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I´m not loud enough

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by rimml, Apr 15, 2003.

  1. rimml


    Nov 12, 2002
    Hi there!
    I play in a 13 piece live hip hop band and I use an underwood pick up with a fishman pro equlizer platinum bass and tried this with a hughes and kettner XL (250w) combo, and also with hartke 5000. When I play alone I have a really good and loud sound, but when the others start there is feedback all over. Can somebody give me a hint for better and louder amplification?
    thanks for your answers
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I am tempted to say "get an EUB" but I won't and will leave this for the regular pros who know all about playing DB in a 13-piece hip hop band!! ;)

    Just ignore me!! :D
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    PS - I play in a 13-piece Salsa/Samba band - so I sympathise!!
  4. rimml


    Nov 12, 2002
    Hi bruce!
    thanks, which amplification equipment do you use?

    do you know where I can get an EUB for a "good" price?
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Things to try:

    1. turn off any compression

    2. roll off the low end (try the depth knob) since most feedback is a result of low frequency resonances

    3. use the phase reversal switch on the preamp per the instructions

    4. try running the preamp straight into the power amps of your heads bypassing their own preamps

    5. last resort: use a magnetic pickup like the Biesele or String Charger.
  6. Seppie


    Aug 14, 2002
    Austria, Vienna

    for the first...gruesze aus wien!

    so when there are feedback trbls with an 250w combo and eq doesn´t help (maybe ad some mids and roll off the bass) the only way to go is a eub...
    regarding the eub...try www.thomann.de they sell some decent looking eub´s and have a return warranty.

    brgds sebastian
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    You could also try a K&K Bass Max. They are the most feedback resistant pickups I've ever seen. You'd get a lot more headroom than you do with an Underwood.
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I got mine in the Bass Centre in London......it was cheaper than any DBs I got the chance to play, so I think it was a good price.
  9. If you go to www.rockabillybass.com/discus/
    you will find a whole bunch of DB players who play LOUD! You will also find what they do to overcome the inherent problems of loud DB. As well as conventional small group jazz, I play rockabilly/honkytonk. For this I use an Eden WT400 head with 4x8 and 1x15 SWR cabs. To get lots of volume, I set the EQ dead flat, or sometimes with a bit of bass cut. The louder you go, the less bass frequencies you need. I also keep the gain low, and let the power amp in my head do the work. I use no preamp, but if I did, I would definitely keep the gains down because you're running through a gain section in your preamp, and then another one in your head. Some guys that play really loud have made up covers to go over their f-holes to eliminate the body-induced feedback. This loses you a lot of the "acousticness" of your bass, but when you're that loud it's pretty much irrelevant. The last thing is to develop a good left and right hand muting technique to keep open strings from ringing in sympathy.
  10. Sounds like you need a more powerful amplifier. Not sure what speakers are in the HK combo or what speakers you're using with the Hartke head. Try running the Hartke head in mono bridged configuration with a 4x10 cab and your Fishman eq set flat with about unity gain.
    The secret to good tone and low feedback is lots of headroom. Need more volume? Get even more headroom.
    Drums, monitors, amplifiers, etc. can pound the bass and set off feedback. Try to position your bass so this is less a problem.
    With this many pieces on a stage with monitors, etc. you'll be better off with 800 to 1000 watts even if it doesn't seem like you need this much power to play loud alone.
  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Word. I played a trio gig last night that got pretty intense at times. With the EAiamp800, the master volume was set on 1 1/2. On the loudest gigs I play, the master might go up to 2 1/2 - 3, but that's it....and because of this, the sound stays clean and distinct. Before I had this amp, the louder situations would push my lower powered Clarus to the point where the sound would start to get worse when you tried to turn up instead of just "louder".
  12. True dat. If you're in a situation where the stage volume gets like this, I've found you're better off to turn down so your amp is not clipping and you produce a cleaner tone. That cleaner tone will carry better than a clipped "louder" tone.
    Your speakers will like it too.
  13. jazzbassnerd


    Aug 26, 2002
    Possibly the only thing ive learned about amplification of a double bass in my two years of exprience is

    less clarity + bad tone = you need to turn down
  14. rimml


    Nov 12, 2002
    thank you guys for your information!

    a question to chris fitzgerald:

    is it important which cabinet i use with an iamp 600 or 800? (the money is the problem)

    thank you again!
  15. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    The iamps aren't cheap, and neither are EA cabs. My first choice to pair with either of those heads would be a CXL112 because of its versatility and potency. But if you're running short on money, you can use any speakers with these heads and still have plenty of power. Just remember to check your power ratings.

