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Is my bass rig enough?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by seesilva, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. seesilva


    Jan 28, 2009
    Hello everybody, I have recently been playing with a band and I am kind of starting to think that I do not have enough power to play along side 2 guitars and a drum kit. It’s just a garage jam band with no plans on even trying to gig in the near future and we are only starting out but it is fun. The rig that I currently use is only a few months old and I figured it would be plenty but when I bought it I was not playing with a band. So I have been doing some research on the forum and trying to figure out what the problem is: is it that I do not have a powerful enough amp, are my esq. settings way off, is it the amp and cabs? So I just don’t know. after all the research though I just want a 810 stack and like a svt head, but this stuff is too new and I do not have a penny to spend on a new rig. We are mostly playing punk ska style music and the bass just sounds underpowered and kind of muddy. Not very clear, if I turn down the amp it sound better but then I get lost under the other instruments. I play finger style, I have a Ibanez and a custom bass that I just finished similar to a Warwick, both with active elec., GK backline 600 head rated a 300w @4ohms, a GK goldline 15 200w 8ohms, a GK goldline 210 200w 8ohms. Here are some pics of my current rig and the eq settings that I am using. The sound I am looking for is similar to the bass in operation ivy, rancid, anti flag, fugazi....any help on eqing, pre amp vs. master volume, voice contour, boost, would help I am not to familiar with it. I just want to know my equipment if this is what I am going to keep, which I would like to. I have heard that a big problem is that a lot of bass players do not know how to set up their rig, I dont want to be one of these, even though i already am.
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  2. Your rig should be more than enough for those conditions. Keep in mind that in small rooms (less then 35 meters or 114 feet in length) the low frequencies are squeezed and cannot come out properly. What you describe sounds like too much volume in a small room. Than you get that muddy sound. The simple solution is cut down the low frequencies on your amp. Then there will be more power available for the low mids and your sound will cut through better.
    Another solution is to find a large place for rehearsals.....
  3. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

    Feb 15, 2008
    That should definitely be enough for a small garage band. IF it gets bad enough, use the venues PA if available.
  4. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    What amps and cabs are the guitarists using? If they're both using 2 4x12 stacks and cranking them too 11, they will be moving a hell of a lot of air.

    If this is a case I will also agree with the previous reply and say that you're too loud for the room. You could easily get away with just one cab each and be plenty loud enough in a small rehearsal room. Save the big rigs for the big venues.

    I've also noticed your eq settings are rather haphazard. Is that the way you normally run it, with the bass almost completely reduced? If so this proves the above point that the bass is swamping the room as you're turning it right down to compensate. Try just using the 2x10 on it's own and resetting the eq to neutral.
  5. seesilva


    Jan 28, 2009
    it is a large 2 car garage, about 40'x40' with a 20' roll up over head door that we keep up. the walls are all painted plywood, but it is the only space available right now. would sound dampening materials (carpet, furniture rugs, ect.) help?
  6. kjpollo


    Mar 17, 2008
    The weird thing is-when you look at the EQ on the amp, he IS cutting the bass-its turned practically all the way down. (he did say that the pic of the amp reflected his current settings)
    He also has the treble backed off a bit and a small amount of boost on both high and low mids.
    I'm thinking he's got the gain too high especially on the "normal" channel-I'd suggest backing off the gain on both the clear and overdriven channels and use the master volume more along with more of a boost to the low-mids.

    Also-you really cant see the EQ settings on the basses themselves-that could also have an impact.
  7. lavmonga


    Jul 27, 2007
    New York, NY
    Just a note, if you're looking for OpIV, Fugazi, and Rancid as a sound, grab a P bass.
  8. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    The thing I noticed about how his amp is set, was the Master Volume. It seems to be "off". I'm sure that's not how it's really set up, and I agree, that should be more than enough bass amp for what you're doing.
  9. takfar


    Dec 21, 2008
    What on earth are your guitarists playing on? I can play a smallish (not too small, in fact) venue with a drummer + 2 distorted guitars and still be heard on a 12" combo (hartke kickback 12), and I'm not even driving it to the top... Maybe it's crappy room acoustics that are muddying up your sound, but it shouldn't be an issue caused by lack of power.
  10. Also try turning down your gain and adding some boost on the GK head, see if you like sound.

    But over all, I'd say yes, you have a more than adequate rig to jam with. I jammed for many years with much less than that.
  11. funkmangriff


    Dec 29, 2007
    sorry if i ruin this thread, if i do ignore my comments and just carry on with what the main point of the thread is.

    but my opinion is...

    sell sell

    unless ur happy with it!!!

    if ur not happy with it, then my advise is (with the sound u want) -

    fender P bass

    as for an amp or combo buy something that'll push atleast 300W and u will be sorted for pretty much anything, buy second hand and you'll have top equipment for a decent price!

