1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Strange sound coming from bass plugged in PA. please help!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by vilago, Dec 22, 2017.

  1. vilago


    Dec 5, 2016
    See the below link for a recording of this strange sound I took from my phone's mic.
    Dropbox - Bass Sound.m4a
    The bass is a yamaha TRBX 504 with active dual coil pickups. The PA is a power EV ZLX-12P. I am plugging directly into the powered PA, but I've tried going through a DI Box, mixer etc and it is still there so it can't be a ground issue. I can't figure out if its something with the bass or something with the PA. I find it hard to believe it is caused because i'm not using a bass specific amp as people play through PAs all the time without issue. Can anyone help?
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    Try another bass. See what happens.
  3. vilago


    Dec 5, 2016
    The problem is that the sound is hard to hear in a loud music store. need to bring a bass to my house somehow. anyone willing to loan one out who lives in DC dupont circle??
  4. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    Have you made sure that you are properly matching the impedance for the PA? Different PA inputs require different impedance. Most PA's will not sound good with a bass plugged directly in. A direct box will help but should still be in the right impedance range.
    Munjibunga likes this.
  5. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    You're plugging in directly to a powered speaker, correct? If so...

    I attached a copy of the manual. The system requires a balanced line or mic level input. I'd recommend a known DI box and connect via an XLR cable. You'll have to enter the DSP program and goose the input level (mic vs line) to best accommodate the source signal...you'll find the details on page 13.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
    Munjibunga and mech like this.
  6. mech

    mech Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    Sounds like the input of the PA is being over driven.
    BassmanPaul and Zooberwerx like this.
  7. vilago


    Dec 5, 2016
    Yes I am plugging directly in. I tried a radial di box and while I did not have to turn it up as high to get the same volume, it still makes this sound. It does sound like it’s overdriven but the volume is not very loud. The sound is more apparent in this recording but it isn’t as prominent in real life.
  8. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    ...or a bad battery(ies) in the bass.

    Where do you have the DSP level set? Does the same distortion appear with the bass in passive mode?

    Munjibunga likes this.
  9. vilago


    Dec 5, 2016
    Still in passive mode, but I agree it sounds like pickups have low battery. Preamp levels all at mid. You can see why this is such a bafffling problem. I feel like I’ve tried everything
  10. vilago


    Dec 5, 2016
    Still in passive mode, but I agree it sounds like pickups have low battery. Preamp levels all at mid. You can see why this is such a bafffling problem. I feel like I’ve tried everything
  11. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    People do not play through PAs all the time without issue. I use one of those EVs for a floor monitor. Quite nice. Never an issue. I feed it a line level from the effects send of my mixer.
    To your issue. In this world we think because I think it should work it should. That’s not how life is. There are details, level, impedance and voltage that have to be “obeyed” for proper delivery of your bass signal.

    It would be, and no disrespect, far easier to just plug into a small bass amp than try to make this work. When you succeed in getting it to work it will sound like a bass through a small PA speaker. It won’t sound like a bass in recordings or through a bass amp or a massive FOH system at a concert.

    You are using the wrong tool for the job and ultimately after making that shovel resemble a screwdriver you’d be better keeping your shovel intact and getting a screwdriver. Then you have two fully efficient tools for many jobs.
  12. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Gotcha! Not sure if this applies but a low battery will put the whammy on my passive mode in my Carvin bass...couldn't tell you why. I'm not overly concerned as to whether the enclosure / amp is appropriate for the task at hand...I would still expect it to function in a clean, distortion-free fashion if we're following the directions and using known defect-free components.

    Wish you were here in Virginia Beach...we could throw different components into the mix and hopefully find the culprit!

  13. vilago


    Dec 5, 2016
    I get what you are saying but I don’t really need 1 of each and normally I’d agree but in a 1 bedroom apartment space is a premium. Again I am not 100% confident it is entirely the speaker and there isn’t something going on with the instrument also.
    chadds likes this.
  14. vilago


    Dec 5, 2016
    Riis thanks for your suggestion. I will try a fresh battery and see if that does anything. I suspect not but worth a try. I really would like to try a different bass but not sure I’ll be able to.
  15. mech

    mech Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    @vilago ......I missed in your first post about active pickups. Low battery will make them distort.
  16. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    I hate to take you back to steps you may have already tried, but I had a similar type experience once and found a bad connection in my bass cable (it was oddly intermittent and hard to chase down). A bad bass output jack can also cause a similar problem in my experience. Hope that at least helps you rule something out if it's not the problem.
  17. vilago


    Dec 5, 2016
    That is true however I have removed the battery and switched to passive mode and still same result.
  18. ThisBass


    Aug 29, 2012
    There is lots of noise floor audible which let me conclude a suboptimal gain structure.
    At a first step I'd try fix the noise floor issue and then (again) evaluate the quality of sound.
    May be there is also some signal overload that in addition with lots of noise floor in total generates a rather poor sound.
  19. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    When troubleshooting, it is always easier to determine what it ISN'T first. Then one can narrow down what it is.

    First, try a different cable. That is the cheapest and easiest thing to try.

    Swap the battery in the bass anyway. May as well narrow that down as well.

    Does it make the sound with your bass volume turned halfway down? If so, you aren't overdriving anything.

    Then you are left with the bass and the PA speaker.

    Are you POSITIVE the speaker or tweeter isn't blown? If not, take your speaker and bass to a store. You said you're in the DC area, so there should be plenty.

    Try your bass through ANY PA setup in the store. It doesn't really matter what kind, how big or small, or how complex. If it does make sound, but not that noise, the problem isn't your bass.

    Then try ANY passive bass through your speaker. (Passive only because we don't habe to worry about the battery.) Does it make the sound? If you try all of that and still get that sound, come back and ask then.

    If I were your next door neighbor helping you figure this out, these are the steps we would take.

    Until you for sure narrow down ALL of these things, we are kind of at a loss here.

    Best of luck with it
  20. Rick James

    Rick James Banned

    Feb 24, 2007
    New Jersey
    That sound would happen going straight into any power amp, which is what you're doing. When you go through a PA you don't go direct into the PA power amps, you go through the board first, where the soundman can apply the necessary EQ to get it to sound right, just like you do when you use a bass amp.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.