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My definition of warm and cold then your suggestions on what amp to get

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Stride000, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. Stride000


    Mar 15, 2006
    Ok so i've been trying some gear, trying to have opinions on here but it's really hard to know for sure if everybody has the same idea of sound characteristics. Therefore, instead of giving amps exemples, i'll list the bassists on albums so that everyone can relate to the same sound.

    In that train of thought, my definition of a cold sound would be exemples like:

    Justin Chancellor's tone on Lateralus
    Jonas Hellborg's tone on E
    Geddy Lee's tone overall
    Flea's tone overall

    At the opposite, my definition of a warm tone would be:

    Pino Palladino's tone with John Mayer
    Tony Levin's tone overall but mostly with Sarah McLauchlin
    James Jamerson's tone

    The amps I tried I thought were giving me a cold sound were:

    GK RB1001: Good punchy tone but can't dial out the nagging cold clanky mids.

    Genz Benz GBE750: Nothing but annoying clanky mids

    Anything SWR

    Amps I tried that were warm but not 100 satisfactory were:

    Eden WT550: Punchy and loud but is either too thin or too boomy and sounds sterile.

    Ampeg SVT-4 Pro: Mud mud mud, and more mud, oh and unreliable, then some more mud

    Mesa M-Pulse 600: Boomy, unruly with phaser sounding like mids

    Ashdown ABM 500: Very close but unreliable

    Aguilar DB750: Almost perfect but too heavy after a while and growing annoyed with the mid-grinding-farting tube sound.

    My main axe is a MM Stingray 5. I'm looking to achieve a warm tone that would be between Pino's and Tony's. Kind of like Pino's one but with a bit more definition and punch.

    What do you guys suggest that could finally satisfy me?
  2. Lia_G


    Oct 27, 2005
    Ummmm .... you never say what you're after. Cold? Warm? Something in between?

    I sorta get the feeling you're looking for warm, but you never really come out and say it.

  3. Stride000


    Mar 15, 2006
    You're right, i'll clarify what i'm looking for by editing my post. Thanks
  4. Lia_G


    Oct 27, 2005
    Man, I'm not sure. I play a Stingray 5 (fretless conversion) as one of my main electric axes, but I don't get the same experience with Genz that you did (if I did, I wouldn't be endorsing them!). Did you really work with the EQ and both channels? I know that for my taste, I like to boost the lows a bit on my GBE600 (which is similar to the 750, only doesn't have separate EQ for each channel), and cut treble and high mids. The first time I read through your post, I was thinking "Hmm, maybe a GBE750" ... then I saw you had tried one and didn't like it. ;) I do find that the Genz Benz tube stuff can get warmth without losing clarity, and without adding muddiness. If you've already tried it, though, and given it a thorough workout, then it's just not for you.

    On to other brands: I find the Eden WT405 to be a warmer item than the 550, especially with the 'warm' trim pot adjusted to taste. Makes no sense, since the 550 is the one with the tube in it, but I really prefer the WT330/WT405. And the 405 is close to the same power range.

    Another head I really like is the Markbass SD800. The VLE control can be used to really warm things up. I haven't tried the tube-pre Markbass models, but they might be worth investigating as well. Even the Little Mark II might do it for you ... I really do like that VLE control for taming the upper mids and treble.

    Another thing I really liked that I played once was the Alembic F1X pre into a poweramp. The F1X into something like a QSC PLX series would be relatively light, warm and powerful.

    Anyway, I'm sure many others will chime in with experience with a lot of other heads for you to consider. Good luck!!

  5. Does the Ashdown ABM series have reliability issues? If that's the tone you like but want an English made one check out BassCentral.com I believe they still have a couple of UK models in which reliablility wouldn't be an issue from what I understand. Good luck in your search.
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Try using a relatively uncolored amp, and an EBS MultiComp pedal in "tubesim" mode.
  7. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Get a nice Fender Precision and some warm sounding nickel strings.

    You've listed off a series of great amps all of which I can get great warm sounds from. You don't mention cabs, which effect your sound more than heads, but I'm guessing you're not in love with the Ray5's tone.
  8. Ampeg SVT

    Ampeg SVT Son, I am disappoint.

    Pino used ABM's with John Mayer. However if you want something warm you could always try a Mesa Bass 400+ or a SVT
  9. Stride000


    Mar 15, 2006
    Actually, I don't think it's a matter of not liking the Stingray's tone as I get the sound I want when I'm either plugged direct in my soundcard at home or direct from the amp in the studio. It's only in live situations that I can't get the sound.

    I use no effects at all and right now live I use my DB750 along with a GS212.

    Don't get me wrong, the sound is good. It's just not 100% what I'm looking for.
  10. Stride000


    Mar 15, 2006
    I'm looking for something more reliable than Ashdown and Ampeg, with more definition than Ampeg and lighter than a bulky tube head.

    I might take a look again at Genz Benz as I played it flat through a Genz Benz cab. And I might look at a Thunderfunk as well.
  11. herndonbassist

    herndonbassist Low Down Thumper Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2005
    Herndon, VA - NoVa
    Definitely look at adjusting the EQ with the GB setup... I get some serious "warm" tones with a P bass and my GBE600 using the tube pre. As for your current amp, have you thought about swapping tubes out for tubes with less breakup or different ratings ? (I don't know what the Aggie uses, but one example would be swap a 12ax7 out with a 12au7 or 12at7). FWIW I swapped out the preamp tube in my GB head with a vintage RCA (oem tube) and it completely altered the breakup characteristics.
  12. Surly


    Feb 2, 2007
    South Florida
    Did you try all tubes? You said you want warm.
  13. Rob Mancini

    Rob Mancini Guest

    Feb 26, 2008
    You should get an Impossible amp, because you've found something to annoy you about every single amp you've tried, and I think your quest to find THE perfect amp is impossible with your standards.
  14. Rob Mancini

    Rob Mancini Guest

    Feb 26, 2008
    Oh, and where do you get that Ashdown and Ampeg are unreliable? OK, Ampeg I can kind of see where you got it, but I haven't heard a thing about Ashdown being unreliable.
  15. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Wouldn't that cold and warm sound additionally come from pickups and touch?, Not to mention wood combo and cabinets., Which I think will also color a cold or warm sound.Example, A fender P may seem warm, but a musicman or a modulus may sound "cold" on the same very rig.

    I believe there are alot more variables than just the amp.
  16. I agree.. i think you need to look elsewhere to fix your tone problem.. there are alot of really greats heads that you named....
  17. Stride000


    Mar 15, 2006
    If that was the case, I would not like the sound when plugged direct into a board which is not the case at all.

    Like mentioned in an earlier post, when using the DI of the DB750 in studio, the sound is perfect.
  18. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    So, this is just 1 bass, different heads and one cab, when testing correct? It will always be a hell of alot easier to get a good sound from a good DI to a console (like the aggie you make reference to), as opposed to a head and cab (mik'ed).
  19. pedroferreira


    Feb 10, 2003
    Have you tried the Aguilar AG500?

    No weight, warm tone for days :hyper:

  20. Ampeg SVT

    Ampeg SVT Son, I am disappoint.

    The Bass 400+ weighs only 40 pounds.
    Also look into the M-pulse

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