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Tone issue...maybe a new preamp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Barisaxman, Dec 5, 2006.


  1. Barisaxman

    Barisaxman Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    Hey everybody, this is really my first thread so go easy on me ;). So anyway, I guess right now I'm a bassist still trying to get the sound I want. Right now my bass of choice is a Yamaha BB605, and I'm playing through a BBE 383 Preamp, QSC RMX850 power amp, to either a Steelsound 2x10 alone or with a single 15 of the same make. I suspect that either my bass choice or preamp are the source of my tone problems. The issue I'm having right now is and exceedingly boomy low end. I playing in a country, classic rock, oldies band and I'm really looking for a nice warm sound that will sit in the mix and not be obnoxious.

    What I've noticed/tried: I thought maybe I could get some useful compression to control the low end, but for what it's worth, the compressor on my BBE is junk. I have to set the threshold so high that it either overly compresses everything or won't kick in at all. I don't use the sonic maximizer function at all. In essence I only use the EQ. I have been unable to roll the low end off enough to get desireable results. Any ideas?

    Some adjustments to the rig maybe? I was toying around with my guitar player at the local music store, and was able to get a very nice sound, the sound I'd like, with a very nice rig. It was an Ampeg SVT-VR tube head and SVT 810AV cabinet....a monster rig, in price and size. I played three basses, two Ernie Ball MM's, a four and five string, as well as a yamaha TRB fretless. Definately had the sound I wanted. The problem with that is I don't have 3 grand for the stack. One possibility though, is a used SVP Pro preamp that they had an enticing price of $250 on. Think this would help in waming my sound up at all without sounding like an earthquake rolling in?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    One idea which might save you some bread - when you practice and play live, are your cabs sitting directly on the ground (i.e., not elevated and without anything between the cabs and the floor/stage)? If so and if you typically play on a hollow stage, you might want to try elevating your cabs. That will reduce some of the boominess.
     
  3. Barisaxman

    Barisaxman Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    I've always played the stack on the ground. Last gig was just the 2x10 standing on end. Either way has yielded the same result. I guess I can't figure out why I can dial in a huge tube head and 8x10 backed into a corner in a music store but I can't dail the low end of my current stack in...period. :S
     
  4. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Did you play YOUR yamaha through any of those new rigs? :D

    Is there a BIG difference between your two cabs in terms of boominess?

    I have used a BBE BMAX quite a bit, and although I prefer the ART tube pre I just got, the BBE can be incredibly bright. However, it is obviously not a 383.

    If your bass is active, I am surprised you have too much bottom. Assuming your bass is functioning normally, don't forget that your cabs can really color your sound. After all, they are resonating boxes which are, in effect, the acoustic part of our instruments.

    last bit: take your pre, power amp, and your bass into a good music store. Try some cabs. You might even try A/Bing them with your cab.

    BTW, a new pre is always a good idea! :p :p :p
     
  5. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Try elevating it using a milk crate and see if that helps. That may not be the entirety of the problem, but it may solve some of the boominess.
     
  6. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Regarding boominess, the size of your rehearsal space may have something to do with this, meaning a tiny space could cause this. I don't know if you've ever played out with your rig and still had the issue or not. Sometimes just some space will remedy the problem.
     
  7. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    +1
    Yeah, you are so right! Had it happen...that day that the creepy drummer we were auditioning got so steamed about it that he yelled at me, "Is it at all possible for you to get a LESS WET sound out of that dxxx amp?" :ninja:

    I tried, but I couldn't kill the boom of our cement (walls & floor) rehearsal room. :meh:
     
  8. Try moving your cabs out of the corner of your rehearsal room. And I bet you'd find the BMax a much more enjoyable pre-amp than that 330.

    Different cabs might help a lot too. Avatars are good and really inexpensive. Dr. Bass and Low Down Sound will build you better speakers than 90% of the mass produced cabs and they will cost about 20% (or more) less.
     
  9. Barisaxman

    Barisaxman Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    Well, a little good news along the way. At rehearsal last night I did some pretty radical EQing and managed to dial down some of the the offending boominess. I think I've about got it smoothed out but I had to back the two lowest EQ nobs (60 and 120) to ALMOST nothing to tame the beast. This should yield useful results for now. I'm still drooling over the SVT-VR and 810AV...and I'm young and foolish enough to lug it around to gigs...now if only for an extra 3 grand to "invest" :).
     
  10. Mo' bass

    Mo' bass

    May 4, 2000
    Netherlands
    New strings? Old strings get muddy and undefined sometimes.
     
  11. Barisaxman

    Barisaxman Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    Just put a new set of DR Lowriders on. Replaced a set of Ernie Ball Slinky's that were WAAAAAAAAAAAY too bright. There was no low end to be found.
     
  12. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    When I fist got a bass we were practicing in a cinder block room with a perfectly square concrete floor. With two of three room resonance measures the same, I knew it was causing all kinds of boominess and cancellation. It took awhile to find a better way to set up the other amps and my rig so that nobody was getting dosed by uncontrollable lows so bad. But it still had all kinds of problems depending on where you stood, in the mids and treble too.

    ...After a number of gigs in different venues I got a real good idea that nothing was bad about my preamp or cab, and we went back into that room and put a wall in to get different dimension (made storage space for various band stuff behind it). Then we did as much cheap and deep acoustic treatment as we could with old mattresses leaning up against walls, thick rubber carpet pad hanging up just in front (the drummer had just done a remodel upstairs), thick rugs on the floor, etc, and a big overstuffed couch near one wall. Cleaned the worst of the din and boom right up.
     
  13. Barisaxman

    Barisaxman Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    I think the soundman in me (the AMATEUR soundman) is telling me, as have you all, that the room is a big issue here. I'll continue to tweak the EQ as necessary for rehearsal and see what kinda sound I can get at the next gig on the 16th. Last gig there was just the 2x10 for stage monitoring in a small bar with all the hard work being done by the PA, and no complaints. Although I'm still GASing for that tube preamp :bag:
     
  14. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    'Boom' usually describes an excessive midbass hump in response, from roughly 80 to 160 Hz, and with the specs of the drivers in the Steelsound cabs that's eaxctly what one would expect from them. Try better speakers.
     
  15. Barisaxman

    Barisaxman Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    I guess I never really thought about the drivers in the cabinets much. I bought them about a year ago because I had to have a rig to handle smaller bars with no PA support. I've been upgrading ever sincee...but a new cab is probably in the works as well. The 15" cab has been a disappointment from the start, but the 2x10 has been pretty good. Since we are using PA support for everything now I may reconfigure my cabs to handle just stage monitoring and go from there.
     
  16. Barisaxman

    Barisaxman Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    Changes in progress....I caved and bought the Ampeg SVP-PRO preamp last night even though I don't really need it. It's a mint condition unit that was used on a worship/praise band.... and they "let" me have it for $199. Couldn't pass it up for that price.
     
  17. mattvon

    mattvon

    Jan 22, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    That's a GREAT price...I think you'll find they stick closer to $300 on the secondhand market...
     
  18. Daytona955i

    Daytona955i

    Feb 17, 2005
    Albany, NY
    Good price on the Ampeg pre!

    Put new strings on your bass, something bright but still solid like DR hi-beams.

    Then if you think you can carry it, I'd suggest getting a more mid sized cab of better quality, like an Avatar or GK 4x10 or 2x12, Avatar is a better value there, but you'd have to take the rest of us on our word about them as they're hard to try out.
     
  19. BassBuzzRS

    BassBuzzRS

    Oct 18, 2005
    Norway
    Get some help on using the compressor and eq correctly, no offense. Preferably a bass player as he can look at issues around your bass and cabs too. Shouldnt need to buy more gear.GL
     
  20. Barisaxman

    Barisaxman Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    A mid-sized cab is the next thing in my future. Since our band had a nice, and improving PA, my rig does not have to do all the work anymore, like it did when I first started playing. Lately I've been DI'ing after a Digitech BP80 to send a nice sound to our soundguy and he's been taking care of things. I've eliminated the Digitech as it really was not what I wanted...just an impulse buy that I used to record on our demo CD. I since I don't really need the 2x10 and 1x15 anymore I'm thinking a nicer 4x10 cab is in my future. Probably looking at an Ampeg to go with everything else. I played through one last night that I liked so I'll probably pursue that route. More or less I guess I'm rebuilding my rig the way I wanted to in the beginning, but now I have the time and money to get what I want and find deals.
     

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