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Using a bass amp for 6 String EADGCF?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by LeoSash, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. LeoSash


    Feb 13, 2012
    Hello fellow TB members i just have a question with some back story preceding it:

    So last tuesday i played in my jazz ensembles concert and my classmates honors recital. So it all goes fine (first concert using an upright and electric! :)) until the last song which was herbie hancocks, butterfly. So i was using my newly strung 6 string (with a 7 string set, minus the low B) and i figured, it'd be cool to do some chording up in the higher register now, but it didn't seem to have the same...oomph as my lower register so i stayed lower from there but i figured it'd be worth asking a few questions.

    1. Should i be using a bass amp, considering my new found range (because its jazz/fusion i'll be soloing therefore finding use in the guitarish range)? If not, then maybe a keyboard amp would be better?

    2.If i do use the bass amp, should i maybe EQ it differently for both my lows and highs?
  2. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    What you've experienced is a natural characteristic of the instrument: the high notes are naturally thinner-sounding than the low notes. There's nothing about it that necessitates transitioning to a guitar rig or a keyboard rig. A bass rig should be able to handle those frequencies just fine - IF you have the right kind of bass rig. :eyebrow:

    IMO, you're going to want/need a relatively hi-fi amp, plus a high-quality two-way (woofer + midrange) or three-way (woofer+midrange+tweeter) cab(s), which includes a professional-quality crossover.

    Then, adjust your EQ and/or your technique accordingly, and you're on your way... :bassist:

  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Playing on the higher frets will add some fatness to your notes. That's why you'll see a lot of lead guitarists playing notes they could play on the lower frets up high. But yeah, there does come a point with extended range basses where they cease to act as a bass, and it's only natural that you're not going to get the bottom end out of your highest notes as your lowest because the content just isn't there.
  4. The problem with higher/thinner strings on bass is the loss in mass. That is why you lose the bass string character. To get by this you may want to look into balanced tension sets from someone like circle k. These usually have a little bit lighter guages for the A, D, and G strings. This makes the physical mass more progressive as you get to the smaller strings with the sound following that characteristic.

    The second remedy would be to raise the treble side of the pickups a bit and lower the bass side to balance the sound.

    As for amps, there is no need to look for anything different. Most modern cabs will have plenty response for extended ranges. Just make sure in your eq that you are not scooping the mids as this will cut the fundemental and first harmonic of that higher register. You may need to add a bit of upper mid in the 2-4k region to add presence to those higher notes as well.
  5. xroads


    Nov 6, 2012
    I practice by playing full range music through my bass rig. It just sounds fine, which surprised me at first.