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Need help cutting through the mix...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MascisMan, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. MascisMan


    Nov 21, 2003
    Dallas, Tx
    Hey guys first here is my setup-->

    Fender Hwy 1 J-bass, Ampeg B2R, Ampeg SVT-410HLF cab.

    The other two guitar players in the band play:

    Fender Fat Telecaster, Sunn model T, Marshall 4x12
    Gibson LP Classic, JCM800, Marshall 4x12

    Needless to say I am getting lost in the mix. I have the Master Volume up at the 12 o'clock position and gain around 9 o'clock. The gain light flashes every now and then and the limiter light flashes a lot. Im afraid to turn it up any louder because of the yellow clipping light that keeps flashing.

    I am considering upgrading the head and am already set on switching out the pickups with some that have more output and upper mids..anything I can do in the meantime with my current setup so i can hear myself better?
  2. One thing to try for the cleanest sound is putting you're master at 10, than using the gain to control your volume. Another thing is that although the instrument is called bass, the basses power is in the low mid range. Boost your lower mids more so than uppers.

    Another thing to consider is that you're just not loud enough to compete with two 4x12's and a drummer. I have an SVT3pro, which is putting out 450, and before I boosted my low mids I couldn't be heard at max volume.

    Well, pretty much my whole post can be reduced to: Assuming the wattage on your head is enough (I don't know the specs on it), boosting your low mids is probably the answer.
    If your rig isn't powerful enough, save up for a new one.

    Other things to consider: Running your pickups in series for a louder punchier sound similar to one big humbucker, or changing the pickups out for something louder and with more midrange.
  3. MascisMan


    Nov 21, 2003
    Dallas, Tx
    thanks Groove, all noted...yeah I am thinking of upgrading to the Genz Benz GBE600 early next year..plus it can play down to 2 ohms which means I can add another 4 ohm cab to my current 4 ohm 4x10 if need be.
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Not sure about your amp's specs, either.
    That said, in the good ol' daze of I used a STOCK Fender Bassman 100(4x12) with either a pre-CBS Bassman head(50 Watts) or Music Man 65(65 Watts) with either a passive P-bass or passive P-J bass.
    No problem cutting through for me.
    I am more of a mid's player vs. the smiley-guy EQ.
    Oh, what the Hell...Bass & Middle were set on "10"; TREBLE varied between "5" & "8"(depending on strings' brightness).

    Nowadaze, I have been in certain situations where a SWR SM400 + Goliath(4X10) wasn't enough...what I noticed-
    If the guitarist(s) uses a processor or some other F/X unit...good luck. These guys will suck up every available frequency & make life quite miserable for the bassist. In short, they're too loud & all encompassing.
  5. MascisMan


    Nov 21, 2003
    Dallas, Tx
    maybe i will just sabotage there gear and pull out half the tubes...:cool:
  6. Try playing through a guitar amp. Check out ZZ Top's bass player - he uses Marshall amps. Fight fire with fire!
  7. sunburstbasser


    Oct 18, 2003
    Marshall guitar heads plus Marshall bass cabs plus Ric 4001=Chris Squier.

    Boost the low mids a lot, it will help. The treble control can also help, but probably not as well. Are you using new strings? Old strings have less volume and cut less.
  8. MascisMan


    Nov 21, 2003
    Dallas, Tx
    They are new strings..brand new bass
  9. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Not technique related - moved to Amps.
  10. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    EQ'ing aside, you're simply being out matched and out powered.

    a good rule of thumb to follow: bassist should have 4x the wattage of the guitarists.

    if they're blasting a full 100 watts from their cabs, each, totaling 200 watts, its best you have 800 watts to slam back. also, make sure the total sum of your cabs can handle all 800 watts. thus, you might need to add another 4x10 or 1x15 to your rig, cause most run of the mill 4x10s and 1x15's handle only 400 watts.

    you could simply upgrade to the B-4R, but i think this is a good time for going with a separate preamp/power amp setup. having a separate power amp allows you many more options. so, if you feel like changing your sound, you simply have to sell the preamp, without having to sell the farm.

    a cheap and effective solution would be to sell the Ampeg head, and go for a used Sansamp RBI preamp, and a used QSC PLX or cheaper RMX power amp.

    the Sansamp is known for getting some great tones on the cheap, and can nail some convincing SVT like aggro bass tones. the QSC's are known for their reliablity and power. the PLX series is both light weight and powerful, while the RMX is known for cheap yet just as reliable clean power. either one can be had on ebay for great prices, and i see them all the time.

    again with this added power, you'll need to add another cab. your SVT410HLF handles only 400 watts RMS, so you'll need another cab for the extra 400 watts you might go full blast with. if you have the money, the most cutting cab i've ever used and heard is any one from Eden's XLT series.

    i suggest adding another 4x10, cause you'll get waaaaaay more punch than a 1x15 will give you. 10" speakers are generally faster and more responsive, and will help you literally punch thru a mix better.

    the XLT 4x10 is very aggressive sounding, and will slice thru any dense mix. again, you'll find 'em pretty often on ebay, and it'll be a rock/metal cab that'll last you.

    now, these are very liberal suggestions. you could make due with just adding a 2x10 instead. just make sure the 2x10 and 4x10 are on their own separate channels of the power amp, so you can better balance the volume from each.

    but all in all, unless the guitarists grow up and lower their stage volume, i strongly suggest you get yourself some more power.
  11. JJd2sc


    Jul 31, 2003
    Marietta, Georgia
    Theres somethin I just dont get... I have an ampeg SVT 4x10HLF and on the back it says 500 watts rms, but lots of places online say 400... Were some made with 500?
  12. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    Boosting (low) mids is a good idea.
    Also try to leave the bass knob flat or even attenuate the lows. Low frequencies eat up a lot of amp power...

  13. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Speaking of 800 Watts, a sansamp RBBi and a QSC power amp, I think someone is selling something like that in the classifieds forums here.

    My suggestion is musch more power and kicking up the mids.
  14. http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,,sid9_gci213722,00.html

    RMS, is what the amp is capable of doing at peak.

    M= mean
    S= square


    Also see peak and peak-to-peak.

  15. MascisMan


    Nov 21, 2003
    Dallas, Tx
    Yes JJ some where made with 500/1000 power handling, they were the SVT-HLN's. The normal HLF's hold 400/800. Mine is also an HLN.
  16. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
  17. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    just play softer, maybe others in the group will bring down the volume on what they are doing

    :D :D
  18. MascisMan


    Nov 21, 2003
    Dallas, Tx
    LOL. Probably not. they cant hear me now so there would really be no difference.
  19. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    RMS is about 70% of the peak.
    The 70% comes from 0.7071 or 1/the square root of 2.
  20. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Remind me to wear earplugs if I ever attend one of your shows. :meh:

    Although you don't have a huge rig, you should be getting lots of volume out of what you have. I don't know how big your practice space is, but I sure hope you have earplugs on because at the volumes you are playing none of you will be able to hear anything in a little while.

    If you need to up the anty, add another 4x10 or just move to an 8x10. I'd try changing eq a bit and telling the assholes on guitar to stay out of your frequencies. I suspect they have their lows boosted and that's causing you trouble.

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