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This is pissin' me off

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bryan bailey, Mar 21, 2003.

  1. I own an Ampeg B3158 combo, and through the effects loop I have a Behringer MDX 1400 compressor. The bass I use is a TBC with active pickup (humbucker). The problem is, when I am slapping and popping when I get to a certain level off how hard I am playing, the peake light keeps coming on. Despite the compression level harsh peaks it is still peaking. Not to mention I have the gain set on about 2 or 3. It still peaks, I have no idea what the hell is going on but it annoys me, because I know that amp should be a hell of a lot more louder than it is without the peak light flashing everytime I hit a note and the limit lights on the speakers coming on as well. Any tips for solving this frustrating problem will help me a lot. And for those who think it may be the compressor, it did this before I bought it as well, only worse. I also apologize for any bad grammer and the weird way I phrased this big sentence:bawl: :mad:
  2. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Do you have the preamp on the active bass turned up all the way? If so, back off the volume and see if the problem persists.
  3. I tried that, but the the volume goes down and the problem still persists. I think my pre amp light has epilepsy
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    If it's any consolation --- I decided to go back to a rack rig after 10+ years of using good ol' amp heads....and it has been nothing but continual frustration.

    - Once I laid out the dollars for about the most expensive preamp on the market, I get told it's incompatible with the power amp I want.

    - Then the preamp maker tells me it works although a Talkbass associate who had the same rig says it doesn't.....but I go with the advice of the preamp maker anyway.

    - Then you have to worry about if the rack you are buying will allow enough space for the components.

    - Today, FedEx delivers the power amp and I find it's incompatible with my Eden speaker cabs because the power amp doesn't use 1/4" connections. So, I have spent half the day to find a local music store who will make my 10 gauge ProCo speaker cables compatible with my power amp....the power amp needs Speakons.

    My good old amp heads never looked better to me than they do now because they don't involve all of this rack system nonsense.

    If the rack system doesn't sound 10 times better, I'm going to be mucho P.O'd.

    I've never seen such a bunch of customer-insensitive people running around in 10 different directions. Anyone who has a rack system is a genius, an epitome of persistence,.....or just flat out, lucky, to me.

    I haven't even made a sound with my rack rig and I hate it already. :bawl:
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    "I own an Ampeg B3158 combo, and through the effects loop I have a Behringer MDX 1400 compressor"

    Take the compressor OUT of the loop, route the bass to the compressor and the compressor to the amp input.

    With it in the loop it is AFTER the preamp (and the peak light).
  6. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Run the compressor in front of the amp, not in the effects loop.

    Like this........

    Bass -> Compressor -> Amp

    Depends on the schematic layout of the amp, but by running it in the effects loop, you are probably compressing your signal after the pre-amp. That's why you're still clipping when you play hard.
  7. It works through the effects loops though
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Apparently not.

    If you insist on running a serial processor (the compressor) through a parallel effects loop, you should at least make sure your effects blend is turned all the way up. However, if your effects loop is after your preamp, you're still going to have the same problem. You should try it the way Bruce says.

    Anyway, help us out here. Please tell us your settings for the following:


    No one really can help you without knowing at least your threshhold and ratio settings.
  9. I'm pretty sure he's talking about the poweramp limiter and not the preamp clipping light here, so whether or not he runs the compressor in the effects loop should be irrelevant for that particular issue.

    The problem I have with running a compressor before the preamp is that the signal out of my bass is not strong enough to be able to setup a compressor very well compared to the signal from my preamp. Maybe this is just because I have a cheap Behringer compressor though.
  10. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Yes, your signal will still get compressed if you run it in the effects loop, but it is getting compressed AFTER your pre amp................

    To keep from clipping your pre-amp you need to compress the signal BEFORE it hits the pre-amp.......

    Like Munji said it would be good to know the settings you're using as well, but generally speaking, you'll want a fast attack setting and set the ratio just high enough that your "peaks" - the loudest parts of your signal, usually the initial attack - won't clip your pre-amp. I'd say no higher than 4:1, maybe a bit higher for slap.

    The idea with a compressor is that you shouldn't really be able to hear it working, other than having a lot more headroom and thus a louder, cleaner sound.

    A lot depends on the quality of the compressor, too. I don't have any experience with Behringer, but many of the cheap ones aren't worth having at any price. If you get a "pumping" effect no matter how you set it, don't think that all compressors are worthless. Playing through a really good one is amazing, but the really good ones are also amazingly expensive.

    I've heard a lot of good things about the ART Levelar, they're around $100.
  11. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    By the way, don't expect to be able to really beat on your bass when slapping and popping..........proper technique goes a lot further than even a fantastic compressor..........
  12. Oh, my bad you said pre-amp light.

    I'm sure you know this but I might as well try for the easy solution if your gain clips at 2 or 3... you do have the pad turned on for the input right?
  13. Uh It's the preamp, and I am not using the pad, but the compression tips are helping, but the fact of it being a $70 isn't doing exactly what I expected it to do:meh: But it is still better than nothing, and I am using the fastes attack and realease on it with the threshold on about -20
  14. Hmm new problem.....I just have returned from a band practice. And the amp was not NEARLY as loud as it should have been. The sound couldn't cut through cheese. Any suggestions....anything?:bawl: :bawl: :bawl:
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Well, with your threshhold at -20 dB, depending on your ratio, you may be attenuating your input signal significantly. For example, if your ratio is very high (say, infinity, in the extreme) then you'd just be putting a 20 dB pad on your input. No wonder it's quiet. I'd try a threshhold in the -10 to -5 dB range, with perhaps a 4:1 ratio. If you're still getting too many peaks, increase your ratio, maybe up to as high as 10:1.

    With compression, a little dab'll do ya. I had similar volume problems with my PA until I discovered that the threshhold was down in that -20 dB range. It was acting like a limiter, and sounded like crud.
  16. There's a good chance you have an output knob on your compressor, I do on my Behringer. If you boost the output it should compensate for lost volume that occurs through compression.
  17. I know you don't want to hear this, and I hope you find out it is truly a compressor issue, but, I owned a 3158 a few years back. I had it about 6 months and only played it at practice once a week. I noticed it started to lose volume after playing it a while.

    Later on it wouldn't be long during a practice that I would find myself having to turn it up more than I usually have it set.

    One day during practice, in the middle of a song, there was no sound at all. I shut it off and waited about 2 minutes and turned it back on. Played it for about 2 minutes and then nothing. Just before I could shut it off it started smoking and making noises usually associated with a catastrophic failure!

    My advice would be to take the compressor out of the loop for a while and listen to the amp carefully. noticing any changes in volume as the amp warms up. Then, since you should have a 5 year warranty, get it in for warranty work.

    Ampeg paid for the repair, they had to replace the whole pre-amp circuit card and power supply. Took 6 weeks to get it back tho!

    Also, strange thing is, when I called Ampeg and told them what happened they knew exactly what the problem was. Seems to me that that was an indication that is was a design issue, As soon as I got it back I sold it. Best of luck tho....


    My post about it from way back when....

  18. DAMNIT! DAMNIT! DAMNIT! AGHHHHH. Oh well time to bum off of other peoples amps till it gets fixed, then after I have the money I get the new rig on the horizon. Ampeg B2 or 4 through an aquilar or avatar 2x12. That should be loud as hell

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