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Unconvincing bass and amp sound

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by APouncer, Jun 11, 2001.

  1. APouncer


    Nov 3, 2000
    Lancashire, UK
    Sorry for the repetitive nature of my post, but as my set-up is different from others who have asked the same question, I must re-post.

    It's my sound, I have been playing quietly, barely amped until recently, now I am playing in more 'live' and 'jamming' situations without a PA so I need help with my sound.

    I have a Yamaha BBN4F fretless bass (2 soapbar pick-ups) and a Fender 60w combo amp. The amp has low, low-mid, high-mid and high along with a push button mid cut(?).

    I have no real experience of having my own amp, I've always just gone into the PA thinking that tone is all in the bass and your fingers. My sound now is trebly, un-rounded and generally un-impressive with the amp. I've fiddled and can't get a decent sound out of the amp and bass.

    Any suggestions?
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Sit down and set your bass up with both pickups all the way up and tone maxed. Now start with the amp EQ all at 12:00 position.

    First try ONLY the mid cut button. Listen carefully to what it does. Now turn it off, go to the bass contol and try different setting: cut and boost. lisatern to what it does. Repeat with ALL the EQ now you have arough idea of what part of the tone each affects. Boosting them you probably heard some ugly stuff!

    Anyway, if it's too trebly overall, your best bet is leave the mid cut OFF, boost low mids, high mids flat or cut slightly, treble cut slightly and then adjust the bass EQ to taste.

    Keep in mind that a 60 watt combo amp swill not have a big, fat tone...not enough wattage! Expecting it to sound like an SVT is fruitless.
  3. I agree with B Roast, 60 watts won't give you low-mid-bass at any significant volume. What you are left with are tones which are easiest for the amp to produce, like the trebly tones you are hearing.

    Start thinking of getting an amp of 200 watts or more, when rated at 4 ohms.
  4. Hey Apouncer, unless it's an older Fender amp, I assume the amp you have is a Bassman 60. This is the same amp I have. What Brian said pretty much sums it all up. Do what he says, although if this is a Bassman 60, the tone controls between the bass and treble control are: mid level, and mid frequency. These will drastically affect the tone coming out of this amp. I find that too much mid level makes this amp sound "blarey" and I don't set the mid frequency knob past about 10 o'clock. It's a nice amp, it's excellent for practice, and definitely big enough for small/acoustic gigs, but, as T Jay said it doesn't have enough power to give a really deep chest pounding thump. Take some time, and move each knob a little at a time, each slight adjustment changes the tone on this amp.
    Also, I've played the bass you have (fretted version) so, I know what it sounds like, and I'm sure you can get a good sound out of this amp.

    Mike J.
    P.S. Turn both mid controls to zero, then use just the bridge pickup on your bass, and tell me it doesn't sound like an upright.
  5. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    probobly wouldnt hurt to close the tone controll on your bass either.
  6. APouncer


    Nov 3, 2000
    Lancashire, UK
    Thanks for all your advice guys, i'll try and nail it this weekend. The amp FYI is a Fender BXR 60. I'll let you know if I get a halfway decent sound.
  7. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    The best way IMO to set your amp up is to not really consider what you're doing and what it looks like... If it's a smilie face, or a frown.

    Just take your bass, turn it until it doesn't sound too bassy or too lacking. Take your highs, and do the same. Now, take your mids and do the same. It should give you the perfect sound.

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