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Trying to get more of the fundamental from my A string

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by wisconsindead, Mar 1, 2016.


  1. I played through a rig this past weekend where my open A String through fret 5 (D) had a lot of nice bass. It typically does not have that. My guild starfire is pretty boomy once you get further up the neck. It was through a MarkBass LittleMark 210. I don't recall how the EQ was set. Additionally I was using my Alembic F1X as a preamp which I've only used twice. But this is the second time I've had this happen with a MarkBass rig. I'm not crazy about them, but I do like this affect. Can anyone suggest which frequencies I should boost to get more bass from my A string and the first few frets?

    My rig is currently Guild Starfire II > Alembic F1X > Eden WT400 > Crown XLS1500 > fEARful 12/6.
     
  2. Low mids. 200 to 300hz zone.
     
    wisconsindead likes this.
  3. Not fundamentals btw.
     
  4. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    A practical way to do it is to install a phone or pad app that does produces a spectrum, search onyx spectrum on the apple app store to see the type of app that I'm referring to. Their site has a demo video that shows you how to set the EQ using the app.

    Then play the notes in question and look at the frequency spectrum. Adjust your EQ. This approach will allow you to dial in exactly what you need to boost those frequencies. It also allows you to visually see how your bass is performing over the frequency range.

    Spectrum Analyzer for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, see the last segment in the video.

    You might also be able to fix this problem with a different set of strings.
     
    wisconsindead likes this.
  5. So you plug your bass into your phone/ipad and can see watch the frequency output in real time? I'm confused sorry
     
  6. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    You plug into the amp and play. The app picks it up the sound on the phone, through the phone mic, and provides a graphical view of the frequency spectrum. It sounds more complicated than it really is. The phone does the listening for you. As you adjust the EQ on the amp, the display on the phone will change to reflect how your amp's sound is changing. It plots sound level (y) vs frequency (x) in real time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
  7. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass

    Sep 14, 2010
    many people describe it as certain notes that " bloom"

    and is very typical for sealed or ported 10" speaker cabs.

    you like the bloom of a 210
    the bloom of a 810 is a monster
    and would often change my playing style to compensate or even play higher up in the scale and move down lower for certain changes and it would be a big crushing bass surprise I would keep in my back pocket.

    anyways a typical sealed 10 has a big bass hump at 80 to 150 Hz
    and could be somewhat emulated boosting those frequencies with a multi band eq

    it's funny a lot of guys complain about blooming. I think it's fun and you really build a different playing style over time

    55Hz the frequency for A string you would boost the second harmonic at 110Hz

    which is same area as that bass peak in 10" speakers

    other wise in guitar or bass cabinet simulators they use a highpass 2 pole
    filter set around 80Hz to emulate the cutoff of a 410 or 412 cabinet and use very high filter Q to emulate the same bass hump. typical 412 sealed guitar cabinets have the same bloomimg lowend around 80 to 150hz
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
  8. 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
    One man's "bloom" is another man's "baked-in" low midrange hump. ;)
     
    tfer and wcriley like this.
  9. 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
    Assuming your problem is not set up or pickup height related....

    The chart below can be used to calculate the frequencies in a given pitch. Simply multiply the fundamental by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Go higher if you wish but the ones you are most concerned with are 1, 2, 3, and 4.

    Start with 55 Hz as the fundamental of an open A string on a 4 string bass in standard tuning.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
    wisconsindead likes this.
  10. AlexanderB

    AlexanderB

    Feb 25, 2007
    Sweden

    That, Sir, is not very accurate. Some parts a completely true, though, like the fundamentals of this range on the instrument.

    To OP: I wonder if the same notes sound OK, if played on the 5-7 frets of the E string instead? If so, it is very likely that you have an issue with dead(-ish) spots on the A string. Open A and the first frets are often lacking fundamentals, especially on hollow bodies and short scales IME. If you are still unsure after comparing with the E string, an octaver can often confirm your findings. If it triggers badly on the open A but fine on the fretted E string, you probably have this characteristic in your instrument.

