Unwanted compression

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TrevorOfDoom, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I'm in the middle of a gig and it sounds like i'm hitting a compressor hard. My soft plucks are nigh inaudible, and my hard plucks just bottom out.
    I don't know if it's the speaker or the amp.
    My Orange Terror Bass i've had for 6 years, and i've never replaced the preamp tubes. Could that do it?
    Alternately, my Bag End S15L may be finally giving up on keeping up with this band, as they're loud and we don't have the PA to spare for my signal.
    I'm thinking i blew the speaker and it may be time to give up my beloved Bag End & find something more practical (and hopefully lighter weight).
    Any thoughts?
  2. Bassique


    Feb 25, 2015
    How hard you drive the tubes, aka where do you usually keep the gain. You could try to put it almost to minimum level and see how it sounds. I think blown speaker would be more audible, but I'm no expert on that subject heh.
  3. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    A bad tube could do as you described. Best way to tell is to change one at a time with a new good tube. I seriously doubt more than one would have failed.

    You really should be adding a second cab or changing to one with more cone area.
  4. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    My amp had the same EQ, gain, and master volume setting that it always has. I never touch it, ever.
    I ordered new tubes, so we'll see what that does.

    As for the cab, i have a spare, but i'm gonna complain that they weigh ~100 lbs together and i don't wanna have to deal with that for this kind of show.
    Adsing the second cab puts me into overkill territory pretty quickly, as well.

    But i've got some cab questions that i'll be looking into pretty soon, to see what my options are.
  5. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    You could test if your regular cab is defective by substituting with your spare...
    Joedog and Omega Monkey like this.
  6. PotsdamBass8

    PotsdamBass8 Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    Has anything else changed? The other band member's equipment? The venue? Location of the rig? It's possible that due to some other circumstance, the amp and cab were adequate before and then suddenly you need just a little more volume than it's able to reproduce.

    Also, have to ask, did you try turning up? And is the bass active (maybe a dying battery)?
    Omega Monkey likes this.
  7. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    No to all of the above.
    If i blew the speaker, it either happened last night or at the last show.
    My head does have a 4ohm/8ohm switch, and i found out it got switched to 4ohms at some point when i was just using my one 8ohm cab. Maybe that did something?

    As for turning up, i eventually did for a song, but it didn't help because i was bottoming out/hitting the limits, so i backed the volume down to its usual spot.
    And my bass is passive.
    I have pedals, but i turned them all off when i started hearing the sound.
  8. Omega Monkey

    Omega Monkey

    Mar 8, 2015
    Sounds like power compression of the speaker plus probably hitting the headroom limit of the amp simultaneously.

    Trouble shoot by doing the following:

    Keep amp settings the same and use other cab.

    Use a different amp with the original cab.

    Use the original amp/settings with both cabs.

    And sorry, if you don't have enough volume, you need more rig, so you may have to bring both cabs, because that will go a LOT farther than adding more watts.
    monsterthompson likes this.
  9. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I know that. I'm just frustrated because my one cab has done the job for so long, and now it's not quite cutting it.

    I'm gonna swap speakers in the cab and play it Thursday. Tomorrow I'm gonna use my head with the house cab and see what that sounds like. Between those two, I should be able to identify the problem.
  10. Omega Monkey

    Omega Monkey

    Mar 8, 2015
    Why would you switch the speakers instead of just using the other cab?
    Joedog likes this.
  11. levis76

    levis76 Defender of the Low Ender

    Apr 14, 2007
    Metro Detroit
    Try removing the pedals completely from the signal chain, to make sure you don't simply have a bad pedal or patch cable. It happens. Maybe swap cables too, try a different cable. Do all the easy stuff suggested so far before going crazy and swapping tubes and speakers. Just sayin.
  12. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Because my two cabs use the same speaker but are different sizes. One's bigger than the other.
  13. Tim Craig

    Tim Craig Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Nashville area
    Until I started reading your thread I was going to recommend laying off the beans.
  14. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    So i used my amp last night with the house bass amp.
    Sounded wonderful, so i'm ruling out the amp.

    Today i popped open my cab, poked around the speaker. Everything looks good, so it's not the cone.
    Then i ran some music through it (Joe Cocker), and a signal generator. Low volume stuff, just enough to get the speaker moving.
    I started hearing what i can only describe as "engine noise".
    Is that what a blown voice coil sounds like?
  15. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
  16. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Captain's log:
    Just plugged in my spare cab and played music through it. Same amp settings.
    It's a blown speaker/voice coil.
    Can those be replaced?
  17. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) mmm Woody! DHDIK?

    Sounds like you overheated the voicecoil and the former melted, and is scraping the sides of the gap, ie blown speaker.
  18. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    You should be able to replace the driver.
  19. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    The voice coil by itself can not be replaced. It is forever attached to the speaker cone. Many speakers can be "reconed" which means everything except the metal basket is replaced. Recone is usually cheaper than a complete new speaker while every bit as good. Not all speakers have factory cone kits (includes the voice coil and everything) and best ONLY use factory cone kits.
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