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stumped on "tightening" sound. help!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Zapp, Sep 19, 2005.


  1. Zapp

    Zapp

    Sep 4, 2005
    Gruene Texas
    ok guys I need some expert advice.
    playing in a practice yesterday I just got so frustrated with the absence of "tight" in my setup.

    I play the hamer american cruise with 2tek bridge and some type [can't see the underside] of Active EMG's. VERY big sound on the bass: rarely ever turn the bass end into the "gain"... usually run flat. Use a few custom patches I derived on a Digi BP50, and my trusty SWR WM 12. in bigger hall I add an Avatar 15 cabinet.

    I previously had an old English "Acoustic" rig, had a Hartke 350 head which I used with several cabinets, the Avatar being the best one, had an Eden WT400 signature using same/same. cabs. I have never used 4 x 10" cabs but gave it some thought.

    I use a dense foam strip back at the bridge of my bass to dampen the sustain and mildly mute the strings [long story, but it helped immensely].

    How do I tighten this sound so I get a hardknuckle punch instead of a huge blossomy "Whoosh" ? you know? jab-jab-jab, not "whoom whoom whoom" ?
    It comes a LITTLE bit closer in the right direction if I used the little SWR "enhancement" circuit on the amp turned ALL the way, but then there is a price to pay elsewhere, so I don't use it much.

    Effects? Pre-Amp? [been looking at picking up the Sansamp bass driver] ? New Cab? new combo? new bass?

    thanks
    z :help:
     
  2. I would start with your existing equipment by experimenting with the tone controls. Specifically I would turn up the mid knob a little and the bass knob down a little. If you just can't dial it in a good quality 2x10 cab might be the ticket.
     
  3. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    You need 10's IMO.

    If you want to work with what you got. Add more midrange/low mid (or even high mid) and take out more bass.
     
  4. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Take out the foam damper on your strings, it's damping high end as well as the lows you don't like.
    Take out bass at around 60 hz.
    Add midrange at about 800 hz.
    Add high end at around 4khz.


    Consider playing with a pick some of the time if you don't, but this should not be required.

    Consider buying a Schroeder speaker cab;)
     
  5. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Playing style can also make a big difference. Rather than letting each note sustain naturally until the next, try relaxing your fretting hand fingers after each hit to cut it off short. Also, plucking nearer the bridge will yield a honkier, less pillowy tone (for want of better adjectives!).

    Wulf
     
  6. el_Kabong

    el_Kabong

    Jul 11, 2005
    And favour the bridge pickup, play closer to the bridge with your right hand and play hard.
     
  7. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I don't think you need to play that hard - it's the precision of your playing that counts.

    Wulf
     
  8. Aenema

    Aenema

    Apr 18, 2001
    Michigan
    if you want tight and punchy id suggest a 2x10 cab or 1x12 neo cab. my 1x12 gk cab has more punch then my swr 4x10 goliath III had. swr sound great, its just very smooth and not well suited for a punchy/aggressive sound. i would suggest playin with your EQ before spending the cash on a new cab though. i obtained the punchiest sound from my swr gear by turning the aural enhancer to 12 o clock, bass to 2 o clock, and 200 hz (low-mid) to about 4 o clock. i dont think the workingmans has sweepable mids though so try boosting the mid range and see what happens.
     
  9. If you want a really percussive sound work on right and left hand string damping ala Jaco and Rocco Prestia.
     
  10. +1

    I've heard of using a dampener to get a bigger, boomier sound like an upright, and I'm not sure how effective that would be in tightening up the low end.
     
  11. el_Kabong

    el_Kabong

    Jul 11, 2005
    Playing hard will generate a different tone than a light touch, more mid harmonics which is good for the punchy, cutting sound Zapp is asking about. Nothing to do with being sloppy.
     
  12. Zapp

    Zapp

    Sep 4, 2005
    Gruene Texas
    you guys are just awesome.

    with this bass, I almost always play with a mix of about 65% bridge pickup, unless a very quiet, cascading passage is needed with big warmth. I'm sure I need work on my right hand attack, as I don't play that close to the bridge [the pickup is like 'right there'.....]

    The amp, some of you know this, only has old-fashioned bass, mid, treb control. I have been playing this amp for about 10 year or more, so ... i know the ropes. The bass's one weakness is the ABSENCE of midrange control! it has bass & treb in a stack: that's all.

    so, ? pre-amp? only way I can think of to get more granular control of the frequencies

    z
     
  13. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    ^^Cheaper way would be to get an EQ pedal, such as the boss one and use that. Especially if you like the sound of your amp.

    I'd also suggest taking out the string dampers. If it's the fender style stack then mids flat would be at 10. So it could be an idea to start 'flat' with your controls 5-10-5 and work from there if you havn't allready.
     
  14. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    It depends how hard is hard. It's another parameter, alongside things like where you play between the bridge and neck, that needs experimentation. However, I find that I don't have to be hammering the strings to get a good "bite" to the sound, just like I don't have to hold my fretting hand in a death grip to get the notes to sound clearly without any buzz.

    That's why I'd emphasise precision (understanding and being able to make the small adjustments that have a big impact on tone) over force.

    Wulf
     
  15. el_Kabong

    el_Kabong

    Jul 11, 2005
    Yes, that's why I mentioned it.
     
  16. do you play with a pick or fingers? pick ..use felt.. fingers soft foam got mine from a wally world futon also try i m r in that order if using fingers really seems to tighten things up for me .also a tube preamp seems to transfer precision into punch and tone or if you are using the compresion on the digitech, that could be the source of your problems try a aphex punch factory could be what your looking for.