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Help, my tone is in a funk!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MrHeadfirst, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. MrHeadfirst


    Apr 17, 2010
    ok...anyone who has been playing a while has gone through this, and right now, I am stuck and I cant find the sound!
    I have been playing for 14 years, and i have had a lot of equipment, but recently, i have started playing a lot more lead work on my bass. nothing crazy, but more runs and mid/high register work. I play in a rock/funk/blues band...so i cover a wide array of sound. I got the rock sound down, i got my slap tone covered, but for the life of me, i cannot dial in what i would call a "modern" tone. something more victor wooten'y' if you will, with a clear and defined attack through the midrange that doesnt get muddy...if any of that makes sense. he has a very articulate sound when playing runs, and can even pull a snap or pop out and it sounds so well rounded. of course i know a lot of that is in his style, but i see people playing all the time and i soo envy their "modern" style tone.
    my current live rig consists of a vintage sunn 2x15 cab, with a peavey tmax head. dbx 1066 compressor, i play a washburn rb2000 bass with emg cs music man pup and btc control.
    id appreciate any input on what you folks are using, even eq or compressor settings. i just cant get the sound, its making me insane.
  2. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Although you may be thinking "modern tone", your rig is thinking "old school classic rock tone"... :meh:

    While you can work around the limitations of your gear to an extent to get a surprising range of tones - if you know what you're doing and you're creative - I would think that the vintage Sunn 2x15 cab is going to be your weakest link when it comes to sounding modern. Followed by your Peavey head.

    I'm sure there are many others here who could suggest specific rigs for you to consider. I would say only that there are many choices available - offering many "flavors" of modern... :meh:

  3. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    Why are you going insane? Your gear doesn't scream 'modern', though you could probably get close with your bass and head.

    +1 to the 215 being your weakest link.

    Why do you think you even need the 'modern' tone when you're not trying to update your rig to get it?
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    modern tone is just treble from a tweeter. since your 215 doesn't have a tweeter, probably won't get much modernness out of it.
  5. dezspet


    Mar 21, 2007
    Let me be more specific: go and get a Markbass rig. Or an Aguilar DB. Or a Markbass head with Bergantino cabs.
    And forget 15s, get only 10s!
    It is that simple...
    Sometimes I play in a rehearsal studio in Holland with Peavey and SWR old rigs, 15s. Man, I can't get a sound which I can hear, the most I can get out of it is to be able to feel it.
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Aside from a very few exceptions (Bag End, Bergantino) there aren't many 15" loaded cabinets that are punchy enough for modern tone, even if they have a tweeter. IME/IMO, etc.
  7. MrHeadfirst


    Apr 17, 2010
    im not opposed to updating my rig at all, i was hoping someone might chime in with some amp/cab ideas too. which is great. i know the old sunn is a weak link. it is hard for me to get my hands on the higher end gear like you are describing where i live. every place i go just has the same old run of the mill crap you see everywhere.
    as far as the mark bass stuff goes...do you guys really like them that much, i played a little mark head at the guitar center and i thought it sucked like no other. might have been me, but all i could produce was mud.
    i would think that the peavey head wouldnt be that bad?? there is a lot of control there, no to mention the capability of the onboard crossover...
    are the higher end 4x10 cabinets capable of getting loud and handling slap without distorting? i have been looking at the bergintino stuff and the schroeder stuff too...
    thanks for the input
  8. I thought the MArk BAss amnp I tried 1st was rubbish too. Then I worked out what the VPF & VLE filters did & great amp!!!! HAd my LMII for 3 yrs w/out a hitch. Working at least a gig a week with it.
  9. bass4worship

    bass4worship Ready For Freddy, let rock Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Sebring, Florida
    Why don't you just add a good tweeter and a good crossover.
  10. MrHeadfirst


    Apr 17, 2010
    what are those filters for? i saw that too and struggled with the eq on the one i tried...
  11. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    You haven't been a member of TalkBass very long. My suggestion would be to take some time to research new gear here in the "Amps" forum. Over time, you can learn a lot merely by lurking and observing... :meh:

    To answer your questions, no the Peavey head isn't bad. Probably not optimum for a modern (i.e. hi-fi?) sound, but as I said before, it could be made to work if you're clever. Likewise, there are indeed some high-end 4x10 cabs that will handle high SPL slap without distorting. But no reason to limit yourself just to 4x10 cabs either...

    Although I can recommend the following rig only by hearsay (i.e. by lurking and learning from others' experiences), my gut tells me that the Genz Benz ShuttleMAX 12.0 head, plus a couple of NEOX-212T 2x12 cabs would make an excellent compact, high-powered rig with a modern sound that can cover a variety of styles. There are many other rigs as well - including Bergantino and Schroeder cabs.

    Good luck,

  12. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    I have a full Markbass rig and it`s the cleanest thing I`ve ever heard. Modern and hi-fi describe it really well.
  13. MrHeadfirst


    Apr 17, 2010
    i have been reading an awful lot on here about tc electronics bass gear, would you consider their RH450 head and matching cabs to be capable of more modern sounds?
    i checked out their webiste and sound samples and i really liked what i heard, especially the nice lady there who was auditioning their gear, she was friggin amazing!
    i really like the idea of what they have to offer, especially with memory presets, compression and a tuner on board with a footswitch...im really leaning toward their stuff. what do you guys think? seems everyone else digs them
  14. Eublet


    Jul 28, 2006
    Probably more so than what you currently have for sure, but the question is how far do you want to take this modern thing? For example, that pingy SWR thing isn't going to happen with the RH450. The ultra clear, flat tone of the LMIII also isn't going to happen with the RH450. Both of those tones are considered "modern" yet quite different.

    My suggestion is to go out and try to play as much stuff as you can. Forget about what you hear on CD's for now because who knows what was used in the studio vs. what that bass player endorses. Play lots of gear and you'll start to notice differences, some subtle and others not so subtle. Soon you'll have an idea of what it is you like and don't like.
  15. ...I'd recommend a maple Ken Smith single coil axe with something like an all-tube Fender bassman head or similarly voiced combination.

    EDIT, forgot to suggest consider using SS strings or Rotosounds.

  16. BbbyBld


    Oct 13, 2005
    Meridian, MS
    No need to spend a lot of money revamping your whole rig. Get a good 410 and you're done. The T-Max is perfectly capable of achieving the sound you want.
  17. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005


    - georgestrings
  18. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    TC is more "tubey" in nature compared to Markbass. Markbass is all about clean and clear and articulate. Both are good, just different.
  19. Whitbass


    Jan 22, 2010
    maybe cut some lows, boost mids and low mids some,
    maybe consider a bass with some pickups closer to the bridge to tighten up things. I would say p/u positioning on that bass is an issue....

    trying some good 4x10's would be a good idea, or just order a Bergantino HS410 or AE410.....hard to go wrong with these

    the amp may need more power....unless two 4 ohm cabs get it done for you...... but the amp would be for punch and power not so much tone........else it may get it done
  20. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I've been checking out this stuff as well. The range of features and functions is VERY impressive - and very advanced. But I personally don't care for the basic voicing of the amps and the cabs. They seem modeled way too much on the Ampeg sound - which has always been way too lo-fi (i.e. muddy, grunty) for my taste.

    So electronically, the TC Electronic stuff is really ultra-contemporary. But the sound is more old-school... :meh:


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