Need help fattening up my sound

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by terzian, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. terzian

    terzian Guest

    Dec 6, 2011
    South Wales
    Hi there

    At present when I play my E string the sound is nice and fat. However as I go up the string through A to G my sound gets thinner and weeker. Does anyone have any ideas or know of a pedal that could boost the signal on the thinner strings?

    I have checked my bass over to make sure it is not that (I play a musicman sterling 4 string) and my amp has plenty of power Hartke 4 x 10 350 watt.

    Any ideas anyone might have would be greatly appreciated.


  2. Assuming the Hartke has a graphic, try cutting the lowest sliders slightly, then a small boost between 100Hz and 200Hz.

    Also, does your Sterling have a 2 or 3-band EQ on board? How do you set it?
  3. terzian

    terzian Guest

    Dec 6, 2011
    South Wales
    Hi Jimbob Jones

    Thanks for the advise. The Musicman has a 3 band eq on board. I normally play will all of these on full including the volume and then control the levels via the amp.

    The action on the bass is set quite low across all the strings.

    Thanks again

  4. capcom


    Mar 23, 2005
    Perhaps using all eq knobs on full may cause the "thin" sound you describing. Did you try eq knobs are all flat (or each knob at 50%) ?

    I also recommend boost on "Low mids" around 150Hertz. And adding more mids and high mids accordingly for articulation or "cutting through" when playing live.

    (Also slight compression may also help to get an even and all around fat sound.)
  5. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Inactive

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Do you have adjustable pole pieces?

    Are you using new strings?
  6. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    This is quite the common complaint and the solutions suggested above are all valid. As I mentioned in another thread, over-EQing can suck the life out of your D & G strings. I, too, would start with all controls in their center-detent positions. This doesn't necessarily mean we're running a "flat" EQ but it does provide a point of reference while making adjustments. A slight boost in the 150-250 hz region should bring out the "body" you're missing. Personally, I like to pluck the A (D string, 7th fret) while setting the EQ balance as the resulting tone usually translates well to the remainder of the fingerboard. Can't say why it works for me but it does...maybe it has something to do the with the octave "bounce" I hear in so many pop songs (think Hall & Oates). Avoid boosting bass freq's as they all-too-often mask the sorely-needed definition provided by the mids.

  7. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    +1 again. With an active 3 band eq on the bass, set them all to the detent, (flat), and make small incremental changes as needed. Blasting all 3 bands wide open is a recipe for disaster.
  8. terzian

    terzian Guest

    Dec 6, 2011
    South Wales
    Thanks everyone.

    I really appreciate the feedback I will give your suggestions a try.

  9. grendle


    Mar 4, 2011
    Central FL
    Adjust your pickup height. It shouldn't be your eq or amp. All your strings should sound pretty even right from the get go.
  10. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's

    Putting all EQ sliders at max just means you are boosting ALL frequencies - just a volume boost and no EQ. There will also be some other undesirable effects. In gneral, EQ controls should never be anywhere near maximum - they are only for a slight flavor.

    You may also need to adjust your pickup height as mentioned above to balance the output across all the strings. They don't have to be level!