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tone advice

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by meanfrank, Sep 4, 2003.

  1. meanfrank


    Sep 4, 2003
    looking for amp advice from you all. my current set up is as follows:

    peavey t-40
    avalon 737sp
    crest ca-9
    aguliar 4x10 and 15

    one would think this ought to work out pretty well but i feel like my tone is really thin and hollow. seem to have same problem with the compressor and the eq off on the avalon so i think my settings on that are not a big part of the issue. thought it might be my bass but ran it through a 40 watt fender bandmaster the other night and it sounded huge and fat.

    any of you all have thoughts on this.

    am thinking i should just pick up and old svt or something (opinions welcome) for my electric bass rig and keep the avalon exclusively for upright.

    please advise. i cannot sleep at night until my tone is real huge and fat.
  2. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    a 40w combo shouldn't even get close to that rig!

    Whenever I hear the word "thin" from someone using 2 cabs, my first reaction is that they may be out of phase, effectively cancelling out each other. Worth checking out.
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Run your bass into a SansAmp Bass Driver before the amp. You won't believe the difference.
  4. As Pete said, the two cabs could be out of phase..

    Its easy to check.
    Just tap a 9v battery onto a speaker lead that is pluged into one of the speakers. the speakers should all jump out, or in depending on which way the battery is connected to the lead.
    Do the same on the other cab (making sure the polarity is the same) and the speakers do the same.

    If one speaker cab pushes out and one pulls in then they are 'out of phase'. swap the +/- over in the cab or lead and that should sort it.


    Of course if they both do the same...mess with the EQ..
  5. Having said that Pete is out of phase anyway living on the wrong side of the world....amazed they dont fall off..
  6. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    What EQ settings are you using on avalon 737?

    What do you have the preamp gain set to?

    Does the Meter on the avalon move when you play?

    The T-40 is a passive bass and may need a decent amount of preamp gain.

    Where do you have the High-Pass frequency set to?

    Note that the low E on a 4 string bass is around 41hz - the high pass should be no higher than this if turned on.

    If you use a single cabinet, does it still sound thin?

    Is the Phase switch on the avalon on or off?
  7. meanfrank


    Sep 4, 2003
    thanks for the tips. i think you all are onto something regarding the cabinets being out of phase. when i was just using one cabinet for some small shows it seemed to do ok. i just finished my studio and moved everything down there and threw it together real quick so probably just plugged in the banana plugs wrong.

    i think i usually set the high pass at 20hz and i usually leave the phase switch on the avalon out.

    cannot remember my eq settings off the top of my head but i believe they are generally close to flat with maybe a small boost in the low mids.

    i usually keep the input gain in the middle and the high gain switch on the avalon off. perhaps i should throw on the high gain switch. i adjust the volume to an extent with the output gain but mostly with the crest since i do not want it to clip to much.

    as i think about it, i suspect both the input gain and the phase issue are my problems. i will conduct a thorough investigation and report back on monday.

    also if any one is out in the l.a. and wants to kick back and mess with bass stuff or spin some records they are more than welcome to send me an email.
  8. Ahh the joy of banana plugs....
    Never can understand why they exist..
  9. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I've always wondered how you guys go playing bass up side down? :)

    Banana plugs still exist because every poweramp ever made has 2 types of output, and one of them is always binding posts. Until that changes, banana plugs are hers to stay...... hhhhmmmmmm bananas, time for breakfast.
  10. meanfrank


    Sep 4, 2003
    thanks to all of you for you advice. cabinets were out of phase. problem has been corrected. gain increase helps as well. am now extraordinarily loud with very aggressive tone. in some ways almost to aggressive. great for real real nasty dirty rock music, which i love to play, but a little much for jazz. i think for small stuff and stuff where a smoother tone is required i am going to pick up a blackface fender showman and run it with a fifteen.
  11. No worries mate
    Glad to be of assistance...(he says taking all of Petes glory...)

  12. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Glad to hear your problem is solved. I used an Aguilar 4x10 w/ an Ag 1x15 for about a year, and on a fluke used TWO 4x10's instead, and thought it sounded much, much better, more lows, but CONTROLLED lows as opposed to woofie/rumbly. You might want to give another 4x10 a try if the sound isn't tame enough for some of your applications.
  13. meanfrank


    Sep 4, 2003
    i feel like i am generally focused enough. i like rumble that comes from a 15. i just feel like my total sound has so much growl in it that for some more laid back types of playing it comes across as a bit to aggressive. its like my bass wants to eat people alive. now i love that sound and that is why i went with the set-up i have, esp. the aguilar cabinets (as they have that real nasty low-mid sound that no one else really seems to have). that said i think having a decent all tube amp for smaller applications make since in terms of portability and in terms of tone. the cool thing about the old fender showmans (esp. the 68s) is that they are well made all tube, point to point wired amps and if you find a late sixties one (that is to say a silverface one but with blackface circuitry in it) you can pick one up for around $300 to $500 bucks. they got 85 watts of output, which is not alot but for small shows is plenty with a single 15 or a single 4x10 under it. for the money that is a pretty decent combination. i played through a few of them this weekend and was very impressed.
  14. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia