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My own perfect tone!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Obsolex, May 4, 2003.

  1. Dude, the SWR LA-15 combo can make your tone any way you want it!

    0 vote(s)
  2. Combo's can't cut it for perfect or very customizeable, get the SWR and Avatar (or SWR)!

    15 vote(s)
  3. Keep trying...

    20 vote(s)
  4. Puy a EQ pedal and go from there...

    2 vote(s)
  1. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    What do you think? Every way I set my amp, I can't EVER seem to get the right tone... Right now I have an SWR LA-15 with controls of- Bass, Treble, Mid, Volume... I would probably get an SWR 750x Amp Head, and an SWR Goliath 3 4x10, or an Avatar 4x10... _-soto-_
  2. Just go to a shop and try out as much as you can until you find a tone that you like with your bass. Tone can be so widely interpreted that it is really down to the individual.
  3. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    set the controls to 12 o clock and thats your tone.

    As bass4ever said, try stuff...
  4. Mathias_TfG


    Apr 28, 2002
    New York
    Buy an Ampeg. Actually, Bass4ever had about the best advice any of us could give you - thats try out as much gear as you can find, so you can determine what combination has the best tone according to YOU. It would also be a good idea to use your own bass for this.
  5. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    It's kinda hard around here, there are two shops, one sucks, and the other one, uh sucks. At one their dicks, and the other one their dicks. And they both have a few low quality SWR and Ampeg combos, crate combo's and some Peavey stuff, that's IT... What is more important, the CAB or HEAD? _-soto-_
  6. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    What kind of money do you have to spend?
    What kind of tone are you after?
    What kind of music do you play?
    Where do you plan on playing it?
    Can you always rely on PA support?

    Cabs and heads are equally important. There should be more decent heads around than cabs, but I am not sure that is really the case.
  7. CaracasBass


    Jun 16, 2001
    Madrid, Spain
    Everything, from your fingers through the cab, is important in how "your bass" sound. Listen carefully how your bass sounds when you play it, and then listen at it when someone else (other bass player, please) plays it.

    The way you pluck the strings, the strings, the woods in your bass, the pickups, the cable between your bass and your amp, your amp etc etc etc will make a significant diference in sound. Get the Idea???

    So a good(?) advice could be what bass4ever said, try as many amps you can get on your hands...... maybe some day you´ll find your "dream sound"
  8. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    All good advice. Here's mine. If you're unhappy with your current SWR rig, why are you thinking about buying another one? Try something new. Ampeg is a good suggestion. And if you only have access to a couple of local stores, you should try and find someone there that you're comfortable working with. Talk with each of the guys, and keep an open mind. If you go in with an attitude, you'll probably get one back.

  9. and ears. One of the best bass tones I've ever heard came from a guy playing an old Jazz bass with most of the finish worn off thru a small SWR combo. Experience is the best way to get the "PERFECT" tone.
  10. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    Okay, the reason I would want another SWR Rig, is because,I played a 750x (AMP) with a G3 4x10 (CAB) and it sounded phenominal with my bass. I played this down in LA, about 3 hours away, and that's when I first decided to buy the bass I have now.
    The tone I want is something like, Ryan Martinie, and Les Claypool...
    I have about, probably 800-2000 dollars... I will probably get an Avatar 4x10, and an SWR 750x Head, and then when I get the money, get an Avatar 1x15.
    I mean, it has to be my AMP, I played through my friends 15 watt combo:
    1. It had more of an EQ than mine
    2. If it was louder, it would have kicke my amps ass
    I play Funk, Metal, Rock, Bluesy stuff, Funk Metal...
    thanks guys, _-soto-_
  11. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Sometimes one can't hear the "tone" because others are perhaps a bit too loud.
    After the carnage of one such rehearsal, I discovered that my sound was in fact pretty darn good. But could not hear it through the cacaphony of guitarists.

    I now reinforce at every rehearsal a volume rule. Not that I'm "prickish" about it. But one has to leave some space for each instrument to have its character displayed. That's all that I request.
  12. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    On the lower end, you might want to try a second-hand SWR Silverado comb (2x12), a GK RB combo, or a Peavey Bam 210 combo. With the price range you gave there are a whole lot of options, esp. if you consider 2nd hand equipment.

    Some stuff you might want to check out include:

    Tech 21 SansAmp RBI Preamp (or a 2nd hand tube preamp such as Demeter VTBP-201S or Alembic F-1X or Ampeg SVP-Pro)
    QSC RMX1850HD Power Amp (1800W @ 4 ohm)
    Aguilar GS 112 (8 ohm) + Aguilar GS 210 (8 ohm)

    One of the above preamps
    QSC PLX2402 Power Amp (700Wpc @ 4 ohm)
    two Avatar CB112 Speaker System (8 ohm) + one Avatar B210 Speaker System (4 ohm)

    One of the above preamps
    QSC RMX1850HD Power Amp (1800W @ 4 ohm)
    Bergantino EX112 (8 ohm) + Bergantino HT112 (8 ohm)
    or two Epifani T-112 or two Nahas 1x12 (reviewed here)

    One of the above preamps
    QSC PLX2402 Power Amp (700Wpc @ 4 ohm)
    2nd hand Bag End D10BX-D & D10B-D cabs (4 ohm each)

    You could also substitute a new or 2nd hand iAmp-800 for most of the above pre/power amps.

