Muddy Amp, or Muddy Room? Back to Tubes?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Selehpotsihpem, Nov 11, 2021.

  1. Selehpotsihpem


    Aug 16, 2017
    I Just joined a new established band. My bass rig is:

    Custom Tttides bass with blade humbuckers OR P-Bass w/EGC neck and GZR pickup > Darkglass B3K (for a little grit) > Darkglass Alpha Omega (used with the B3K for the heavy heavies) > Orange TerrorBass 1000 > Barefaced Six10.

    The TerrorBass has always been a little boomy, which is ok. But these guys - remember they’re very established with established tones - use a lot of both pickups / neck pickups on their guitars so there’s a lot of low end. The room is not treated but there is a lot of stuff in there to absorb some sound waves.

    As soon as we start playing my bass just turns to mud and I’m having trouble dialing in any definition without it getting annoying. Basically it’s muddy or way too harsh. Last night I switched from the amp input to the FX Loop In, which made my bass sound great when pedals were engaged but now my straight tone sounds way too dry (even though I barely use it).

    My amp and cab are my dream rig because I’m old and have a bad back but now I’m seriously considering going with an SVT-CL (or boutique version thereof) and an Ampeg 610 or a pair of Emperor 2x12s or something to round out my sound.

    We’re going to install some bass traps in the room but I can’t shake the feeling that my rig isn’t all I thought it was, and there’s no substitute for a big ass tube head and big heavy cabs.

    I’m not interested in changing my bass or pedal setup because I know that’s not the issue.

    Any suggestions?

    Attached Files:

  2. HPF for the win!
  3. Sweet bass and nice rig.

    I have an old Peavey tube amp that I always bypass the pre. You could always just add an additional preampish pedal for your clean tones. I frequently use a Damnation Audio MBD with the gain low.
    Dabndug and Iristone like this.
  4. If the guitarists are flooding the bass frequencies there's not a lot you can do on your own whatever amp you have other than ask them to turn their bass controls back a bit.
    mcnach, 31HZ, Bass4Brkfast and 7 others like this.
  5. “other than ask them to turn their bass controls back a bit.”

    yeah, right. That’ll work!! This guy has a big problem!
  6. Agreed. Strange that going straight into the effects return sorted the problem though. Maybe the Terrorbass pre is muddy?
    Iristone likes this.
  7. Will you soon be playing other places with this band ? I would hesitate to spend much right away. Some rooms just sound horrible. It would be unfortunate to spend a bunch of money and find out that it’s just truly a horrible sounding room.
  8. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    I’m not big on the darkglass pedals in general, but if I recall correctly they have a bit of a sculpted low mid with a big notch in the 300hz area. Add that to the Orange terror preamp which is also inherently a bit mid scooped and I think you just have too much mid loss going on relative to the highs and lows. Might explain why it sounded better running in to the effects return. As I said, I don’t care much for the DG sound, but I liked it even less running in to my hiwatt and fender preamp style amps.
  9. Selehpotsihpem


    Aug 16, 2017
    Not right now, but I am a little hesitant. I have an Acoustic B1000HD as my home rig, I may try that out because it’s got better clarity. I haven’t used it as my main amp die to supposed reliability issues. But maybe it’s time.
    We’re also going to put in bass traps, hopefully, and that should solve it.

    I still want some Emperor 2x12s and a Dean Costello, though…
  10. JW56789

    JW56789 Guest

    Feb 18, 2017
    The great conundrum of playing electric bass through amps.

    Sounded great at home.

    Sounded like hell when I brought it in here on Tuesday.

    Got it straightened out in the same room Wednesday, didn't touch a thing once it got there. Great !

    Walked in today, amp settings 'frozen' from yesterday: Sounds like hell again, just like Tuesday, but worse.

    Ehhh . . . . . . . . .

    I must be tougher than I thought that it never drove me to drink, but man did I show my ass a time or two over it.
    Indiana Mike likes this.
  11. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
  12. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011

    This is my guess as well.

    The amp has a "Fender" tone stack and definitely falls in the Fender tone universe IMHO. You must run the Mids relatively high and the Bass and Treble relatively low, to avoid too much mid scoop. Try Bass, Mids, and Treble around about 10:00, 3:00 and 9:00 o'clock.

    In contrast, the natural voice of an SVT is pretty much flat, with a very gentle broadband boost in the low mids centered around 400hz. You can't dial in an SVT to sound like the Orange, and you can't dial in the Orange to sound like an SVT.

    If you have an EQ pedal, try using it to boost the mids.
    Al Rivera, coreyfyfe, Dabndug and 3 others like this.
  13. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike

    Nov 18, 2005
    Where are you standing in relation to the cabs?

    Stand about ten feet away if possible and then see what it sounds like. If you’ve tried that Nevermind.
    Matty Koff likes this.
  14. Gustopher


    Jul 30, 2018
    Crank the mods, cut the lows and consider an HPF to cut the noisy low mush.
  15. themickster


    Oct 4, 2015
    Try this for finding the sweet spot
    Rich67 likes this.
  16. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    I'd just get a new amp.leave everything else alone. I couldn't get a tone I liked outta those oranges. The pre amps are just set up strange.

    Keep your cab. Get a 7pro, or subway if you got the cash.
    Al Rivera and smogg like this.
  17. JW56789

    JW56789 Guest

    Feb 18, 2017
    Some rooms, I stood everywhere except on top of my car out in the parking lot. Standing waves and nulls were invented by The Devil to drive me nuts.
  18. Iristone


    Jul 8, 2017
    SVT-7's are great amps!! Many Ampeg cabinets (other than the 410 HLF) will have tighter low end, too.

    IIRC the Orange amps started out with Baxandall tone stacks (like Ampegs), which don't scoop the mids inherently. However, they evolved to the point of having a Fender-style tone stack with an inherent mid scoop. On a well-engineered bass amp (the venerable Acoustic 360 for example), this scoop is centred at the low-mid 'mush' frequencies, and could remove just the right amount of that. However, if a designer directly puts a guitar-voiced Fender tone stack onto a bass head (e.g. Fender and Marshall, maybe also Orange?), it might cut too much into the higher mids, resulting in a muddy sound that doesn't cut through the mix.
  19. IngloriousOz

    IngloriousOz Supporting Member

    Jun 1, 2006
    SLC, Utah
    +1 on the HPF
  20. Analogeezer


    Jul 29, 2021
    I'm not seeing how a tube amp would solve the issues the OP is bedeviled with.

    Lots of issues to unpack which have been unpacked in this thread but a full on tube amp is not going to solve them.

    rodl2005 and Al Rivera like this.