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high end ?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Joseph Sheldon, Dec 2, 2002.


  1. I just recently put together a rig consisting of an Ampeg B4/10HLF cab and a Mesa M-pulse 360, so far so good it has a nice fat thick tone. My problem is for my taste I can't seem to get a brite stringy high end sound. I think the cab is a real deeep tone and my question is; how can I pump up the high end. My controls on the amp alone don't seem to be enough. Could a single 31 band EQ be my answer or some other effect? Please feedback on what the heck I can do without starting all over again with a new rig.
     
  2. BFunk

    BFunk Supporting Member

  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    How old are your strings?
     
  4. I change my strings every 2 or 3 months depending on usage. I genraly use DR high beams or some nickle on stainles deal. I don't think it's the strings. I also had a Hartke 3500 for a while and that head had the same low sound through the cab only not as good.
     
  5. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Try a BBE Sonic Maximizer, and go easy on the low contour and focus on the high BBE process control.

    Try either borrowing one first, or call a few local music stores to see if they have one in stock, and if so, if you can bring your bass and amp in and try one out there in their store before buying one.
     
  6. Thanks for the advise my drummer has a D.J. gig on the side for extra dough and he has that exact item I will try it. Also I happened to find an old Ross 31 band single channel rack unit I did throw it in my rack last night and used my effects loop and it really seemed to do the trick. I only used it sparingly and kept it flat except where I needed a lift and it was awsome it is probably alittle over the top as for what I need but the unit introduced only a tiny amount of hiss almost inaudible. And my Mesa comes with a footswitch so I can switch it in and out on the fly. Thanks for the feedback.
     
  7. how do you NOT get enough hi's out of your m-pulse 360 w\built-in semi-parametric e.q.(not to mention the 3 band)???...I have the 600 and I run it virtually flat on the 3 band and rarley use the parametric.and I have more than enough hi's...does your cab have a tweeter?if yes, does it have an attenuater?..maybe it just needs to be turned up. do you use passive or active basses?do you use the passive or active input?...sorry about all the questions,I just find it odd that your not getting the searing hi's that I can get with the 600...bear in mind that the m-pulse is not a squeaky clean SWR\G-K\Eden hi-fi audiophile type of sound...it can pretty clean,but... maybe the m-pulse is not the sound your lookin for
     
  8. My cab is an Ampeg B4/10HLF and yes it does have a tweeter. The tweeter has a three position control on the back. It is either off,1/2, or full, I keep it half it's noisy all the way up and the kind of highs I find at that setting are unatural sounding and thin. So half is best I think. As I stated in the beging I think the cab is verry deep to flat and probably needs a little push to get the high end up. You maybe correct, maybe I spent alot of money on the wrong set up for me but I'm really happy with everything now. I have tried SWR, I found it for me to be to warm and soft almost mushy for me and Eden is an excelent maker of cabs but the head I played through I thougt was one over rated box of wires. I haven't played a GK but was told the tone is a little harsh but supper reliable and verry loud. I felt that the Mesa being hand built has a better build and attention to detail. I feel the amp can be cleen and driven to be hot by using the gain in the preamp properly. The sound I have been looking for is super thick solid bottom end with the ability to hear my hands slide over the strings and hear metal to metal when the string bangs against the fret board. I'm curious about how you like your Mesa and why did you buy one. Ill tell you the 360 watts it says it is, is the loudest FN 360 I ever heard. It was louder and thicker than our sound mans 18'' sub bins and a 2000 watt amp the last time we played out. He had me turn it down and I wasn't miked or going direct. Do you think they are dirty sounding amps? don't you feel they are audiofile quality sounding and build?
     
  9. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Hey Joseph,

    I hear ya on the sound you're looking for brotha! Unlike an electric guitar, which sounds best with a slightly limited frequency spectrum, most of us bass players want clean, even response from 20hz - 20Khz! This is EXTREMELY hard, IMHO, to get from a single amplifier and cabinet combination. Based on that, here is what I recommend for you to look into:

    Option 1
    - Pre-amp into a 2 way crossover.
    - High output of crossover into a BBE, EQ, effects unit (little bit of chorus, maybe some delay or reverb) and compressor then into a power amp (or into a bass head) then into a 4x10 or 2x10 cabinet.
    - low output of crossover into a BBE, EQ and compressor, then a power amp of at least 200W RMS minimum (or into a bass head greater than 200W at 8 ohms minimum) into a 1x18 cabinet.

    This option will allow you to really control the amount of highs and lows and allows each of the two systems to only have to reproduce a limited section of the frequencies produced by your bass. Also, you will only be running chorus or other effects on the highs, which will really make them snappy, but will leave the lows alone so they will be concrete and fundamenta. This is a basic type of "PA" setup, but will really smoke.


    Option 2 (budget version)

    - add an extension cabinet to your rig. Maybe a 1x18 to handle the lows thereby allowing the 4x10 you have to handle the highs. You might even consider a passive crossover for the two.


