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Hopelessness with my sound, my rig, my bass

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by a e i o u, Jul 29, 2004.


  1. Ever since I've started taking bass seriously I have been after this one kind of tone. I was positive that you needed a Jazz bass for the tone, and 10 inch speakers, an ampeg sounding amp, and a BDDI. I have an ampeg b2r, avatar 410, and geddy lee jazz bass with new strings, and today I got a BDDI. I still do not get the tone i want. I am somewhat closer than what i started with but not nearly close enough :crying:

    I am trying to get the clanky sound. The deep kind, not deep as in boomy and bassy, but deep as in it kind of sounds like its going in a big hole. The sound that you can make when rolling duduh dla duhd dla dla off your tongue. Give up The Ghost has this tone, Carry On has this tone, AFI has this tone, Pennywise has this tone, I do not have this tone. All i have is a flat boring, but EXTREMELY trebly tone. When I turn on my BDDI, it is ear peircyingly trebley. I don't know what to do.. i'll never get that tone unless i get an old SVT and over drive it, even then I probaly wont get what I am looking for. :crying: :crying: the sample setting in the sansamp booklet dont help at all
     
  2. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    See if you can figure out what kind of gear those bass players are using. There's more than one way to skin a cat, but at least knowing what they use will give you a reference point. I seem to recall the bass player for AFI using some Fender model, but last I checked, the bass player for Pennywise played an Ibanez. I assume you're using a pick. I find that I get somewhat similar rock tones by killing my mids and adjusting the bass and treble accordingly. Your results may vary.
     
  3. lsu921

    lsu921

    Jun 6, 2003
    Addis, La
    I fought the same demons you're fighting right now.. finding YOUR sound will take time.. MY sound happens to be Tobias Killer B's.. very clanky if you want it to be.. but that's probably not YOUR sound..

    Don't give up... You'll find it..
     
  4. zcwilkes

    zcwilkes Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2002
    Barboursville, WV
    I feel your pain. It took me 15 years till I was happy with my sound. It started coming together after I found a 31- band EQ at a pawn shop. Its was overkill but I found the freqs that I wanted to cut and boost by experimenting.
     
  5. One thought. If you rest your thumb on the bridge pickup most of the time when you play, try resting your thumb on the neck pickup. That is what Geddy does to get some of that tone. There are so many variables to tone it may take a while. It took me 14 years!
     
  6. The kind of tone I am after doesn't have to be exact, just in the ballpark. If anyone has ever heard AFI's cover of "The Hanging Garden" Hunter gets the tone with an american jazzbass, mesa 400+(i am almost positive) and a bddi.. I don't know if the Cure's original version of the song has the same kind of tone, but i love that sound
     
  7. jock

    jock

    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    IMO the sound is in the fingers of the player. How you play can affect the sound just as much as your amp settings. And you seem to have a great rig. Maybe a 31-band graphiq Eq is not such a bad idea...
     
  8. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    I feel your pain. I've been playing for a very short time and keep trying different things in an effort to find something. And with every different experiment, when I can afford to do it, I feel I learn something, whether or not I get closer or farther from the tone I have inside my head or what my band demands.

    Anyway, although you obviously got inspiration from it already, regarding AFI, the bassist "Hunter" on their website reports using live a SVT-2 Pro, a BDDI, and a variety of Fender Jazz basses. In the studio, a Mesa 400+.

    Interesting how he doesn't mention his cab, but probably because the venues he plays is 99.9% PA driven with his cab as monitors mostly.

    Of course everyone's experience is going to be different, regardless of similarity in equipment, but looking at where you are at now, your B2R might be the shortcoming in the chain. Like zcwilkes said, maybe it's an addition of an EQ or something else that'll get you there, like technique as stated by crhoton. I believe it's a combination of these things, plus the settings of your equipment.

    Personally, coming off a B5R and the same Avatar 4x10 @ 4 ohms (350watts), it was hard to get anything deep. Don't get me wrong, it's not the Avatar's fault. The B5R (and therefore your B2R) I feel was holding me back. I realized this recently when I purchased a poweramp (QSC RMX 850) and experimented with using the B5R as a preamp. WOW. That extra headroom really gave me a better idea of how both the B5R and the Avatar could sound. I never heard it as deep and revealing before. Then I got my SVT 4 Pro and now my eyes are open REALLY WIDE :eek: But still, that can only get you so far.

    I think a large variety of sounds can be made with what you got, but it really is about the settings of equipment and technique to get to a particular sound. The BDDI I heard can be particularly sensitive to settings. I'm sure the Sansamp people can better serve you in that department.

