help fatten my tone

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by old dr dave, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. I am currently using a Aguilar Tone Hammer 500 with an Aguilar GS112NT and a Mesa Powerhouse 115. I play a Fender Am. Standard Jazz and am trying to fatten the tone. I'm totally happy with the components but the topend sounds thin to me . I'm a weekend warrior playing small to medium clubs and looking for suggestions to balance and thicken the sound.Thanks
  2. Dbassmon

    Dbassmon Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    Record a set from the audience perspective. You sound may be a whole fatter than you think. Low frequency waves are long and what you hear is different than 10 or 20 feet in front of the band.
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Oh well, I'll jump in. (flame suit on.) It could be a problem with phasing and mixing drivers. With either of those cabs, that head, and a J, you should be able to get the fattest tone available. Have you tried rolling the tone off a little bit and using the neck pickup solo?
  4. Are you trying to fatten your sound or are you looking for better high mids response? Your post is contradicting?
  5. beans-on-toast


    Aug 7, 2008
    There are so many possibilities. It could be as simple as adjusting your pickup height on the treble side.

    Place your cab on a stand, anything will do that will raise it a few feet. This will allow you to monitor what is going on better. Stand in front of it. Try to dial in the EQ that you are looking for. See if remains consistent at low and high volume levels. This will allow you to determine if you rig is capable of delivering what you want.

    Did it used to perform better and no longer does? Does it perform better with a different speaker cab? Does the room make a difference?

    It could be that the power supply caps or some other part of your amp is not performing to spec and needs to be looked at. It could be that your rig simply can't deliver what you need.
  6. 18eranaRic

    18eranaRic Inactive

    Mar 7, 2009
    Malibu, USA

    run a fulltone fat-boost. i used it for this one band into a 215 and oh man, did it add FAT TONE!
  7. icks


    Jul 12, 2001
    Perhaps you are too hi-fi, try the markbass filters:

  8. paparoof


    Apr 27, 2011
    fEARful koolaid drinker
    hey Dave -

    PUH-LEASE answer posts 1-4 in detail before spending hard-earned bucks on gear. They are asking real questions designed to get to the root of the issue. Maybe the correct answer is more gear, but maybe you could tweak your existing rig to get where you wanna be.

    My first guess would be the 12 and the 15 are fighting against each other - do either of them sound better, lower, fatter by themselves than they do when run together?

    Of course, if yer dead set on a gear-buying resolution, you could always just get a P bass....
  9. nemo


    Mar 19, 2004
    EQ on the amp?
    Different strings?
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Tweeter(s) off, turn down treble knob to taste. Also, a cool trick with a Jazz is to use only the neck pickup. Makes it sound more Precision-like...not 100% identical, but close enough.
  11. jmcorn


    Jul 4, 2012
    South Carolina
    Praise and Worship bassist member #1232
    I had the same problem with the mids on my am dlx jazz 5. Then I put some new D XL strings on and problem solved.
  12. If you're looking to fatten, a quick fix might be to try DR Fat Beams strings. Instant phatness goodness.
  13. davidjackson


    Sep 10, 2011
    I use a Dunlop MXR Compression pedal to fatten out my tone. It solved my Jazz bass 'too thin' problem overnight.
  14. Grissle


    May 17, 2009
    Don't they make pills to do this these days? ;)
  15. Not sure what you are really asking here. 'Help me fatten my tone', but then 'the top end sounds thin'. Those two descriptions mean quite different things.

    Can you clarify... do you need more fat, punchy low mids, or more sparkle up top. That rig can easily provide both, but those are two very different things with very different solutions.

    The good news is, either way, no money needs to be spent!

    I guess, in general, I would first make sure you understand the somewhat complex tone stack of the TH500. Start your tone quest with the 'drive' off (the drive is NOT an overdrive knob, but a rather complex EQ/Gain knob), set the gain control relatively low (the gain control IS an overdrive control), and to start, set the mids flat (make sure you understand with the frequency and level knobs do), and slightly boost the bass and treble knobs (both to 1 o'clock to start). That will give you a relatively even, clean, relatively neutral 'start point' in order to figure out what is going on.
    bass nitro likes this.
  16. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Thank you for finally confirming that I am not the only one who thinks the neck pickup solo on a J is "close enough for rock n roll" to a P.
  17. I used to think so until I actually bought a P. You can also get into trouble if you have single coil pickups.

    However, +1 that if you find that sweet spot using the VOL/VOL or balance control, favoring the neck pickup but keeping the bridge pickup on just enough to hum cancel, the tone gets a bit 'P like'. That 'sweet spot', given that most VOL/VOL and blend controls act more like 'all or nothing' on/off switches, is typically within the first 10% of the pot taper.

    That being said, that actually might move the OP in the wrong direction for his issue. Need more information!
  18. To help move things along, and give the OP something to mess with, starting with the TH500 in my 'neutral setting' described above, experiment with the mid frequency between fully counterclockwise and 9 o'clock, boosting the level to 1 o'clock. This will boost the all important low midrange (ranging between around 100 hz and 250 hz or so using my range suggestion). The GS112 you have (which has no tweeter) has nice deep bass extension, but very little upper bass/low mid capability. This can result in 'bottom end with no punch nor meat'.

    Given that the 112 has no tweeter (not sure about your particular Mesa cab), you can really crank the treble control on the TH500, which is voiced to emphasize the lower treble, which works nicely to open up the top end of a woofer.

    After all of that, you can then mess with different 'drive/gain' levels to add the amount of warmth or crunch you want in your sound. With that particular bass, which is moderate output from what I remember, a gain setting around 11 o'clock with the drive at 9 o'clock, with that low mid boost and treble and bass set to taste (careful with that bass knob.... pretty jumpy.... 1 o'clock is a LOT of bass boost on that amp), you should have a screaming fat tone with both J pickups dimed and your passive tone control mostly wide open.

    At least something to try.
    bass nitro likes this.
  19. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010

    When I had my Jazz, I lowered the bridge pickup way down into the body (as low as I cld get it) and have both Volumes all the way up. This way I cld have hum canceling, yet have "mainly" the neck pickup doing the work.

  20. 18eranaRic

    18eranaRic Inactive

    Mar 7, 2009
    Malibu, USA

    Everyone assuming he doesn't know how to use his amp? thats so condescending!

    Fat-Boost = Fat tone.