    If you don't drive anything lower that a 4 ohm load, you could substitute a 2nd hand Mesa Boogie M-2000.

    Mesa 400+ heads are sometimes available 2nd hand in your price range.

    The main point is: there are a whole lot of possibilities open to you; don't get in a big hurry; and don't become too set on one system until you've tried a lot of different stuff.

    If that's hard for you to do, where you're at, plan a few road trips (if that takes a few months, it will still be worth the wait to get your tone) and take your bass guitar with you, that's a big part of the final sound as well.

    Good luck and happy hunting.
  13. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    I'll check into those man... thanks, _-soto-_
  14. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN

    Les claypool uses an ampeg SVT-III pro... get one. they ****ing rock.

    oh, and don't buy things new. you save so much money getting things used. and im sure if you by LA, there will be unlimited used gear. check music go rounds, the paper, see if there are any music classifieds, thats what i did and i scored an awesome deal (ampeg svt-3 pro- $350, and hartke 4x10 XL series-$200) so that comes out to $550, which isn't even the SWR bass 350x.

    Good luck!
  15. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    Stephen, didn't you have an Ampeg SVT-III pro and a PRO 410?
  16. zazz


    Feb 27, 2004
    simply having bass mid and treble as the only controls may not be enough.....my ebs has a parametric for the lower to mid range which can really help to get the exact tone that i am looking for or cut out any unwanted resonance for the room ect.
  17. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    I think your problem is everything your doing. Not saying that the gear you haven’t isn’t the problem, which I feel it is. But the real problem is that you’re buying into the name brand and tweaking everything not having any foundation to build on.

    What’s the bass you’re playing and do you know if you even like the way it sound?

    This is the first thing you need to find out. Get a Power amp and if you don’t have a clean cab or something that is a true sounding cab then plug into what you have. At least you have gotten past the preamp aspect of the head and your only dealing with the Bass and the color of the cab.

    See if either of these sounds good to you. I’m not saying it has to be perfect, although it helps, but at least see if it has the characteristics your wanting. If it’s just ugly sounding then you know that your cab or bass isn’t working and it might be both.

    Once you figure out the bass side of things then go through with your bass and power amp only to find the cab that works best for the sound your wanting.

    Once you have the Bass, Cab and Good power amp set, the preamp is last on the list. The Preamp should only be to warm your signal of fine tweak the tone your wanting. If you’re using the preamp to completely define the tome your desiring then you will never be happy.

    In no way do you have to spend a fortune to find a great sounding bass and rig. But walking into a guitar shop that is unhelpful and unknowledgeable and only interested in selling the biggest advertiser in last months bass player is the problem. Their not interested in helping you sort out these issues like a high-end specialty bass shop will be. And saying a high-end bass specialty shop doesn’t mean a lot of money because most all have used gear and some :), if not dealers can probably get what you want anyway or find it.

    Best of luck,
  18. The tone you get starts with how you pluck the string, the brand and type of strings you use, and guitar you are using. If you have access to a good home stereo, rig up a way to play your guitar (not too loud!) though it. The reason I'm tell you to use a home stereo is because you're going to hear pretty much what you present playing style/guitar sounds like through an uncolored system. Headphones will do the same thing but bass is hard to feel through headphones. Experiment with different hand placements 1) pluck close to the bridge 2) pluck closer to the neck. 3) Try different brands and types of strings. Experiment with the tone controls on your bass. Some basses have more tone shaping on board than a lot of bass heads. The one thing you don't want to do is change is the tone setting on the reference amp. In this case your stereo receiver. Leave them flat. When you get the tone you want using this method then the next step is to start playing some amps.
  19. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    Well said Brian!

    I am a firm believer that the tone is really in your fingers any which way you look at it. An experienced player will have close to his sound through just about any rig be it Ampeg, Eden, SWR, or EA which are all worlds apart when you consider their fundamental tones. Now don't get me wrong, sometimes you need different amps and cabinet combinations to achieve the sound you need for certain situations (asst'ed styles/genres, different rooms or mixes, techniques required, etc.) The trick is to getting a good touch for the strings and find an amp that works with the sound that you have in your hands and hopefully that is the one in your head as well. You need to train your ears to hear what is coming from your amp and hear the little things present in the mix. I would start from scratch and season to taste... Generally, less EQ'ing is better in my book. It allows the sound to sit well in the mix and you can get more from your bass. I think it sounds a little more "natural" to my ears. Also, try everything you can... Travel to larger cities if you can. Get to instrument trade shows. They are out there and probably not as far away as you think.
  20. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    Greybeard is so correct with the String's. They can make an amazing bass sound Ugly.

    Down side is the cost of string's and is the bass, in the end going to have what you want even after the string search. The stereo system is a good testing tool and better then my suggestion of the amp and cab. In the end you will need to find a cab and going with a good power amp is key!

    Narrow down the string search quickly between steal and Nickel.

    Are you wanting a bright and Edgy/aggressive sound or a warmer smoother sound? Some string’s like the SIT’s even with the Nickels have killer snap and aren’t to slinky, but others can me dull sounding to an exaggerated extent.

    The String issue is really a different thread.

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