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Tight Low End?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bottomdweller70, Feb 20, 2005.

  1. Not sure where to post this question so I'll start here. I am having trouble getting the tight low end sound that I want. I currently play 4 strings tuned C-G-C-F and the low end just sounds muddy and weak. I have tried a few different basses(all 34" scale strung with 115-130, 100, 80, 60) tuned this way, Stingray 4, ESP Custom with Duncan MusicMan Style PU and preamp, as well as a BC Rich Exclusive with a passive Duncan MusicMan style PU. My current rig is an Ampeg SVT Classic and 8x10 cab. I have also have a SansAmp DI and Aphex Punch Factory compressor in the mix.

    Would actives do a better job tightening up the bottom?
    I have read Ampegs sometimes lack a tight bottom?
    Any suggestions at all.........??
  2. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    Sorry. I thought this was about something else. :eek:
  3. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    You need 15s, at least. I used that same tuning in an old band, 10 inchs cones are not going to reproduce those lower registers well. I found a 2x15 more suitable for that. Also your head may not be the greatest choice if your definition of "tight" is the same as mine (clean, punchy fast). Tubes don't seem to be able to produce this kind of tone without getting gritty, you may need to look into a solid state head of some kind.

    Finally, for your next bass consider getting a 35" scale neck. It made a world of difference for me both in sound and feel.
  4. You need 15 inch speakers and an amp with high damping factor. Tube amps generally have lower damping factor than solid state amps. Between different solid state amp models there also can be very significant differences in damping factor. In my opinion compressors dont do any good for tight bass.
  5. What am I missing? There are plenty of 5 stringers out there that use tube heads and 8x10 cabs and are happy with their bottom end....
  6. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I don't know. I use a 5 string now and am not one of those. Tube amps aren't designed to sound clean, and to me clean is an important component to tight. Lots of people don't feel this way and like that growly tube sound, but I think it makes my overall tone sound diluted. I feel the same way about 10 inch speaker cabs, they are great for giving clarity to the mid and higher end elements, but I wouldn't rely on them exclusively to carry the load in a bottom heavy environment.

    There is another thing you should consider: I'm going to guess that you tune the way you do because you play with guitarist(s) who tune to D/Drop C, yes? That means that entire band's sound is much more low end heavy that a band where the bassist uses a Low B tuned 5 string, but the guitarist tunes to standard E. See where I'm going?

    If you guitar player(s) are putting out more bass heavy tones then they are crowding into the area where you are sitting natually. So you need that much more power to push through the mix. Things like boosting your mids can help you cut through, but from my own expirience if you want your bottom end to be solid and full you need big cones pushing air, not lots of medium sized ones.

    Try and play through some 15 or 18 inch equipped cabs and see if you find something closer to the sound you want.
  7. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    There are plenty of nx10 cabs that have very good response down to low 'B'.

    It is probably more your cab than your amp that is an issue.

    I play an EB MM SR5 -> Demeter VTBP-201S preamp -> QSC PLX1602 power amp -> Schroeder 410 -- very tight low end and very punchy mid-bass.

    The Schro 21012 has a bit deeper bottom and is pretty tight as well.

    Other options: Epifani T-410 or T-212, Bergantino HT322, EA two NL210 (I think they're coming out with a 410 as well).
  8. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    Bottomdweller, I have a similar issue. I play a G&L L2000 (tuned: C-F-A#-D#) through a Trace Elliot GP7SM 250. With a Genz benz 2x10, and a Genz benz 15. The 15 helps cut through really well. I play next to a triple rectifier, and a 5150 and have no prblem being heard. I found an excellent loud overdriven tone...but I want to get a tighter more compressed sound as well for certain songs. I know i can get a large array of sounds out of my setup...but i'm not sure how to properly tweak it. My bass has switchable passive/active pickups, I prefer the passive. would switching to active help me find the tighter sound im looking for?
  9. dont


    Jul 25, 2004
    Try some 212 cabs. I play a five and like a very deep tone. My Genz-Benz NeoX 212's will rattle your fillings, and are very clear and solid. I have heard similar remarks about Gallien-Krueger's Neo 212.
  10. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    You should be ashamed for thinking like that! I know I was, when I thought it!:p:D
  11. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution
    +1. With a low tunings I'd recommend 12's over 10's. 10's will certainly be tight but they don't reproduce low B's & C's like 12's do. You will see 10" cabs rated for those frequencies but that is the acoustical property of the cabinet enhancing it...not the speaker itself producing the fundamental.
  12. That 810E is not designed to reproduce notes below an E (41hz), and that is with a +10db boost. If you want low end thump, look for another cab.

    While 12's and 15's are the obvious choice, I have heard some other 10's get really low, but probably not as low as you are concerned. Look into 12's or 15's.
  13. So what about active PU vs passive? Would the actives produce a tighter low end?

    Can someone suggest a amp/cab setup with 12s or 15s?
  14. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I've never noticed a tighter low end on my Active basses beyond the fact that everything sounds tighter on an active bass to my ears.
  15. jawzzz


    May 23, 2003
    Denver Colorado
    I can't believe that nobody has suggested this one yet:
    BBE Sonic Maximizer.

    I have a BBE B-Max pre with this in it and it tightend everything up. I have my 5 stringer tuned A-D-G-C-F and it sounds really tight. I also use an Aguilar GS 412, but the Aguilar S 210 I have on top sounds just as good. A much cheaper alternative to getting a new amp or cabinet. Behringer also has one(DUALFEX) that is cheaper , if money is an issue.
  16. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    I've had no problems with my 10" drivers for reproducing my bass tuned ADGCFA#. Could some of it be a function of the bass itself? The strings? I had a Fender that I was using at CGCF and I had a lot of problems getting a tight sound low end out of it. I have no problem on the longer scale Dingwall I'm playing instead now.