    Option 3 (my favorite!)

    Split out your two pickups seperately, and run each pickup through a seperate amp or rack setup like above without the crossover (splitting out the pickups is a "faux" crossover as the neck pickup has more lows and the bridge pickup has more highs and clarity. You will have super strong, concrete lows and the highs will cut people's heads off if you want. This is how I run my rig and it is smoking (http://www.basskahuna.com/equipment/index.shtml)

    Hope this helps,
     
  10. Holly bejessus, what a colection of basses and rack gear. Your sight is really cool. I'm tottaly impressed with your mp3's you are a great player! I've been playing on and off for 18 years and only recently did I find myself with enough loot to begin to invest in a decent rig. I myself am a huge Chris Squire fan and always thought running stereo into two amps was the most logical thing to do. I like the idea of only giving the highs the "efects" and keeping the lows pure and solid. Your rack is bigger than Dolly Parton's if you know what I mean. It will take some time and collecting of gear to get to that level of amplification. But I do appriciate the Ideas I think your right on! With the right direction in mind to work towards it could help me from buying and trading alot of stuff in that I don't really need. Besides we usually take beating on it when trading stuff in. If you ever play in Pa. let me know!


    Thanks Kahuna!
     
  11. Joseph,before you go spend money on stuff you dont need,maybe you can tell me how you set your e.q. and gain.and what bass(es) your using..don't get me wrong,the m-pulse can be very hi-fi,but I believe that mesa had a tube amp sound in mind when designing this amp,but it will do it all(hence the term hybrid amp) if you play around with the gain control,you can dial in a "characaterisitc" sound..the lower settings are for clean sounds and the higher settings are for a little more aggresive sounds,right up to tube grind(see your manual about this...really read it,theres a lot of info there)As far as why I bought this amp....the simplicity of it.I'm a plug play kinda guy.I was lookin at the Basis m-2000,which is a VERY nice amp,but there was just too many options and quite frankly,I was getting numb from option anxieity..not that it took a long time to get a good sound,but there were too many of 'em in there. the solid state side did'nt bowl me over either...so I figured why pay for something I won't use..then I moved on to the 400+(I still want one!)the main reason I did'nt get it was the weight(like 50lbs.without a rack case and 4 rack spaces:eek: ) although I must admit that I heard a lot of tube amp horror stories(re-tubing and reliability issues)but I know that it is all a bunch of crap...I got scared(although solid state is more reliable).the 400+ sounds AWSOME and LOUD!!! and I WILL OWN ONE someday. So that led me to the M-pulse..it had just came out(lucky me:)).just what I was lookin for,kinda the best of both worlds..it's loud, punchy and solid.I really like the semi-para e.q. and the compresser better than the ones on the m-2000(graphic e.q. and two selectable compression modes)I do like the crossover on the m-2000's compresser though.so thats my story and I'm stikin to it.....maybe I can help with your sound.....and save you some cash ......later!
     
  12. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Hey Joseph,

    Thanks for the kind words.

    FYI.... except for my basses, I have less than $2000 invested in my current rig, simply through ferreting out good deals on used gear and building my own cabinets.

    My family is still mostly back in Buffalo, and my wife's family is in Indiana, so maybe on one of our trips back there I'll find my way to Pennsyltucky...
     
  13. For now I keep the master gain 2/3rds up with the pre gain at 1/4 I think this keeps things pretty clean and punchy. I read that the bass mid and treble are "active" in the pre amp section and are verry powerfull in the overall sound. I have the bass 1/2 the mid slightly less than 1/2 and the treble at 3/4 then the para. eq. is flat on the low and as it goes up to the fith control on the high end I gradually turn each knob slightly up untill my last is alittle more than 3/4 I follow the same levels on all the indivual gains for each. I hope you understand what I'm saying I would take a picture but I don't have a digital camera. But I'll post it one of these days. Then as for the 31 band I kind of do the "smily face" with the sliders you know the extremely low is down but from 40 hz. it goes up then down into the mids then back way up on the highs but verry highs you know the last 3 or 4 are down to cut the hiss out. I must say everyone in my band says it's the best sounding bass rig they ever heard:) It's the best sounding rig I ever had thats for sure. Oh yeh I do put some compression on it I think it's the best on board compresser I ever used! So now my basses this is the so called weekest link in the chain. My main ax is a "mut" I'm left handed so my choices of basses tends to be limiting. I started with a carbon fiber graphite neck that I took of some Kawai bass I know they are primaraly piano makers but this neck is the best I ever felt. The body was put together by myself and a friend of mine who is an awsome part time luthier. The body is mohogany with a blistered ash top it's sweet. But the electronics are the passive stuff out of the Kawai, there is a jazz bridge and a split p-bass style neck pickup two tone controlls that pull out and sound like an A M radio when you pull em out and a blend knob and a master volume. Sounds all in all O.K. I did leve alot of room when we did the routing in the back so If I ever decided to switch electronics later there would be plenty of room for active boards and batteries. Maybe Barts. or Bass lines latter I don't know yet. My other bass I use alot is a Raven I bought on Ebay it's my first 5 string so I didn't want to dump alot of cash into a bass only later to find out I'm not a 5 strig player. But I love the thing it plays great one of the staightest necks I ever played. But again I think the pickups are pretty much junk! Passive soap bars on it I think I can put in some Barts. in it too down the raod. I amm quite happy all in all with my set up for now other than newer and better pickups so I think the basses might be the culpret in the LOW-FI sound!:confused:
     
