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need cure for toneless amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by gregoire1, Apr 13, 2009.


  1. gregoire1

    gregoire1

    Oct 19, 2008
    Nashville
    Ive got my first gig, in 20 years, coming up and I don't think my beloved Line 6 studio 110 can cut it so I puchased, off ebay, an Ampeg portabass 250 to go with my BFM Omni 2x10.
    this combination is tonally dead. Even my old Peavey Mark IV had more character. This cab is highly praised for its mid-range articulation (which is what my Dean Edge q4 loves). I've found the best sound by adjusting the 4 band eq into a slightly frowney face but had to resort to using an amp model on my zoom b-2 (Swr).
    It still only sounds slightly better. I love my tone through my Line 6, but at only 75 watts, just can't hear it well enough. Any suggestions on how to bring this thing to life without replacing it or spending much.
     
  2. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Since the Omni is small and light, why not tote it and your bass to a local music store? Try some other heads. Only your ears will tell you when you get the tone you want.
     
  3. JeremyJJackson

    JeremyJJackson

    Mar 1, 2009
    samsamp RBI will add some character to anything
     
  4. The omni10 is all about a flat response. Maybe you just aren't keen on that and prefer a more coloured sound?

    Have you tried the setup in a band situation? Because what can sound terrible when solo can sound and fit amazingly well in a band situation and vice versa
     
  5. gregoire1

    gregoire1

    Oct 19, 2008
    Nashville
    It definatly works in a band situation. Cuts through great, which is why I was attracted to this cab but I'm convinced the solid state ampeg head is just missing something. It sounds like playing a bass through a home stereo, the sound is there but the tone and characture definatly aren't! I don't know how else to describe it.

    I've considered the Rbi sansamp or mxr-m80, but if I'm going to spend $140 to $200 I'll probably save up and just buy a different head.

    Right now I'm just broke!
     
  6. Why don't you use your Line6's preamp out into the Ampeg? I know it's an extra thing to lug, but it would work.

    My $0.02, Russ
     
  7. that sounds like the best idea before getting a new head . check your local pawn shops
     
  8. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    If you heard any praise for the tone of a Portabass, I feel sure it came from somebody who had only used tiny cheap practice amps before. The only quality they actually have going for them is the portability. The cabs are also terribly inefficient, which means a lot of your wattage is going to waste.

    There are lots of pedal and rack preamps you can buy which will color up the tone a bunch, dozens if not hundreds of worthwhile options, but IMO you'd just be "throwing good money after bad". If you need a solution in the short term to CYA, then I'd say try a Tech21 VT Bass pedal--there are lots of threads about it in the FX forum. But thinking ahead to future gigs, I'd say honestly just get a different amp.
     
  9. gregoire1

    gregoire1

    Oct 19, 2008
    Nashville
    I did research this head and it was the only solidstate Ampeg which consistently got good reviews on tone. I suspect you are right, these reviews came from people who just didn't know any better. I will have to try my Line 6 as a pre-amp and see if that helps. If so, I may just sell the ampeg, get a plate amp (for half the price) and make a powered speaker. Or just sell it all and buy a bigger Line 6!

    But for now, I've got two big gigs in the next 3 weeks to make it through.
     
  10. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Another consideration is what cabs the reviewers were using. The BFM is so clean and clear that it's probably the antithesis of many Ampeg cabs. Its high efficiency also allows the amp to loaf, which may change its perceived tone.
     
  11. try that rig with a sansamp vt bass?
     
  12. smogg

    smogg

    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    That would be my choice, plus you could stack it as a 310 vertical column and get good tone and volume all at once. :hyper:
     
  13. gregoire1

    gregoire1

    Oct 19, 2008
    Nashville
    It would be an arrayed 3x10 wouldn't it, hmmm.....
     
  14. gregoire1

    gregoire1

    Oct 19, 2008
    Nashville
    any problems with the plate amp idea? making the Omni a powered cab? it would be one less thing to lug around.
     
  15. smogg

    smogg

    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    Do it, do it :bassist:
     
  16. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Adding a plate amp to the Omni will take away some of its internal volume, which will cut the bottom end a bit. It may not be an issue, but it's something to think about.

    But if you're going with just a preamp, it could be a viable option---if you can get a plate amp that can do the job for a reasonable price.

    You'd get the best answers to this question at the BFM forum at www.billfitzmaurize.com .
     
  17. gregoire1

    gregoire1

    Oct 19, 2008
    Nashville
    I'm afraid if I post the plate amp idea on BFM someone will tell me about leak issues and volume changes, and right know, all I want is to hear people tell me its a great idea.
     
  18. Sansamp pedal would be a quick solution.

    But that money would be better spent on a new amp head.
     
  19. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    That doesn't mean is really is one.

    You'd definitely have to seal leaks, but that's not hard if you use the partsexpress.com speaker gasket tape. The problem could be leaks through the jacks, controls, and heat sink of the plate amp, which would be impossible to seal.
     
  20. mrkreuzschlitz

    mrkreuzschlitz

    Jun 30, 2008
    Dacula, GA
    A quick easy fix is a Sansamp, and you'd use it a lot more after getting a better amp.

    That cab may not be for you. Bill knows what he's doing, but I wouldn't use one of his cabs at a gig, its just not my tone. Simple as that. A man that needs to drive in a race won't use a tank, no matter how well it's built. Same with the cab.
     

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