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Two bass amp setup?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by spikypunker, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. spikypunker


    Apr 27, 2010
    Hi dudes, hows it going?

    I've never been truly happy with my bass sound, started off with a Selmer TnB 50 and a Squier P going through a marshall 1 x 15, and was always way too muddy.

    For the last 2 years i've had a Hartke 3500 with 4x10 speakers and recently bought a Fender Jazz. Now the sound isnt quite beefy enough, and still lacking the tone a bit (think i need more knowledge on mixing my bass controls tbh)

    My band is a three-piece, playing rock of varying styles, but really i want a classic round bass sound that can sometimes rock with my big muff pedal.

    Now we're starting to really gig and get somewhere i need to sort this out properly, and help my guitarist fill some gaps esp when he's soloing. We've want a big sound, i love the empty sound of Hendrix when he's soloing with that standalone bass sound but really want it to be more epic in my band.

    So yeah i'm thinking of keeping the Hartke 4x10 and getting perhaps an Ampeg 1x15 combo (BA115 i think is what i was looking at) then using a switchblade to send my signal to both, with my big muff in the 4x15 chain and a clean sound coming from the 15. Then i was planning on using this to bring each cab in and out depending on the dynamics needed in the tracks.
    In my mind this will give us a professional edge with a wall of sound coming in for choruses and solos and a deep clean bass line coming from the 1x15.

    What are your thoughts guys?

  2. deigam


    Jan 20, 2010
    Rome - Italy
    i used to play with 2 amps until a few weeks ago.
    1 stack with ashdown hybrid head, and 2 ampeg cabs, and a smaller vox amp (a weird one, I cant remember the exact model)

    I didn't use both together all the time, I had the vox always distorted, and turned it on/off when needed.

    Now I switched back to the original setup, because it's quite uncomfortable, and the sound gets muddier sometimes, specially in live gigs, because of course the sound is different from place to place.

    my personal advice is to go on with a single amp configuration, maybe upgrade it if you want a better/beefier tone.
    a 2 amp set can work in a highly professional situation, where you can always mike both amps, and if you know exactly what you are looking for.

    just my 2 cents!
  3. baron665


    Apr 9, 2010
    You might want to try a different more powerful combo amp. Or for what you're trying to do, use the big muff on the combo, and run the Hartke clean. Since pedals adds volume, you would barely hear the combo if you ran that clean with the Hatrke 4x10 running the distortion. You might also want to try another cab an addition to the 4x10. Get a tech 21 sansamp, it has a blend knob to add a clean sound along with the distortion. These are all suggestions. And for the record, I ran a P bass into a Peavey TNT 150 (150 watt amp, 500 watt 15" speaker) and ran the line out to a small Fender Rumble 15 (15 watt amp, 8" speaker). I had to crank the fender to hear it, but it sounded nice an addition to the Peavey. It had a nice full sound. Your hartke might have aline out, so you wouldn't need a "switchblade" to use the two amps. Instead of the Ampeg combo look into this: http://bass-guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Acoustic-B200-200W-1x15-Bass-Combo?sku=482902
  4. spikypunker


    Apr 27, 2010
    hmm really? Ok i'm surprised about the volume issue.

    I guess in my head it would be that the new 1 x 15 would be far more dominant, almost my only bass sound, with the 4 x 15 only coming in on choruses. The Hartke has an EQ so i could dial the bass end down and up mid and treble, almost trying to fill in for our lack of rhythm guitar?


    i'm in UK and i dont think Acoustic amps are sold her!
  5. I use two amps most of the time. An Orange Tiny Terror with an SP212 and an OBC115 and a Phil Jones Suitcase. I just like the sound I get from this set-up, comes across really full with lots of nice lows and highs. The other bass players that have come to our gigs seem to think it's a good sound too. All a matter of personal preference I guess.
  6. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I've been running two amps for some gigs for the past 30 years or so...:D

    You have the right idea, but for your clean low rig you'll need more, and for your top likely less. I run a tube SVT head into a pair of JBL 15"s for lows, and a marshall superlead into a pair of 12"s for the edge-y sound. The marshal head is overkill - I've never even had it up to 2.

    The thing is, if you're looking to run a two amp system, you don't really need two full bass rigs - they cover the same sonic territory.
  7. spikypunker


    Apr 27, 2010
    Ah ok cool, so basically it will work, but i need something more than the Ampeg 1x15, maybe a higher powered head and and a 2x15 cab?

    I do really like the growl i can get from my Hartke with my big muff, really musey/modern bass sound, almost like a synth, but it just lacks the bottom end!

    And nope there's no out at all from it!

    But even if there was i'd still really like a clean tone with no muff.

    Hmmm ok so any suggestions on a fairly low cost head and 2x15? PEace
  8. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    Used sunn, peavey, acoustic or something of that ilk. you should be able to get a pedestrian head & 2x15 for 5 bills or under.
  9. I used to run a peavey TKO65 1x15 combo and a fender bassman with a 2x15 cab.
    Kind of teh reverse of what most folks would do I ran the fender very hard with an OD pedal on the front and the peavey very clean to get the lows. The peavey was a little louder with its DDT compression kicking in. This was a very unmanageble rig though. A head, a combo and a big inefficent cabinet. Plus a splitter pedal, a fuzz pedal and 4 patch cables. I had gigs where I was screwed if I forgot my power bar!
    It's also tough getting volumes equal with two different combos/amps.
    I would look into selling your combo and getting a bigger head and cabinet rig.
    One thing I do to imitate the two rig sound is run a splitter then send one side into my "clean" input and the other to a fuzz/OD which then comes into my dirty input.
    (Mesa Bass 400). This way I always have a clean bottom end, when I do hit the fuzz I don't get such a volume jump/drop.
    This can be a huge problem with fuzz pedals. Even if you spend all day checking your clean volume vs your fuzz volume once the guitarist and drummer show up they takeover a bunch of frequency ranges! Now when you hit your fuzz the bass dissapears behind the guitar. If you compensate by cranking up the fuzz output it might be too loud, overpowering the guitar and drums. For bands I use fuzz in I either do a parallel fuzz thing as described above, or leave it on all the time and EQ the amp to fit it to the band.
  10. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    If you want beef with bite and want to bi-amp, do what Bob says and just get a guitar combo or similar on top of your bass rig. You would indeed just be covering the same ground.

    A cheaper option would be running a thicker, clean sound through a DI (not a $20 RapCo, but a Radial JDI or Countryman maybe) and then just running your FX through the actual rig and EQ it for more bite and attack to suit your needs. Lots of us do this at some point or another.
  11. I think that the Treble 'N' Bass 50 gave that away in an instant! :)

    I loved that amp back in the day when I was about your age! ;)

  12. spikypunker


    Apr 27, 2010
    Lol hmm so much to think about from this thread! Thanks so much for all the opinions, i think what i've learnt really is A, i'm not crazy in wanted the two amp setup and B, it seems it's a matter of preference on the setup!

    One reply which did peak my interest was someone mentioning a guitar rig for my distortion...

    This might suit me well as the pedal i use is actually a Russian guitar Big Muff, which i know is fine for bass, but might be producing a slightly more trebly sound?

    But this does involve me selling the Hartke 4x10 and getting the bass rig first, so i think i may concentrate on that for now, getting a good 1x15 setup and then adding to it with the splitter and guitar rig. Certainly an interesting idea! Perhaps i could add to my distortion sounds with a tube OD pedal aswell, ah the possibilities!
  13. spikypunker


    Apr 27, 2010
    Yeah i loved that setup, was my first gig setup but i think my Squire and lack of pedals/eq knowledge wasnt enough to reign it in and often resulted in complete lack of tone and a very muddy band sound! Shame! I'd love to get it back, sold it for £200 i think :(

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