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Help! I have thousands of dollars in gear and still cannot hear myself!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TimBosby, Nov 15, 2005.


  1. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Ladies and gentlemen of Talkbass--

    I need your sage advice. I have been having the same problem again and again for a couple years. I keep overhauling my rig, but it seems like no matter what I do, I cannot hear myself in the mix, at least not very well. My band's new drummer is probably the loudest drummer we've played with yet, and that is making it even harder to hear myself. Our music is not metal, but we do rock out pretty hard. Besides our drummer, I am only competing with one guitar player, who plays a Fender Strat through an Ampeg Reverberocket 2x12 50-watt all tube combo. This amp is loud as hell. We also hope to add another guitarist, so that is going to be more mix for me to try to cut through.

    I am using an Eden WT 800 head, which I love, but I don't think I am using it to its max potential. I am running this bridged mono through a Schroeder 1212 (1000 watt cab), ordered from Jorg. I dearly love this head and cab but for some reason, I need the gain at about 12 to be able to even begin to hear myself. With the gain that high, the compressor light comes on like crazy. I am also using some pretty damn loud basses... a USA Fender Dlx Jazz with an 18v preamp and a G&L L2000, which is the hottest bass I've ever played. The G&L has such a powerful preamp that if I turn the gain too high on the amp, I start getting distortion from the low strings. But if I turn the gain down, I can't hear myself over the drums and guitar.

    Someone told me the best way to hear yourself is add more cabs. I am wondering, if I want to keep my Eden, should I go with 2 separate 4-ohm cabs (Avatar???) in stereo rather than just the Schroeder 1212 bridged mono? Or do I need an all-tube head for maximum cut?

    I am not sure what the problem is here, and having put almost $1500 into a head and cab, I want to be able to plough right through the old mix without having to ever go past 12 o'clock. We have a KILLER new drummer, a new practice space (my wife and I just bought a house with a finished basement), and are starting to practice more and play more and more shows. Now I just need that perfect, or near perfect rig. For $1500 or less..hah.

    If you look at my profile and see the "previously owned gear' section, almost all of that has been in the past 2 years. If you look at just amps and cabs, you can see how many rigs I've gone through already. I want my next one to be the RIGHT one!

    ANY HELP APPRECIATED! :hyper:
     
  2. ras1983

    ras1983

    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Have you considered trying IEM, In Ear Monitors? I think Shure makes some decent IEM's, or another company called Nady ( i think that's how its spelled).

    Alternatively, have you tried Gk heads? they are very good at cutting through, they have killer mids.

    Good Luck. :)
     
  3. getz76

    getz76

    Apr 3, 2005
    Hoboken, NJ
    Your cabinet is too low to the ground. Put it on some sort of riser or tilt it up. Cheap answer. ;)
     
  4. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    I have thought about in-ears, but I'm not sure that's my problem. I think I just need to have more output in general for everyone to hear, not just me. The drummer today asked me to turn up a bit and it was at that point where the G&L started to cause some crapping-out sounds to come out of the amp...I think because the gain was too high and that G&L can get pretty hot. Not wanting to deal with it, I put down the G&L and picked up the Fender Jazz.

    I have heard GK heads and played with one briefly. It did have killer mids but sounded too trebly and metallic. I like big, fat, round, warm sound. I am thinking I MAY need to go the all-tube route. Not sure. My Eden has a tube preamp which is pretty sweet...but that's not quite the same.
     
  5. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Nope. It's currently on a milk crate. I've had mixed results with this. On a stage with a hardwood floor, I found I got much more presence without any elevation...just cab to floor. But at home, in the carpeted basement, I need to elevate. So I have it on a milk crate right now...about 10 inches elevated or so.

    Incidentally, the best piece of gear for getting a bass cab up a bit off the ground is an Iron Cobra bass drum pedal case...no lie.

    Anyway...
     
  6. SnoMan

    SnoMan Words Words Words Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2001
    Charleston, WV
    How loud would you say you guys are playing?

    I'm competing with 2 halfstacks and a loud drummer with a 1210, currently running 350 watts (until I get the proper speakon for bridging). I wear earplugs when we practice, otherwise ear-fatigue wears me down hard. I fine my setup quite ample, and it will be far more than that when I have my full wattage at my disposal.


    What tuning do you use?

    I assume you tried out various EQ settings?

    Is this in one room or gig-situations...etc?
     
  7. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Back off your lows, boost your mids, and consider adding another cabinet.

    I use one 4x10 for some gigs, but for other larger places, I need a second 4x10 or my single one will strain. Borrow another cab, add it to your rig, and see if it helps.

    But, my bet is your EQ choice is your real culprit. Too many people try to push too much low end with midrange scooped and therefore you can't be heard.
     
  8. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Pretty loud, but I have heard louder. Enough to be heard from the street...our drummer is pretty loud, and his drums themselves are loud.

    I forgot to mention, I wear Musician's Plugs (custom made earplugs from an ENT doctor) when we practice. They evenly reduce the volume by 9 decibals across the frequency range so everything sounds quieter but not muffled. I generally find this helps me hear myself, since the guitar isn't so overbearing with the plugs in.

    Standard tuning and occasional drop-D

    Yup.

    Both.
     
  9. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    I try to run everything close flat, with the enhance knob (I think all Eden amps have them) turned to about 3 o'clock. Right now I have the low bass frequencies turned to about 10 or 11, the mids up to about 2-3 o'clock or higher, and the trebles pretty much at 12. So my mids are the highest of anything and it isn't scooped. Still no dice... can't cut through. I don't particularly like the "too much midrange" tone either.

