Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Where are the EQs?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Wes Whitmore, Oct 22, 2003.


  1. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    I have been messing around with my 31 band EQ on my GK1001 bass head and 2x10+15 combo, mainly because I just can't seem to get the tone that I want out of any of my basses. The tone was fine when I bought the amp, but I have heard some pretty sweet setups lately (one with an EQ. Probably the smoothest and deepest sound I have heard yet), and I really wanted that sound. So I hooked a Berhinger 31 band through the effects loop and messed around with slight changes. I was amazed by how much I could alter my sound (Both good and really bad). I loved the sound control. I could make it sound like my Sansamp BDDI with certain adjustments (I bypassed the footswitch and heard no difference) Of course I only needed 40Hz-5KHz, but by using 31 bands, you get more sliders in that range. So I was ready to get a dedicated DOD 31band EQ, 3 space rack, and call it the day. I looked at a ton of pictures today at members rigs, and not one of them has an EQ (besides the 3 or 4, or 7 band built in head EQs). Why is this? I know a properly set up rig doesn't need a ton of EQ, but I change my mind on my ideal sound so much that the EQ seems like a no brainer now. Why don't I see them much?
    Thanks,
    Wes
     
  2. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    Probably because you can't get a graphic EQ with tubes in it;)

    Personally, I don't like the sound of a graphic EQ...even with the sliders set flat, there is something going on that I don't like the sound of...can't explain it really.

    A couple of my fretless fanatic friends use semiparametric EQs in their rigs so that they can find the best frequency to accentuate mwah and boost it, but no outboard grahic EQs.

    I'm sure some graphic EQ users will join in...
     
  3. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2000
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    BillyB from LZ,

    You are correct!

    Your friend and fellow fretless fanatic,

    Lonnybass

    PS I had the same GK head last year with a zillion EQ knobs...sold it for an Alembic F-1X with a passive 3-knob EQ. I added a 4-band parametric equalizer and I'm a happy, multiple-toned camper!
     
  4. Unless you want a sawtooth filter, you don't need all those EQ bands. Usually four points are enough (low shelving, low mid, high mid, and high shelving).
     
  5. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    I wont have an RTA to make this smooth, but I don't think I really want to. I also send a unaffected DI out to the board, so the audience will get a more level sound, and the soundman can mix whatever he wants from my cab through the mic as well. It won't be any different than excessively cranking on the EQ knobs of my head, just a little more jagged if I get carried away. I guess the main problem is that I like the full undirectional slightly booming bass, and most head EQs don't boost anything below 60 Hz or so, so I can't add any of those freq in. That was the area on the 31 band that gave me the sound I wanted. A tube head might help in warmth, I don't know. I really liked how the Mesa 600 sounded with their 210 cab. That was the perfect tone for me. The BDDI helps with its built in EQing, but I didn't need it after the 31 band EQ. I guess The EQ would be very flat except for the 30-50 Hz area would be boosted somewhat. Some might consider it a waste, but I need the low sliders. If I could do it with the stock head, I would. Does that change your feeling on it?
    Thanks,
    Wes
     
  6. I've thought about getting a midi controlled EQ (or something capable of recalling presets) so I could dial in all the different tones I like for different songs and switch them at the touch of a button, but I use too many unique tones over the course of a gig to want that much control for one tone only. Since getting an active bass, I can control tone well enough with the onboard preamp that there's no real call to purchase one now.

    Unless you play the same technique and tone for each song I don't see a 31 band EQ being very helpful. Just my opinion.
     
  7. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Well if you seen my rig I have a Beringer dual 15 band EQ since I run two basses one active and passive. It is the ticket! I an Eden WT800 head which is a great head, I use to own a GK. The problem I had was I could adjust the head for one bass but the same settings would sound like crap for the other bass and vise versa. The EQ not only solved this delema because each bass is EQ'd seperately and differently hugely improved my tone overall on both basses. I have had guys that been gigging for 20 years come over and all loved my tone. Thundering lows and biting highs and punchy mids all because I can fine tune each string on each bass. I run the head flat, the bass into the EQ then into the head. I do not put it in the effects loop because I loose all my tone from my head. You can achieve the same results doing it this way and still keep the growly GK sound because with the head EQ flat all the EQing is being done before the head so you still can controll and fine tune your bass and retain the natural sound of your head. Also the EQ before the head acts a little like a preamp it boosts your signal slightly and can control how much you want to boost that signal with the volume on the Beringer. But overall the 3 or 4 band EQ on a head after doing this won't be enough for me, this makes too much of a difference.
     
