Tone question with Carvin BX500

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by nboyer941, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. nboyer941


    Jul 22, 2008
    Burnsville, MN
    I've recently joined up with a variety/ dance cover band. It is my first real, paying band. I made $1,100 my first month.

    I am playing an american fender pbass through the bx500, into a 212 neo Gallien Krueger cabinet.

    It was brought to my attention by the guy who runs the band that my tone is too "narrow." I didn't start paying attention to it until lately, but he is right. It sounds terrible. He is looking for a more "round" tone, whatever that means.

    Anyway, I've tried adjusting settings, I tried using my vt bass deluxe.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Or am I not being specific enough?
  2. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    Narrow? Confused on that one. The best thing to do is start with the tone knobs flat on the BX500 and go from there. A "round tone" usually has the low midrange present to add in thickness - 200-400hz). The trick is to do small adjustments to your tone at first to get what you want. Wildly boosting WILL give you problems.

    What do your tone settings look like now? The Amp/bass/VT Deluxe included. Are you always using the VT Deluxe?
  3. nboyer941


    Jul 22, 2008
    Burnsville, MN
    I wasn't using the vt deluxe at all until last night, I tried the "ampeg" tone and it didn't help.

    I was making big adjustments. It is hard for me to try to dial in sound at a gig when noodling is not acceptable.
  4. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    I have tried to adjust at shows too and have my moronic singer and past guitarist tell me "What are you doing?" - you can't do that with the rap music going - people are dancing. They don't have a clue that my bass rig sounds different in every single room we play. While that distorted mess for a guitar rig sounds nearly the same in every room we play.

    I suggest setting your rig up in a room (before a show and on your own time) that sounds decent and learn what each knob does according to your ear. I have gotten to the point at shows where I can tell right away what frequencies are going to be too strong - I cut those right away. Try cutting first before boosting. I also know areas of midrange that if boosted will cut through the stage. With all that knowledge, I keep noodling to a minimum and almost always cut through at shows. It's a tall order, but the only way to do it.
  5. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    How do you position your cabinet?

  6. nboyer941


    Jul 22, 2008
    Burnsville, MN
    cab is sitting right on the floor with no casters pointed at the middle of the crowd from the high hat side of the drum kit.
  7. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Here is what I would do:

    Set your amp controls flat.

    Boost bass to 1:00

    Cut mid & character to 11:00 (maybe 10:00)

    Drive at 10:00

    Treble at 10:00.

    That should do it. If its still not fat enough cut the mid and character back to 10:00 or so. Also dial the tone control on your bass back... that should help too.
  8. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    Try standing the cab on its end with the woofers vertical. I think you'll be surprised at the difference. Vertical the woofers have more dispersion. I do this with a pair of Acme 2x10s stacked. I'll never lay them down again.

  9. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Where's the tone set on your bass?

    If you have "mud" coming out of your bass. No amount of downstream fiddling will fix it.
  10. MooseLumps

    MooseLumps Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2007
    2x12's are typically slanted across the baffle. It would be a feat to get the cab to stand on it's corner. Sounds like fun though.

    I'm running a bx500 as well. No problem getting it to be "round"

    Try rolling off the tone knob on your bass a little (1/4 to 1/3) and boosting the low mids. Also, play withe the graphic eq and see if you find a magic frequency.

    You will need time in that room to fiddle with your setup and get it right with the band and the room's characteristics. Unfortunate fact.
  11. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    The only GK 2x12 I know of was horizontal. Thus my post. If you are correct in this case then just forgetaboutit! :)

  12. Aarix


    May 19, 2006
    Raleigh, NC
    Sounds like a pretty good amp rig. Any chance something is wrong with the bass, like your pickup height is set way too low or it's not wired correctly?
  13. A P-bass is a strong midrange voiced instrument. Borrow a bass that's stronger in the low-midrange and find out what happens. Also, try setting everything flat on the Carvin amp, then turn the Contour knob to 4:00 and adjust your bass's tone control to hear what happens.
  14. gruvlow


    Oct 8, 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    I would start by turning the graphic eq (sliders) off then set the parametic eq (knobs) flat (12:00). Adjust them until you get a good sound then switch the graphic eq back on and set to flat. Adjust until you get the sound you want boosting and cutting one at a time.

    You can do this in any other room just to get a starting point and do less fiddling at the gig. I always start with boosting low mids around 250 hz to get a cut-through tone.

    My 2 cents
  15. nboyer941


    Jul 22, 2008
    Burnsville, MN
    I don't understand what you're saying.

    Stand it on its ends? huh? Like tilt it back?
  16. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    1. Use your tone knob to get rid of some highs.

    2. Turn down the bridge pickup 50% (woops, thought you said J bass. Ignore this one)

    3. Crank up the compressor on the head.

    4. Dial +6db @ 125hz on the graphic eq.

    5. Dial down -6db @ 800hz on the graphic eq.
  17. JasonKain


    Nov 24, 2008
    I think he's referring to setting the amp on it's side, instead of flat on the ground. Looking at your cab, the speakers would usually be in line like so --, where he's saying setting it on it's side so the speakers are in this position :

    So instead of one speaker to the left or right, it would be on top or bottom.
  18. nboyer941


    Jul 22, 2008
    Burnsville, MN
    My speakers are already top to bottom.

    When the gk cab is sitting normal, it is already top to bottom....
  19. rewopnayr


    Apr 26, 2007
    this is how i have mine set up.

    Attached Files:

  20. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Your 4-band and graphic eqs seem to boost the mids...but cranking your contour knob like kind of cancels that out.

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