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ideas for better sound performance

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by todostusmuertos, Sep 12, 2003.

  1. todostusmuertos


    Feb 26, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    I've had an OLP MM-2 4 string bass for about a year now and I dig it a lot. The only thing is that now that I've gotten a bigger amp and are in a band I've noticed that when loud, it does not sound that good. It's very fuzzy and I'm thinking it's probably because of the pickup, so I went to the store and ordered some Seymour Duncan Basslines (SMB-4) humbucker pickup with the preamp and all that and I'm sure that will make a huge difference. Now, is there anything else that I can do to improve this bass?
    I know that this is a cheap bass, but I just love it and I think it's worth keeping, so if you guys can give me a few tips to make it sound better I'd appreciate it.

    I use Ernie ball super slinky 50-110 strings.
  2. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    Sounds like you might be jumping to conclusions. Your overall sound isn't just the bass, it's the bass + amp + cabinet. Have you tried different basses through your rig to see if it really IS your bass that's fuzzing out at high volumes? It could be the way you've got the amp EQed, or too much gain, or any of several other things.

    Find out WHERE the problem is first.

    You didn't say what your rig is like but assuming that it's got a gain control as well as a master volume, use more master and less gain.

    Does it have jacks for active and passive basses? Try using the other jack.

    Do you have extreme EQ settings on the amp? Don't. Nothing should be turned all the way up to 11.

    Is your amp big enough to keep up with your band? A good rule of thumb is 300 watts, minimum. I play in a semiacoustic pop band and have a 1200 watt amp. I don't play that loud, but I've got lots and lots of headroom, which means my sound is crystal clear.

    Is your cabinet up to the task? A 300 watt combo amp won't sound as good as a 300 watt head or pre/power rig playing through a bigger cabiinet.
  3. todostusmuertos


    Feb 26, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    well, I only have a 130 watt hartke and I've tried it with 2 different basses before and never had a problem.
    that's what leads me to the conclusion that this is a pick up problem.
    theyre not the best pickups.
  4. the new electronics will definetly help. you might also think about replacing a bridge. sometimes adding a better bridge with more mass will increase stustain and clairity.
  5. todostusmuertos


    Feb 26, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    excuse my ignorance but can you use any kind of bridge with this bass or does it have to be a particular one?
    thank you for your replies
  6. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    When you tried those other two basses was under the same circumstances and at the same high volumes?

    i.e. if you've been noticing the problem when you're competing with a loud guitar and drums, did you try the other basses in that same set of circumstances, or did you just plug in at a music store?

    The comparison is only meaningful if you eliminate all other differences.

    The electronics you're buying will certainly sound better. But 130 watts isn't much...I certainly wouldn't want to try keeping up with a drum kit with that small an amp.

    If the new pups and electronics don't give you what you're looking for, look to the amp next instead of blaming your bass. Your bass is probably fine.

    The reason I keep pointing to your amp is that I have direct, similar experience. Before I got my current rig I was playing through a 1x15 combo not much larger than what you've got...maybe 180 watts into the internal speaker. It got the job done, but wasn't all that great.

    About three months ago I decided to sell a bunch of gear and get a proper rig. Best $1000 I ever spent.

    It completely transformed my sound for the better, and I didn't do anything at all to my bass (it's a mid-90s Carvin, which does not have a reputation for having great electronics). I had been considering spending a few hundred on pups and a preamp for the bass. I now know that would have been a waste...my combo amp would STILL have sounded only fair.
  7. todostusmuertos


    Feb 26, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Thanks for the replies.
    I've plugged in different basses into that amp in the practice studio and have been fine. but I probably need a bigger amp anyways I'm sure.
  8. todostusmuertos


    Feb 26, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    I'm still having the same problem and I took it to a different place and the sound stopped braking up, no more fuzz, but when I took it back to the practice studio, it did the same thing. I'm using the same cables, same everything.
    this is strange. There has to be something wrong inside that practice room.
  9. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    Maybe something in the room is resonating??
  10. Could there be some change in the practice studio regarding your cables or amp and other magnetic fields? I had that happen one time and it took a long time to find the problem.
  11. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Also keep in mind that the sound of the bass isn't just in the pickup, it is also in the tonality of the woods, and the OLP's do not use very good tonewood.
  12. 12notes


    Jul 15, 2003
    The real key to better sounding is better composition and arrangment of the materials. If your basic gears are already decent.

    You really don't need all the extra loudness, eq boosts, etc., to "cut through" the mix. If you can arrange all the parts smartly.

    Just my 2 pennies here.
  13. I might be wrong...but... is the amp...how do you call it....geaart in Dutch...ehhhh grounded?
  14. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    Sounds like maybe where you plug into has a bad ground. try another outlet across the room..try all of them..see what happens
    the bass might not be ground itself..

  15. todostusmuertos


    Feb 26, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    THis is driving me nuts.
    I'v tried different outlets and they all sound the same. I tried a different bass and had the same problem. It was not as bad though but you could still hear it. Very annoying.
    I'm thinking it's got to be the practice studio. Something not grounded right.
    Plus, I just bought a new Amp, so this is not even the 130 watt amp I had when I started this thread. Now I have the 350 watt Hartke HA3500 and still have problems.
    I've tried brand new cables.
    I've heard this place where we play have electrical problems.
    Could this really cause the amp to sound like crap? maybe not enough power being sent?