    Regarding the speaker, well the Markbass 210 offers much less accurate frequency response than your regular 12/6 rig. It probably rolls off a lot more low bass than the 12/6, thereby masking the difference in "fatness" between the fretted E and open A. However, the amp in the Markbass combo is virtually ruler flat, while the Fender tone stack in the Alembic is anything BUT flat.
     
  11. It certainly is a characteristic of this bass and probably others similar to it. This bass is naturally boomy and subsequently lacking in some of the lower frequencies. I'm just trying to determine how to correct that to a reasonable degree. Its certainly possible.
     
  12. AlexanderB

    AlexanderB

    Feb 25, 2007
    Sweden
    You can address the problem on many fronts, maybe at once. Balancing pickup height to get more output from the A string, looking at different string options (I preferred a rather light gauge, medium bright, nickel round model for my Gretsch hollowbody) along with equalizer work can probably get you going in the right direction.
    That said, my Gretsch sounds "better" through a modern, hifi-ish cab than through my Ampegs.
     
    wisconsindead likes this.
  13. Yea I tried adjusting the pickup pole height and that didn't help. I also am pretty set on the strings I have lol, but there was no noticeable difference between TI's and Pyramids. I gotta get this figured out using EQ. I'm going to try boosting the 100-150 hz range tonight and see if that doesn't help.
     
  14. AlexanderB

    AlexanderB

    Feb 25, 2007
    Sweden
    Like the other guys said, the fundamental you look for is in the octave below. Try 55-60 Hz!
    You are running flats? They will typically sound tubbier and more bloated than rounds. Flats can increase the percieved tonal difference between E and A string notes. Good luck!
     
    wisconsindead likes this.
  15. ThisBass

    ThisBass

    Aug 29, 2012
    Germany
    Shelf charcteristic filters are not suitable tools to raise Fundamental of note A beyond it's 1st Overtone.

    Most of the time the Fundamental level is several dB below 1st Overtone. At the other hand side the 1st Overtone is most responsible for a "bassy" feel rather than "boomy" sound generated by "to much" of Fundamental.

    Same note/pitch at fretted A string versus E string is like comparing of apples and oranges cause swinging length of the strings is diferent as well as swinging string mass.

    no sound clip no sound issues, seriously, it would help a lot to fix your problem.
     
  16. 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
    It is not likely that the fundamental is where he should boost. I think the OP is right to look at the 100-200 Hz area.
     
  17. AlexanderB

    AlexanderB

    Feb 25, 2007
    Sweden
    Why?
     
  18. if the cab was doing low E fundamental it would be doing A as well. Fundamentals are not where it's at for "meat" in low notes.
     
  19. 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
    IME, the fundamental is poorly supported by most conventional cabinets and music reproduction systems. Due to the well-documented phenomena of the "missing fundamental," psycho-acoustically and musically, you need the fundamental, but energy is best spent in the 2nd and 3rd partials in order to represent it with many rigs.

    The OP does have a small fEARful, so I can't claim his 3012LF won't do 55 Hz, but IMHO, the first partial in that range really helps with "Bass," from a musical point of view.
     
  20. AlexanderB

    AlexanderB

    Feb 25, 2007
    Sweden
    Well, that does not make much sense, as he gets a good tone from the same notes on the E string...
    The cab can of course do it. Have you never noticed how common it us that hollowbodies and short scales have dead-ish spots on the open A and first positions? Dead spot typically lacks most in the fundamentals, not in higher harmonics.
    Your armchair opinions/arguments have no more validity than mine, especially with argument that youself admit to be contradictory.
    I think my reasoning (based on the facts given by OP, and not some general "first/second harmonics" parroting) makes more sense, by focusing on the obvious properties of that bass, rather than trying to apply generic "insufficient bass cab design" problems on a cab specifically designed to NOT have that flaw.
     

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