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help: too much bass eq distorts cab?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ::::BASSIST::::, May 10, 2005.

  1. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    i have ea wizzy 1-12 cab which is only a couple months old. i also just bought a fishman pro platinum eq. i used the eq for the first time at my last band practice. i was trying to get as much low-end as possible from my rig (see signature) and found that before it got deep enough i got distortion when the volume was loud enough.

    is there some way i can dial in the right depth without getting distortion at a decent volume?
  2. The eq could be overdriving the preamp output, the power amp input, all sorts of things. The power amp could be approaching clipping. The battery in the bass could be getting weak.

    The EA cabs are amazing, but there's only so loud a 1-12 can go, a lot of low end EQ could be overwhelming the speaker. If you're trying to get over a 100W Marshall stack for the guitar with a 300w amp driving a 1-12" speaker, even an EA, you're going to have trouble.

    If you get the tone you want at low volume, and things go haywire when it gets loud, you probably need either more power, more speakers, maybe both.

  3. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    what he said.

    bass boost will eat up preamp headroom for sure, but it will also eat up poweramp headroom, causing one or both to clip/distort.

    eventually you will also distort the speaker by overdriving it and/or causing it to exceed xmax, which will shorten its life considerably.

    hint: most speakers are destroyed by trying to make them do what they were never designed to do.
  4. Tim__x


    Aug 13, 2002
    Alberta, Canada
    My suggestion, leave you your bass [eq] flat or only slightly boosted and boost low-mids.
  5. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    the clarus is only set at 9'oclock so I am not really cranking the volume too much at all. so i should boost the mids, nudge up the bass slider, but what about the depth knob? also, what role does the input knob play? when it was distorting the clip light was lighting up alot, but then i turned the input down and i lost my volume. i didnt have the input knob set that high either.

    it is correct to say i could achieve an incredible bassy sound at low volume, but then when i turned up i got distortion. if i put the fishman in the effects loop would that help? then of course, there is the 5 band eq on the clarus itself. i assume i should just leave those flat?

    so many knobs = so many variations. i bought the fishman thinking it would be easy to dial in a deep low-end, but it doesnt seem that easy!
  6. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    The difficulty is that you can only get so much from so much. The Fishman has enough EQ to run a power amp direct. When used in combination with an amp or preamp that already has internal EQ you have to use it sparingly, especially on the bass boost. A hardly audible 3dB of bass boost will require twice the power from your amp and speaker. 10dB of boost demands ten times the output from your amp and speakers, and the Fishman has 12dB available. With a typical 1x12 you have the option of getting incredible bottom end or high output, but not both at the same time.
  7. Well said, bill. All the things you are trying now Torin are just increasing the input to the power amp, which isn't really giving you more power, just saturating the input to the amp.

    In fact, this is one of the fastest ways to destroy your nice wizzy. You should probably trade in the Fishman on another wizzy

  8. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Why do you need the Fishman EQ? Isn't the Clarus just fine on it's own? From what I understand they are a pretty sweet preamp.
  9. Another cab will cure your ales.
  10. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Well, getting another cab isnt really an option for me. I dont drive (read certified *eco freak*) so my gear has to be portable as possible. That's why i got the 5lb clarus and the 30Lb wizzy.

    on its own the clarus doesnt give me the low-end i want. though it has a five band eq, its limited as to the amount of "juice" it will pump out. i am sure the small dimensions of the wizzy have something to do with it as well.

    the fishman manual says that if i put the fishman in the effects loop I will get a more "direct" sound. What does that mean?

    Putting the fishman in the effects loop would completely bypass the pre-amp of the clarus. Would that enable me to get more low-end with more volume because i wouldnt have so much signal input?
  11. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    I use a Fishman Pro Platinum too...

    Probably a dumb question, but are you readjusting the input level after setting your EQ. For some reason the input level is affected by boosting the EQ. This puzzled me a first but I've gotten used to it. Maybe try running the Fish into the effects loop to avoid doubling up the pre. I've used mine to run power amps on multiple occasions. Perhaps a Focus SA would be more of what you are looking for power amp wise (I know one would suit me just fine, damn GAS :D )?

