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Is it mud...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by GeorgiaHonk, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. I guess my taste in bass tone differs from the mainstream. I tend to want to feel the bass in my chest. I like big, fat, warm bass tones, and tend to shy away from bright, aggressive, scooped, or harsh tones. That's why I gravitate towrds a trusty Precision, rather than a more modern design (or even a Jazz.) Occasionally, others will tell me that my bass sounds "muddy." Is mud in the ear of the beholder? Does this predicament sound familiar to any of you and your band situation?

    Okay, so this leads to my other question...I'm shopping for a new bass rig. My last one (SWR Workingman 4004 and 4X10 cab) got sold after a band breakup. It was too modern sounding for me anyway. In my current band, I'm borrowing a Peavey combo for practices until I can scrape up the cash for a nicer rig. But, horror of horror, I find I'm digging the tone of the Peavey. I don't want the definition and clarity, man....I want the boom and thud. I'm currently targeting a Peavey 450 Max head with 4X10 and 1X15 Avatar cabinets. Of course other suggestions are welcome (that's why I joined.)

    Am I crazy for wanting to spend my hard-earned dollars to graduate from a Peavey combo to a Peavey stack? Inquiring minds want to know.

  2. Arranger


    Mar 9, 2003
    I'm with you, GeorgiaHonk.

    Mud is in the ear of the beholder. Bright, tinny, and metallic bass sounds seem to lack the body and harmonics that I long for in the lower register. I play bass to craft that harmony - and need to hear those tones above (below?) the rest. I turn off the cabinet horns and trim back the treble considerably. I retain only enough highs for a bit of growl, but the mids carry my line and I don't want to hear string noise.

    If I want upper register, I put down my bass and play a Guild semi-hollow electric guitar.
  3. bassic1959


    Jan 16, 2003
    I too have the same tone likes as you. I like my bass deep and thick. I like to feel the stage moving under my feet to the bass. Before picking the Avatars though, try to listen to them somewhere. My one experience with them was not very satisfyin. I purchased a B212. Very well constructed and looked good too. I just did not really believe Avatars spec of tuning the cabs to 50 hz. The cab did not like going below G with any thump. I would have to crank the bass down and that wasn't what I was looking for. I did sell the cab to a guy who plays mostly jazz and he loves it. There you go.

    Hope this helps. Just my 2c.
  4. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    I get plenty of lows with my setup. Avatar 1x15 and an Avatar 2x10 w/horn. I use either a Hartke 3000 or Hartke 5500.
  5. before i get into my post, everyone should know i work for peavey, for whatever that's worth.

    many have had great success with avatar cabinets, and this isn't to say they're bad. but if you're enjoying the tone of your peavey combo but want it louder and thicker, i suggest you look into the 412TVX cabinet:


    it's 4 Ohms with a 450W RMS power handling. and if your budget allows, i definitely recommend the Max 700 (formerly firebass 700) head. i played through such a rig before i worked for peavey, and it was incredible. you can find the head used fairly easily, but you may have to go new with the cabinet -- they're not exactly ubiquitous.

    both rigs should be about the same price, though, so it's your choice. but if you get the opportunity to play a 412TVX, you'll understand.

    personally, i also prefer having one cabinet instead of 2 -- it's more portable. and if you're going for big thump, maybe you should consider getting a 215 or two 115s instead a 115 and a 410. 410s aren't usually known for being thumpy.

    bottom line, though, is that you should check out the 412TVX.

  6. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    There's a difference between fat, deep and warm and MUD. Some people really confuse the two.

    MUD to me means there is little definition to either the attack or the pitch of the note. What I'm after is a tight, well defined sound that ALSO is deep.

