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VU strangeness

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 2pods, Dec 3, 2003.


  1. 2pods

    2pods

    Mar 27, 2002
    Scotland
    I've noticed when using my 20A Stingray with SD pu/pre that the needle on my Evo500 head is weird !

    The open E string is ALWAYS well into the red compared to anything else.
    I've angled the pu to favour the treble strings but there's not a lot of difference.

    I can live with it (normally I'm through a comp anyway) but I'd hate to break that needle.

    I tried a new set of strings,new cable, new battery...nada.

    This is why I originally replaced the stock pu and pre, and it seemed ok through my Trace (gone but not forgotten).

    I don't really like this VU thing, and would much prefer an LED,however:

    How far into the "red" do other Ashdown users run the VU, and is it a Stingray thing ?

    TIA

    Peter
     
  2. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Do you maybe have some EQ boost at around 40 Hz?
     
  3. 2pods

    2pods

    Mar 27, 2002
    Scotland
    possibly.
    I think the Ashdown "Shape" button operates around there abouts

    That VU meter worries me though....
     
  4. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    If that's so, it could account for the higher VU reading on the open E string.
     
  5. 2pods

    2pods

    Mar 27, 2002
    Scotland
    I've just checked, and the Shape operates at@
    +8db @ 50Hz and 4Khz,-8db @ 400Hz, filter slope (what the hell is that ?)-6db/octave
     
  6. +8 dB at 50 Hz is quite a lot, it explains your original question. You should try if you can live without such a low boost. It eats your power reserves.

    the -6dB/oct I guess is the steepness of the low and high shelving EQ of the shape setting (for EQ types see the TalkBass TechTalk link in my signature, section 2.7.3)
     
  7. I've used the same ABM900 head for years and I never watch the VU--I just go by how it sounds. If it breaks, I don't think I'll worry so long as the amp still works right.

    Wow, it's a strange feeling to say that I've used a piece of gear for "years".
     
  8. floydman

    floydman Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2002
    southeast CT
    What is the needle made out of? Does it break when needle going into the stop pin too hard?
     
  9. 2pods

    2pods

    Mar 27, 2002
    Scotland
    But with the shape boosting 8db @ 4k,as well as @ 50Hz, would that not give around the same reading on the VU on the higher strings

    I'm really grateful I can ask these questions and get knowledgable replies:)
     
  10. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Okay, I thought you said it was -8 dB at 400 Hz, not +8 dB.

    Anyway, 400 Hz is close to two octaves above your G string, that is, the fundamental at the 24th fret of your G. That would be WAY up on your upper strings. That boost would be mostly for harmonics of lower notes, and harmonics are normally quite weaker than the fundamental.
     
  11. 2pods

    2pods

    Mar 27, 2002
    Scotland
    I'm wrong on that too.
    Here's the spec quote from the manual

    +8db @ 50Hz and 4Khz,-8db @ 400Hz,

    Am I right in thinking that +8db @ 4K would give you all the attack and top end you'd need ?
     
  12. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Well, it might be more than I'd need. ;) But that is quite a lot of boost, and it's largely in the string clicks and finger noise region. So it would give you a scooped sound, bright but also with the deep bass boosted, too.

    If you like that sound, go with it, and if you don't, you can leave it off. Or you can also play around with your EQ both with and without the "shape" feature to see what sounds best to you.
     
  13. Johnny BoomBoom

    Johnny BoomBoom Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2001
    Glasgow, Scotland

    I've noticed some weird goings on with my Ashdown stuff too. I have no idea about the VU meter - it's the one thing I don't like about the Ashdown (I also had Trace gear before - seemed simpler!).

    I have the ABM 500 head with Mini 48 and Mini15!!!
    As long as it sounds good to me, the gain is OK - it's probably at about 1 o'clock for my Spectors!


    I also have an EB130 15 combo for practise. I started noticing that the LEDs (meant to mimic the VU meter) is a bit weiord. My B and E strings light up 1 extra light than the A,D and G strings. On occasion I had noticed a drop in volume on these strings a well. I might get the setup sheched, and maybe change the strings, as it was after a setup and string change that I noticed it!

