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I want to sound at high volume as i do at low volume

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by pigpen02, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. pigpen02


    Mar 24, 2002
    That's the jist of it.

    I have an swr sm500; at home, i play it through a hartke 210tp, and just absolutely love how i sound: clean, articulate, can hear every nuance and ghost note. And, its not that quiet, quite loud, for playing in an apartment.

    With my band, i run the swr at high volume through an aguilar 4x10, and get a grunting tone that doesn't pick up the nuances, rakes, etc. that i so love at home. The only difference in setting is that i turn the gain up higher through the aguilar for tube-y goodness.

    Bass-wise, i'm using a benavente vortex 5, and a brubaker 4 string w/ bart j's.

    What's the fix here?
  2. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Get ahold of more speakers, more power, or turn down. Blurry sound is what happens when you're driving a speaker near its limit, and it'll sound totally different than at low volumes. As a more immediate fix, you could also try cutting some of the low frequencies, around 40-80hz, which will give you more clarity and midrange definition at the expense, obviously, of some low end.
  3. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    I have always believed that your bedroom practice tone has little to do with your stage tone. I have called this the "Ampeg Effect." One their own, a classic Ampeg head and an 8X10 sound absolutely mediocre. But, on stage, in a loud mix, their tone is awesome. One of the hardest tasks in a band is keeping the various instruments separated sonically. I throw a fit if the electric guitarist in my band lets his tone stray down into my frequencies. More speakers will help. What impedance is your cab? Are you bridgeing the SM-500?
  4. pigpen02


    Mar 24, 2002
    The cabinet is 4 ohms, and I am bridging the swr. I've suspected more speakers would help, and have a bid on a local guy's swr henry 8x8 down here.

    My band isn't super duper loud: guitar playing through a marshall combo, a rather loud drummer, keys, vox. Medium sized pa. Will i sound cleaner if i have more wattage available, coupled w/ more speaker area?
  5. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Yes it will help, but it will never be the same as at home. Home/studio and stage are completely different sonic environments.

    If nothing else, the noise floor is much higher on stage. Hacks like me rely on it ! :bag:
  6. Daytona955i


    Feb 17, 2005
    Albany, NY
    Wait you want a clean, articulate tone but you crank the gain way up to get a tube sound?

    Isn't that counter intuitive?

    A tube sound means more rumble/breakup/slight distortion and thats a completely different sound than clear and articulate.

    I like tubes or at least decent tube emulation because I like the rumble it has to it, not the clear tone.

    I'd say turn down your gain and pump up your master volume, but don't get into clipping.
  7. pigpen02


    Mar 24, 2002
    I put the gain about 10-12:00 w/ the band, about 7-9:00 at home. I want a little grit on top, but not much. I'll try rolling it back as far as is usable at practice tomorrow night.

    What i really want is to hear all the nuances loud that i can hear perfectly at home.
  8. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    +1. The laws of physics at work.

    Do this as an experiment - play your favourite song on your stereo as you would normally. Turn the volume right down to Zero. Now bring it up very slowly until you first start to hear something. I'll bet you're hearing everything except bass. Now bring the volume up gradually again and stop when you hear the bass. Now focusing on the balance of Lows Vs Mids Vs Highs, bring the volume up gradually until it's pretty loud. How did the balance of Lows Vs Mids Vs Highs change? I'll bet you ended up with more relative bass the as the music got louder.

    You effectively doing the same thing with your bass rig. The killer bedroom at 80dB tone falls to bits at a gig at 115dB because the relationship between Lows Vs Mids Vs Highs changes with volume.

    It also changes because other instruments are producing their own frequencues, some of which either clash or mask the same frequencies from the bass rig. And there's also room acoustics to consider. Put all these together and you can see why it's better to learn to listen with your ears rather than with your eyes. You should never determine your sound based on what your EQ or settings "look" like.
  9. fourstring44


    Jul 22, 2003
    St. Louis
    And now, if you really want to get bummed out: get your sound on stage as close to perfect (with the band) as you can, and then get a wireless or a really long chord and go out in the room about 50' or so and see what it sounds like out there (with the band)Oh man, it is really different and usually not in a good way. If you have PA support you can work this out, but without it, you have to decide what is more important; what you hear or what the audience hears. I personally gave up on what the audience hears a long time ago :spit: In ear monitors are very helpful in many ways. They tend to block out a lot of unwanted noise from the band and let you feel your amp as well as hear the upper harmonics. Before I had in ear monitors, I even used headphones out of my amp, not loud, but just enough for presence. The quest for tone is a long expensive journey, but what fun!

  10. Keeaumoku


    Dec 29, 2004
    Get an Aguilar DB750... that's it!

    You want big-balls sound at low volume?

    Get an Aguilar DB750... that's it!

    You want to blend with the over-all sound of your band, yet be able to distinguish your sound from the rest?

    Get an Agular DB750... that's it!

    BTW... get an Aguilar DB750, and you will seek me out in order to honor me, and pay me tribute for my inspiration... :D
  11. pigpen02


    Mar 24, 2002
    Its funny: previously, i went for a very bassy tone that blended and just provided low end to my heavy rock bands of the past. And, i was very happy w/ how i sounded; it fit.

    Now, though, i find myself in a very funky/hippy jam-band kind thang, and need to sound different. Eq-wise, i keep it flat, and turn the bass on my bass up %25 when i think it's necessary. It blends well, and cuts through for the most part, but i lose all the little stuff unless i adjust to playing really hard; i use a very light touch as often as possible.\

    I just wanna sound good damn it! Thanks for the replies, lots to think about. $$-wise, i can afford a new cab at present, but i'm afraid the aggie db750 is out of my range at present.
  12. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001

    I'd say Get ahold of more speakers, AND more power.