    And I can't really add another cab to this rig because the Schroeder 1212 is 8 ohms and 1000 watts. If I run it with only one side of the amp, I'll only be putting about 200 watts into a 1000 watt cab...I don't see how this cab could be efficiently used other than by using bridged mono mode.
     
  10. SUBass

    SUBass

    Oct 21, 2005
    I'm not intimately familiar with the WT800 and I've never heard a Shroeder but I can't imagine that it's not enough amp.

    First off...You talk about the "gain" but you say nothing about the "master" control. Here's a couple of ways to set this amp up.

    Plug-in bass, turn "gain" down, turn on amp, let it warm up, set EQ flat (12 o'clock), turn off compressor, turn "master" all the way up. With your amp bridged mono and running into an 8 ohm load that unleashes the full 880watts that amp posesses into that cabinet.

    Set your bass flat, pickup blend to whatever you like, output cranked and start turning up the "gain" knob. See if that doesn't rattle your nutz.

    Another method is to turn the master all the way down, EQ flat, "gain" all the way off, compressor on. Play your bass and start turning up the "gain." With the master volume all the way down you'll play your bass and increase the gain until the compressor lights up on heavy hits. That should be normal. This is the proper way to set the gain staging of this amp. Turn the gain up until you get the level of compression that you want. With the gain set right you can now turn up the "master" until you get to the volume you like.

    With either of these methods don't touch the EQ (on the amp or the bass) until you get to the volume that you want to play at. Only then should you evaluate what you're hearing and make decisions based on either what's lacking or more importantly, what's bothersome about the tone.

    For instance...If you crank up and the amp sounds great but has too much top/mids....Don't crank the bass....Turn down the mids/top. The EQ of the Eden stuff is amazingly powerful. A touch of bass boost will go a LONG way.

    Another note...I'm a pretty conservative guy...I hate having to push anything to it's limits. That said...Based on the "taper" of the master volume pot and the design of the amp, 12 o'clock might not be "half" power. It might be 1/4" power. It could also very well be 3/4 power. You never know until you start playing with it.

    That said...If after setting the amp up (via the second method I suggested above) you find the master to be pushed as hard as it can go...Then yes...You should probably look into another amp. Either that...Or do you peeps a favor and get them to play/softer/quieter. Club owners and fans alike will thank you for it.

    James
     
  11. protoz

    protoz

    Nov 30, 2000
    Iowa
    This is very strange. I've been told to turn down with my old Hartke 5000 (500 watts at 4Ohm bridged) and my old Avatar 4x10 8Ohm cab so I was only putting out 380watts through that cab and could cut through against 2 5150 half stacks. At least enough to hear the rumble.

    Now I have a 1200watt monster paired with a 2x15 with a single 5150 half stack and I'm turning down to keep from over powering.

    What sort of music do you play?
     
  12. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Just a thought, are you CERTAIN you are running bridged correctly? As in, not only proper switch settings, but ALSO proper cable settings within each side of the connector? This seems to be where most people get caught up when bridging.

    There's certainly something fishy here, with a WT800 you should be fine.
     
  13. SUBass

    SUBass

    Oct 21, 2005
    Another note....Sounds like you want SVT tone but are using a very clean and "hi-fi" bass rig. You might simply have the wrong stuff. Kinda like a guitar player rolling into a Death Metal gig with a 30 watt tweed combo.

    Something to consider.

    James
     
  14. getz76

    getz76

    Apr 3, 2005
    Hoboken, NJ
    Try another cabinet. That amplifier should be plenty loud. I've never had an issue being heard or hearing myself with my Eden WT-330 and Bergantino HT112 + EX112.
     
  15. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Protoz, we play original rock that ranges in intensity from a song that sounds like "Blackbird" by the Beatles (our mellow side) so hard rock in the vein of Nirvana/Smashing Pumpkins.

    SUBass, I forgot to mention, I have the master as well as the gain up to 12. The master sometimes higher. I will try the method of setting levels that you described, though.

    Eric-I have the speakon plugged into the only speakon jack on the cab on one end and the other end plugged into the "8 ohm bridged output only" jack on the back of the Eden. The bridged mono switch is on. I don't know what more there is to it.

    SUbass, you're probably right, I need an SVT or maybe a Mesa 400+
    I love Eden gear though, and I owned an Ampeg SVT-3 Pro for a while that was pathetically weak compared to my old Eden WT330 (both before I bought the Eden 800) I've been less than impressed by Ampeg's bass heads but I love my little Ampeg combo for individual practice
     
  16. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    I used to have a similar configuration. An Eden WT330 and 2 Aguilar GS112s. I think I had less trouble cutting through then than I do now. Weird.

    Something is definitely fishy here.

    I'm pondering the idea of a couple Avatar 12 cabs with the Eden.
    Or selling the Eden and the Schroeder both and getting an all tube head and some new cabs.
    Damnit....

     
  17. ras1983

    ras1983

    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    TimBosby; what rigs did you say your guitarists are running through?
     
  18. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    if youre running enhance at 3 oclock you are running super scooped mids and its no wonder why you cant hear yourself.
     
  19. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    One guitarist and he is running through an Ampeg 2x12 50-watt Reverberocket tube combo...it is the loudest 50 tube watts ever.

    For a while we had a second guitarist with a Fender Twin Reverb but he has since been fired...long story.



     
  20. getz76

    getz76

    Apr 3, 2005
    Hoboken, NJ
    Good catch, narud... I didn't catch that.