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How much does the Cab have to do with tone... and so forth

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Matt Till, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Alright here is my situation. I have a very generic Crate Rig... I can't tell you the model number offhand, but it's a 220 Watt Amp and the Cab can handle 400. It's an alright rig, but it's pretty muddy. I keep hearing local cats play through heavy duty Ampeg rigs (that mommy and daddy bought for them) and man... that's the kinda tone I want. Heavy, Bright, Punchy. No need for distortion... it's plenty heavy as is.

    My question is... if I replace the amp and keep the cab... will I be horribly disappointed? I wanna spend under 500... and I don't wanna have to get a cab. If I took my crappy Crate Cab and threw This on top... would I get that ampeg sound at all? Or would it be wiser to work on a new cab first... this is all so confusing to me. :crying:
  2. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    The differences between amps are far more varied than those between cabs of similar design with similar drivers. It would probably be worthwhile hauling your cab down to a store to try it with different heads.
  3. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I was thinking that... I just wish that my local store had a more diverse selection. I'll look around down there and think about it. I was just wondering if it would be worth it... from the sounds of it, it is.
  4. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    You use 15s? There's your mud.
  5. FunkSlap89


    Apr 26, 2005
    Albany, NY
    +1... instead of investing in a new head, invest in some 10" drivers to clean up the 2x15...

    edit: oh, i just read the part about you not wanting to buy a cab... why not?
  6. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Tough choice! I really dig what a great speaker brings to the equation.
  7. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    $$$$$$$ That's why

    I'm trying to figure out what to replace first because I am not a man of any kind of wealth.

    Oh yeah... to clarify, I don't have the 2x15 setup. I've got 4x12 thang
  8. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Yeah. Speakers can make a huge difference, especially when it comes to low- to mid-priced gear. And regardless of price, a sealed array of tens is going to sound very different from a ported 2x15.

    As far as the Crate rig goes: as noted, try the cab with different heads, and the head with different cabs... maybe you'll isolate the mud!
  9. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    take your amp or your cab to your nearest super duper music mall, and find out for yourself.

    either way, you might find out that maybe your amp sounds great, but your cab sucks, or vice versa.

    never know til you try.
  10. FunkyLemz

    FunkyLemz Supporting Member

    Oct 17, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA

    Very good point. Are you a slapper? 10's really have the punch that you may need to rid the mud. Also, if you have $500 and want to get the most of your money buy used off of a fellow TBer. There was just a SVT 3 here for 5 Bills.
  11. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    NOW I'm really confused.

    Here's a list of options I have discovered
    - New Amp
    - New Cab
    - New Sansamp Driver
    - New Preamp

    I don't quite understand the point of a preamp. What does it do? (I'm a tech idiot, once again). Can anyone toss some specific examples at me? I'd like to spend less than 500 dollars... the closer I am to spending zero dollars, the happier I'll be. ;) If possible... under 300?

    The thing is... in my "solo" ideals, I'm pretty open to tone... I just like something nice and punchy. But I also play in a doomy/stoner rock band (really low/rumbling/crunchy... but also needing clarity to define the WAAAY fuzzed guitars).
  12. Yet another TB'er catches GAS.....
  13. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I'd look for a head closer to 500 RMS or so.

    Part of the reason your rig may be suffering from tonesuck is that you are pushing it too hard. 220 watts is a little weak for gigging in today's world.

    IF you get a decent head with enough headroom, you can get a decent sound from that cab.
  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Preamps are typically used in modular "rack rigs". These contain (at minimum) a dedicated preamp and dedicated power amp. They often contain a second EQ unit and/or tuner and/or power strip and/or effects unit.

    Here's a pic of my small rack. It contains a tube preamp (top), a parametric equalizer (middle), and a Stewart power amp (bottom):

    The advantages to rack rigs over consolidated bass heads is modularity: if you like the features but want more power, you can upgrade the power amp. If one of the modules fails, you can probably patch around it and continue the gig... and only the failed module goes to the shop, rather than the entire amp head.

    The disadvantages: cost, complexity, and (sometimes) bulk and/or weight. In your case I'd recommend against a rack rig due to the first two. :)
  15. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

  16. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    It depends. I would certainly not call a Bergantino NV215, Bergantino HT115, or an older Mesa Boogie Diesel/RR 2x15 muddy. In fact, these are some very articulate cabs. Of course, I have heard my share of "muddy" 15's, too, and Crate may very well fall into this category.

  17. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    This makes a whole lot of sense actually. When I'm playing quiet... I sound better (probably because no one can hear me. :D ) but when I crank it for a gig, the tone loses clarity. Hmmmm... I gotta think about this one.
  18. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Where's the cab aimed? Fifteens have a narrow dispersion angle, and if they're not aimed at your head you won't hear any midrange out of them when the band's playing and other midrange sources drown them out. Try tilting the cab back, that may be all you need, if that's not enough a single 2x10 atop the cab, the 10's vertically aligned, will do the trick. An amp with better midrange presence won't do you any good if you can't hear it anyway.
  19. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    That's what I was thinking. Maybe its room acoustics... do you have your cab sitting on the floor or up on something. If you get it off the floor at least a foot, that may help reduce some mud. Whether its position or not, I think you need a bit more power.
  20. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    True, but at the cost of bass presence. AKA, booty bump. Loss of booty bump is a serious consideration.