my amp setup... i hate it. upgrade? or start from scratch?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by humanisfood, May 18, 2012.

  1. Freight Train

    Freight Train Earth-based Alternative Scientist, Sex Researcher

    Feb 25, 2012
    Dallas, Texas
    Hey Hu-Man. Personally I'd start over, but here's a little advice from an old man on the mountain. Don't compromise on ANYTHING. If you can find a complete rig for a grand that'll do what you want then cool. But don't feel like you need to get an entire rig with your budget. What I've done over the years, especially with my mastering room, is to be patient and buy one extremely good piece at a time, and then wait until I can afford to add to it, rather than getting hasty and buying a bunch of mediocre crap just so I can get everything all at once, and then be looking at replacing it all again in a year. So what I'm saying is spend your grand on some really excellent cabs, and live with your amp until you can replace that, or vice-versa. It's no fun to have to wait, but I promise you'll come out with a rig that you'll use for years rather than wanting to change again in a few months.
  2. cchorney

    cchorney Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2010
    Meriden, CT
    Have you checked your amp settings? Turn all the one knobs to "noon" and if it has a separate gain and volume, turn down the gain and turn up the volume for a cleaner tone.

    Then dump the whole thing if it still sounds lousy.

    Different manufacturers have different signature sounds, so take your bass with you and go shop around.
  3. Since that 412 is mos likely a guitar cabinet, this probably won't matter much.
  4. humanisfood


    May 18, 2012
    Raleigh, NC
    i am just gonna throw this out there... and i probably should have thrown it out there earlier...

    BUT... my bass is a ESP F-205 (5string) w/ active pickups... with 3 band EQ... i always had the bass knob turned all the way up... i turned it (all the way) down and things got a lot better sounding... but quiter...
  5. No surprises there. How does the 15 go by itself now?
  6. MK1


    Nov 23, 2009
    Grand Rapids, MI
    I think starting over is a great idea, but if I were you I would consider keeping the 15" cab for practice, but I doubt it would be gig worthy. $1,000 is a very respectable budget for an amp, especially if you buy used. I bought my GK 800rb and an Ampeg 810e for about $950, and that was without even looking hard. Getting some REAL bass gear is going to make you much happier than trying to make guitar gear "work" for you.
  7. humanisfood


    May 18, 2012
    Raleigh, NC
    alot better. i think i am just expecting a lot more outta this 200w guitar head than it can give me (obviously)... with a proper head i am guessing things will get even better and should me over until i find a good cab.

    one more question... i was reading that the active pickups need a signal reduction to get a good clean sound... this head being so old, doesnt have that. maybe another contribution to the distortion?
  8. Possibly but unlikely.

    Try the bass direct into the effects loop return. If the bass is hot enough to drive the amp by itself then yes, you could be getting the preamp of the head buzzing. What are the controls on the head? The photo is blurred but looks like Mission Control.

    200w is pretty loud regardless if it comes from a guitar or bass amp. Good speakers are the key to getting bass volume.
  9. jungleheat

    jungleheat Inactive

    Jun 19, 2011
    Yeah, if you have to do it in stages, definitely get new cabs first.

    Actually, earlier today, I decided to play for a while, and I realized I don't have any bass heads here at my new house (have my old Carvin combo but I don't like it very much). So instead I ran my old Tube Works guitar combo (with the internal speaker disconnected) through my old Acoustic 106. It sounded amazing (which is what i expected, I've used that amp for bass many times, but not through that cab yet), especially after I popped my Akai 7 band EQ in the loop of the amp to get a little more control.
  10. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    I'll bet you could get a used Eden wt 400 and a used 4X10 eden cab. It would be louder clearer and lighter.

    Hartley makes good gear but for the most part it was never the lightest. And your gear looks like it was used by Fred and the Flintstones.

    Even used SWR gear can get you through a gig. You don't need to put the fear of God in an auditorium filled with thousands.

    I shouldn't be pointing this out but i can always get gear. See what it goes off for. And remember that not everyone's watts are the same.
  11. Oobly


    Jun 19, 2008
    My advice, keep it all... The Peavey head and cab ARE both guitar units, the Sonic is a bass cab, but not a great one.

    I say keep the Peavey stuff to use as a guitar rig and invest in a decent bass head.

    Then try the head with each cab separately first to see how each sound. If they both sound okay, hook it up to both cabs and see if that gets you loud enough. If not, start looking for a good second hand cabinet.
  12. jungleheat

    jungleheat Inactive

    Jun 19, 2011
    What do you mean "even" SWR gear? SWR was the standard for a long time. Just because it's not "in style" now doesn't mean anything.

    Also, that Peavey guitar stuff is not really going to be any good even for guitar. Much better off just selling it. The 4x12 might be worth keeping, but that's about it. It's probably a solid state head and it probably sounds like junk with distorted guitars, so unless you only want to play jazz and funk on it, it's not going to do you much good.
  13. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Chances are that's a guitar cab. Most BWs are guitar drivers. You'd have to find the specific model number to be sure.
  14. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Can't say I ever thought of SWR as the standard, even when it was at its most popular, but I used to have an SM-500 and thought it was a good amp. People on here would say "They're too scooped," and I'd say, "They do come with EQ knobs and sliders, and pretty good ones at that." But the Flat Knob Society somehow can't get it through their heads that it's OK to move knobs. SWR got trashed daily on here for no good reason. Isn't my favorite amp on the market, but they do make good ones, even with Fender owning them.

    It's funny, though...we often think of Talkbass as being representative of trends with pro bassists, but I talk to backline providers all over the country, and every single one of them tell me the most requested rentals are the still the same 5 brands over and over...Ampeg, GK, Hartke, Eden and SWR. Aguilar is gaining some ground in that world, but those 5 have been kings of backline rentals for years and they still are.
  15. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Sell. Start over. Go used. Great gear and good prices.
  16. jungleheat

    jungleheat Inactive

    Jun 19, 2011
    Even if they weren't "the" standard, they were A standard for probably a good 15 years or so. And it seems to me like they never lost their integrity, even after being bought by Fender, by flooding the market with so many similarly named products including a lot with pretty shoddy quality *cough* Ampeg *cough* that you could never figure out which ones were good or bad except by extensive trial and error.

    So I don't know why someone would even say "even" SWR, as if they were some crappy brand. Gee, you don't like well engineered, high quality amps with tube pres and parametric EQs that sound great and are pretty flexible? Cabs that helped evolved the industry from where it was in the late 70s to where it is now? Yeah, "even" those guys can "get you through" a gig. People need to pay a little less attention to marketing (or lack thereof, especially by Guitar Center) and more to what is actually good and what isn't.
  17. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
    Start over
  18. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I thought about answering this seriously, but now I realize you're just trying to be controversial on the internet and get a rise out of me. But I am curious about what time period this is that Ampeg allegedly "flooded" the market. They've only had a small handful of amps in each category at any one time.
  19. YEAH!!

    Listen to people you don't know whose skill set is unknown and whose tone concept is unknown to you and whom you've only interacted with on a website.

    Oh, and listen to Youtube clips to really hear what things sound like!


    (Get offline and go out see, listen to, and play things. Get your own ideas of what YOU want.)(No attack on jungleheat meant, his post just tripped one of my hot buttons.)
  20. humanisfood


    May 18, 2012
    Raleigh, NC
    the model number on the the speakers themselves is: 1201 (Peavey BlackWidow 4ohm)
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