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'Warm' sounding Epifani rig

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Solofunkyjazz, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. Solofunkyjazz


    Sep 15, 2008
    Coventry UK
    I have a UL902 and a UL212 Series 2 cab.

    It has this inherent 'warm' and 'thick' sound that I can't get rid of.

    Is this the power amp stage, or the cab.

    I have read on this forum that the class D amps impart a certain 'warmth' to the sound.

    I'm actually thinking of changing it for a Warwick Hellborg rig, but I was wondering if I needed to change all of it.

  2. IMO, assuming the 902 sounds similar to my 502, it's the head. The Epi amp voicing is very thick, fat, and surprisingly warm for a SS head. It does have that very hi fi, clean top end, but that can get quite overwhelmed by all that creamy low end and organic mid response on a gig (which is why IMO you hear the Epi heads described as 'dark sounding'). When you combine that with the rather mid polite UL212II, I imagine it sounds beautifully organic and 'creamy', but lacks a certain punch and presence in the mix in some contexts.

    A small 500 watt or so head will pretty much drive that cab to full volume, assuming it's 4ohm. IMO, no need to go for the price and weight of that Helborg rig unless it particularly speaks to you. A used Thunderfunk550b, a Markbass F1, or a number of other moderate wattage heads with more mid punch voicing, more upper mid presence, and a tighter low end will tighten that cab up quite a bit IMO.

    Edit: I don't think it's a 'class D' thing, but rather the voicing of the Epi pre.
  3. Solofunkyjazz


    Sep 15, 2008
    Coventry UK
    Thanks for your reply.

    I've tried plugging into the effects return, and I still get that 'warm' sound, which is what lead me to think it was either the power amp stage or the cab, I did mean to post that in my original posting.
  4. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Borrow another amp or bring your cab to a music store. Try a different head and you'll know immediately.
  5. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    have you messed w/ the tweeter in the back? maybe its turned down too much?
  6. Solofunkyjazz


    Sep 15, 2008
    Coventry UK

    Thanks for all your replies.

    It's a good idea to borrow another amp and try that, but not really possible unfortunately, the only other bass player by me uses a Berg IP set up, and there's only one decent bass shop in the country.

    The tweeter is set in the centre where it's always been since I had it, but it's not that, it's the sound of the rig, it's just too 'warm' sounding.

    I was hoping that someone on here with a UL902/502 would have experience of a UL212 and other cabs.
  7. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    dead strings perhaps? i'll venture out and say, maybe the tweeter's broken? have you fiddled around with it to make sure?

    i regularly gig with a 902 + UL112(x2) setup, and i have no problems finding a hifi highly detailed and articulate sound.
  8. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Yes the 902 and 502's are warm, but they're not overwhelmingly so, and I have no trouble taming them. However, the UL212 is quite a deep sounding cab. It's certainly the warmest of the 2x12's in our store. Have you noticed that some 12's sound like biggish 10's, but others sound more like smallish 15's. Using this analogy, IMO the epi UL212 sounds like a couple of smallish 15's.

    If I were you, I'd do what one of our fellow staff members has done (TB member Evan_S_Brown) to his UL902/UL212 rig and add a UL210 to provide the punch while maintaining the warmth as well. This is a killer rig!!

    If that's not an option, then I'd look at changing the cab first, and perhaps wait and see how the 902 goes with a punchier cab before changing the head.
  9. I agree with the above. The combination of the voicing of the Epi amps with that particular big, wide sounding cab would not be my idea of a good time if you wanted punch and a more forward tone. However, I actually find the UL210 even wider and bigger sounding, and wouldn't think that would help much.

    Interestingly, when I tried my 502 with my very tight, punchy, Bergantino AE410 (it's a mid punch and grind machine), I didn't like the matchup at all. That creamy, fat, warm Epi amp tone still came through. It was like the Epi sucked the punch out of the AE, versus the AE adding tightness and punch to the 502:meh:

    I've never found an amp that I liked so much in a solo setting, but was so frustrated with in a gigging context, exactly for the reason the OP stated. Again, there are many posts describing these amps as 'dark', which supports the OP's comments.

    Per Joker's comment, a pair of UL112's will help a bit versus the UL212, but my recommendation would be to try another head with the cab. There is just something missing in the voicing of the Epi amps to my ear that results in that big, fat, warm beautiful creamy, smooth tone that sounds so good solo but tends to sound dark and non-distinct in some playing contexts.

    IMO and painfully IME.

    Edit: Of course, there are some that love this fat, warm, creamy, mellow voicing. I don't mean to dog on the Epi amps versus just mention that I hear the Epi amps similar to the OP, and again to say that the wide sounding 212UL makes this issue 'worse'.
  10. In the spirit of helping out with your current rig, one thing you can try is this:

    1) Turn the tweeter to about 10 o'clock on your cab (i.e., down a touch). The tweeter on the Epi cab is more of a high order low pass filter (i.e., it really only impacts the high treble region). If you have the tweeter turned up a bit, it can result in too much hi fi 'click' and not enough upper mid definition

    2) Use the lower channel of the 902, and shift the treble shelving frequency point to 3K. Keep the bass control flat, and dial up that 'lower treble' a bit (maybe 1 o'clock). With the tweeter dialed down a bit, this will help bring in a little more gritty upper mid response that will help with articulation

    3) Use the semi-parametric mid control to either dial out just a touch of 800hz to 1K 'grit' if the upper mids sound a touch harsh, or to VERY slightly punch up the low mids at around 250-400 hz, depending on what sounds good to you.

    This won't radically change the voicing of the amp, but will give you a little more upper mid grind that might help you in a mix a bit more.
  11. Solofunkyjazz


    Sep 15, 2008
    Coventry UK

    Thanks for all your advice.

    I've sold the 2x12 cab, so I'm now probably going to get a couple of Epifani 1x12's or perhaps a 4x10 to replace it.

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