I want to hear my bass tone, not my amp tone . .

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Ron Berenato, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. I've used Peavey gear exclusively since 1978 because I always found that their gear (for the most part) accurately amplified the sound of my basses without coloring my sound. I switched to Mesa Boogie in the 90's but while it was incredible gear, it was not the holy grail of tone that I thought it would be. I was just reading up on Useful Arts products and they claim to accurately represent the sound of your instrument.

    Anybody have any similar tastes? What equipment have you used that clearly represents your instruments tone? I want an audience to hear the tone of my bass, not the tone of my amp. I know I could just run a direct box, but I want my stage sound to be the same as what the audience hears.
    GlassToMouth likes this.
  2. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    All bass amps have a built-in 'sound' that the manufacturer is going for, AFAIK the only way around that is to use a power-amp with no built-in preamp, or bypass the internal preamp by plugging in to the Effects Return.
    I've been struggling with this same thing for years & find it exhausting that every manufacturer manipulates the signal at the preamp. Sure the preamp is designed the change your sound when you want it to, but they're already changing it before you tweak any knobs.

    The only time I'm able to hear my instrument completely transparent is when I plug into my computer with a USB interface. That's straight from my bass to the speakers & it's lovely!
  3. spector_boogie

    spector_boogie No Limit Honky

    Apr 15, 2012
    The Woodlands, TX
    Easiest way to get what the FOH hears is either side fills or IEMs from that mix. Or, just get a powered JBL or Mackie main (horn+112+115) and plug a line in from there from a DI, or run a small 4-channel board. Or, get 1-2 powered monitors, use a splitter and do it that way. A full-range PA cabinet would do nicely.
    Solude and TigerInATrance like this.
  4. RColie

    RColie Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2007
    St Louis, MO
    I've been chasing the same neutral tone goals and after trying a number of amp/cabinet combinations, the clearest most neutral (but not sterile) equipment I've tried (and use):

    For amps, any of the Genzler or Bergantino heads.
    For cabinets, the AudioKinesis ThunderChild series or the Genzler Bass Array (BA) series.

    I'm sure there are others, but I haven't tried them.

    Hope that helps,

  5. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    Wellington, NZ
    "Euphonic Audio amps and speaker cabinets faithfully reproduce, without coloration, the tone that comes from your hands, your heart, and your soul."

    Lee Sklar uses EA amps and speakers.
  6. Hundred proof

    Hundred proof

    Apr 22, 2018
    Coming from a background of ultra high end sound “reproduction” systems, there really is (in my experience) no truly un-colored sound.

    My previous rig was Euphoric Audio gear.
  7. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Some Barefaced Cabinets are supposedly very transparent. Plus you can always use the effects return to basically bypass any coloration of your amp. If it has that feature.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
    P_Robyn likes this.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    But what exactly IS your bass tone? The sound of the front pickup? Rear pickup? Both together? The sound it makes unamplified? The moment you plug your bass into anything, the "pure sound of your bass" gets corrupted, and it's no longer pure.
  9. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Too much hip thrust
    Hold your ear up to the bass and pluck a string
    Max Bogosity, Heady, lfmn16 and 13 others like this.
  10. Thanks. I know there's always a little coloring, but some are more pronounced than others. A studio owner buddy of mine always played his bass direct to the board and was able to hear himself through the stage monitors. I thought he was too lazy to lug an amp. He was obviously smarter than I gave him credit for . .
    Ggaa likes this.
  11. True. I'm chasing the Holy Grail.
    JimmyM likes this.
  12. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Check him out: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs5yDeiOgkyRZGZGphlSbIw/videos
    Just Him, his basses, his EA, a MP3 player, and a Macbook mic recording it and his narrations.
    IMHO - that EA amp is not transparent, but he definitely sounds great, sounds like himself.
    dirtychinchilla likes this.
  13. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    Are stage monitors uncolored? Or, that they sound the same as FOH?
    agedhorse likes this.
  14. ctmullins

    ctmullins Dominated Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    This may have been intended as a tongue-in-cheek answer, but there’s a large kernel of truth here.

    Your tone starts with your strings, and how the physical structure of your bass (and your hands) interacts with your strings. If that’s the tone you want, then everything downstream should be as uncolored as you can get - neutral pickups, neutral preamp, neutral amp, neutral cabinets. Oh, and gigs in a neutral room (yeah right!!). :cool:
  15. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    Another point, IME, the "uncolored" sound of FOH varies depending on where one is seated in the venue.
  16. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Di box
    Mili, equill, jerry and 2 others like this.
  17. primusfan1989


    Jan 17, 2005
    new jersey
    I don't understand what you're really going for that couldn't be accomplished with a DI box direct into your PA or why that doesn't suffice?
  18. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    That’s more-or-less the opposite of what I’m looking for. I mean, I like the sound of my bass, I just like it better through an Orange Terror Bass.
  19. SidNitzerglobin


    Feb 12, 2019
    For me & the sounds I want to hear, the direct sound is completely uninspiring 99% of the time, but if that's what you want, by definition the best way to avoid additional coloration is to put as few things in between the vibrating strings & your tympanic membrane as possible. I would certainly go direct w/ IEM if that what I was looking for

    You're still going to have additional coloration of the cables/DI/monitor mixer/monitor amps & cabs or IEMs.
    ThinCrappyTone likes this.
  20. Tom Baker

    Tom Baker

    Feb 3, 2016
    Austin, TX
    I use a QSC power amp into a 1x10 (or 2) PA cabs. Sometimes I'll throw a Stomp HX in the middle for the occasional delay but I don't use any of the amp/cab/pre stuff...just some delay. Anyway, just try plugging into to a power amp and then to a PA cab. Use a DI if you need to impedance match.
    Jim Carr likes this.

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