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What am I doing wrong with the setup?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jamis, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. jamis


    Jan 5, 2007
    Worcester, MA USA
    Hi everyone,

    Equipment: ESP B-255 5 String
    Combo Amp: PEavey TNT Tour 115 (the new one with the annoying lit-up logo in the front). :D

    Newbie here. I have a Peavey TNT Tour 115. I am in a 5 piece Classic Rock / Blues band with 2 guitars, singer, & drummer. We are just starting out (established band with some new members such as me). When I bought the amp I was told it would be more than enough to play small bars, etc. I usually leave it around 4-5 and I hear it but the others (specifically drummer) are always asking me to turn it up. I'm always telling them to turn it down. Without plugs, I cannot hear and last night even with the plugs I thought it was loud.

    When we rehearse we are pretty much in a circular pattern where we are all looking at one another. This mainly due to the size of the rehearsal area and layout.

    I don't always hear myself and I've been telling them for awhile they need to turn down. The singer last night acknowledged that the lead was way too loud. So much so that even he couldn't hear the rythm guitarist to his right.

    There was some bickering back and forth. Finally, I got annoyed and just cranked my amp all the way up to full on both volume and gain. They all looked at me and said that sounds great.

    The next song I left it up on volume & gain but then all I heard was me. I stepped into the middle of the room and sure enough I also thought it was actually a pretty decent mix. A little too much bass for my taste but better than what it was.

    So my questions are as follows:
    1. Is it bad to leave my amp all the way up to 8-9 all the time on both volume & gain?
    2. What would you suggest so that I hear the others besides only me or is a bass player supposed to only hear himself in this type of situation without monitors facing back at him (remember circular patter so their amps are facing me)
    3. Is this amp not enough for what I'm doing? They said their amps are only at 3-5. They have Fender Deluxe Chorus and another similar Fender product.

    Please remember I'm new. I love the bass and I'm just beginning so be gentle. I did try to find similar postings but I didn't see one that included all my questions.

    Thanks for any information and advice you can give. :help:
  2. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Running the amp @ 8-9 is pretty hard on it, Bass is a low frequency and needs more power to be heard.
    Set up the amps in a line behind you (like a real stage set up)
    Put the bass amp right next to the drummer ( he needs to hear & feel it).
    Then, if you can't hear each other well, balanced, turn down, yes turn down.
    Take care of your ears or you'll end up like me, hearing aids & tinnitus.
    Volume is a constant war with band members, be vigilant about it but most of all strive for a balanced sound, everyone in the band will be much happier, it doesn't have to be loud to sound good.

  3. Anaughtybear

    Anaughtybear Guest

    Apr 3, 2012
    Fargo, ND
    As one of five instruments (2 guitars, vocals, bass & drums), I think you are entitled to 20% of the sonic space. If that means your amp is on a higher number, so what? Remember, bass frequencies are harder to reproduce, but are more omnidirectional. The guitars are crotch-rockets while you're driving the dump truck. Do whatever you gotta do to be heard. Try moving your amp up on top of something, so that it is closer to ear level. Wear earplugs. I use Hearos. They cut out just enough of the noise to be able to focus on the sounds you want to hear.
  4. I would get all the guitarists to prop their amps up on a chair. Those little fender amps are nuclear, but they are hitting the guitarists in their knees and you in the face. Get them elevated so that they can hear the amps better. As far as your amp goes, running it hard like that is harder on it than running it at a lower volume. I would be more concerned with the speakers life than the amplifier portion. If your speaker starts to sound like it is farting out, turn down some of the low bass.
  5. jamis


    Jan 5, 2007
    Worcester, MA USA
    MrLenny1, thanks. What do you suggest for an amp? I needed something and I thought starting out with the Peavey Combo would be better (and cheaper). Is (1) 15" not enough? I know nothing about amps. Am I better off with a stack with a separate amp? If so what do people recommend for power?
  6. jamis


    Jan 5, 2007
    Worcester, MA USA
    Now that you mention it; I think I had the Low way up while fiddling with it prior to practice. I was fiddling trying to get the ESP to get a really low sound.
  7. Yeah, keep the bass low, like below 12 o'clock (imagine dials are a clock. 12 o'clock would be in the middle), maybe even to 10. If you have some sort of Mid frequency knob turn that up past noon, and adjust the treble to what you feel like.

    But I do think everyone should turn down a bit... Every guitarist I've met seems to have a hard time with that though.
  8. jamis


    Jan 5, 2007
    Worcester, MA USA
    So what do you guys think about their amps? They are only between 3-5 regarding volume setting. That doesn't seem very high (albeit guitar amps can be louder). I've never had to ask a guitarist to turn his amp down to 1 or 2.

    I honestly think if I cannot solve this issue I'm leaving the band. I find it painfully loud when we play. Last night I was grimacing a few times and was ready to shoot the lead. His SG through the Fender Deluxe was just going right through me.

    Even with the plugs. He kept saying he wasn't any louder than normal. I told him that's not true because even the singer was complaining that it was too loud. I'm also thinking the rehearsal space is too small for what we are doing. I keep saying that means we turn down but they're not biting.

    I know when we are too loud. I'm in the office today with a "hangover feel" and my ears are bugging me. Feels like a Maiden concert I went to years ago when I was much younger. LOL
  9. When I'm playing with a drummer I always wear ear plugs. So every practice, every show, hell I even wear em when I go see someone else play.

    That said I would say that my band plays louder than yours, probably at levels that would make your guitarist wince himself. I couldnt get by with a combo, but a lot of guys do. If your drummer is loud, then you have to match him. Getting your gui****s amps up off the floor will bring the volume down, but encouraging them to turn down is still a good idea.

    I still would say wear ear plugs.
  10. jamis


    Jan 5, 2007
    Worcester, MA USA
    Thanks. I always wear ear plugs. This is the first band where some of the guys don't wear plugs. My wife is in an orchestra and she does that even for playing classical arrangements. She's in the front (flutist or is it floutist)? She's got some crazy trumpets behind her. :D
  11. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Dec 4, 2009
    Downunder Oz
    Bass player
    Try this because we had that problem till we chanegd to a stage setup.
  12. thefaceofbass


    Feb 19, 2008
    SLC, UT
    Looks like a nice combo amp, but most likely underpowered for your needs. Although Peavy advertises the amp as a 600 watt combo, that is it's peak power. Their website actually says the amp puts out 300 watts at 8 ohms (couldn't find the spec on the equipped speaker, but most likely 8 ohms) and 400 watts at 4 ohms. Adding another 8 ohm cab would drop the ohms to 4, giving you 400 continuous watts and more speaker cone area. But beware of mismatched cabs and phasing issues when using multiple cabs. Search the threads here for all the details regarding the pitfalls of mismatched cabs ;)

    My experience playing classic rock/blues is that the rehearsal and stage volume of the band is dictated by the drummer. Guitarists and bassists are ideally meshing on stage dynamically with the volume of the acoustic drummer- he doesn't have a convenient volume knob. But with 2 guitars, it's going to be loud. In this situation I've always used amps that were capable of running 500 watts continuous. IMO it's better to have the amp's volume knob at 4 than at 9 or 10.

    And I agree that cutting back the low end on the bass might not sound good by itself, but in a band mix more mids will help you cut through and allow the amp to work easier. Reproducing low freqs is hard on an amp. It will also get you more out of the kick drum's sonic space.
  13. jamis


    Jan 5, 2007
    Worcester, MA USA
    Thanks. Was just online this morning looking at new amps/equipment, etc. I'm thinking the Peavey will NOT achieve what I was told it would.

    You mention the drummer playing loud dictatest the overall volume and that is the PRECISE situation we are in.

    Guess I'm going to have to spec out what to get. Not sure so I'll start searching through all the posts as to what works well. Again, I'm a newbie so I don't want to end up buying something again that isn't ideal. The store (independent) ensured me the Peavey would be plenty.

    As the drummer said last night "you got ripped." Man I just deflated. I was so proud of my new gear and joinng a band and doing well on the bass. Now if I can only hear me. LOL
  14. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    You can't take any notice of what number the volume is set at, unless you are listening with your eyes.

    Different amps have different sensitivities, different speakers with either greater or lesser efficiency that all render the number that the volume knob is set at as useless information - some amp manufacturers even pull a little trick that means the amp is delivering it's full acoustic output when the volume knob is nowhere near 10 so as to make people think "wow this amp is a monster, I never have to set the volume past 5"...My old Trace Elliot was like that, all the volume happened in the first half of the volume travel, turn it up further and it hardly got any louder.

