1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

How to get more punch and cut through with a loud band?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by prater, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. prater


    Aug 4, 2011
    A bassist I tech for hasn't been too happy with his tone and feels it lacks punch.

    Right now he runs two Ampeg B5r's going to an 18 and a 4x12 guitar cab with with lows boosted to the 18 and highs boosted to the 4x12. For gigs he sets one on either side of the stage and mics both. He also uses heavy distortion quite a bit of the time.

    I've been suggesting for awhile that he try a ported 4x10 in place of the 4x12 and stack it on the 18 with and/or trade his Ampeg heads for GK heads and turn up the bridge pick up on his P/J bass to give him more punch.

    He just called me with a concept he wants to try running two 18s and nixing the 4x12. With the amount of tapping and walk ups he does I don't believe this is the answer. He also suggested that if we do add 10s to his rig he would want to do two 2x10s and two 18s on either side of the stage.

    In case you couldn't tell he was a sound guy before he was a bassist. He essentially wants a PA instead of a bass rig.


    Here is a live video of him, at the 2:00 mark the guitars drop out and you can sort of hear him, but its just not as present as it could be.

    What do you think would give more punch and cut through the live mix better?
  2. username1


    Dec 28, 2005
    alberta canada
    If he's running one on each side of the stage that's likely his problem. It would work alot better if he stacked them or even had them next to each other. Also i would think a 412 guitar cab would kind of suck for bass unless it was biamped.
  3. mustbampeg


    Feb 27, 2007
    Amarillo, TX
    If it was me, I would drop both cabs and add a wall of 10s. Two or possibly even four 4x10s will bring so much thunder, you'll knock down walls. Also, cut the bass and add in the mids. Lack of mids is where the missing 'punch' is. If you have a graphic eq, think reverse smiley face. Or a frown, lol. I find this sound usually sounds like ass when playing by yourself, but it really sits in a mix quite well.

    So yeah, pick one speaker size and add as many as it takes to get to the desired volume. Unless you are going to run a bi amped setup with crossovers, there is no reason to mix speaker sizes.

    My .02

  4. dandbassman


    Aug 26, 2007
    Waxhaw NC
    I would suggest 4 Acoustic B410 cabinets in one spot on the stage. Hurry up b4 they are all gone at $159 apiece!
  5. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    As said, I would personally get a stack of 10's on one side, way more punch that 18's all over the place in my opinion, but I know nothing...
  6. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    Completely mismatched speakers won't help very much and placing them on either side of the stage is asking for problems with phase cancellations and comb filtering...google it.

    At the very least stack the cabs, then play with the EQ. If you're running boosted lows into an 18 then it's eating up amp power and headroom, probably for little effect other than producing low end mud. Lose the deep lows.
  7. prater


    Aug 4, 2011
    He is sort of bi-amped. He runs into one amp, then runs the tuner output into the input on the second amp. Each is EQ'd for the specific speakers it goes to. He absolutely will not give up his 18.

    His EQ is, for the 18 head Bass at 5 o'clock mid at 2 o'clock treble at 9 o'clock. F

    or the 4x12 head bass at 3 o'clock, mid at 3' o'clock, treble at 5 o'clock.

    Both are run clean with an Aural exciter and a bass big muff (on half the time) in the chain.
  8. It sounds like he starts with a mid-scoop, which is made worse by phase cancellation and comb-filtering. Vertically stacked matching speakers and mids would probably get him much closer to where he wants to be.
  9. xander8280


    Dec 29, 2011
    I was doing the same thing with an 118 and a 412 acoustic cabs from the 70s and a few old acoustic heads. Everybody on the forums gave me crap for using a guitar cabinet. I'd say have your 18 be your normal full range sound and boost some mids and highs out of the 412
  10. It's not sort of bi-amped, it's simply a big mess. Won't lose the 18? His loss. Wall of 10's, or 12's, or 15's is where it's at. All identical cabs, all in one spot, all run full-range. Done.
  11. 2behead


    Mar 8, 2011
    Sorry but ya...... Sound guy. Theory over experience.
  12. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Use a HPF set to just below the first harmonic of his lowest open string, and delete the 18s. FOH subs will take care of the lows; on stage, all they do is muddy the sound and take away the perception of "punchiness" while raising the noise floor and on-stage SPL for the entire band.
  13. mustbampeg


    Feb 27, 2007
    Amarillo, TX
    Well, plenty of good ideas here so far. I actually like the band, lol. Tell this guy he has to get over loving the 18. Just get over it. Seriously, define crazy. It is simply this: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. If he wants a different tone, then he needs to change something. As has been voiced over and over in this thread, drop the 18 especially, but personally I would drop them both and start all over. Two 4x10s stacked using only ONE of his current heads will chew up and spit out his current rig.

  14. Shizzle Gits

    Shizzle Gits Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I really find it hard to understand what he is trying to do with this setup. Is he trying to cover FOH? Is this his attempt at covering the entire stage with bass monitor? As a soundman myself, I find this approach to be very peculiar. What is the monitoring situation? Does he normally run without FOH support? Normally you would stack or array the subs and spread the hi-packs out for coverage. He seems to be doing the opposite. Also, why is he mic'ing both subs? Is one clean and one dirty? My inclination is to label the whole situation idiotic, but I am trying to withhold judgement.

  15. prater


    Aug 4, 2011
    He is currently only using one 18 and a 412 with a mic on both. The 18 is a PA sub with an Emminence speaker. The 412 has Celestian speakers. I've never liked their sound.

    We always have FOH support, but he spreads them so he can (in theory) hear himself as he moves away from his rig. He just doesn't like to expect much from FOH. The monitor situation we usually encounter almost always just 12s.

    He has a penchant for overkill, when he recorded their last record we had five bass tracks.

    I'm definitely down with nixing the 12s and I think I've got him on board with that. I can see the value in the 18 as he tunes to drop B and it really delivers some good low end. But the 12s just lack everything.
  16. Savage_Dreams


    Jan 8, 2007
    i say stack the speakers and see what happens and go from there. you cant biamp and put the low on one side of the stage and the highs on the other. theres no way that would ever sound good.
  17. musicman666


    Sep 11, 2011
    Get a new bass player.
  18. There is no value in having that 18 unless he just has lots of those and nothing else. 10's, hell even 5 inch speakers go just as low or lower. Mixing cabs, and then spreading them all over the place is a recipe for fail, period. This is common knowledge.
  19. Sounds like he is hearing an Ampeg 410HLF. The porting will EASILY nail a B string and the horn can rip your head off, if that is what you are after. I play 5's exclusively and an HLF easily can handle aggressive playing on the B string.
  20. I've said it before and I'll say it again; an eq is NOT a crossover. If you are trying to split frequencies between two cabs buy a proper crossover and do it right. Let each cab cover the frequencies it needs two and keep them together to create a coherent point source. If you need more coverage get another set for the otherside. And then don't be surprised when you have a guitarists 4x12 staring you in the face a couple of weeks later because he can't hear himself on your side of the stage. If you're trying to capture two different full range sounds from the cabs and expect to use them at the same time, then you are basically volunteering to deal with the inevitable phase and cancellation issues you are creating.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.