor. When that happens to me I have different recordings to reference so I can get my ears 2RTZ "to return to zero" to reset my baseline.
    Fishheadjoe likes this.
  7. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    When working with EQ settings, always take frequent breaks where your ear can adjust and settle. Ear fatigue is very real and can be a warning sign that your source is too loud, no matter how it feels. Spend 10 minutes dialing in a sound, 20 away, not using your ears. Come back, tweak, repeat.
    HolmeBass likes this.
  8. StereoPlayer


    Aug 29, 2010
    HolmeBass likes this.
  9. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    I notice this the most on stage during a live performance. After a bit you ears adjust and the mix sounds a little dull.
    nolezmaj and Wasnex like this.
  10. xnewyorka

    xnewyorka Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2006
    NYC Area
    If your bass or any of the pedals uses a battery, the battery could have discharged during that time, especially if everything was left plugged in, to the point where it would have changed the tone enough to hear the difference.
  11. five7

    five7 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2009
    Happens and bugs the crap out of me.
  12. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Ironically a lot of musicians like to crank up their amp and jam before sound check. I usually put my ear plugs in during setup, so when people start making noise I am already protected.
    Groove Doctor likes this.
  13. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    When the drummer picks up his sticks, my ear plugs go in, that's my rule.
  14. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Whenever I tweak something - an instrument, a pedal, whatever I'm working on, I don't consider any mods final until they sound good two days in a row. The wiring between your ears is notoriously fickle.
    JKos likes this.
  15. 2112


    Apr 30, 2005
    Something else to remember: differing environmental conditions have differing effects on electronics and can result in differing sounds. The effect is typically (far?) less noticeable in solid-state gear that it is in tube-type equipment, but it can be a factor.
  16. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    With headphones especially, ear fatigue is definitely going to play a part.
  17. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    I thought ear fatigue at first, but the 30 min. break rules that out unless you're playing loud for an hour or more before the break. Have you checked the power to see that it's solid?

    Poorly designed circuitry, bad power, or cheap parts used can cause the settings to drift, especially from temperature changes.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
  18. I normally sound better after alcohol, not worse. :help:
  19. My pet peeve is playing, taking a break, and then getting back at it, only to think to myself, "Where the F did that deep rumble-y bottom end go???"

    It comes back after a time, and I KNOW its a combination of my brain and hands.. But for those first few minutes, YIKES!!!

    And yes, I DO use pedal preamps (Ampeg SCR-DI and Tronographic Rusty Box), but I don't find that their tone "changes" much, if at all.
  20. BassBrass


    Jul 6, 2009
    Boston MA
    Perception is subjective and it isn't Just sound. Works for smells too. I've noticed that burning champa incense at the rehearsal space, it smells good, but when I burn it at home, it doesn't.
    The world is rotating and on the horizon it takes 2 hours to go 30 degrees. How many miles is that? And that doesn't include other orbital velocities, solar system and galaxy. Everything may have traveled many thousands of miles in real, not fake, distance.
    There are so many factors that influence perception that you should be surprised when things sound "the same".

    I agree that fuzz/overdrives seem to change more than preamps, a Rusty Box seems to be totally stable and does the same thing everytime. My TAFM is never the same as I left it.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018

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