  8. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Ricplaya,
    thanks for the insight. I needed to get the opionion of a one tone bassist. I have been attempting to dial in my sound for over a year now, adding the sansamp, the compressor, and tweeking on those 4 bands of EQ on the head until I was blue in the face. The sound isn't there. I began thinking it was my Ibanez EDA900, but it sounded good in the store. Then I thought about the EQ section a little, and how the E string is around 40 Hz. My GK bass knob works the 50-60 Hz region. i could never get the bass to get low enough to actually feel it. It was always tight and punchy. I even purchased my 15" extension cab because I thought the 10s were not extending far enough. the 10s go as deep as the 15...
    So I got the rack today, and I just finished taking the head out of the combo cab. I need to order the side rails, and the top/side plate for the amp. I didn't realize they took it off when they put it in the combo. Once I do that, I plan on getting a DOD 31 band EQ just for this rack. Then I can leave the pedals at home.
    Thanks, and feel free to tell me more.
    Later,
    Wes
     
  9. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2000
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Wes,

    Can you describe "your tone" - what you hear in your mind when it comes to what you should be sounding like? Also, what kind of setup are you going for...covering an entire house with your stage rig, or simply having an onstage monitor with a DI signal from your amp?

    These considerations will be helpful in understanding what you're going after and what kind of recommendations can be given to you.

    Lonnybass
    Chicago, IL
    www.theparamours.com
     
  10. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Wes,

    I hate compressors! I have one built into my head and don't like it. Make sure you run the bass to the Eq then the head, then jack up the bass. Both of my EQ settings kind of look like a smile if that helps. Passive bass the lows and highs are jacked and the active is sort of like a half smile because the signal is already hot from the bass. Try taking the compressor off and running it like I suggested you can always change it back. I run my head flat using the EQ board for my adjusments. You can almost sit there and hit a string and find which dial controls what string and really fine tune it. PM me if you have more Q's.
     
  11. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Boss EQ-20 Advanced.

    Stores 9 different EQ settings for later recall, plus the sliders themselves make up a 10th EQ setting. I also cound the bypass mode as position 11. I've got one and it's serious overkill, but it sounds like it would suits you Nicoli.

    I used to have a 31 band graphic. At the time I had an amp with only 4 EQ knobs that seemed to do very little anyway. My new head has much more tone shaping so I have decomissioned the rack EQ. Ironically the new amp sounds pretty darn good flat, meaning the EQ isn't there to create a good sound but rather for fine tuning for room acoustics etc.

    So use using the rack may not be common but there's certainly situstions where it helps. So use it and be proud.
     
  12. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    It makes my rig sound huge! I run a 4x10 AMpeg it sounds like I have an 18" sub unde my cab. Wes has a GK, those can be a little tricky with the voicing filters and Master and blend knobs and stuff like that. I think the trick when using an EQ is to run your head flat and let the EQ do the work. That EQ pedal Petebass was refering to I think is the one with all those pre sets in it, I'm not sure if you can modify those sounds or not but each bass is different so that is a factor.
     
  13. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    The first thing I did was delete all the presets. To be honest I've got 8 perfectly flat EQ curves in the memory and one slap bass setting. I did say it was overkill :)
     
  14. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Not if you pick up 8 basses along the way:bassist:
     
  15. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    :) nah I'd end up with 8 stingrays anyway.

    I only bought it because the guy was practically giving it away.......
     
  16. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Lonnybass,
    My idea sound would be a very smooth and mellow bottom end (A string and below), but it is the type of E note that is non directional, and outside the bass cabinate. Less strained, and smooth. Not a rock bass I guess. More like jass type bass. The upper mid bass needs to be there with level volume, and can be a little more directional, but still needs to be smooth. Less character. The mesa Mpulse 600 vunture 2x10 was almost perfect when I demo'd it a couple of months ago, but that was on a trip to Texas and we don't have any retailers around here. Besides that, I dumped $2000 in the GK combo and ext 15, so I want to make it work for me. Other people seem to really be happy with theirs.
    The EQ seemed to be able to get this really close, and that was only after 10 minutes of tweaking. I would also like to get away from using my pedal board because I am not using anything on there for effects. My compressor and BDDI are set and left for the whole show. It's another thing to carry around, especially after I just purchased the 4U SKB case yesterday on my way to making things a little more modular.
    That Boss EQ sounds like a better upgrade for me since I tweak so much. I will research it. It's beyond what I initially needed, but I could use the presets to change some of the voicing from song to song. We have a pretty diverse set list, and sometimes I do want the rock sound with the heavy mids on some of our punk and rock covers.
    I do run my head flat now, and set the master volume at 12, and the master volume on around 3. I will always have my B-52 ACT18s (1200watt) for PA (an sometimes practice), so I don't care how much volume I have in my cab while on stage. I do mic the cab, as well as a DI. Currently I am using the Sansamp, but the GK DI is supposed to be good. If I get the tone, I will store the pedal board. The whole band uses in-ears, so our stage volume is pretty low. The cab is for feeling, which is also one of the reasons I want it to play with more low end feel than intense volume.
    Concerning actually hooking up the EQ perminantly, Ric made some great points. I know it is weird to do, but since I have an active bass, I could run it to the EQ first, then EQ out into the input of the head. That way, if I use the DI out, it will be post EQ. Sounds like a great idea to me.
    Well, that's all I know for now. Does anyone know where I can get the top of a GK1001RB and the rack ears? They don't have it on the combo.
    But it gives me a chance to look inside that monster of a head. The transformer is huge!
    Wes
     