    Also, I tend to run the Ashdown with the push flat button engaged. Sounds fine with the Spectors. I also run a SansAmp BDDI between the bass and the amp - can give a nice change of tone!
     
  14. 2pods

    2pods

    Mar 27, 2002
    Scotland
    I was hoping it would be yourself that replied after seeing your previous threads concerning Ashdowns,Traces and Spectors.

    Do you find,compared to the Trace, there was a general lack of brightness (especially with new strings) ?

    So you're running with the shape button on flat, or on shape ? (very confusing, I know :) )

    I can't try it with my Spector at the mo' as I'm in the middle of converting it to 18v (thanks for the info)

    I'm using 2 x mini8's and seem to remember someone on the Ashdown forum complaining one of the drivers seemed dull. Surely not....

    I know it seems as if I'm paranoid about this, but before I got the EvoII500 I'd used an older EvoI and got a great sound right away.
    :confused:
     
  15. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Doesn't the VU meter show the input level, before the EQ and output stage? I normally turn the input volume up enough to get some movement on the VU and then adjust the overall volume with the master volume (Mag 250 head).

    As I recall, I normally keep the input knob at about 2 o'clock (I don't adjust it much since I'm normally playing the same bass through it).

    How high do you have it turned up on your amp?

    Wulf
     
  16. 2pods

    2pods

    Mar 27, 2002
    Scotland
    AFAIK the eq affects the VU as well.
    From the Ashdown bass FAQ
    "On the ABM the EQ is a 2 stage circuit, each stage of this circuit is monitored separately to ensure that there is no clipping in either stage.

    To allow this to be possible it is not possible to monitor from just one point i.e. after the EQ in/out switching. These monitor points are the most likely parts of the pre-amp to become overloaded and clip and it is essential to monitor both. This also ensures that you do not suddenly decend into distortion when you switch in the EQ because it is monitored all the time. On the ABM this is the most sensible approach for a professional product."

    I change my input gain to suit the VU reading.
    It has varied from 12 O'clock to 3 O'Clock when using the active bass option
     
  17. Johnny BoomBoom

    Johnny BoomBoom Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2001
    Glasgow, Scotland


    Hi!

    Yeah, the Ashdown seems a little less bright when flat than the Trace did - by the way turns out my Ashdown is an EVO I! Haven't necessarily noticed it with new strings - have only just changed them, will see how it goes! But I do find that it is fatter than Trace and definitely less bright.

    I normally run with the shape button on flat!

    Aha, the old 18volt upgrade - well worth the small amount of time and money.

    Anyway, I tend to get the gain to 1 or 2 o'clock. I think the manual recommends adjusting it so you get brief ventures inot the red zone, but generally it should be just before this. 1-2 o'clock generally works this for me!

    Nope, never though of the 8 inch drivers sounding dull. Actually I have heard people complain that the 8s were a bit too harsh on their own and needed the 15 to 'even it out'. I've tried the Mini48 on it's own, which was fine, with the Mini15 whihc is great, and the 15 on it's own....which was a wee bit muddier than the 48, but still pretty nice!

    I like the look of the extra features on the EVOII but will be a while before I could get one!
     
  18. 2pods

    2pods

    Mar 27, 2002
    Scotland
    Don't rush into an Evo II unless you want to lose your mute footswitch.

    They took it out so the valve (renamed Grind) could be switched in/out
    :spit:

    Why, this means I have to ambulate ampwards if I wish to tune in silence !
    ;)
     
  19. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    I should think the VU meter would be indicating the output level; that would be the most useful thing it could show. But that's something an Ashdown user or employee should be able to confirm or deny.

    BTW, Wulf, it was really nice to join you, Steve Lawson, and Benjamin Ellis for some curry on Brick Lane! It was a great time. I hope we can get together again sometime.
     
  20. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Absolutely - nothing to do with VU meters, but a pleasure all the same :D

    Wulf