    I think the Fishman sounds pretty decent actually and wonder why more people don't use them. Bought it for my upright and am liking it on the BG.
  12. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    the gear that i have is going to have suffice. i cant afford to spend any more money on this stuff. at least until i get some paid gigs.

    yes i have adjusted the input when tweaking the eq sliders. what i need to do is bring this rig somewhere where i can crank the volume and spend an hour fooling with it. i live in a condo so its difficult.
  13. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    Then might be a good idea to go cut only on the Fishman. ie: don't gank the bass fader up, bring others down. Are you diming the depth knob too? I love that thing, a very nice bass shelving.

    Try the effects loop bit. I've run my Fishman into the front end input on several heads before, and, even with everything flat (including onboard EQ), it wanted to clip out. I would imagine that turning up the low end might be exacerbating something like that. I'd try this step first before anything else personally. This will bypass the preamp and any EQ on the Clarus (unless Acoustic Image has that head wired funky). I can't imagine needing any more EQ control than what's on the Fishman anyway.
  14. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    this may be a stupid question, but if i use the fishman and bypass the clarus preamp, will this affect the amount of wattage the clarus will put out? the clarus will put out 200watts @4ohms and 300w at 2ohms so using the fishman as the preamp wont affect those wattages, correct?

    also, what is meant by "bass shelving?"
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    If you want more bottom, you need more speaker and more power. You have a small amp and a small speaker. That makes for small sound. Big amp, big speakers = big sound. There's your problem. Don't worry, Mother Nature isn't going to notice one more big amp and big cabinet.

    BTW, to that other guy about boosting EQ, the EQ section of a preamp is a gain stage. If you turn something up, the volume of that frequency goes up, and the overall volume goes up with it. You are correct in adjusting the gain level back down to compensate. That's why I've said elsewhwere that EQ cut is generally better than boost. At some point, if you crank up your EQ settings, you will distort the preamp, even with the gain set low.
  16. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Your logic is undeniable. Thanks. However, the clarus does put out 200w at 4ohms and the wizzy is rated at 250w with a sensitivity of 103db. i figure that should be enough for stage volume. the rest can be handled by the pa in a gig situation. worse case senario i have to rent another 4ohm cab to get 300w out of the clarus. however its a shame to spend all that money on gear to find it may not be good enough for the sound i want. perhaps i will have to settle for bass guitar with not much bass at high volumes :bawl:

    regarding the eq cut again what is said makes sense. it just seems weird to buy an eq just to turn the sliders down.
  17. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Just go take a look at the FOH or monitor EQs at nearly any well produced show. Those guys spend thousands per equalizer, and only use cuts in many cases. It may seem weird at first blush, but you're just after results, right? :cool:
  18. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Just a little thing.. If you want portability and depth/volume. Maybe check out a Schroeder 1212?
  19. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    At what frequency? You're trying to put out deep bass, which comes from the first octave, 41 to 82Hz with a 4 string. If your speaker was indeed 103dB/watt sensitive across that range you would not have placed your first post, for you wouldn't have bought the Fishman, as you'd have found the Clarus EQ more than sufficient. But your cabinet does not have 103dB/watt sensitivity at 41 Hz. No 1x12 (or even 8x10 for that matter) has that kind of sensitivity, not unless the twelve is residing in a 15 cubic foot folded horn enclosure. Changing the brand of speaker won't make a significant difference, as they all adhere to the same rules,
    Hoffman's Iron Law being the one that applies here. For a given driver and cabinet alignment you can simultaneously achieve any two of the following criteria, but not all three: Small size, high output and low frequency response. Since you want to have both lower response and higher output the third part of the equation, small size, won't go. You need a bigger cabinet.
  20. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    While in theory it SHOULD be, it wouldn't be adequate for stage volume in any gig that I have personally had in the past 5 years . . . a little jazz coffee house combo, probably, but not with live drums playing rock. Not with any kind of appreciable low end, anyway . . .

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