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is it possible I am over-eqing?

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by Bassdadto2, Dec 9, 2001.


  1. Bassdadto2

    Bassdadto2

    Dec 3, 2001
    California
    I am using a 350 watt amp head and a set of ADA Basslines XL cabs. I blow the 2x10 routinely once a year, and while I am awaiting reconing, I am using the 15 alone. After a week or so of knob twiddling, I got this great sound by turning the treble down, but kicking in the high- boost button, and backing down the highs on the EQ, and bringing up the mids.

    Now the 2x10 has a tweeter, so will I still get the same sound?


    BTW, I used to do the "Smiley face", and always thought it was stupid, but everyone else (Guitar players) said it sounded great.

    Do you have any suggestions? Should I stick with the 15 till i get to play with the 2x10?
     
  2. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    hi Bassdad,

    first up, if you're blowing cabs once a year, something is seriously wrong. there are a lot of possibilities - mismatched cabs and head, poor design of the cab, regularly unplugging your the jack from you bass without turning the volume down, running the whole thing at full volume all the time, clipping the power amp (normally requires the speakers to be much higher powered than the amp for you not to audibly overload the speakers first...), or indeed being a little overindulgent in the EQ department. EQ sections often give you +/- 15 dB which is a heck of a lot of variation - if you set your sound up with the EQ flat, turn up and then boost one of the channels up full, you've more than trebled the perceived volume in that frequency range, putting a lot of strain on your cabs and power amp.

    My first suggestion would be to change the 'start point' of your EQing - instead of turning up the frequencies you want to boost, try turning down the ones you don't want to boost, if you see what I mean, so you get the same EQ shape, but with everything down at least 6dB. then turn up the output volume. If you find that using it like that you can't get the volume you need, it's a sure sign that youre amp is underpowered for the situation you are in. If that's the case, my first suggestion is to get the speakers up to ear level, so that you're not just blasting 350W of bass power into the backs of your knees - I'm assuming you're not actually a grasshopper, and therefor don't have ears in your knees... :oops:)

    As for the tone of your 15 - was the cool tone when you played on your own or with a band? the two things are way more different than they seem, as the magic of a bass sound in a mix is how it blends/contrasts/fits in with the sound of the other instruments. The smiley face EQ thing seems to work if you have guitars that are very midrange and bottom heavy - you boost the bass sound either side of the guitars, and leave the space in the middle for them to do their thang... My preference is to roll some bass of the guitar, and actually be able to distinguish notes on the bass rather than just feel a rumble (ever tried picking out the bass parts on Coal Chamber/SOAD/any other detuned metal band you care to mention CDs? It's mostly really difficult due to the bass having no sound in the pitch detection region - just ultra low for rumble, and ultra high for clicky plectrum sounds... :oops:)

    The mid boost that you are doing with the 15 sounds to me like you are having to compensate for not really liking the sound that is inherent within 15s - ie, not much mid range! maybe you should try out a few different 2x10s, and if you like them, maybe switch. If you're going to go for two cabs, it might also be worth trying two 2x10s stacked on end, so you have a tower four speakers high - that way you get to hear the top speaker, and the bass stays clearer over a longer distance (due to the sound dispersal happening in a column shape rather than a more random omnidirectional muddy pattern... or so the theory goes... :oops:)

    have fun, and take it easy on those 2x10s!!!! ;o)

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  3. Bassdadto2

    Bassdadto2

    Dec 3, 2001
    California
    I appreciate the advice. I have thought for a long time I was underpowered, and I am now sure. I think that I have been riding the eq pretty hard though, and when I recone, I will take it easy, and add by subtracting, as you suggest.
     
  4. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Glad the advice makes sense! :oops:)

    where abouts in California are you? I'm playing over there in January - if you nearby, come and say hi! see my gig diary page for more details.

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  5. Bassdadto2

    Bassdadto2

    Dec 3, 2001
    California
    I'm in the wilds of Orange County. I play in the San Diego area, though.
    :confused:

    Hey, a buck is a buck.
     
  6. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    I may well be playing in San Diego, as well as LA...

    hope to see you in the new year

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  7. Steve,

    If you do play in/near SD, please post about it here. I'm very interested in seeing you live after hearing your mp3s, and sad that I missed your most recent trip to LA.
     
  8. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Sadly it doesn't look like I'm going to make it to SD on this trip - all the dates are in my sig file below - there's a chance that I'll have another gig in Hollywood next week, so watch this space for more on that...

    cheers

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk