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I don't like my sound. Which will affect it more, changing Head or changing Cab?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Noshtero, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. Noshtero

    Noshtero Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    I have a GK Backline 600 running into a GK 410GLX.

    I don't like the sound. I can't really describe it, but it just isn't right. For example.... if I set my blowtorch to be as fuzzy as can be, you can barely even tell the difference unless I turn the volume waaay down. On normal practice volume, blowtorch on sounds the same as blowtorch off. I guess maybe it's too "boomy"? I basically want my gig rig to sound like my Acoustic B20 :) I don't have the option to do sophisticated PA systems with the shows I play. I need a fairly loud rig that I can play direct to. My current rig can decently handle it, but I'm considering finishing off the stack with either a 2x12 or a 1x15. I worry that will be ever worse as far as muddying up my tone.

    Does that make sense? If so, which component is likely going to have the biggest effect if I change it? Head or Cab?

  2. sadworld


    Feb 2, 2009
    don't forget about changing basses as an option... i played ibanez sg for years cause i didn't know anybetter... i played different amps and cabs but nothing changed my tone more dramatically as when i switched to a music man bongo bass... and i mean a change for the good! just my $.02 matt.
  3. It's because you don't have a horn. Get an additional 2x10 cab WITH a horn, it will make all the difference in the world.
  4. Noshtero

    Noshtero Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    I always like answers that involve MORE gear instead of different gear.

    Any particular recommendations that would fit into my rig?
  5. bwv1013


    Mar 20, 2008
    southern cal
    SWR makes a pretty mean 2x10 with horn. you can get it in 8 or 4 ohms.
  6. yes small additions are much better then full blown replacements. I had the same problem and had damn near the same set up. I couldn't figure out why it was soooo boomy and not alot of tone. then I spoke to a few bass players and one told me t check to see if my horn was blown. I said my what and he said that's your problem.

    The SWR is pretty nice. I would play one at GC just to make sure it fits your sound. make sure the top cab does NOT have a horn and only the SWR does so you have a realistic comparison. then once you find the cab you like - find it on craigslist or ebay for half the cost of new.
  7. Noshtero

    Noshtero Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    For SWR, are we talking the Working Pro 2x10 or the Goliath Jr IV? Those are both rather expensive.

    What about the Avatar 2x10 with the Foster horn in it?
  8. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Is the blowtorch some sort of distorsion pedal ? If so, adding a horn will absolutely make your rig sound horrible. Distorsion through high-specific drivers will make everything sound harsh and metallic. Then you just have to cut/attenuate the horn, defeating the purpose of actually having one.

    Have you tried getting your cab off the floor if you find it too boomy ? 410 pretty much all have a common problem. Their sound comes at knee level. Making it shoot at your ears will improve the sound quality somewhat.

    How is your EQ setup ? How does the bass sounds in the mix ? I can tell you that soloed, my bass sound is good, but nothing to write home about, but in the mix, it sits well and it kills. Your B20 is a pratice amp. It probably is voiced to have some kind of mid-cut "sweetening" going on. Large scale rigs have more present mids because this is what makes the bass punchy and audible in the mix. Cutting the high-mids can alleviate the clunk/not plesant mids while still leaving you the low mids to have character and punch.

    Also, be careful about bass distorsion. Getting your pedal to be as fuzzy as possible will probably boost your signal's gain a lot, making the head/speakers fart out, sound muddy. If you boost the gain before the pre, just go easy on the pre-gain and use the master volume to get the sound to an acceptable level. Especially if you use an active bass.
  9. Noshtero

    Noshtero Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    Ya I should clarify, I'm not going for an extremely fuzzy sound. I was just using that as an example of something I can do quite effectively on my practice amp, but can't do at all on my 410.

