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What's Missing/not right?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by pointblank72, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. pointblank72


    Dec 14, 2009
    Cairns, QLD
    Hi to all and I am really hoping for some answers and for the opinions of all of you out there in the world of Bass...

    First off, what I'm currently playing:

    I am currently playing a 5 string Warwick Thumb bolt on through an Ampeg SVT 2 Pro (newest addition to my set up) that is pushing it's sound out through an Avatar 410 Neo (4ohm). I play in an original heavy rock band that has strong influences in the progressive rock genre. We write in drop D and I'm playing with one other guitarist and a very competent drummer that plays loud. For a reference point, think Tool in that our songs have both lighter, melodic points where I play on the higher A, D and G strings with effects and then heavy chorus parts where it's on the dropped D in the lower frets.

    Now, my problem...I can get awesome tone out of this Amp (especially when playing at lower volumes with just the guitarist when we write), however when jamming with the whole band, I find that as I turn up the volume to match that of the drums and guitar, I'm finding that the awesome tone slowly fades and muddys up (particularly on the dropped D string), the tubes start clipping and my volume seems to just drop off as I move over to where the drummer is (who can hardly hear me at all). There doesn't seem to be any lasting presence of the bass, the nice warm depth that sits below everything else and doesn't necessarily compete with everything by being louder but resonates well within the room. I previously had an ashdown ABM 500 evo III and seemed to be experiencing similar issues, which is leading me onto believe that it is a cabinet related issue. What I'm looking to find out is what is the issue here? Am I trying to push too much volume out of one cab (as in, what about an 810 or another 410)? Is there an issue with my amp? Is the 300Watts of Tube power just not enough? Is solid state a better way to go for what I'm trying to achieve here?

    I have spent a lot of money recently in upgrading my amp and I don't mind spending the money on good gear (I've never been a tightass when it comes to my bass gear as I enjoy it so much) but not if I keep running into the same issues or if it is this cabinet in particular that's too responsive to the low end. I just don't want to go through 5 amps running into the same issues.

    My guitarist by the way, is playing through an older Ampeg 100watt all tube head that is driving an 8 ohm 412 cabinet. His sound is perfect, it travels well across the whole room and the drummer and I both hear him clearly, no matter where I stand. And it isn't that he's playing at overbearingly loud volumes, he just seems to have that awesome presence within the whole room.

    Any thoughts, direction, ideas, experience or even questions for more info are welcomed and much appreciated.
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    i belive you are, indeed, trying to get too much volume out of a 410, especially since you said it happened with the ashdown as well. bass = big.
  3. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    How are you EQing things? That can have a big effect.

    Adding another 410 might work, too, though. You are trying to compete against a 4x12, which has a larger speaker area.
  4. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    What's missing is the other cab mate, the other 4 tens is the SVT trick,
    it gives you at least another 3db and brings the sound closer to your ear
    The gui**** is showing more speaker area and probably likes to distort his Pre amp Power amp and all four 12" speakers to achieve his sound.
    You are trying to make that level clean at half the frequency, so you need more speaker area not more watts to make that possible.
    For now with just 1 X 4 X 10 back off any LF boost in your eq make sure you don't have any bass boost on the warwick and try to find a hole in the mix for that characteristic warwick tuba like midrange honk.
    Is there a boomy frequency in the room you are in, perhaps you could get the gui**** to have a more bright crunchy and less bass doggie sound.
    He will tell you he needs all that boomy bass in his sound to solo with and cant possibly switch it in and out just for single note stuff.
    So start leaving leaflets about the place, advertising solo boost eq pedals. Or just rewire his cabinet when he is not looking with two of the speakers out of phase, that will make him far less bassy and loads quieter. Sorted!:bassist:
    PS Stealing two of his power amp tubes is also a very good plan if you are not to good at soldering.:D
    PPS. Hey you never know you might even get to a mix where you can actually hear your vocalist as well!?.
  5. pointblank72


    Dec 14, 2009
    Cairns, QLD
    Alright, well first off in terms of eq, I'm relatively flat, boosting my mids a bit and highs as well. Second of all, I've been reading from other forums and what not that clipping seems to occur when the amp isn't powerful enough to push the speakers. Could this be an issue being that the SVT 2 pro is 300Watts rated and the Avatar 410 is 1000watts rated. Also, if I opt for adding another 410, being the first one is rated at 4ohms, I'll get another one at 4ohms, creating a 2 ohm load (which is fine because the amp can handle a 2ohm load). Anyway, is it best to mix and match cabs or should I stick with avatar? I have heard from people that Ampeg cabs seem to go really well with Ampeg amps. I just don't want to get another cab and find that the problem still exists.

    Also, it's worth noting that although the options for altering my guitarist's set up sounds like a possible option, I don't believe it's the real issue. The issue seems to be that my sound doesn't seem to travel all the way to the drummer, regardless of the guitarist. People seem to get around these issues in practice and at gigs (ones where there is no PA and all you're hearing is the amps) and I'm just curious whether I've got the wrong set up or maybe the avatar cabinet just isn't the way to go with the ampeg head.

    A lot of guys on here seem to think that the cabinet is the crucial part in that it's always better to have a mediocre amp with an excellent cabinet as opposed to an excellent head with a mediocre cabinet, as the cabinet is what delivers the sound to your ears.
  6. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    The consensus is generally that you'll get the greatest effect just by doubling what you have. By getting a second 4x10 of the same make and model, you will effectively have an 8x10. Might be cool, too, to enable you to have a big rig and a smaller rig that sound really similar just by playing with both cabs or only one, depending on how much you need.

    The SVT2 pro is similar to the SVT-CL, with some changes in the preamp and the fact that it's rackmountable. It should be monstrously loud. Getting another 4x10 and putting it on top of the one you already have should improve things.
  7. Another vote for more speaker area, the one big problem your having is the drop tuning. Very low frequencies turn to mud so you may find cutting your lows will be of help unless you REALLY bump your wattage and speaker area as well. Boost your mid lows and higher mids to help you sit in the mix. You might think it sounds tinny or thin next to your amp, but step out front or next to your drummer and you will hear something much different.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    relatively flat is by far not flat on an svt. i've always had to set them odd to get near flat out of them...like bass on 11:00, mids @ 800 on 3:00, treble on 2:00.

    and that nonsense about underpowering...forget it. it's a lot of hoo-ha.
  9. pointblank72


    Dec 14, 2009
    Cairns, QLD
    Cheers again everyone, all input is greatly appreciated. Now in regards to the cabinet for the second 410...Does everyone think opting for a second avatar is the way to go or would something different that is more renowned for its good sounding mids and highs be a better option? The reason I ask is that I have noticed that the avatar seems to really push these lows out (although I will grant that after you guys have mentioned, this could be a combination of EQ levels combined with drop D tuning - however it seems to be consistent with what people on here say about the avatar 410s) and not so much the mids and highs where the volume and clarity seems to really get lost. I have read that different cabinets do sound better for different frequencies, tones, playing styles etc, so should I be searching for something that really brings out the mids and highs, leaving the avatar for the lows?

    B string, in regards to this EQing, is this best done on the graphic equaliser alone or should I drop the overall bass level on the parametric dials as well as cutting it with the graphic sliders?
  10. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    Probably want to get an identical cab.

    Cut your lows a bit. Crank those mids up. Even if it sounds like honky crap by itself, will work nicely at being heard through everything else. Echoing what B-string said, you don't need to have a lot of really deep lows to get a fat, robust sound. Mid-lows/low mids work well for this.

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