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Overdrive Versus Tweeter...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by blastjv, May 12, 2010.

  1. blastjv


    Jan 8, 2010
    Philly Area
    I know this has been discussed, but the info is so confused and disjointed it's hard to discern a straight answer.

    I have a cabinet with a tweeter (Aguilar GS412). I love it with my clean sound with just a touch or tweeter (I turn it all the way down and then just bring it up until you can barely hear the tweeter adding 'zing'). However, if I ad ANY amount of Overdrive (really just a little hair on top of the clean sound) it sounds like crap. If I turn the tweeter all the way off it sounds kinda' lifeless...

    So, would one of the following make sense?

    1 - Disconnect the tweeter and crossover (hopefully in a completely reversible way) to get the full range signal through the speakers and hopefully bring some life back to the tweeter-less sound (which I think is being lost due to the crossover)

    2 - Replace the tweeter with another one. Is there another tweeter that we know of that plays well with OD? Or are other types of tweeters better for this? (Soft Dome? Silk? Textile? Whatever...) Any suggestions for a cheaper one (from Parts Express perhaps?) that would help me experiment and see if I'm on the right track here...

  2. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Neither. Lots of overdrive introduces extreme levels of harmonics, which not only sound bad through a tweeter, they also can blow it. That's why guitar amps don't use tweeters. And that's why if you do run high levels of distortion the best way to do so is though a small guitar combo, keeping the signal through your bass rig relatively clean.
    An alternative is to replace the tweeter with a midrange driver, which will give results much closer to how guitar drivers handle overdrive. But it's not a simple swap.
  3. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    I'm fairly curious as to the possibility of removing the crossover, as I think it still acts as a low pass when the tweeter is off, so the highs aren't reaching the cones. They won't do tweeter highs, but a bit more should come from them.

    Edit: Also, the drive from a sansamp has the highs rolled off, so doesn't upset tweeters.
  4. robgo


    Jan 25, 2008
    if this is an issue you could always run a GK rig. They have a seperate power amps for woofer and tweeter so that you can get your main sound dirty while keeping your tweeter clean. Which is pretty much what you're talking about, I think.

    Personally, tweeters do nothing for me. Rip it out, problem solved.:D
  5. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    The GK biamp feature only works when using two cabs, not one full range cab containing both woofers and tweeter.
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Before you start messing with mods to your speaker cab, I'd suggest using EQ - in particular, try rolling off highs or high mids that made distortion sound harsh.

    Another solution is to use a tweeterless bass cabinet. My choice is the Bergantino NV610 - it sounds great both clean and dirty - but others exist.
  7. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    You'd need separate EFX loops after the crossover for that to work.

    My solution is to just get a better overdrive unit with the EQ you need to make it sound good through a full range system.
  8. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    not to threadjack - but I think this is still on topic...

    FACT or FICTION??? (I can't seem to find a solid answer here, everyone is 50/50)

    will disconnecting the tweeter do harmful things to the amp???
  9. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    It depends. What cab and what amp?
  10. Mola Ram

    Mola Ram

    Jan 18, 2010
    This is incorrect. The Bi-amp feature on GK's can definitely be used with one cab.

    The issue is that "bi-amp" is slightly misleading. What the feature does is split the sound for you so that the tweeter gets a fixed frequency of 5kHz. This is why GK RB heads have Bi-Amp knobs that control the Tweeters and Woofers seperately. This is ONLY available, however, when you are ussing an RB head through GK cabs that support this particular Bi-Amp feature. You need a special 4 prong connector as well that is shipped with those GK cabinets.
  11. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    I use a Markbass R500 (500 watts @ 4 ohms) head

    SWR 2x10 (350 watts @ 8 ohms)

    Orange OBC 15" (400 watts @ 8 ohms)

    The 2x10 is the one I disconnected the (150 watt 8 ohm) tweeter from. It was blown and sounding awful. So, do I HAVE to buy another tweeter and install it, or can I just leave it disconnected? I never really used the tweeter anyways...
  12. BassBrass


    Jul 6, 2009
    Boston MA
    "it sounds like crap"
    Is this when you are playing it alone or with a band? I find that if I judge by my solo sound I won't cut through a band. Time after time I have experienced others sound checks where the bass sounded great alone and then disappeared during the set. Some crap is necessary (unless you play at low volume).
  13. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    I've never looked inside one of those cabs, so I have no idea if it has a full crossover or just a high pass to the tweeter, as many bass cabs do. But in either case specifics matter. Is there an L-pad? Tweeter protection circuitry? Inquiring Spock types want to know...;)

    The fail-safe method is to just disconnect everything but the woofers, and wire those directly to the input jacks.
  14. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Thanks Passin...I don't really know what all that means...if I send you a link would you have a minute to try and look it up for me?? I'm kinda blind to this technical stuff sometimes...

    info from SWR website:

    and a link to the Goliath Owners Manual PDF
    http://www.swrsound.com/support/manuals/pdfs/Goliath Spkrs_075746a.pdf
  15. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    OK, looks like it has enough going on in there to have some potential downside to just disconnecting the tweeter. I'd suggest you email or call SWR tech support first, then PM me if you don't get a clear answer from them.

    Any good tech could suss how best to proceed in pretty short order if they had your cab in their shop, or even if they just had pictures or schematics of the input dish and the crossover. ;)
  16. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Thanks for your help. I'll let you know if I can't find anything.

    I may just have my electronics guy wire the input jacks directly to the speakers - bypassing any crossover or tweeter electronics completely to be on the safeside.

    Thanks again!
  17. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    My overdrive sounds are provided partly or fully by an emulator device: Tech21 VT Bass.
    It has a "built-in" high cut at 4khz (or 5 khz).
    It provides my basic slight overdrive tone. When I need more drive I use an Xotic BB bass preamp BEFORE the VT.

    When I play clean I just use them in bypass mode.

    That way overdrive distortion sounds good through tweeter equipped cabs AND through your DI.
  18. blastjv


    Jan 8, 2010
    Philly Area

    - I like a very bright and present sound, but I think it's the frequencies I want that are also messing with the tweeter.

    - I am using an Xotic Bass BB preamp (OD), or a Way Huge Pork Loin, so while there it plenty of room for me to be EQ'ing things badly, I don't think I need a 'better' OD, though it's possible that these particular ones, though great, just won't get me where I want to go...

    - I just tried disconnecting the tweeter and crossover and it seemed to help, but there was not an immediate and HUGE difference. I think I'm on the right track.

    - No one has commented on the idea of different kinds of tweeters (silk dome, etc). Any ideas in this area?

  19. The woofers are most likely NOT low-passed. SWR cabs, for example, run their woofers full-range. I'm willing to bet your Aguilar cab works the same way.
  20. If you go to a different tweeter, you'd probably have to design a new crossover.

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