Overdrive: How High in Hertz do you go?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BassJunkie730, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. BassJunkie730


    Feb 3, 2005
    I thought I'd ask around about this to see what everyone's reaction is.

    Assuming you dig overdriven or distorted bass.

    How high do you go?




    If you roll-off your tweeter - what's the crossover point and what kind of reduction do you seek?

    The reason I ask is I'm wondering how crucial is the relationship between high frequency response and intentional OD/Distorted bass tone.

    Is there a sweet spot across the board - or do different tones (say the difference between Grand Funk Railroad and Tool) require different high frequency extensions - and therefore favor certain cabinets or drivers?

    So fire away!
  2. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    As high as you need to to have the top-end you want for your particular OD/DIST tone - no more, no less ; } ...There's a gazillion tonal distributions of OD/DIST and some of us actually use more than one, so don't be afraid to experiment to find a few that are useful for you. Generally speaking, distortion shifts the frequency balance upward, so sometimes it takes some EQing to rebalance the booty portion of the derived signal.

    Finally: Ears. Use them, that's what music is all about.
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Tell that to Evelyn Glennie! ;)
  4. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc

    Ears. Use them, that's what music used to be about.

    Still, I bet she "hears" better than many who are playing today ; }
  5. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Commercial User

    Jun 29, 2006
    President, CEO, CFO, CIO, Chief Engineer, Technician, Janitor - Reiner Amplification
    I like grind and distortion - I have many cabs, none with tweeters - they all roll off in the 4-5kHz range, similar to a guitar speaker which seems to work very well for the dirt. I would say you want decent response up to at least around 3KHz, but I wouldn't want anything beyond 5Khz.
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    What JGR said.

    My #1 cab has no tweeter, and that's the reason I use it: it sounds much smoother with the aggressive grind I always dial in.
  7. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    P.S. My #1 cab is the Berg NV610. It's spec'd to 4.5kHz, but with enough treble boosted (active bass, fresh roundwounds) it'll give up to 6kHz at least.

    Even with the tweeterless cab I dial in bright distorted tones, ranging from live John Entwistle to Justin Chancellor. Again, without the tweeter the gritty highs sound much smoother. With my tweetered cabs I have to roll the tweeters way back, and by the time I reduce the buzzy bees effect to a manageable level I wind up losing too much info in the 3kHz to 5kHz range.
  8. BassJunkie730


    Feb 3, 2005
    Thanks for all the responses.

    FWIW - i've been distorting and blasting and overdriving for most of my musical life now.

    I'm more concerned with what all of you have to say.

    Like Fuzz and JGR I too get wary of any cab that has extension above 4khz for OD or Distortion.

    And yes - ones ears can settle into a plethora of different flavors and still classify all as "distortion"

    but what works for YOU?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Let's keep this with cabs exclusively and in that respect frequency range - I think the distortion chacteristics of certain cone types have been discussed at length.

    Thanks for your contributions thus far - and keep it going! :bassist:
  9. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    A lot of my time is spent with a two-way cab that has a dedicated 6" midrange cone that goes high and unlike larger cones has great off-axis response at the higher frequencies. Which means the frequency balance changes less in diffeent listening positions, that icepick-in-ear doesn't happen in one spot while its muffled when you are way off to the side.

    It's glorious to hear an ultradriven cascading sound that's meant to eat spectrum, through this particular setup. It's enough to make guitarists AND bassists jealous simultaneously... Play the same through 10" drivers with the same EQ treatment and it practically sounds like a pillow was put over something.

    Conversely, when a sludgey lowermids DIST is called for, I just roll off some treble/uppermids.

    * * *

    But I also play though a three-way cab of the same incarnation. Unlike most bass cabs the tweeter is well-integrated with the midrange source and padded back sufficiently so that its output blends well. Distortion/OD through it sound more like you would expect through a good non-hyped PA stack, or studio monitors or good home system. Which ultimately may be where your distortion is heard though anyway ; }
  10. lemur821

    lemur821 Guest

    May 4, 2004
    St. Louis, MO, U.S.
    I was just going to say, "Doesn't anybody run wide-open?" I'm a bedroom fan, although I don't use distortion with others.