  17. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    I didnt realize that was a pedal EQ. It has also been discontinued. At 10 bands, it doesn't offer as much for the bass, although maybe the 30Hz is all that I really need. I was thinking of getting a DOD 31 band rack mount for $75 new...
    Wes
     
  18. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Maybe I missed something but why de-rack your combo's head ? Is the effects loop not accessible when mounted ? Were it me, I'd keep the combo as is and rack your EQ and any other outboard stuff you want ...

    As far as EQ goes. The ART Parametric 4 band works nicely. When EQ'ing, unless you are looking at the EQ as some drastic effect, LESS IS MORE! Use it to cut objectionable freq's, not add to the freq's that are already present. It is addition by subtraction! With the Para, you get a much finer degree of control than you do with a graphic.

    The ART is a nice musical sounding EQ and has enough gain double as an outboard pre.

    There isn't anything inherently wrong with a grahic EQ, it is that they are really designed and suited for sound reinforcement rather than instrument EQ'ing. Basically all those fixed points of EQ, and the fixed freq band around them; might or might not be the exact point where the tonal magic begins for you.

    To the guy who hates 1 knob compressors - yep, me too. Turn it off and get a reasonable outboard compressor and that will change you opinion of compressing in general ... even the Alesis nono-compressor will do although there are a host of other, maybe better choices.
     
  19. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    I wanted to rerack it for a couple of reasons. Mainly because I have two cabs that are voiced pretty much the same, with way to much potential volume. I bought it before the in-ears, so I had no idea I wasn't going to need the output. So I can leave one at our two practice locations and just move the SKB around.
    I also want to get a single Aguilar 112. Seems very portable, and a darker sound that I am looking for.
    It is also a move to condense all of the stuff that I bring. If I can get all of my sound in a single 4U rack, then I can retire the pedal board, or just use it for days when we only do in-ears. All I have to bring is the board because I have the DI right on it. With the graphic EQ, I could mimic the Sansamp, and the effects of compression after I worked on the EQ were not that noticable. Flexibility would be a great thing.
    After taking out the head yesterday, GK really wants it to stay in place. There are probablby 14 screws or bolts holding it in. If I decided to just bring the combo and the pedals again, I can install/remove it with 4-6 screws. That will more than hold it in.
    My compresor is a Digitech 2 band pedal. I barely have it on at all. Just a little.
    I just researched parametric, and it might work for me. I see what you are saying. Setting the first boost to start at 30 Hz and keep the bandwidth pretty narrow to about 400 Hz might get me what am looking for. I could also do a little scoop in the mid. So if I am going to keep this on the cheap, would you recommend the Berhinger The PEQ2200 5 band parametric? They also have a tube version.
    While I was typing this, I called guitar center. They can't get me the top metal casing of the head, which allows the rack ears to attach to it. That pretty much means I can't rack it, so I might end up scrapping the whole idea, or get something fabricated. I don't know why GK doesn't sell this part though.

    Thanks,
    Wes
     
  20. Maybe I'm out of line here but have you ever thought about getting a speaker cabinet that actually reproduces the frequencies you're striving so hard to boost? Most conventional cabs do little under 50hz. Much like yourself I drove myself mad with EQ, compressors, processors, etc... trying to find "that" sound. I settled on bi-amping for a long time (2x10-18). Then one day I found Acme. I now have a single cabinet sollution (Acme Low B-4) to my dillema and rarely have to make ANY eq adjustments (other then for different rooms). Just my opinion I suppose but maybe you could benefit from a cab that better reproduces those areas you're trying to boost.

    http://www.acmebass.com/

    Check 'em out. I've been really happy ever since I got mine.