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It's not in the equipment...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Davidoc, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. Hey, quick post about an experience of mine last night that may or may not have a point.

    I was watching some bands last night, well two bands. The bassist for the first one was using a Stingray 5 through a Mesa Walkabout head and a Behringer 8x10. His sound was akin to that of audible poop. Very muddy and undefined. Reminded me of the problem I was having a while ago. Just mud and no definition despite his setup.

    The bassist for the second band was using a Hofner Violin bass, and some type of amp, I think with a 4x10. His sound was super loud and clear, and was much better, despite the fact that he was using lesser (imo) equipment. Also, the first guy's sound was maxing out at times, while this guy's was clean the whole time.

    Discuss. ?
  2. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Well, out of hand, I'd say that Berhinger 8x10 might have something to do with things.
  3. I'd also say, if you don't know how to vaguely operate your EQ... Even running your nice bass into a nice head into a poopy cab...
  4. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
  5. Plugging a Mesa in to a Behringer cab is like buying at $1000.00 home theater sorround system for your 13" inch black and white tv.
  6. I guess I am still trying to figure out how the first rig is perceived as being a better rig to start with!
  7. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    Davidoc, you were at the JMU Relay for Life, weren't you? I was there too. I know which bands you were talking about, and you're right, the guy with the Peavey head and cab (not sure which models, but both were Peavey) sounded much better than the Mesa into the Behringer. I think technique had a lot to do with it... the second guy played with a pick, was much more precise with his fretting, and seemed like he was more confident in his playing. The guy with the Mesa/Behringer rig had sloppier technique with both hands (he was a fingerstyle player), and didn't seem as if he knew the instrument as well as the other player.

    Did you see the bass player for the jazz band with the female singer and the horns? He was playing through a Warwick/Eden/Aguilar 212 rig, and he had a killer tone.
  8. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I think you hit the nail on the head (even though I didn't see these two players that you speak of :D). All gear does is amplify what is being put into it. If you have terrible technique, an expensive rig and bass won't make you sound better. In fact, it may make you sound worse since higher end equipment is usually more responsive to what's being fed into it.
  9. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I'd immediately suspect the Behringer cab (and YES, I did play through one briefly at a store and it only took me two minutes to realize it sounded like crap).

    Though I would also suspect dead strings, lack of knowledge of EQ, and poor technique.

    And I agree, a great head into a cheap-azz cab is like filtering Freddy Mercury's voice through a Mr. Microphone . . .
  10. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    I saw a root note pick punker using an Ampeg SVT and an Ampeg 8x10 cab.

    Poor amp... :meh:

  11. It's a small world! :) Yep, that's it. I wasn't participating, but I was visiting some friends who were from 12:00-2:30 am. One thing you pointed out that I didn't mention was that the guy with the Hofner bass (Peavy was the amp setup he was using you said?) also seemed to be a much better player, but I didn't know if that was relevant here or not. (The band he was in was much better in general.) It's too bad I missed the band you were talking about, I would have liked to see it, but I was out of there by 2:30. Oh well. I'm really glad to hear that another TBer was there!

    And Golden, that's a good point, and was one of my guesses that he didn't know how to set his EQ right.
  12. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    The bassist for the band I drum with has the harshest sound in the world to me. Maybe it's just been building and it really is grating on my nerves. No matter what rig he uses, he rolls off ALL the bass and has a tinny, crappy sound. This last practice, I saved him a trip across town by bringing my Avatar 210, BBE Bmax/power amp. Before he did anything else, he went for the compressor knob "to dial in the sound." Then he rolled off the bass and I was forced to listen to my equipment in full suck mode for the night. I am all about definition and clarity, but I have to have some bottom! It was the weakest sounding rhythm section in history. His rig is an SWR 750 head and a Goliath 410 cabinet.
  13. I played in a band once where the singer demanded that all middle and bass be rolled off his channel, and the treble be turned up. It sounded s***e, but he insisted he always needed "more treble"!!!!

    As you can probably imagine, me being a bassist was left highly under-impressed.

    I guess learning how to get your tone is just as much to do with experience and good ears as playing the bass is. The g***arist in my band has a pedal-board which he uses very tastefully (for a g***arist) but the drummer and I still give him heaps about his "talent boxes" hehe :D

    One of the best things about being a bassist is that you get your gear to the show, plug in an PLAY!!! It takes me about four minutes to get the tone Im after, every show.
  14. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    I wish. :bawl:

    One of the greater conundra I know is that as I got better amps I became more dependent on the sound of the venue. I can actually hear the differences in my tone caused by the different size/shape/surfaces of the place I am playing. With my old 'Let's-just-make-a-lot-of-volume' rig I couldn't tell anything like that. My SWR rig is great for recording. But sometimes I'll play somewhere that has a big hole in the sound, so I have to boost one freq WAY more than the others, or cut one entirely. With my old and occasionally missed Acoustic rig I wouldn't have known. :confused:

    Frustrating. :eyebrow:
  15. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I know how you feel. For the longest time, I gigged with a cheap combo, which I lined-out into the board. I just let the soundman do his thing and as long as I could be heard on stage everything would be fine. As I started upgrading, I noticed how much more tweaking I began to do. Also, I gig with two basses, an active one and passive. Before, when I would switch basses, I wouldn't do much adjusting, maybe just increase the gain a little bit for the passive bass. Now, I use two totally different EQ settings (depending on the room of course) for both basses.

    Plus, it doesn't help having a Bmax preamp, which features one of the most crazy parametric EQ's ever concieved.
  16. Wow, the plural of conundrum. Wow.

  17. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX

    It's grammatically correct. Really I swear. I just like the word. The funny words thread got me thinking about one like that. I use them often and get confused looks from everyone.
  18. Joey3313


    Nov 28, 2003
    Was his last name "Hoppus" by any chance? :D
  19. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN

    Amen brother! After 3 years of bass playing, I feel that the area I need most improvement in is tayloring my tone to the venue. And it's not something you can really sit down and practice either, it just comes with experience. Oh well, I'll just keep tryin...
  20. well, maybe it's for the blind and the hard of hearing?

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