Help with my U5?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Visirale, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    So I got the U5 because I love it's tone curves. It gives my signal just enough extra oomph and gives my sound to the board a little more character. It also makes for a handy headphone amp which will be good in my apartment next year.

    I got done using it for a week long gig. It was all with our church's PA system, about 5000 watts (QSC and Mackie amps) into EV 215s and Peavey 115s. It took a long time to move and set up the entire PA system. We left our nice board at church (allen & heath) and we were using a (free) berhinger board with about 5 dead channels.

    After the first night the sound guy (my guitar player who knows nothing about bass tone) told me that my sound was horrible and that it was coming through entirely too muddy through the house speakers. So I went up and did a few things to my tone (set the avalon flat :\ ... kind of defeats the purpose of it) and he told me it was worlds better. He's not a pro sound guy by any means. He just tweaks stuff until it sounds good to him.

    After a few days of retrospective thinking, I think that instead of setting my U5 flat, we could have set the board flat (I hate how he EQs me through there... he just does a smiley and sucks all the mids out of my ray) and trust the U5 tone curve to sound good flat through the house. Would this avoid the hyper eq-ing that was happening? Between my bass the U5 and the board, my bass frequencies were being boosted 3 times, and I think that's where the mud was coming from.

    The reason I ask is because I can't justify having the U5 if I have to set it flat... Do others have experience running active basses through the U5 into the house? I need some advice for my situation... and I'll be the first to admit that having a guitar player as the FOH technician blowssss.
  2. Your U5 is a tool. If it sounds best flat then there is nothing to worry about......................seriously! I used to use mine flat all the time and never once thought that I should be using the EQ just because it is there.

    FWIW I have a 32 band eq in my rig right now and it is usually set flat..................go figure :ninja:
  3. The Avalon surely gives some kind of character to your signal even when running flat, so there's no "purpose defeating" on setting it flat...

    In the other hand, I don't think that setting an EQ flat is going to give better results than not having it, Muzikman! :D

    Apart from that... saying that anything sounds horrible through an Avalon is somewhat heretic to me...
  4. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    Well I think the problem was using the (IMO) sub-par behringer board and his idea of a "good bass eq" coupled with the eq effects of the avalon led to hyper-boosting certain frequencies which probably led to some sort of distortion.

    I LOVE the way the affected tone sounds through my (flat-set) LMII and my cabs. It just didn't translate well through the PA system, and I think the crappy board and EQ on the bass channel in the mix was to blame...
  5. peter G

    peter G

    Sep 28, 2004
    ohio's northcoast
    It's up to the MOM to get a good sound guy but sometimes that's not easy. The FOH mix is important but not really you concern as long as you can hear yourself and band mates what happens out front is someone else’s problem.

    Don't give up on the U5 it's pro quality equipment and worth keeping.
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I think it's pretty clear that the problem here has exactly nothing to do with the U5, and everything to do with a horrible mixer set to horrible EQ settings. I realize you can't magically change the mixer, or magically make your guitarist a pro sound engineer; but you can absolutely assert in no uncertain terms that mid scoop is a terrible way to EQ your instrument and that those EQ settings are the cause of the mud. Tell him to set your signal flat, and only EQ at the mixer as strictly necessary to eliminate boom or mud.
  7. TimmyP


    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    I usually find that the EQ that's right for the bassist through his rig is not what is right for the PA. I'm surprised that they don't have a way to kill the EQ in the balanced output.