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To use EQ, or not to use EQ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Nickthebassist, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. OK, as some of you may know, I'm trying to keep my rig very simple for gigging purposes. Now, I don't know whether to use the EQ on my amp, and just use my Sansamp and go direct? what d'ya reckon?
  2. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    You were just complaining that your rig with the Sansamp sounds lousy, now it's a viable option?

    Well if you're looking to simplify your rig, skip the Sansamp, unless of course you hate the tone without it....but of course you don't like the tone WITH it...so get back to us when you make up your mind :)

    All kidding aside, I personally just use my SWR WM 2x10 + 2004 and my G&L, with everything flat on the bass. I prefer to use the bass and my hands to get the tone I want.
  3. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Whatever works best for you at the gig!

    Regarding EQ itself: lots of people have opinions, but the opinion you should care about most is your own. I look at it this way: better to have EQ and not need it than to need it and not have it. :)
  4. dood


    Dec 9, 2004
    use your ears. we can't hear your rig. "Feel the force luke"
  5. ErnieD


    Nov 25, 2004
    I used to really use alot of EQ of my amps back in the day. I had a Peavey Mark VII and then a Ampeg SVT-3, there were alot of sliders and knobs there so I just kept sliding and turning knobs looking for some good sounds. Now, I mostly use my Sray 5 and 55-01 onboard EQ's for my tone and almost run my Ashdown Evo 500 flat, cept for dialing up some of the bass knob. And I can pretty much run my GBE600 about flat with the FET button in, though I still seem to have to tweak my EQ settings up abit on my GK 1001RBI. And so my sound journey continues...
  6. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Something to add: Have you noticed that to get really flat sounding gear with no EQ or colouration, you've got to pay more money....If you spend a lot of money on a bass, you want to hear THE BASS..flat is were it's at...that being said, I eq my amp for the room, I eq my bass for the style of music, but only a little.
  7. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    There are lots of viable answers here, as Fuzzbass said, you should go with what works for you. I used a sansamp for years, and there's a lot to recommend it. It's really versatile and effective

    personally, I've lately gone in the direction of no eq at all--I use an avalon u5 (my beloved U5), which just plain sounds great, and the only eq is what's on my passive j-bass--there's a pretty wide range available with just the vol and tone knobs. The rest comes from my fingers. Some equipmment--and this may eb true of the sansamp--trades off basic sound quality for versatility. The sans amp can emulate a lot of amps really well, but it's basic sound quality is not as good as the u5, which was pretty much built to do one thing only but do it extremely well. The U5 can't sound like an svt, for example.

    It depends on your playing style and band situations. In a live mix, results are very different than they are playing alone, and versatility might be the more important goal. The sans amp has that in a big way, and it's cheap and durable
  8. +++1. :) :)
  9. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    I've had numerous pre-amps; Aguilar, Ampeg, Demeter, Peavey and SWR. The knobs were tweaked continuously, sometimes between every song. My bass could make a lot of different tones and interesting effects. But none of it ever sounded just right. Nothing sounded as good as my bass plugged straight into my power amp and the board. So I have finally kicked the EQ problem for ever. My new rig now is the bass plugged into a Stewart 1.2 and a Rolls MP13 mic preamp which goes to the board. Sweetest, fullest, cleanest sounding rig I ever had. And no knobs to screw with. My EQ is in my hands. I can go from a thin, twangy Jazz Bass tone to a deep tone like the pedals on a Hammond B3 organ just by changing where I pluck the strings. Do I need a room compensator knob, a boom attenuator, an aural enhancer, a sonic maximator, a compressor, or any other crap? NO!! That is what the soundman running the PA is for. I will probably buy a better DI, like an Avalon U5, but no more preamps. I'm free at last from all those stinking knobs. Try it for yourself, it may work for you. ;)
  10. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    this is very much my feeling too--I was always twiddling knobs trying to get some familiar sound--a little more bass and it'll sound just like..no, more mids...cut the treble...wait...

    Using the avalon i just have a great basic sound with no apparent deficiencies--bass is solid, high are sweet, mid's aren't harsh. And now I can concetrate on changing the eq with my playing. It sounds ridiculous--you're thinking I need the eq to compensate for the room or to get this or that sound--I'm here to say no, you don't, not necessarily. You need the eq to sund like soomeone else, true. But the tradition of acoustic instruments is you listen to how you sound and change your playing technique to always have a sweet sound. Too manny knobs gets us away from that, imho, or it can--it all depends on how you use it
  11. The tone is in your hands, don't let anyone tell you different. Its the truth. I've used the Avalon for quite a while, and I need nothing more. I have a couple of other pre's for different flavor, but rarely use them or the eq options they offer.
  12. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I keep my amp set as flat as possible while still achieving my "core" tone. Now, from there I simply toggle between settings on my Flea bass, the active/passive and series/parallel are all I adjust (with the volume control to compensate for the jumps in volume between settings). That's all I need to achieve great tone on stage. In the studio I'll fine tune and tweak everything on a per song basis, but when playing live, as long as you can create your "core" tone, there shouldn't be a whole lot of need to drastically alter your tone from song to song (IMO).
  13. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Sure, tone is in the hands. Tone is also in the bass, the amp, the speakers, and every other part of the signal chain.

    Come to think of it, tone is also in the ambient acoustic environment. If that environment is not to one's liking, EQ can be especially useful.
  14. ErnieD


    Nov 25, 2004
    Now all this being said, it stinks when I look at the collection of pedals that I have purchased in the past 20 or so years of playing bass. There's that Boss EQ pedal, still looks new. Oh yeah those 2 DOD and Digitech multi effects/amp modelers and yeah my MXR Envelope Filter and DOD ( hot pink) Flanger from back in my disco band days and countless others that were sold or given to my nephew. And to think afterall these years my sound was right here in my two hands, well at least now it is if not back then. Hey, some folks experimented with drugs...I was hooked on electronic devices looking for the ultimate sound, oh the colors man, I mean of those crazy pedals. Hey, think I'll hook a couple up later just for old times sake. :cool:
  15. Righty, I've now got a good solid tone. I turned everything flat, and then gave everything but the mids a slight boost.
  16. I agree with you on all counts. EQ can be useful in dialing out problem frequencies in a boomy room, or adding oomph outdoors, etc. I've simply come to a point where keeping it simple is easier for me than tweaking, and prefer to use my hands and pickup selection to change things tonally.
  17. I like the flat EQ at the amp, adjust the EQ on the bass preamp approach.....more control on the fly......
  18. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    I've yet to find a situation with the U5 where I couldn't compensate for the room with my passive jbass and my fingers. But that's only a couple months of weekly gigs, so it's not a long term evaluation
  19. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK

    Yup. Me too. 15db cut/boost on bass and treble is more than enough.
  20. bass-shy


    Jan 11, 2005
    The bottom line is that if you have gear that is good enough to reproduce your bass' natural tone with everything set flat, go for it. Some people specifically seek out this sort of arrangement. That's great. If you're the type that likes to tweak every knob that you have, like me, that's great too. Transparent sounding equipment can be costly but the simplicity it allows in your rig is money saved elsewhere. There will always be at least two schools of thought on this and both are fantastic. If your gear permits and if it gives you a great tone set flat, you are all set. If your gear includes three separate EQ sections on your amp, a pedalboard or rack full of stuff, why wouldn't you use it? Just remember that you are the one that has to approve or disapprove of your tone, so you will have to find out what you like on your own.