    As far as eq'ing goes. I run my bass at full (read somewhere that you're supposed to do that even though my limited education in electronics says no circuit should be run at full). I have everything flat coming out of the bass, and everything flat at the amp. I then do most, if not all of my eq'ing through a VT Bass. For flat out tone, it sounds pretty good. It's the effects that suck. They kill on my practice amp, but on the 410 you can't tell half of them are turned on.

    I guess that's the biggest gripe. The blowtorch is worthless. On/off, doesn't matter. The Electric Mistress is semi-usefull, though I can't get what I want out of that anyway. The bassballs work, but only if I turn the volume WAY down. Etc...

    I get to practice with all these new pedals and start trying them out, and most of them sound like crap. That's assuming you can even tell the damn things are turned on.

    I wonder if it's not something to do with my horrible practice space. Maybe there's just WAY too much sound in that room for the effects to be heard. Unfortunately, band practice is in a town that's an hour drive away, so I don't transport my 410. So at home I'm practicing on my B20 and everything sounds awesome. Then I get to band practice and play through the 410 and it sounds like crap. No matter what effect I turn on, all I get is BOOM BOOM BOOM!
  10. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    See Fdeck's site
    The GK is heavy on bass and treble - the B20 probably has little bass, try adjusting the knobs on the GK.

    Is the cabinet tilted towards your ear so you can hear the mids?
    Standing next to the cabinet can sound way different that what the audience hears. Not because of the myth that it takes distance for bass to develop, but for the reason that mids and highs can beam past you standing close. Even then, comb filtering from a 4x10 can mean different places in the audience hear different sound.
  11. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Run the bass on your instrument as you like. You're probably sending a very hot signal to the pre by running the bass full blast. Unless you have a passive EQ (cut only), there's no reason to boost the bass unless you want to. Add to that the blowtorch, a crappy rehearsal space and the 410 sitting on the floor, and you have a surefire way to have a muddy, boomy, lifeless mess on your hands.
  12. Resko One

    Resko One

    Mar 12, 2009
    Depends if you play 5 or 4 string. If you play a 4 in small medium venues you really dont need to add larger cabs ( 2-12 or 1-15) Sound comes from a combination of things. You cant just automatically get the sound you want by changing one thing. It took me about 2 years of decisivness to find "my sound". and using a backline set up all your gonna get is boom, boom. Sell it and scour your local sales. I found a SWR 350 head with a 2 rack SKB case and an Ampeg PR 410H all for $380. Thats about $1500 worth of gear for $380!! Dont matter if it's used as long as it was cared for. Buy quality and you'll get more out of it in the long run!
  13. yea save up and try to buy a new head gk 700rb/1001rb ampeg b2re
  14. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    In this situation changing the cab will make more difference than anything, I'd say.

    The Backline 600 does not really sound appreciably different from the RB series imho -- it's not as loud and is made cheaper, but it's the same type of sound.

    I'd get yourself a quality cabinet. The GLX series is pretty blah in my experience.
  15. panaran


    Dec 1, 2008
    i had the same BL600/410glx setup and i didnt like it at all. That cab cannot take very much power at all without distorting. The head was clipping at medium volumes too.
  16. Horn + dirt of any kind == very bad. Don't get a horn. I don't know anything about those cabs, but the "real" GKs (700, 800, 1001, 2001) are excellent amps and I can't see you have any kind of tonal problem with any of them.
  17. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Are you using the contour control on your amp? If so, try turning it down or off and see if that helps. This will get rid of the EQ scoop. Since the blowtorch is all about distorted mids, scooping the mids will make it basically invisible in a mix.
  18. try turning the bass down as it draws alot of current and makes the amp distort earlier. if you want alot of low end get alot more power and headroom.
  19. Rugaar


    Apr 11, 2007
    Is the 410 sitting in a corner? Corner-loading will boost your bass sound noticeably. (+3 db or so) Pull it out away from the walls and see if that helps.
  20. Can you get a good sound with the pedals off? Maybe start there, THEN add effects one at a time, tweaking as needed.

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