  14. Joseph,first of all the bass and treb are active,but the mid controll is passive..which means the bass and treb can cut and boost,whereas the mid controll can only boost.(I'll get to that later).MY next question is ...and I don't mean to sound sarcastic..but ,do you know how to use the para e.q.?...basicaly you choose the freq. that you want to boost or cut with the lower set of controlls and the upper set boosts or cuts. 0 being flat(no boost or cut) clockwise being boost and counter clockwise being cut.the way you have it set up(at least the way I read it)is as follows: (from left to right)1st.upper and lower @ 12:00, 2nd.upper and lower @ 1:00,3rd. upper and lower @ 2:00...ect...until your last set of controlls are at about 4:0'clock...you are boosting all the wrong freqs.try this..bypass the graphic and any other rack gear...in fact,un-plug all rack gear going to the amp via f\x loop or any where else. plug bass into amp with nothing between it.adjust "gain" to about 10:00-12:00..make sure your"main "is turned down and bring it up gradually to give you volume.you should be able to run this amp hard,and don't be afraid to do so(under the manufacturers specs and guidelines of course)11:00 to12:00 is about where I run my 600 most of the time,but I have a LOUD drummer.. ok on to the 3 band e.q(switch out the para)start with everything at 12:00. you should already have a pretty good sound..but heres a starting point for the sound you crave.. bass@1:00,mid@12:00,treb@1:00-3:00..adjust to taste but that setting is basicaly a "smiley face" type of e.q. if you can't seem to get your sound with the 3 band alone we'll move to the parametric...let me start by saying less is more..try to CUT the freqs. you DON'T like,instead of BOOSTING the ones you DO.Over E.Qing can rob you of headroom.for example if you cut mids it will sound like you boosted the hi's and lows and you can use the power amp more efficiently.over use of e.q is common we all have done it at some point..BEWARE this e.q. is capable of killing speakers very easily(be careful boosting low freqs.)..the lower controlls are the freq. selectors and the upper controlls boost or cut that selected freq.try this sample setting (from left to right)1st.lower@7:00(30hz)upper@1:00(slightly boosted)-2nd.lower@10:00-upper@1:00,-3rd.lower@12:00(400hz)upper@12:00(flat),-4th.lower@ 11:00,upper@11:00,-5th.lower@1:00-2:00,upper@1:00-2:00..adjust your compressor to your liking.your graphic e.q.(to me anyway)seems like e.q. overkill,but go ahead and hook up your outboard gear and have fun:).I'm gonna say it again, READ THE MANUAL. it has sample settings in the back which can be a good starting point and will tell you how to use the parametric e.q..post back and let me know if this helps....BTW the basses you are using may contribute a little to your problem,but you should be able to get the hi's your after,especially with the carbon fiber neck bass,..keep me posted...
     
  15. Dial up some 4khz with your excellent Mesa preamp and be done with it. Anything higher tends to add "air", 4khz being that "roundwound" frequency. A BBE is also a terrific choice but really, the "definition" control is just dialing in material around the same frequency point. My old BBE was great for adding the sparkle back into old strings; with a new set it was almost redundant.
    Try to start with your preamp as flat as possible....midrange knob at full I believe, it being passive? Dial in you highs, then add the lows. Compressors tend to dull your sound somewhat as well so keep that in mind. The M-2000 compression is fabulous IMO; freq.specific so you can compress whichever part of your signal that needs it. I use the compressor on my M-2000 like a EQ live to tighten up my stage sound if need be.
    So......4 KHZ!! Nail that and I am sure you'll see what I mean about "string zing"
     
  16. Mad Sub is right about the 4khz..it will definatly add some zing..also use the compressor sparingly the lower ratio and settings will do more for your tone instead of squash it and adjust the threshold so the compressor kicks in only on the loudest notes..
     
  17. I got to admit I didn't read my manual well enogh. I see what you mean I wasn't using the para. Eq. properly at all! I have band practice sunday the 15th I will start from scratch there and I'll get back to you guys then. Thank you, this is why I love this sight there are alot of verry experianced players and rig guys out there with valuable input. Thanks for treating me like the MO-ron ive been with this thing :D
     
  18. Joeseph,no one thinks your a moron....thats what this site is all about..bass players helping bass players for the good of mankind.:D...uh..let us know how you made out.....