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Problems with Rickenbacker 4003 and Avalon U5

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by AidanHampson, Aug 21, 2012.


  1. I've recently bought a brand new Ricky 4003, but am having problems getting a good sound out of it. I play it through an Avalon u5 and then a qsc power amp and getting a bad tone like its distorting. This happens at any volume level, either from the bass or from my EBS compressor.

    The bass sounds fine in any other amp, and any other bass sounds fine in the Avalon.

    Any ideas?

    Aidan
     
  2. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Are the other basses you are using through the Avalon active or passive?
     
  3. They're active. A jazz and P retrofitted with East preamps.
     
  4. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    How does your EBS comp play into this? Do the Rick 4003 and Avalon U5 still distort when the compressor is removed from the signal chain? How are you setting the U5's front control panel? Are you plugging the bass directly into the front panel's "Input - Hi Z"? Are you feeding the power amp from the U5's "Thru / Out" 1/4 jack or are you attempting to use either the mic or line XLR's on the reverse?

    Riis
     
  5. It seems to happen whether I'm plugged into the comp or not, reducing the output on the EBS doesn't seem to effect the sound either.

    I use both outputs on the Avalon, one goes straight into the power amp and then my cab, which produces a distorted sound, the other is sent straight to the desk. The desk sends a feed to my IEMs, and that is also distorted.

    It's a mystery! All I can think is that the Rickenbacker and the Avalon are somehow incompatible...?
     
  6. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Specifically, which output are you running to the power amp? I would strongly suggest running an instrument cable from the front panel's "Thru / Out" to the power amp's 1/4" input for starters. Where do you have the U5's output level set? I would ignore the XLR DI's for the moment.

    Riis
     
  7. I'll try that - thanks. For someone who is inept with these things, why is the thru better than the XLR on the back?

    What exactly does the boost on the Avalon do? Is that basically a gain control? I've tried this on all settings and it doesn't seem to help...
     
  8. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I can't give you a valid explanation; just narrowing down the number of variables. I did have two U5's cross my bench as of late. I ran both in the simplest configuration I could muster: using both the in & out jacks on the front panel. I ran the 1/4" instrument cable to a dedicated power amp and then repeated the process with the FX return on a Hartke 3500...no problems, no noise, no distortion.

    The boost is essentially your volume control. You should be able to set it in such a way that you'll see signal presence (yellow LED?) at the power amp. Please verify.

    Again, how do you have your front panel set (including switches)? You should be able to achieve a nominal "bedroom" volume with the boost no higher than #4.

    Riis
     
  9. Thanks, I'll try using the thru at my next gig tomorrow and report back.

    I've currently been using the Line level DI for my power amp and the mic level for the desk. This seems to be backwards to me, but plugging them in vice-versa makes it sound really bad...
     
  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Errr...don't you want to test it pre-gig?

    Riis
     
  11. Sorry, typo. I meant before not at. Oops!
     
  12. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Suggested starter settings:

    Boost 4 - 5

    High Cut on or off...shouldn't matter

    Speaker Signal out / off

    Active to THRU on

    Tone on

    Tone Shape #1 or #2 IMO




    Riis
     
  13. I'm slightly further on with this now than I was with my last post.

    I took the bass and Avalon to a friend's house to A/B it with one of his DIs. The ricky sounded great though his DI, then it also sounded great through MY Avalon. Which was obviously good news, but frustrating as I couldn't pinpoint the fault I've been getting when using it live.

    The only thing we didn't do was take two XLRs out of the back, which is what I usually do at gigs. Is there anyway this could cause the rickenbacker to sound bad? Bear in mind that I've never had any problems with my P or Jazz bass - perhaps it's an earthing issue with the Rickenbacker? Phantom power isn't being sent to my channel.

    Aidan
     
  14. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Why do you run both DI / XLR's? Either can probably be run to the desk (make sure you use the correct mic vs. line level input) provided the channel trim is set appropriately.

    I'll assume my previous suggestions worked?

    P.S. When experimenting with the XLR's, start with the "mic", run into the mic input, and adjust the trim accordingly. Line level can be a bit hotter so leave that for later.

    Riis
     

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