Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Sweeter top end?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Alexander, Nov 29, 2004.


  1. Alexander

    Alexander

    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I've never been able to get a really good, glassy top end out of any of my basses\rigs. Everything seems either nasaly (think playing on the G about 5th-7th fret) or really shrill (above 12th fret) not smooth, clear and sweet as I would like. I have to play with a very soft touch to get anything I would consider usable. I currently play an MIA Jazz through a SABDDI and Aphex Xciter into an SWR SM-500 and Bergantino HT\EX112 cabs. I typically have the tweeter completely off and the highs rolled back a touch. I like more of a classic or old school sound, I suppose so maybe it is just me. I also find the E to be great and the A to be good too, but D and G to be weaker and unbalanced with the other strings.

    I'm planning on changing the pickups to SD Antiquity 2s, which I hope will help. I'm wondering what other ideas might be out there, though. Are there any EQ tricks that could help? I feel I have a pretty decent setup, but am open to thoughts on anything that might help.
     
  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    how about turning that tweeter back on??
     
  3. Alexander

    Alexander

    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I've experimented with the tweeter and found I liked it either rolled off a bit or cut completely as it seemed to bring out the harshness more to me as opposed to sweetening the overall sound.
     
  4. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    my experience as well. I prefer mine completely off.
     
  5. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    You said you like old school sound. IMO glassy top end and old school classic sound dont work together. In fact when I think old school I think of a rolled off high end. Ive got HT bergs for modern sound and eventually I want one of the NV bergs for a classic sound so I can have the best of both worlds. Maybe the HT berg speakers arent for you... :meh:
     
  6. Alexander

    Alexander

    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I just want a musical sounding top - none of the setups I've tried have given me that (or at least I haven't been able to get it out of my setup). I want an upper register fill to be heard and balanced with the rest of the bassline - without shattering glass...
     
  7. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
  8. Alexander

    Alexander

    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Sounds interesting - a question, though. Assuming I went with one of the 5751s as opposed to the 12AX7, could this cause any potential issues with damaging any of the circuitry (since you're using a different type of tube than the circuit was designed for)? I don't know a lot about this, I'm afraid to say. If I remember correctly, changing the tube also affects the warranty - not that it would keep me from doing it on that alone, but...

    Would it be better to replace with a nice 12AX7 (Like Svetlana or JJs, for instance)? Thanks for the help.
     
  9. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    I've been using a 5751 in my SWR SM400-S for the past 5 years.

    Zero problems.

    Just stay away from Chinese tubes with the SWR.

    If it needs warranty service, just pop in your original GT12AX7C. :D

    Haven't tested Svetlana or JJs lately.
    Couldn't possibly be worse then the stock tube.
     
  10. Alexander

    Alexander

    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for the advice - I should have done a search before asking some stupid questions. Lots of good threads about tube choices out there. I found some Sylvania 5751s on the web ($55 each - ouch), but if they do the trick, they'll be well worth it. I also do want to replace the pups - thanks in large part to your j bass pup review and other reading, I think I'll try the SD Antiquity IIs. I am using D'Addario strings - I am assuming they are nickel, but would have to look back. Is one warmer than the other?
     
  11. DemoEtc

    DemoEtc

    Aug 18, 2004
    It wouldn't be the Aphex that's making things shrill, would it? Have you recently played without it in the chain?
     
  12. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    I paid $10 ea. back in 1999.

    GE JAN with the Green Print on the glass is worth checking out.
    Triple Mica with 'D' shaped getter and your good to go.

    EBay has a pair for $35 + shipping.

    Less then a 2 GT12AX7M's and will last about 20 years longer.
     
  13. Alexander

    Alexander

    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for all of the advice - I'll see what I come up with.
     
  14. Alexander

    Alexander

    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    OK - just wanted to give you guys an update. Stopped and picked up a 12AX7EH - for under ten bucks, I thought it was worth a shot. WOW - what an immediate difference. The shrill highs are gone altogether and the amp sounds warmer and more musical. I still plan to get one of the 5751s as soon as possible - if this EH makes that much difference, I can only imagine what one of those will sound like. I can use the EH as a spare, then... I took the SABDDI out of the loop as now the amp clearly sounds better on its own - I still like having the Aphex in the chain though (for now). Seems to be the same tone, just bigger.

    Now if Santa just brings me those Antiquities... ;)
     
  15. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    One thing you might also try is fiddling with pickup heights. This really can make a HUGE difference.

    Oh, to add, as well, mylar film capacitors (for your tone control) usually sound better for clarity and smoothness overall than do ceramics.
     
  16. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    Excellent.

    I don't know why SWR doesn't do something about those OEM tubes.
     
  17. Alexander

    Alexander

    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I don't either. I've been playing now for the last couple of hours and that kept running through my mind. Why does an amp that costs so much not have a better tube? Blows my mind to think something so small (and cheap) can make such a big difference. I've always heard SWR was a sterile sounding amp, blah blah blah... I always liked the underlying character and articulate nature of that amp but would agree it is a bit sterile. Now with just a changed tube it is absolutely not - nice, warm, musical AND with that SWR character and articulation.

    Thanks for the advice. I'm one step closer to "my" tone.