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how do i correctly connect a comp to a mesa 400+ head?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by groovking, Jan 21, 2001.


  1. i got a 266xl dbx and i suspect it may be hooked up wrong. thanks in advance all!
     
  2. killer B

    killer B

    Apr 18, 2000
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    Hi, Here's how I've hooked up a DBX 166A compressor to my MESA/Boogie Bass 400+. I set the fx blend to 10 so the whole signal is sent through the compressor (there's no point in compressing part of a signal) Connect the send to the input of the compressor and connect the output of the compressor to the fx loop return. You should be all set with that. After a lot experimenting I ultimately decdied I liked the sound better without a compressor. I'm able to get a better "grind" out of the amp. Hope this works for you.
     
  3. thats exactly what i did and all was fine and then when i was jammin i got a god awful loud hum. i immediatly shut down standby and it would stop momentarily when turned back on. then i shut down all power and it wouldnt do it for maybe 15 minutes after being turned back on. the only thing i did differently from your setup was i had the effects blend only at @ 4 to 5.........so i pulled the compressor after switching cables basses etc and the big hum did not come back.bad compressor?
     
  4. brewer9

    brewer9

    Jul 5, 2000
    I use a dbx 160A compressor and have blend set at 5. It works GREAT!!!!
     
  5. killer B

    killer B

    Apr 18, 2000
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    To Grooveking:
    Hmmmm, that's weird. Sounds like maybe some kind of grounding problem, either a bad cable or the ground inside the compressor or your amp. Try replacing cables first. You also might want to try calling Mesa's Tech support they're very helpful, if very busy.

    To Brewer9: If you get a sound you like with the fx blend set that way then cool, whatever works right. You might want to try it on 10 just for the hell of it, reason being for dynamics processors tend work best (or at least will work differently) when the whole signal is being run through them instead of a blend of wet and dry signal such as your doing because they react based upon the strength of the signal. But hey if ain't broke don't fix it.

     
  6. killer B

    killer B

    Apr 18, 2000
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    Oh, you know what I just realized you said you did replace cable and basses, never mind, could be the compressor then if the amp doesn't do it by itself. Question: do both basses have sigle coil pickups? If so and they're soloed that could be contributing to the problem as well. There's a possibility of it being a bad tube as well, but then again it would probably do this all the time not just when the compressor's hooked up.
     
  7. Jeff Corallo

    Jeff Corallo

    May 30, 2000
    I bought a DBX266xl compressor to run through my effects loop as you all have said....I'm now wondering why. It works but I've noticed that it starts to limit sound and some technique. Does anybody else feel this way?
     
  8. wow, thanks everyone! killer b i did use brand new monster bass instrument cables of @2-3 foot length. i did also call mesa and spoke with kevin, he confirmed my setup being done correctly and also recomended trying bass into back of compressor input and then compressor out into front jack of amp similar to using a stompbox as far as setup wiring,....uuuuuggghhh, i couldnt do that it would look like spaghetti! .......and he didnt really reccommend using a compressor with the 400+ period because he says it will probably limit the natural compression of my tubes, oh by the way the tubes are brand new svetlana 454 66L6 gc, and new 12ax7a preamps. you know i think im not going to use a compressor anymore, but i did like the control i got out of it. i now got this big empty 1 rack space staring at me. ill probably put a blank in it for now, i dont know!
     
  9. i used an american std with the pots all at 10 as i always do, then i tried this really nice mexi i got and despite the occasional noise i get from the pickups has a really nice tone, it too i keep pegged and the same results. 62 rip same. im not one to just use a neck or bridge pick up singularly, .....just habit i guess as i always nail my mexi also despite the slight noise.
     
  10. i usually always play jazz basses, vintage and newer a stds.
     
  11. brewer9

    brewer9

    Jul 5, 2000
    Ok Killer B, I'll try it. I set the blend at 5 a long time ago and havent even thought about changing it. I also wonder how my BBE will react to the blend at 10?
     
  12. killer B

    killer B

    Apr 18, 2000
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    Setting your blend on 10 will make a big difference with your BBE. I run one in the FX loop of my Bass 400+ with the blend on 10 and it sounds great.
     
  13. oh no, it wasnt the compressor. i was pushing it last night and the big rumble, foghorn sound came back! bummer! all new tubes and they do nothing odd visually when it happens, i had my rig turned backwards on purpose just in case it reoccured..........ampless and bummed........
     
  14. it turned out to be a preamp tube i thought id post it in case anyone runs into it,...i also lost channel one once and it was a preamp tube, the one closest to the transformer, it has foam next to it.........thanks all!
     
  15. guys, im not quite sure if i actually want to hook the compressor back up i dont think it does enough to color the sound. the natural compression of the tubes is defeated i think. i am considering a bbe sonic maximizer, which model do you guys and gals recommend and how do you like the performance with the 400+, sounds like its a hot item?..ps how much are they?
     
  16. killer B

    killer B

    Apr 18, 2000
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    Well I'm glad you got that figured out. On the subject of BBE sonic maximizers I'd say great choice. They do wonders for the tone, esp. if you use a 5 string. I use the older BBE 362 these can be found for around $100 used. The 462 is also good. Really it's the same but you can process the right and left channels differently. You'd probably only need that if you were bi-amping or something like that. your could aslo find good deals on these used. The new model is the 482 which is bascially an updated version of the 462 that's supposed to run cooler, have less compents in the signal path and an overall warmer sound. These are $200 new.
     
  17. i identified the 12ax7a mesa boogie preamp tubes ive been having problems with as being jj/tesla, packaged as mesa boogie, ive found they are the only preamp tubes that commonly create this major hum,....2 failures in 2 mos, no teslas for me, this would be catastrophic at a gig!....just some info for my bass bros and gals......groove
     
  18. Killer B

    The blend knob adjusts the amount of signal going BACK into the amp, send is alway putting out the same, regardless the Blend knobs position. So the compressor will always work with the "full picture" even if you dont blend it at all.

    By the way have any of you tried to run say one of the 2 preamps with the bass and the other one just empty but with gain at 10? Something happens but I cant understand why.. it fattens the sound a bit but I cant understand why?? :)
     
  19. killer B

    killer B

    Apr 18, 2000
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    Interesting I didn't know that about the blend. As for the input no I haven't tried that but what I have tried that's really cool is plug into both input's at the same time. I used the stereo output's of a boss chorus pedal and mix the two inputs to taste. You can get some really cool sounds and drive the amp a bit harder this way. I'll try just using one input tonight with the other's gain on 10 and see how it works. Thanks for the tip.
     
  20. Yeah I tried that too with my chorus as a splitter an running one input clean and the other one with som distortion and envelopefilter.. really fat synth sound. Just chorus divided in 2 sounds so much fatter than just the chorus in mono (boss ceb3). For the just empty input maxgain i think it might have something to do with the predecessor (sp?) to the 400+ the D180 which had cascadic gain or something. It might be inhereted in some way. Download the manual from Mesa Boogie and read about the ol' D-180 cascadic gain or what they called it. 400+ is a cool amp but it is one heavy piece of equipment :( But The SOUND is nice :) (maybe I'll get a roadie someday.. then I'll get a Mesa 4x10 cab to it.. he he)