    I still think your first (and cheapest) change should be to try a Bass Max or another more feedback resistant pickup. Your current amps may have more headroom than you think, but you won't know until you stop the feedback.
  16. Bijoux


    Aug 13, 2001
    I have had just about every amp, I use a eden WT-300 a Ampeg SVT III Pro, the Acoutic Image, GK 200MB, and I also used to have a Hartke 350, Peavey, hartke kickback, a couple of SWR's, and I just got a Carvin R1000, it is only a two rack space and weioghts just over 30 lbs but it has 1000 watts!!! it very loud, but that is not important, I always had problems with distortion on the lower notes but you hear a big difference when you have that much power, the lower notes are crystal clear now. Sure I love my eden traveler, it's so small and it does sound great, but taking my new carvin makes a huge difference on sound quality now, the volume is still the same but the clarity now is amazing, and on top of that if I needed to be loud i could.
    just for the record I use two bag ends 2x10, rarely both together.
  17. LHbassist

    LHbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2003
    Reno, Nevada
    Hello...I'm a bass repair tech...and deal with these problems frequently...To all those needing more volume, power IS part of the answer. I play my carved German bass with an Underwood pickup through an SWR Grand Prix pre-amp, and Mackie m-1400 amp, usually only one side is necessary, but I have used it stereo, with two 4 ohm cabs, for a total of about 850 watts. Smaller amps, like my Clarus, or SWR Bass 350, don't seem to work as well. When I use only one cab, it's an SWR Triad. Outdoors, I'll add a small 1-15 folded horn underneath it. I've also played festivals through rental amps, like an SM-900 with two Goliath 4-10 cabs, no problem... Talk about driving a band! The other very critical part, is to find the RIGHT place to stand, so you can hear your pitch definition, but are off-axis from the speakers, and the cabinets firing too close to your bass, where the feedback loop begins. This, of course is assuming you have that option. I have played in loud jump swing settings, and had to stand close to a cab, and had minimal problems. Just make sure the cab isn't firing right at the back of your bass. If you turn so that your body, back or side- is blocking some of the wave, this can help, too. This migh not work too well with cabinets that generate large waves around them, like Ampeg 8-10's. The pickup, and where it is on the bridge is, imho, maybe the most important part. Magnetic pickups, well, they're loud, but they just don't sound like a string bass. The Underwood, (and possibly the K&K bass max) are ideal in these situations, 'cause it is in the middle of the vibrating area of the bridge..and thus, has a lot of 'front end' to the note, without being too direct sounding, like the Barbera type pickups. Those sound too much like an eub to me. The Realist, which I also use, is too far from the string to be clear at those higher volumes (for which it was never intended.) The older Fishmans develop too much unusable low bass fundamental, nasty high frequencies, and not enough midrange, which is where you need the push. I know a number of Rockabilly/slap players that like the K&K stuff, and all the Bass max -wing mounted related models sound very good, and are reasonably priced. Like we all know, whatever works for you....this is what works for me...
  18. LarryR


    Feb 2, 2003
    Los Angeles
    I'm dying here and I could really use some thoughtful input.

    At home, my Engelhardt w/Obligato's, upgraded bridge and K&K Bassmax sounds sweet. I have sustain and Mmmwaahh and articulation.

    On the stage, playing Jazz (we get loud and fast) with Gtr and Drums my volume and tone just disappears slowly throughout the set to the point where I'm tweaking and just have nothin' good going on. Only time I sound good is on my solo when the band shuts down.

    My rig: Eden WT-600, Eden 115XLT 8ohm, SWR 12" 8ohm Bass Monitor. I ran mono-bridged 600w which is an 8ohm output. The other route is to run stereo out, but, those are 300w @ 4ohm.

    So. My cabs really don't match my head.

    Is my problem that I need more wattage or cabs or both. Anyone who can speak on the problems with Ohms I'd appreciate anything you can offer.


    Frustrated as Phuk in La-La land
  19. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Problem #1 if your tone disappearing is more than the usual ear fatigue, it means your mates are getting louder over the course of the gig. Tell them they need to quiet down. Rule #1 for all amplified players should be: find the right volume setting during the first few songs and then DON'T TOUCH IT :rolleyes:

    Problem #2: EQ!!! With that amp setup you should EASILY be heard. Roll off the really low bass, you don't need it, this will reduce muddiness plus the amp won't be wasting precious watts trying to pump out the low freqs and you'll get more volume before feedback. Amplified string bass has way more low end than a bass guitar so it doesn't need a big low end boost to sound fat. Roll off some of the high end if the tone is too metallic. I find the upper treble range doesn't help you cut through at all, it's really the midrange that is the meat of your tone. Do NOT use the "enhance" feature on your Eden!!! This boosts lows and highs while cutting mids (exact opposite of what you want).

    Problem #3: a preamp...you didn't say that you use one. With piezo pickups they really are needed to get a full sound.
  20. LarryR


    Feb 2, 2003
    Los Angeles

    Thanks for responding.

    No, I don't use a preamp. The Eden 'seemed' to handle the K&K just fine w/solid low end and volume. At home I can easily rumble my Apt. - and the neighbors! Plus, I'd heard Eden Pre's were designed to handle Piezo's. Am I wrong here? Should I still try an external Pre??

    My other big issue: MID EQ
    My bass honks 'nasal' at 200k-300k so I roll them off considerably in spite of what I read from Eden users who usually keep things flat. I like a gut sound; a Monty Budwig, Paul Chambers sound. When I hear them I hear round lowend, not so much mids. Again, I can capture a cool tone (for my ears) at home, alone. Just wish I could bring this to a LIVE setting.

    Your point about the band getting louder is right on. They do! I shall have a chat with them.

    Thanks again man.

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