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Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BassPunk17X, Feb 7, 2001.

  1. BassPunk17X


    Feb 5, 2001
    I've been playing bass for about 3 1/2 years now and I'm 17 now. I don't know much about amps so I need some help. I have a Fender BassMan 400 combo and I play a 4 string Peavy Fretted bass and a 6 String Carvin fretless. My friends band played a show recently and they used my amp. They are a punk style group. Their bass player had to crank my amp up really loud in order for us to hear him, and when we could barely hear him, it sounded distorted. Can anyone tell me why or advise me to get a new setup? Everyone tells me to get Ampeg, Ampeg, Ampeg. Any comments? Also, are 4 10's better than 2 12's?
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    The Fender 400 should have been able to have been heard unless the guitarist had something outrageously loud like a Marshall stack and the drummer was ham handed. I doubt a Fender 400 can swim in those waters. I've played borrowed Bassmans and Dual Showmans and was never impressed by the volume.

    I don't know which controls are among the several on your amp, but it could be how they were set in relation to each other. For instance, the gain may have been left too boosted while the volume/volumes were cranked up. Or a noise gate will kill volume.

    Would you say the amp is louder and cleaner when you use it or would you have been drowned out if you were playing with the controls set the way you know how to use them? Also, the amps weren't miked or running through a PA?

    As for the Ampeg and speaker size issues, yes I would take an Ampeg or a Fender in a heartbeat. But don't run out and buy one if you are happy with your amp and are doing it because others said so, ESPECIALLY if they aren't bassists. And, in simple terms, 40"s of speaker, (4x10"), will be louder than 24"s of speaker, (2x12"). But that is only in simple terms, there are lots of other factors to consider.

    I know I've asked a lot of questions but I hate to see a bassist disappointed by their gear.

    [Edited by rickbass1 on 02-08-2001 at 12:21 AM]
  3. I would agree with Rickbass when he said that the settings were probably wrong. Sometimes you will find that the normal settings don't work when you have people around because they tend to absorb the sound also the sound may not be clean enough to cut through the other instruments and therefore get lost in the mix. 400watts should be enough but Fender amps tend to be a bit weak so you should try connecting another cabinet if my memory serves me right they can have extension cabinets that way you will be pushing more air, you could try a 15". Maybe some of the Techs on the board can help by giving you a technical reason.
  4. BassPunk17X


    Feb 5, 2001
    The reason I mentioned Ampeg is that nearly every show that I've been going to (usually new school punk), the bass players have been playing Sting Rays through SVT heads and 4x10 cabs or 8x10 cabs and I hear them fine. But it's alot of money for that stuff, so I'm looking for something reliable, yet not costly. Are SWR's any good for punk style music? The groups I play w/use Marshall half/full stacks or MesaBoogie Triple Rectifiers. Any ideas?
  5. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    The Stingray and a big Ampeg are a nice, classy punk rig. All the Ramones amps were Marshalls except for the bassists' Ampegs. Besides being a lot of money you might need to lay away some for a chiropractor or an orthopod. I had to rent an amp for an out of town gig a couple of weeks ago and I chose the SVT-CL with 8-10"s bottom. The rental guy said the head was something like 80lbs. and the cab was approx. 160. Retail on the rig was something around $2400.

    You might consider a Carvin RL1018, (1000W bridged @ 4 ohms, 1-18" + 4-10"s). That handles a Marshall stack without breaking up. Cost, w/o s&h, is $1300. They are mail order only unless you are in California where they have several stores. MikeyD, one of the TalkBass tech studs, (electrical engineer by day), blows through one, if that gives you any sense of security about the quality of design.

    Check out the "Carvin R1000 - Anybody own one?" thread that's currently active. chaoslord mentions his Carvin rig stands right up with the guitarist's double Mesa Boogie rig.

    [Edited by rickbass1 on 02-08-2001 at 12:48 AM]
  6. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I'll second the suggestion on Carvin RL1018. I have the same rig and it smokes. Lots of clean volume, great EQ and solid bottom end.
  7. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I'll second that Brooks. I don't even dare bring mine into the house unless I absolutely have nowhere else to cage it.
  8. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    P.S. I got mine 'used' - 3 months old, with not a scratch as it was sitting in a house. Saved $300.
  9. BassPunk17X


    Feb 5, 2001
    I've been reading some other threads and they said that Carvin speakers don't fair well compared to others (Ampeg,SWR,etc..). I also read a the thread about good rigs under 1k and I heard Peavy beats out other speakers. Is this true? Would it be wise to sell my Fender BassMan400 and save up for the Carvin RL1018. Or should I go to a music store to try one for myself? I need something with a punchy sound and good mid.

  10. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The real questions to ask are:

    What was the rest of the band using for amps?

    How did the guy have the EQ set up?

    The second one is REALLY IMPORTANT. Lots of players love that Fieldy sound, all lows and high with no midrange. Guess what, you need LOTS of power to hear that because human ears are more sensitive to midrange than extreme lows. I hear more guys dial in that "smiley face" EQ then get buried in the mix. Proper EQ can make huge differneces in perceived volume.

    If you are going to be playing in very loud stage situations (full stacks qualify!!!), the inability to run extra cabinets off the Bassman 400 prevents you from doing the simplest thing, namely using more and mor efficient cabinets to get volume up.

    An SVT stack is a nobrainer solution to your problem (the 8-10 cabinet is more important than the head), look for used ones and you should be able to get in for about a grand.

    Good luck.

  11. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    Here is how I ended up with my Carvin R1018 rig. I went shopping for a Peavey. The store had a brand new combo, they were plugging it in as I walked in. Switched it on...the speaker was dead.

    They brought in another carton,took out a new amp (600W) and brought in new cabs, set it all up, I plugged in and after 3 mins it was dead. Now, I am not saying that all Peavey stuff is like that, but that is what happened to me.
  12. BassPunk17X


    Feb 5, 2001
    I'm narrowing down my decision on getting a new amp/cab. I drive a van, but if I had the 8x10 cab, wouldn't I need to always take out the 2 back seats just to fit it? Is their an easier way, like hooking up 2 4x10 cabs? or would that be more costly? Also, I have no clue about the SVT series and what to get but I see alot of groups around here using SVT3 or 4 pros. Are those good?
  13. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    You don't have to worry much about any Ampeg or Carvin amp being good. IMO. With Ampeg and the Carvin R series, you're getting pro level gear.
  14. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Does that combo have a speaker out jack? If so, just tack on another 1x15 or 2x10 cab and most likely you will be fine again. Since you have been using it for a while successfully you have probably not outgrown it just yet.

  15. I_Dream_Of_Bass


    Feb 8, 2001
    BassPunk, I've used Peavey head/cab's in the past and I wasn't totally thrilled with the sound for punchy, low-end punk. The Ampeg's are great and incredibly heavy, which I think helps to contribute to it's good sound (but I might be blowin' smoke here...) Having 2 4x10 cabs will most likely cost more if you're buying on the same level as the 8x10 ampeg stack, but you can move the 2 cabs to each side of the stage and increase your overall sound field. I've never played through 2 4x10 cabs on bass before so I don't know how much that will help. If anyone else has, I would really like to know what their experience has been with multi-cab setups and how they typically set up the cabs. I would suggest, since the setups being thrown around are a very sizable investment, to rent, borrow, or do whatever it takes to play through one in a live situation. This is, after all, the only way that you will know for sure if a particular rig will work for you.

    P.S. Sometimes, if you know a band using a setup that you are interested in, or know someone who does, the band *cough*MIGHT*cough* let you stand in for a cover song or something and try out the rig. But those are the exceptions, definitely not the rule.

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