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Problem getting a good sound.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Psychosis, Mar 7, 2006.


  1. I have a problem at my bands rehersal room. I can't make the bass sound good and cut through at the same time! I've got a Fender Geddy Lee Jazz, Hartke 3500 head, Hartke VX410 cab and a Ashdown ABM-115 cab with Eminence Kappa 15 element. With the bass I always have to play with the bridge pickup soloed, because with both pickups on the sound is so bassy and muddy that I can't hear anything that I play. With the bridge pickup on it also sounds kind of muddy in the low register and it doesn't cut through, but in the high registers it cuts through to well and the sounds get harsh. I have to keep the master volume button at 7-8 to be heard. I've tried boosting the mids but that just makes the sound more harsh. I play with my fingers, and I would like to have that kind of classic rock sound (Blue Öyster Cult, Led Zeppelin...). The band consist of two guitars, a singer and a pretty loud drummer. I've also heard that the GL jazz and the Hartke head are known to be loud and cut through well, but not in my case. So does anyone have any idea what could be wrong?
     
  2. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Only 350 watts (less if it's an 8 ohm speaker) through a single 15? Your problem is that decibels are a product of wattage and efficiency. You're running low on both. You need more speakers , provided of course your head can take an extra speaker without running into impedance issues.

    Have you considered mating the 15 with a 410. In terms of frequency response, it's a good way to get the warm bottoms required for your style of music, but still being able to cut through. And your rig will be more efficient overall, and therefore louder.

    This isn't really recording related, so I'm moving this to amps.
     
  3. Mr_Dave

    Mr_Dave

    Mar 11, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    Employee - Basscentre Melbourne
    I think he mentioned he has a hartke vx410...

    On the hartkes i've heard that the blend you have of the tube and solid state preamps can change the sound quiet a lot... maybe experiment with that... and other than that i'm not sure. cutting around 100-120Hz can remove boom but cutting really low will give you more headroom and you'll be able to run your amp harder without clipping.

    If your bridge pu sounds muddy down low but harsh up hi sounds like your sound is too scooped, to much bass and treble not enough cutting mids, but you say when you add mids it gets harsh... kinda stumped here, maybe cut bass and treble...

    goodluck
     
  4. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Oops!I stand corrected on that point but the rest of my post still applies. Against 2 guitars, 350 watts isn't much, especially if the guitarists are using 100W Marshalls through 4x12 cabs. As a general rule, I like to have at least 4 times the wattage of the guitarist(s), more if possible. Others here will say you need 10x.
     
  5. snowdan

    snowdan

    Feb 27, 2006
    get a decent amp. compare and see how much better a GK cuts through than the hartke. the 3500 sounds lame imho. get a 700rb or probably a backline and blow your bandmates away.
     
  6. momo

    momo

    Oct 22, 2005
    Huntington Beach, CA
    New gear may not be the problem, you could be in too small of a room. What are the deminsions? I am having the same trouble with my band these days, I have the active bass knob on my RBI almost all of the way off.
     
  7. Kael

    Kael Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    Before doing anything else, what is your EQ set to? Are you flat, or are you boosting/cutting anything?
     
  8. Steeltoe

    Steeltoe

    Mar 4, 2003
    Los Angeles
    When is the last time you changed strings? Maybe your
    due. Next question: can you play pickstyle? It cuts thru
    better in a rock band. Just ask McCartney.
    If that doesn't work, add a Mesa Venture head
    on a Mesa 4x12 cab. Then see if you don't cut thru.
    Just my two cents. I have the above head on a Mesa
    2x12 cab, and it cuts thru with authority, yes it does.
    Covers the whole range, and really strong in the mids,
    where 10's and 15's are lacking.
    I get the nod from other bassists too, who are often
    surprised that's all I'm using.
     
  9. I don't think the room is too small, it's like 4x10 (m).
     
  10. I try a little different things almost every time I play, but right now i keep the graphic equalizer flat, and I boost the bass to about 3 o'clock.
     
  11. Actually I changed them quite recently (Rotosound Swing 66). That actually helped a lot. Yes I can, but not nearly as good as with my fingers. Haven't actually tried that. Mesa Boogie are too expensive for me. :p
     
  12. I tried playing with a pick today. It cut through good but I didn't like the tone :p. But that will do for now.
     
  13. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I play a Geddy Lee and I found it a little tricky to EQ at first, especially in a band situation. It has a tendency to sound "thin" when played by itself, so you add some bass and it sounds better, but then you try to play with the band and it gets too boomy and muddy. I have found that a little low / mid bump on the graphic EQ does the trick. Specifically, I am boosting: 1.5 dB at 60 Hz, 3 dB at 100 Hz, 3 dB at 180 Hz, and 1.5 dB at 340Hz. Everything else is flat. It sounds good with all 3 knobs on the Geddy dimed, or if you favor either pick up you'll still get a nice usable sound. I would suggest that you turn down that bass knob that you have you have up to 3 O'clock and try to focus in on some more specific frequencies that will give you the sound you want. I also think that you might want to figure out how to use the neck pick up - it won't be as "harsh" as the bridge pick up and really helps get that "old school" tone. If you can't use your neck pick up because things get too boomy or muddy, you need to EQ your amp differently so that you will be able to utilize the neck pick up. Of course, this is all IMO.
     
  14. seriously, i love my hartke setup... ive basically got the same thing...

    i play a pjbass, so im kinda looking for that deeper sound, but NOT muddy... a defined deep is really what is ideal..

    most of the time, i have the tube preamp only, and the 12 band in a big scoop...

    basically, you have to mess with the 12 band... to much bass, take some out... vice versa and so on and so forth...

    i know that setup can sound good, its just a matter of time...
     
  15. el_Kabong

    el_Kabong

    Jul 11, 2005
    Do you have the same problem in rooms other than your rehearsal room? You're not setting your rig up close to a wall or in a corner are you? The room itself and where you position your rig can have a major effect on your tone, no fault of your equipment.
     
  16. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    There's part of the problem. Lay off of the eq a bit - try and set the whole thing flat, and make small adjustments from there. If you need more headroom, I'd cut the low freqs and boost the low mids, but just little bits on each of them.
     
  17. I haven't actually tried having it in another room.
     
  18. Dbassmon

    Dbassmon

    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    I have found Hartke 4 x 10 have an odd dispersion characteristic in large rooms. Low end that sounds right where you are playing is way over the top 15' feet infront of the band. I don't know that's what's going on here.

    I think you are under powered. 350 watts for bass in a rock band is not enough. However, if you put a direct signal into the PA to suppliment your amp, you may find that does two things, gives you the presence you are looking for an saves your hearing a bit.

    I would think about a 1000 watt QSC or Crown power amp to drive your cabs. You can use your Harkte head as a preamp. When an amp runs out of power, it can not exicute your eq because it's clipping... it ran out of juice.
     
  19. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005

    I agree with the above - for that band situation, 350 watts isn't very much, IMO - another cab, or some reinforcement from the PA, and you'll probably be good to go...



    - georgestrings
     
  20. I'm thinking of buying a QSC RMX 850 (830 W Bridged) to later add a Ampeg SVP-CL (Would like to try som new sounds, the hartke is a little to bright for my taste). Don't you think 830 W would be enough? The PA we have are so bad that I don't think it would be such a good idea to use it for the bass. :p