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How can I improve my rig most effectively?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by b4nny, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. b4nny


    Aug 24, 2008
    Bellevue, WA, USA
    As my profile says, I'm using the following setup:

    Squier VM Jazz Bass
    Peavey NitroBass
    Peavey 412 TVX

    I'm finding that the sound of this rig is quite unimpressive and I'm not sure who is the culprit. The bass, the head, or the cabinet? All of them? I'm posting in Amps because this bass has sounded OK through other amps, so that might narrow it down. But then again, some amps do so much to shape the tone of a bass that maybe my bass is the one that sounds bad and my amp is accurately portraying its sound... Who knows!

    I have almost $500 saved up. So, suppose I were to replace one thing in the chain.. which one should be the first to go?
  2. WallBass


    Feb 24, 2011
    Are you sure it's not just you?
  3. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Try your bass and head through a Fearful cab. Perhaps someone near you will let you try one.
  4. I dont see anything wrong with your rig. More likely some playing around with the EQ will net you better tone. What do you have the gain and eq set at?
  5. So... I'm gonna say, having had a recent bit of squire gear, that that PARTICULAR squire probably is doing a pretty reasonable job. There are better bits of kit to be sure, but my experience is that the more recent, 'special' Squire line are actually pretty respectable. I bought a classic vibe Tele last year as a project guitar, and I was shocked at how much i DIDN"T have to do to it..

    The head and cab tho....

    Peavey has a reputation for being almost indestructible, but I've always found the tone to be pretty lacking. Solid, but not really all that inspiring.

    I think before we can give you recommendations though, it might be better if you could be a little more detailed about WHAT you feel your tone is lacking. One man's trash and all that. If you could tell us a bit more about what you're after, we might be able to give you some better suggestions.
  6. mrkreuzschlitz


    Jun 30, 2008
    Dacula, GA
    Honestly, the one thing that most people go to for a general tone improvement, more or less, is a Sansamp. If you're worried about spending $200 on a pedal, get the Behringer knock off for now, it works.

    That being said, I'm assuming that you've already messed with eq and whatnot.
  7. Grey Sarcasm

    Grey Sarcasm

    Apr 25, 2012
    I strongly recommend getting a Ampeg BA-300 either 1X15 or 2X10. They are quite heavy but the tone is worth it. They show up pretty cheap here and there every now and again. I got mine for $230. Worth every penny.
  8. A sansamp is a good tone additive, but its not for everyone.

    If he has been playing a 412, no way a combo is going to satisfy.
  9. Exploiter8

    Exploiter8 Demons run when a good man goes to war

    Jan 18, 2010
    Commercial FREE!
    A behringer eq700 can be had really cheap. If you like the tones you can always upgrade when it breaks!
  10. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I don't have much experience with the newer Peavey stuff, but I've always felt Peavey gear was solid and decent sounding. But though it's stuff that a lot of folks enjoy, it was never my thing. Still, you should be able to get a good sound out of it, or at least a decent one.

    But when a rig goes wrong for an owner, 99 times out of 100 it's the cab. An OK bass and amp through a good cab always sounds great. A great bass and amp through a lousy cab always sounds bad. Like I said, I don't know that Peavey gear, but I know the bass and it's a pretty decent one for the money, and other Peavey heads have sounded good to me. The cabs, however...hit and miss for me.

    Still, the very best way to improve the sound of your rig is by practicing ;)
  11. grinx


    Mar 24, 2003
    Raleighwood, NC
    +1 to Jimmy

    just like in home stereos: it is always recommended to spend 75% of your money on speakers (cabs), because if they suck, then no matter what you have powering them, they are gonna sound sucky

    i have a squier vm jazz, a 90's active Ibby and 2 carvins

    squiers sound fine as is
  12. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    Leave the contour knob off, (all the way to the left) the DDT speaker protection engaged, crank the gain till the red light flashes often, move the mid boost to at least 3/4ths, or 3 O'clock. Use the mid shift anywhere from 300 to 600 hz, don't go nuts with the bass knob, probably around 10:30 or 11 O'clock max.

    Done. Just saved you $500. :D
  13. +1

    This is where I was going with my first post. Just wanted to give the OP the bennifit of the doubt that all this was tried. I think a lot of amps get a bad rap of being "Lifeless", "Anemic", or in this case "Unimpressive" because the gain and EQ are set wrong. The nitrobass isnt a boutique head by any means, but it is pretty beefy. Bring the gain up, bring the mids up, leave the lows at noon or below, and do what you wish with the highs. The 412 TVX is a kickass cab if you can deal with the weight. It should pound with that head, and shouldnt bat an eye while doing so. If the tone of the cab isnt your thing try a few other cabs out, and try a few other heads out with your cab as this might identify if either of these pieces lacking for you tonally. Also there is nothing wrong with your bass. Make sure the set up on it is good enough to meet your playability standards, and then rock out. I know there are a lot of guys on here that play basses that cost more than some people's cars, but dont let that fool you everyone has played a cheapo bass at some point. A good bass player can play a bass made in any country and produce workable tones.
  14. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    maybe a different kind of strings ie stainless steel
  15. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I would start by looking at the cab. The reason I say this is because there are many inexpensive basses these days with good sound and play-ability. There are also many good, reasonably priced heads. Cabs, IMO, are another story.
  16. melvn


    Jan 29, 2009
    Central WI
    +1 on cabs. After switching to a pf500, I like my tone quite a bit but I can tell my cab is holding it back. Also as already mentioned strings do more than I would have thought they do. I am a recent circle k convert and my b string has never sounded better. Still a better cab will clear up the left over muddiness for me.
  17. chicomalo


    Jul 17, 2012
    Escondido, CA
    I was going to ask when was the last time you changed your strings. The type and brand of strings you use will play a big role in your tone.
  18. ::::BASSIST::::

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

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Another "change the cab" opinion. It affects the sound of a rig the most in my opinion.

    And the bonus is you wouldnt have to move a peavey 412 around anymore. That has to be a bit of a bear.

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