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Heavy bass distortion for low end.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Pjotrinskij, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. Pjotrinskij


    Dec 5, 2013
    I'm playing in a death metal band, and I'm tuning my bass F#-B-F#-B-E, and I've got a 4x10 EBS cab in my sights, but I'm not sure that it can deliver the low F# punchy enough. Also, since I'm using heavy distortion and I want to achieve that really mean, "tractor" sound, I'm not sure what head i should be using. I don't want to fiddle around with pedals anymore, and I want a good blend of the fat low end and the really mean distortion. If anyone has any ideas for me, I would appreciate it.
  2. NeonVomit


    Jan 29, 2013
    London, UK
    Blending the signal is the way to go. If you distort the whole signal then you will lose the low end, guaranteed. In my experience (i.e. 16 years of playing metal, including black, death and sludge) fiddling around with pedals is kind of unavoidable, unless you do some crazy bi-amping stuff. I suppose you could split your signal, run through one clean amp (any decent SS head should do it) and one distorted tube head (doesn't have to be a 300w monster, maybe one of the 100w tube heads you find around... maybe even a used all-tube guitar head... works for Lemmy...) into two separate cabinets you should be okay.

    The 4x10 will handle the low F# well enough... I suppose it wouldn't hurt to add a 1x15 to it though, especially if you're planning on the bi-amping method.

    Or you could get a Billy Sheehan EBS distortion pedal, works for me...

    Anyway good luck with it.
  3. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    Yes - my friends are very prominent death metal producers. They distort only the highs.

    Leave the lows clean.

    Damn, thats a low tuning..haha.
  4. Most 4X10's go louder and LOWER then a single 1X15.

    Most 1X15's only put out about the same output as a 2X10.

    If bi-amping and using the 15 for lows, you only need a single 6" mid driver to keep up - NOT a huge 4X10.
  5. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Warning: pedal recommendation, here.

    TC Electronic MOJOMOJO.
  6. Pjotrinskij


    Dec 5, 2013
    This whole bi-amping deal will surely be postponed until my wallet is fat and lovely, heh. But thanks for the info on the 4x10, since I'm not too experienced with larger cabs.
    I've also tuned it even lower sometimes, to a standard drop E, and used a seven string tuned in standard C#. That's some serious low notes.
  7. Pjotrinskij


    Dec 5, 2013
    Also, for distortion I'm looking for a really, really growly sound (think meshuggah, plus really fat low end)
  8. Such a low tuning combined with heavy distortion will NEVER end up in a "punchy" sound.

    IMO there's nothing punchier than a fat clean signal.
  9. Pjotrinskij


    Dec 5, 2013
    I appreciate your response, and as much as I love a fat, clean bass myself, it just doesn't work out with that specific type of music.
  10. NeonVomit


    Jan 29, 2013
    London, UK
    The point is though that you have to have some clean signal in there, otherwise there will be no punchy low end. It will be all sludgy and undefined, especially when tuned that low. I mean, listen to Sunn O)), not bass but ultra low-tuning, and really sludgy stuff. It works perfectly for them, but for what you're describing you'll need a bit more definition. I mean, unless you're looking for some sort of Necrobutcher-type sound which is pretty fuzzy and gnarly but not all that punchy, you're going to have to have some clean signal in the mix... maybe 30-40% of it clean.

    This is just what I've come across in my time, I could be totally wrong.
  11. Pjotrinskij


    Dec 5, 2013
    I think you are pretty accurate, thanks a bunch.
  12. songwriter21

    songwriter21 Involved with two girls. Cirrus and Milly. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Sponsored by Hipshot

    God's tone.
  13. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    Have you checked out EBS' "Billy Sheehan" distortion pedal? It attempts to implement Sheehan's bi-pre-amped rig in a single pedal, with a signal split and variable mix of clean bottom with distortion,. It's even got an effects loop that can be assigned to only one of the split signals, though I haven't tried that yet. Not cheap for a distortion pedal, but cheaper and above all less hassle than setting up two rigs. It all depends on whether its distortion circuit has the sound you crave.

    As for the speaker, EBS makes some good ones, but if I understand you correctly, your low F# has a fundamental of about 23Hz (not gonna be reproduced properly by any commercial bass gear), and more importantly a first harmonic at 46Hz, which is itself a challenge for amps and speakers. EBS' 1x15s and Neo 212s are speced that low, but not their 410s. The 410 might still sound fine in practice, but you need to check for yourself.
  14. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Not that I downtune or anything, but I prefer not blending clean and dirty and I prefer having pedals that do a good job with it without needing a blend. There's a very fine line between getting a great sound blending and making it sound like there are two bass parts. That said, my Team Awesome Fuzz Machine has a blend and I can set it to where it sounds like the same signal easily enough, but the potential for making it sound like two bass parts is there.
  15. I've been in metal bands for years (roughly 15+)and the best set up for a head is all tube like an svt classic. Very warm and driven! An 8x10 & 2x15 cabinets and a sans amp bass di. Best tone ever! (In my personal opinion).
  16. IntrepidCellist


    Sep 10, 2009
    The old Fender Bassman 300Pro has a clean blend and some killer overdrive; it used to be marketed as the Sunn 300T. That would be my choice, assuming you're willing to haul around 80 lbs. of amp!
  17. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I know exactly the sound you are going for.

    You don't need a lot of OD or distortion (Sansamp or Darkglass would work). Moderate OD with an noisy aggressive clunky playing style will achieve what you want in the mix.

    I write in some low-ass tunings (my guitar is tuned F# B F# B E G C) but am still keeping my bass in standard. It's been sounding great on my recordings. If the guitar parts are dipping in the F# range, I just play more aggressively on the bass (say slapping instead of FS) to OD more and things seem to add up in the mix. I am pretty sure Meshuggah's bassist plays in the same octave as the guitars.
  18. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    Which EBS 410 is it? ProLine, NeoLine or Classic Line?
    The ProLine has very limited output in the low register - probably one of the least capable commercial 410 cabinets in that respect. The raw drivers is some variant of the Eminence Gamma 10, which has very little Xmax (excursion) and high Fs (resonance frequency). The NeoLine uses better drivers for low tunings.
    The ProLine 410 would make a very nice top box in a bi-amped rig, using for instance a good 1x18" PA sub.
  19. Pjotrinskij


    Dec 5, 2013
    I did check out the billy sheehan pedal, but I think the Darklglass BK3 or BK7 had more of "my" tone to it.
    Thanks for the info on the speakers.
  20. Pjotrinskij


    Dec 5, 2013
    I've adapted my playing style to fit my down tunings, but the main problems are usually funding and finding the right gear. These Darkglass pedals seems golden though.

    Yeah, he plays in the same octave, but the man got some killer bass sound. That is produced in an Axe FX II however, far above my budget.