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My bass sounds terrible

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Rick Martin, Dec 1, 2000.

  1. My new Hamer Cruise bass sounds lousy. I've tried several sets of strings and that ain't the problem. The sound is sort of rough and distorted a little. My MIM Jazz sounds great through the same cable and amp so I'm sure the problem is with the Hamer. The strings look snug in the nut and if I press down above the the nut nothing changes, so I don't think it's the nut. The bridge looks good too. I'm thinking the problem could be in the pickups. Turning one
    pup down doesn't help. All combinations of pup and tone sound lousy. Could replacement pups be the answer?
  2. kcm


    Jun 17, 2000
    Woking, Surrey.
    Just a thought, but is your new bass an active bass, in which case it may just be that your battery/batterys are flat,which is the usual reason for distortion. Also if you don't already know you should make sure you unplug your bass when not in use as this drains the battery, obviously not the case in a new one but I suppose it could have been sitting around a while and I guess they tend not to put a top battery in, in the first place, hope this helps.
  3. This is a passive bass.
  4. Check the connection at the jack socket in the bass. If there's nothing wrong there, take it back to the shop and have them look at it.

  5. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    How close are your pickups to the strings? If the pickups are too high, you'll get a lot of midrange and some distortion; sounds like that's what you've got.
  6. I bought this bass mailorder and so can't take it back, but I did bring it into the little local guitar shop yesterday. I plugged it into the Fender Bassman 60 and it sounded just fine. I even plugged it into a Peavy Microbass just like mine at home and it sounded fine. I went home and plugged it into my own Microbass and it sounded crappy again. Using the same cable I plugged my MIM Jazz into my Microbass and it sounded great as usual. I lowered the pickups on the Hamer a little and no change in sound. Strange but true.
  7. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Man, rick, that'd make you pull your hair out.

    I'm just guessing, but you migt try the new bass and your amp in another location. Definitely on another circuit and preferably a block or two away just to be sure. There are electrical interferences other than just 60 cycle hum. Your old bass may be rejecting an interference that the new one can't.

  8. Just a guess...does the bass sound better if you turn to volume down a bit on the bass? Could it just simply be overloading the input? I don't know the Peavey microbass.

    Or is it somehow clonking the speaker? Does the distorion go away if you cut the bass on the amp a bit?

    Grasping at straws here...

    pkr2 makes a good suggestion. In my experience MIM jazz basses are the world's #1 for picking up interference, but you can't rule this out.
  9. I don't think it's the amp cause the Fender sounds good and the Hamer doesn't. The Fender sounds better through my cheap headphones too. I'm going to try to clean the jack receptacle in the bass. Any suggestions on what to clean it with? Alchohol?
  10. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    Also grasping at straws:

    Try taking both basses AND YOUR AMP down to the shop. Plug the Cruise into you amp, then another; then plug the Fender into the same two amps. Maybe the contrasts will make some sense...

  11. I got an adapter from Radio shack that goes from 1/4" phono plug to two RCA jacks and plugged into my home stereo. Both the Hamer and the Fender sound great through my old KLH 32's. Go figure. I suppose there is nothing wrong with the Hamer, but it does sound lousy through the Microbass. Truth is stranger than fiction.
  12. pierce

    pierce freethinker

    May 25, 2000
    San Francisco, Ca
    i agree with bringing both basses and the amp to the shop for some in depth comparison.

    also, is your microbass using the same settings as the one at the shop, and did it have the same cabinet.
    (i am assuming that a microbass is not a combo)
  13. Microbass is Peavy's little 15 watt combo amp.
  14. spoolie


    Nov 30, 2000
    If the Cruise has significantly greater bass response (than the Fender) this will cause distortion in a small amp. I get this all the time when I switch between a Precision (sounds good) and a Pedulla (sounds distorted) in a small practise amp. However, the Pedulla sounds much better through my gigging amp. Roll off the bass and see if this helps. The Cruise is supposed to be a good deep end bass so I'll bet it's the amp.
  15. This makes sense to me, yet through the Microbass, the Cruise sounds rough at any tone or eq settings.

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