    (if u need more than 300W then your going through the PA and ur amp will be a backline)

    if your not happy with the sound then guess what..... sell sell sell, it may be painfull, but sometimes u only know if ur happy with something after playing around with it for a good few months!
  12. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    My suggestion:

    1. Set the EQ back to flat (knobs straight up). Make minor adjustments to achieve your tone. You should be able to get good tone and volume from your rig. If you can't, ask a local bassist to show you how. Don't even think of new gear till you have reached the limit of your existing (good) rig.

    2. Cut the overall band volume. Guitars will sear your ears.

    3. Be sure the guitars are not bass-heavy. There is plenty of overlap in your instrument ranges, and having the guitars play the bottom end is a no-win situation. A band must play as an ensemble, with each instrument in its own sonic space.
  13. Get someone you know who's been playing bass for a while to come over next time you and your buddies jam and ask him to help fix what's wrong.
  14. fourfinger

    fourfinger Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2003
    Central Ohio
    My suggestions are: hang a few blankets on the wall for sound damping, and set your EQ flat again, waiting to adjust until after the band starts playing.
  15. (My Opinion) You have enough cone and amperage to do the job. I've used the 600 Backline and an average 4x10 and it was enough in that kind of space.

    - Keep your gain down. - keep it around 9 or 10 o'clock.
    - set the EQs at 12 o'clock to start...
    - turn up the master to the desired volume but keep the boost low or off.
    - shape your tone - only increase a little and with the EQ that gets the tone for you.
    - add a little boost (next to the master) to start - adjust it higher if it works for you but pay attention to the clarity when you do.
    - Set the volume a little hot over what you think you need and cut the level with your bass volume.
    - Same with the tone on the bass, adjust your amp with the bass EQ flat.

    As you play with everyone, fine tune the volume and tone at the bass, it should only take a little to get it.

    Try that.
  16. seesilva


    Jan 28, 2009
    thanks for all the quick replies. if i am going to cut most of the bass out, which i do pretty much already, would i not be better off scrapping the 15" and getting some more 10's? But again, I would like to get use what i have vs. buying anything more. the guys I'm playing with both have 2x12 tube combos. so i should get them to adjust there eqing so that we all blend at diffrent frequency levels? yea the master volume was only set to off because the amp was off. sorry. when i am playing with the band it is set to about 1 o'clock. the bass that i just recently finished (the black one) is only a few weeks old, so I probably will not be getting any new basses any time soon. it is pretty much everything that i want in a bass, both tone and looks. i would really like to be able to get that sound out of it. I have never used any effects just play straight bass, would this be an option to bring me closer to the operation ivy sound sound? if so which do yall recommend?
  17. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    Before spending any money try the free things suggested to see if they help. For a start, leave the 1x15 at home and try using just the 2x10. I play along side 2 guitarists with 2x12 combos and use a single 1x12 myself. I cut through just fine and sounds really tight.

    A big plus 1 to getting the guitarists to adjust their eq. A lot of guitarist dial in a perfect sound at home when playing on their own, which is great. But that same full range tone isn't going to work in band. Get them to reduce the low end in their tones. Then let them fight over who has a middly sound and who has a trebly one.
  18. El Bajo

    El Bajo

    Apr 12, 2006
    Why dont you just talk to the guitarists. Get their take on it and experiment. I play with a 250W combo and I'm ok. Though it did take some experimenting with and found that boosting the mids and lowering the bass helped loads. I kept the bass at half cock on the guitar so that I could turn it up when needed. Dont forget if you do gig, you may find you will have to read just everything! Its trial and error unfortunatly and may vary song to song aswell depending on what tone you want to get out.
  19. There are alot of great suggestion but I would keep the 15 in the mix.One thing that I didnt see mentioned is cab placement in your practice area try moving them close to a corner or near a wall or away from a wall or corner also try just pointing them at a different angle.You might be a little under powered in my opionion but I would try most all of the things that have been suggested.
    How does the Bass sound outside or if you walk around in the garage?
    I have allways had to contend with loud gui****s and heavy handed drummers and I would have really been pushing a 2x10 to even come close to keeping up so I have allways used 2 cabs.Until my Avatar 2x12 but that is a different story.
  20. This..

    Turn your master up more than the 1 0clock the O.P. reported running at. These amps run the master high, and input 8-12 0clock area depending on the desired volume.

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