    The only answer is for you to turn up, or for them to turn down. But the suggestions above about getting the guitarists speakers nearer their ears are good ones.
  15. claytitan


    Mar 12, 2008
    You are likely too quiet in the mix. I suspect the amp would take being driven on 8. Peavey is known for taking some abuse. I would get myself more amp / better cab if I were you. I don't like the feeling of not having anywhere to go if I can't hear myself.

    Your drummer and lead guitar player are likely way too loud especially for just a rehearsal. I don't care what the number on the dial says. Whether it is 1 or 9, if it too loud it is too loud.

    The drummer could also use rods or brushes to bring down the volume for rehearsal. Guitar player is likely cranking the volume to cover up sloppy play. Neither of them will like being told to turn down but I would insist or move on. It isn't worth playing with selfish people that want to have volume wars.

    If you really like the band you could get IEM. Then you can hear what you want to hear and they can go deaf. Best money I've ever spent on music gear.
  16. viper4000


    Aug 17, 2010
    If you're having problems in the practice room, where it is a consistent set-up, you'll have serious problems at gigs. Especially if you have to run the PA yourselves.

    One thing we did in our practice room (which sounds similar to yours) is stand opposite your rig. So, I stood next to the guitar rig, he stood next to mine. That put us across the from our own rig, therefore in a better position to hear what it actually sounds like. Also, bass rig always sits next to the drummer. If he can't hear it, he has to feel it.

    The biggest compliment my band ever had was when we were playing a room notorious for bad sound. A lot of metal in the rafters and a lot of glass windows 360 degrees around. We TURNED DOWN. Let me say it again....we TURNED DOWN. We also lifted the guitar amp on an amp stand that also angled it a little. Guitarist could hear finally hear himself. We were lucky to have a lot of musicians as friends, and none of them could believe we got a clean, even mix out of that bar. Volume is not your friend when trying to get clean mixes. This is the difference between a decent band and a great band. A great band knows how to adjust things to match or compliment the room they are in.

    This is what worked for us. Not sure you need a new rig, but you might find that you are working that Peavey pretty hard. Does that combo support an extension cabinet? If so, might get another 15.

    Good luck.
  17. I have the Peavey Tour TNT 115. It is a great amp for my needs, 2 guitarist, bass, drummer, vocals playing a fusion of funk rock progressive. This amp handles all my needs. It cuts through the mix and sounds awesome. You might want to add an 8 ohms external cab, preferably another 8 ohms 115, more speaker area equals more volume. If you are playing larger venues just use the DI output on the back of the amp to run to the main board.

    First turn down the guitars and match the drummers volume. That will solve the majority of the problems. And by all means wear plugs.

    BTW you can turn off that blue logo light!
  18. 1. If not already done, lift the bass amp up off the floor. Maybe position yourself closer to the drummer so both of you can hear it.
    2. Get a pair of good ear plugs (hearos for musicians $15). These will bring down the volume of the whole room but will allow bass to get in easily. If you're using the spongy ear plugs that are a dime a dozen for construction workers, they bury the bass. Suggest all band members get a pair of these earplugs so you don't have to crank your bass all the time.
    3. To save your speaker, bring down the bass eq and bring up the mids.
    Good luck.
  19. jamis


    Jan 5, 2007
    Worcester, MA USA
    +10. Thank you SO MUCH for your input. I'll call and ask the store what they suggest for an external cab. You pretty much summed up what they told me when I bought it.

    I honestly think we are too loud in general but the guitarists are all on "3" and think going lower is too much and we are all trying to keep up with the drummer.

    I do know last night we were too loud overall. Not sure why? I actually thought the drummer was making an effort to be softer and the rythm guitarist is just an ace at his job. The singer and I kept asking the lead to turn it down. He was getting mad saying he's at the same volume but none of us could hear the rythm. The singer and I stand on either side of the lead with his amp hitting us dead on. I swear he was louder last night vs. what he normally is.

    I won't freak out yet and search for a new system just yet. That will make my wife happy. I got home last night and told her "I need more power." Man, did she have a couple of one-liners coming back my way.
  20. jamis


    Jan 5, 2007
    Worcester, MA USA
    One more question ... sorry .... many of you say to have the guitarist turn down. But they are only at 3? That isn't that loud, right? The problem is our drummer has one volume and that's 11. LOL

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