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practice amp response

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by wrench45us, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. wrench45us


    Aug 26, 2011
    I started out with a $99 Fender Rumble and at some point realized it wasn't doing even my cheap bass justice.
    Then I stepped up to a Roland 80 watt bass cube. It was a big step. It has a lot of bells and whistles I don't use. I just set it to where it sounds decent and play. Most of the time I play through the headphone jack.

    Here's my question:
    Through the speaker I'm hearing subtle lack of sustain on the B and E string, so the response doesn't match the other strings. I don't hear that lack of sustain under the headphones. I've tried to improve that match by changing strings, but now I'm beginning to think at least some of this comes from the response of the amp and speaker. Based on physics and wattage and whatnot, is that possible?
    With high fidelity the talk I know about watts is with transients, not sustain, but this is a different ballgame.

    Last Saturday I went and played a few basses in a music store through an Aguilar 350 with some SL speaker (2x10?) system. That sounded a lot more like what I hear through my headphones with a lot of added air oomph.
    If I'm going to get so picky what would I need to minimally upgrade for an amp/cabinet or combo to remove any doubt about suspected response issues -- if that's what this is. That Aguilar head/cabinet would be over a grand. I wouldn't think I'd need 350 watts to play in my studio and in small coffee shops, but mostly practice.
  2. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    If you bargain a bit you can get an Ampeg Micro-VR head plus an SVT210AV cab for $500. Plenty for what you need.
    High Camp and DocGeorge like this.
  3. will33


    May 22, 2006
    The longer a string rings out, the more the higher harmonics fade away and you're left with more of the fundamental and lower harmonics in the sound. The cheap speakers and small cabinet design in most practice combos don't make much of the lower frequencies in the first place, so as the harmonics fade away, they're left with nothing left to give in the lowend, thus the lower notes not sustaining as long as the higher ones.

    The fact that it doesn't do that through headphones says it's not a problem with your bass or the amplifier, but is in the speaker/cabinet end of things.
    wrench45us likes this.
  4. Versatek6

    Versatek6 Fretless is like Trombone Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2008
    Twin Cities, MN
    This is a good suggestion.

    I'll add the Gallien Kreuger MB200 head and Neo 112 cabinet for a great small rig. The GK combos are also quite nice, as are the TC Electronics Combos.
  5. wlater


    Mar 13, 2014
    North Alabama
    Keep in mind that your practice room acoustics may be coming into play as well. Playing with headphones takes the room out of the equation and the different amp and speaker you tried at the music store was also in a different room with different acoustics. Can you try your amp in a different room as a check? Or better yet, bring your bass and amp to the music store to directly compare against any amp/cabinet you're considering. Then you'll know for sure.
  6. wrench45us


    Aug 26, 2011
    any thoughts on Eden EC210 Bass Combo Amplifier for this purpose?
  7. Anything with 2x10 is an attempt at a gigging amp.
  8. wrench45us


    Aug 26, 2011
    I spent the evening doing online research

    economical, appropriate, modern technology
    GK MB200 head with
    Hartke HX112 Hydrive Bass Cabinet

    doesn't box me in too much of a corner

    Thanks for all your help.
    Linnin likes this.

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