    Best of luck! :D

    -T
     
  9. lawndart

    lawndart

    Oct 4, 2003
    Northern NJ
    could also be the head....I used the same head (B2R) with and without the BDDI. I could never get the tone i was searching for until i traded it in for a Mesa. I too was looking for an AFI/Swinging Utters trebbly yet a clear bottom end not boomy. But then again that depends on the room your playing.
    Try the strings too.. I used to use DR nickle and SS for a twangy sound.
    I played a show with ALL/Decsendents last year and Bill Stevenson recording guru for punk bands had a clinic on recording and i asked how to get that sound and he said go right to the source and thats the bass. Alot of people use Music Men to get a growelly/clear trebly sound.

    Does this make any sense? Cause i just woke up.

    also check this out http://www.geocities.com/sansampbass/index.html
     
  10. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Start by getting rid of your amp and your cabinet, they're junk man, sorry. If it's a money issue than go out and get a GK amp and one of their cabs. Use the BDDI as overdrive from there. If you want to do it right than just get an Ampeg classic (all tube amp) and the Ampeg cab that suits your needs. You know, you don't even need the all tube amp, that gets expensive. The SVT III is a great sounding amp. It can actually get dirtier than the SVT IV because it has a knob that specifically pushes the tubes more. That way you could get rid of the BDDI. Also, I've seen Ampeg classic series 410's for $300 used and they're great. Definately rethink the amp and cab thing that you've got going. Don't worry about the bass though, it'll do what you want.

    I also believe that the sound comes from the player, but without decent sounding gear it takes away from the creativity of the player for sure. I struggled with that for years. Now I never have to think about my sound and I can just play! That's what I'm talkin' about!
     
  11. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    junk, haha...

    Well, as they say, one man's "junk" is 1,000 other people's source of praise (just check harmony central, at least about the cab).

    :rollno:

    -T
     
  12. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I'm sorry man, I certainly don't mean to criticize anyone here. I guess I should have chosen my words more appropriately. I just feel that that cab won't give the sound that he's looking for. My appoligies.
     
  13. natrab

    natrab

    Dec 9, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    I have finally found my tone in a tube amp. I've been playing my Mesa D-180 through a 1x15 and it sounds incredible. That in combination with a blend of the piezo pickups and soapbars in my rick turner give me this sizzling yet powerful bass tone. I just played it in a theater for an audition and just that little rig gave me incredible tone. I almost like the D-180 better than my Bass 400+ because it breaks up a bit more. There is something about tube amps that seems like it can't be replicated by SS. I still love my Basis 2000, but I haven't even used it since I got my D-180.

    Try some tubes.
     
  14. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    No need to apologize (at least to me, I'm not that sensitive :D). Just my way of saying that I felt the B410 is enjoyed by lots of people, including myself. But to each their own! I heard a Bergantino cab (12+2x10) a few weekends ago (thanks Boogiebass!) and it certainly was awesome. Wish I could get one or a couple! :hyper:

    But yeah, speaking of tubes, an SVT-2 Pro is certainly a different sound and capability than a B2R, FWIW.

    -T
     
  15. tkarter

    tkarter

    Jan 1, 2003
    kansas
    Could flatwounds be the answer?

    tk
     
  16. lsu921

    lsu921

    Jun 6, 2003
    Addis, La
    +1

    I had that cab, and it wasn't all it was made out to be.. not even close IMO..
     
  17. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Try to look at it rationally...you have good gear. You don't need BETTER gear or more gear.

    #1: recorded sound is recorded sound, it's not LIVE sound. Took me years to realize that. Consider that your stereo is no way able to put out the sort of volume and low end as your bass rig. So how can it possibly sound bigger and deeper? Because of all the processing involved in recording...compression, EQ, subharmonic generation, etc.

    #2: A too trebly tone suggests you are playing too hard. Seriously! The lighter your touch on the strings, the fatter, rounder and deeper the tone will be. Adjusting things as simple as where you pluck the string, how much finger (or pick) is in contact with the string, etc. has way more impact on the overall tone than all the EQ in the universe.
     
  18. motorhall

    motorhall

    Jul 1, 2004
    My vote says that the bass is the problem. It sounds like you are describing a scooped-mids sound, and it doesn't seem like a J-bass has enough drive to be able to get away with scooping anything.

    Okay, I admit it, I'm in the tank for humbuckers.
     
  19. HiFi

    HiFi

    Apr 20, 2002
    Anaheim, CA
    Funny thing is, I know plenty of musicians who have the same gear as some big time artist and they still can't duplicate the same sound. I know some that have been able to, but it's my feeling that the player has a major effect on sound, as much as the amp, cab, bass, etc.

    I've heard some good bassist make crap basses sound fairly good.
     
  20. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    True that!

    Out there, somebody, somewhere, has my bass, amp, and cabs and is laughing at me... :crying:

    But I'm catchin' up... :bassist:

    -T