    Typically any "modern" sounding amp will do this for me, I just turn off tweeters, roll down the tone on the bass, etc. I also crank the amp volume and play with a light touch.
  7. The bass and another instrument (usually the kick drum) clash. If you mic up the kick drum with a big deep sound and use that same deep sound with the bass guitar, instant mud :spit:
  8. The tweeter has nothing to do with it. The problem is in the midrange. In a band setting, if all you have is low end, then the bass will not be heard at all. You can clear up your tone by not cutting the midrange as much. In my experience, "mud" is generally around 100hz. If you can cut that frequency a little, you could boost at 60hz and boost in the midrange around 650 or so and that should effectively give you deep, fat tone without mud.
  9. I agree, there's a difference between a warm, and deep tone and a muddy tone. It's possible to get that nice old school warm tone and keep it tight without it turning to mud. There's a ton of head/cab combinations that will work for you. The Peavey 412TVX will definetly do it. I had the pleasure of playing through one of these...with a Sunn 300T/Fender 300 bassman...huge bottom end, very warm, but still very tight. It wasn't muddy at all. I think the onboard compressor helped keep it from getting boomy. It can be had for a reasonable price. I would own this rig but it's too heavy for me.

    Also worth checking out is the Aguilar GS212. I use this with a Peavey Pro 500....you guys knew this was coming right? ;)
    Again, very warm (tube preamp) tight, and plenty of booty. It doesn't compete with the above rig for low end, but it's impressive. I like that the Pro 500 has a contour dial, it can go from hi-fi to shake that booty w/o messing with the rest of the eq. It also has a low cut switch, which I make sure is turned off when cute ladies want to sit on my cabinet. :D The Pro only puts out 350 watts at 4 ohms, but it's loud. Also, I've used it at 2 ohms, 500 watts, with (4) 15's !! and it was extremely loud and stayed cool.

    The bottom line is check out a ton of gear. I think for the tone you're looking for, stick with 12's and 15's. I will say this, with the rig I use, I get a ton of compliments on my tone. I've had people tell me that they've felt vibrations on the bar...this was without pa support...even the kick drum wasn't miked for this particular bar. But the best compliment yet is 2 girls straddling the Aggie for half a set and then walking kinda funny with smiles on their faces. :bassist:
  10. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Agreed, and I'd be leaning towards at least 2 of them.

    Or maybe a specialist bottom end set of 10's like the Acme's.

    And Georgiahionk, good on you for knowing what you like and going with it. It can be hard going against the grain....... but I'm still going to nickname you "Swampy" :)
  11. Wow, thanks for all the great responses...

    "...you should check out the 412TVX." That I will.

    "In my experience, "mud" is generally around 100hz. If you can cut that frequency a little, you could boost at 60hz and boost in the midrange around 650 or so and that should effectively give you deep, fat tone without mud." Thanks, I'll see how the current combo is EQ'd tomorrow at practice.

    "...I think for the tone you're looking for, stick with 12's and 15's..." I agree, and I think the cab was part of the problem I had with my last rig.

    "...And Georgiahonk, good on you for knowing what you like and going with it. It can be hard going against the grain..." Thankfully I know a little more now about what my likes and dislikes are. The last rig I owned was purchased more or less based on features and price with little regard given to quality of tone. Now that I know what works for me, it's considerably easier to make better choices. Your tagline says it all. The cool part is that the gear I lean towards is also a bit more affordable, which is nice.

    Thanks again folks.....cool board. Glad to be here.

  12. csholtmeier


    Feb 8, 2004
    omaha, ne
    A few years ago I had a Peavey Firebass 700 stack. Definitely an "aggressive, scooped" tone. I don't know if the 450 Max head is voiced similarly, but definitely try before you buy. I just slid an SVP-PRO into my rack yesterday(Bought from Zulufunk). With my P-bass, this thing has the exact tone I'm looking for. Warm, punchy and plenty of bottom. I don't know what your budget is, but I've got just over a grand in my rig (used SVP-PRO, rmx 850, used ampeg 6x10) and could not be happier. Definitely give ampeg stuff a listen. There's literally tons out there used. Keep your eyes peeled and you can score yourself a really nice rig for not a lot of money.
  13. if the contour knob is anywhere but zero, a peavey head will sound "scooped" to some degree or other. otherwise, i think our heads sound clean -- like GK, except thicker. and heavier. a lot heavier. :) :rolleyes:


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