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Open B string volume

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by socalpyropunk, Dec 22, 2001.

  1. I got my Inanez BTB 405 last week and played it on my full rig(SVT 410HE and Ampeg B2 Combo) for the first time today because its been at my drummers house. It sounded awesome, but my only concern was when an open B string is played it sounds dead.. just like its really lacking. Is this a problem with my amp set up or something. This is my first 5 so I wasn't really sure what to expect with it
  2. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    I would say that if your B seems quieter than the rest of your strings, then you should adjust your pickup height. If it seems "dead" you might have a dead B string. This can be fixed with a new set of strings. If you try both of these with no success, then its your bass. Cheaper 5 string basses have dead sounding B strings. I doubt the problem will be with your amp, unless it has a really agressive limiter like those crate combos.
  3. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    One interpretation of "dead" could be "weak" (you said "lacking"). If you are finding that the output of your rig gets progressively weaker the lower you go, it could easily be that you are dealing with speaker roll-off. The low B's fundamental (31 Hz.) is very difficult to reproduce at loud volumes. I just looked up the frequency response of the 410HE and, according to the Ampeg catalog, it is down 10 dB at 43 Hz.! This means it will be down a lot more than that at 31 Hz. Like the SVT810, it doesn't appear to be a strong performer below low E. As I've said in other threads, going to a 5-string has some pitfalls.
    - Mike
  4. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome

    Apr 2, 2001
    Interesting, the Ibanez BTB-405 I tried also had a quiet B-string. Liked its overall tone though.
  5. Mikey...thats exactly what I was looking for. That does explain it. I never quite understood the whole usable low frequency and -10dB thing. I've thought a bit about that and wondered if that was it. I was planning on replacing the B2 Combo with the SVT-15E and a seperate head, would this help or would it be better to sell the entire rig and go with something like the 410HLF? any thoughts on that cab or what I should do? all help is greatly appreciated

    I think I'm beginning to regret purchasing this SVT410HE just a month ago as I'm noticing more downfall with its 96dB sensitivity it is notacably quieter than a few other cabs I've played on with similar power and now the this prob with the 5 stringer..huh...should saved up the extra bones and gone with the HLF
  6. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    Either that, or go back to 4-string (low E)! Seriously. The notes on a B-string are really hard to reproduce. My Carvin 1x18 has a hard time with them, and even my Eden 2x15 has to be EQ'd up a bit on the low end to pump out a lot down there. In some ways, the B-string is like a cruel joke on bass players. No problem with getting it into a mixer and onto a CD, but having it be authoritative in a live setting is not a trivial matter.

    If you really want to have a bigger bottom for those low notes, you'll need to get serious about cabinets better suited to them. Maybe the HLF or 15E would do, but you should consider other brands as well. (BTW, I seriously considered the SVT215E before I went with my Eden.)

    Regarding speaker cabinet performance, remember this little nugget of wisdom: loud, low, small (cabinet) - you can have any two, but not all three. You have to make the decision about the tradeoff you're willing to accept. I needed reasonably loud, reasonably low, and reasonably small, which is why I ended up with the Eden 2x15 for my application (which includes a 5-string bass).
    - Mike
  7. i had that same problem with my btb. i tried it with my set up and my e string was lacking something, i wasn't sure what. i have a Gallien Kruegar 700 head, and SWR 4x10 and 1x18 cabs. but i'm selling my stuff now for a carvin set up (in my info) and i tried my btb through it, it sounded nniiccee. i do like all the equalizations the btb has on it, i've tried my bass through really crappy amps before and the btb actually made a reasonable sound through them.
  8. I've been thinking about Carvin too bron..I live relatively close to their Santa Ana outlet...I think I'll be selling my rig in a little while in favor of something else.. Carvin is tempting. let me know how that works with the BTB.

    Mikey..my 4 string is currently being converted to a fretless because I figured I could use it to work on my ear. Also I have no need with my band to play an open low B currently so I'm plenty fine with the 5 but just for future reference I would like to find something better suited.
  9. the BTB's B-string is indeed softer than the other strings..

    the EDC, on the other hand is completely the other way around... the B string is a bit louder than the other strings.
  10. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    You may want to look at archived posts in TB about Carvin's cabinets. A lot of us seem to agree that their cabinets, while a good value for the money, are not strong performers in the bottom octave. I have their RL118 (1x18) cabinet, and it starts weakening below low A (55 Hz.). It's still putting out something at low E, but it's subdued. Low B is even weaker - there, but not very strong. They are also not very loud - sensitivity of their bass cabinets is probably 95-98 dB, in my estimation. They are good for applications where you don't need tremendous volume or don't want really strong fundamentals (jazz or folk, for example). On the other hand, I think their R-series heads are worth serious consideration.
    - Mike
  11. I agree with the posts about the BTB having a quiet B. I've tried two, and both had disappointing B's, despite a 35" scale.
    I disagree with the comment of "the B being a cruel joke". I have a killer B sound with my current setup, it just sounds like the other strings, only lower, and this is in a 6 piece band. I do however qualify this by saying that if ya want a B, ya need to pay the bucks, because there are very few cheap or intermediate basses out there with a good B. Even some higher-end basses are lacking in the B dept. I had a new G&L L2500 with a crap B, despite trying every brand of string on earth.
  12. Could that also be the frequency response of your p/us??
  13. oh yes... i foregot something!
    i used to tune my 4 string soundgear to BEAD, and the b string sounded just fine. sometimes i even tuned it to A, and still okay to my ears.

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