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who cranks their bass and mid EQ to unsensible levels?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bovine mind, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. bovine mind

    bovine mind

    Jun 17, 2008
    San Francisco
    the majority of the threads i've read suggest to EQ at or near flat on amp and bass settings.

    but for the sound i'm looking for, and the feeling of chest thumping, fully body massage bass AND punchy tone, the only way i can get that is by cranking the bass EQ knob to the maximum, and the midrange. I'm talking about total body vibration.

    it's an indicator that i need a more powerful amp, but the sound is extraordinary. i don't ease up on these settings as i haven't heard any strain on my speakers, and my 810 is rated at 800w continuous power handling. i recently installed a black widow in my 215 as well. for what i need to do it sounds great, but i wonder how many others run their amps this way.

    how many TB'ers disregard the safe and sensible flat EQ, have you damaged your gear as a result?

    current setup is an SVT-CL @ 2ohms > Ampeg 810e + Traynor 215.

    as a side note, i've been thinking a lot about trading my SVT-CL in for an SVT 4PRO. i haven't found much info on how much volume i'd gain by doing so. ideally i'd rather not have to crank the EQ as i do on SVT-CL, but i worry about the tone i'd lose without an all tube amp.
  2. i usually crank the the bass and mid, with the mid scooped slightly low. this is mostly so i can get a nice amount of overdrive from my preamp tubes, which doesn't really happen on svt classics, (there are five of them.) but yeah, i like chest thumping, but i also like attack, so i makes sure there's enough treble in there to define the sound, not just the frequency, but i know what you mean. after all, if i didn't like chest thumping music you can physically feel, i'd play guitar.
  3. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    The folks that state that flat stuff can say that because of the nature of their rigs and their gigs.

    What you, your band, and your audience likes is what's right for you.

    Consider that what you like the feel of up close is not what your audience hears. So ultimately how your band hears you and your audience can take precedence.

    On principle here, not about your gear, some folks require huge boosts in eq because:

    Their cabs don't want to reproduce it anyway.
    Their cabs are inefficient so without enough watts one is compensating with eq boosting.
    Their amps don't have enough headroom.
    Their basses have such a timid tone without amplification that everything is added later at the pre.
    Take your pick. It could be a combination.

    Last, as you said earlier it's what you like.
  4. rbonner


    Sep 25, 2008
    BM, lots of questions there.

    In reality the SVT both the Cl and 4PRO are fairly close in actual power, the 4PRO maybe 100 watts higher in actual output. I have not meansured this, but did an approximate calculation.

    In reading some of my other posts I have commented many times that the NEWER 810 cabs take ALL the power the AMPEG tube or 4PRO amps can muster to whomp the cab.

    When driving two cabs the heads no longer have enough poop and are pushed way too hard to get the job done.

    When I originally bought my first 4PRO I figured it would drive a pair of 810's like the old SVT and the original flat backed cabinets would do. But alas it couldn't to full smoke.

    You need more VAVOOM? Buy another SVT-CL to drive the 215... If you buy a 4PRO you will need to buy two.

    I've tried so many times to drive two cabs with the 4PRO and if they were SVT-410HLF's yeah but not 810's... I have turned my master knob full open and the speakers still werent getting hit as hard as with one cab and one head. Then the amp tripped out.

    In my discussions with Dino at AMPEG, the SVT-8PRO was the new hope and the first amp that could actually drive a pair of 810 cabs (or 810 / 215 in both our cases) but that amp may never get built.

    Oh yeah on the bass knob. I used to run my Bassman and EB-0 with the bass cranked all the way up back in the 70's. But if you get enough power behind the 810 you'll be able to turn it down. Seriously try just the 810 for a while with the CL until you can get another power amp.

  5. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    Instead of boosting everything, try cutting some to keep it respectively balanced (ie., instead of Bass 10, Mid 9, Treble 2; try Bass 5, Mid, 4, Treble -3). It sounds like your setup just isn't putting out the volume you need, so you're kind of SOL and are almost forced to EQ in that manner.

    I try to stay in the +/- 6 range as far as my EQ is concerned because I feel I get a cleaner tone out of it by doing so. I like to use my bass and effects to shape my tone.
  6. TheVoiceless


    Jun 11, 2008
    New Jersey
    Flat EQ will give you the most natural sound, and give you the control on your bass. By boosting or cutting frequencies on your amp you are making you bass a secondary sound. Again these are live situations. Technically you should have to change your settings every time you play a new place since each places acoustics are different. But the reason you have control over the bass,mid and treble is so you can make those adjustments. So CRANK IT UP!!!! Its all good.
  7. maggot_me


    Mar 20, 2009
    maggot me
    i put all the knobs up on my peavey grind and the amp and it feels like someone is flushing my insides =P

  8. bovine mind

    bovine mind

    Jun 17, 2008
    San Francisco

    i think i suffer from these three conditions. the 810e is rediculously power hunger in order to sound good. it's depressing. i shouldn't need 1200w to get it to wake up, but it looks i might have to.

    with the SVT-CL set flat, it's a good tone, and loud enough to be heard under a band, but just does not have that overwhelming deep bass response, UNLESS i crank the bass and mids all the way up. i have the tone and volume i want, but i now have no headroom in case i play somewhere where i need more volume. and while in most cases i would let the PA do the work, i'd like to have the peace of mind of looking at the master and pre and NOT seeing them both almost dimed.

    i can only hope the 4PRO will satisfy this gross EQ setting.
  9. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    I agree that EQing to your taste is perfectly fine. All these guys are always preaching flat eq, and then when they get a custom built for them, they have 35 knobs, 3 pre-amps, 11 pickups, optical, etc etc. And then they run those basses through a mega rack of pres. It's awesome the way that happens, isn't it?

    I use my basses mainly flat just because that's the tone *I* want. When I'm covering a dub song, however, my bass knob gets cranked. The EQ is there for a reason: use it brother!

    Jacob Hamilton
  10. rbonner


    Sep 25, 2008
    BM, go ahead & try a 4PRO on the cab. IT DOES have enough power to really whomp the cab. Warning my master sits at 5/8th of full crank about 2 O'clock to do it. Yeah the cab sops up the power. After you get six of them running though you'll be loud enough. Dont even bother running the second cab. 1. It cant drive the 2OHM load in bridged mono and 2, it only makes 490W per channel at 4OHMs and that isnt enough to do anything. BOB
  11. One of the songs we end our set with, all my strings get tuned down to pure slop, and I set my bass on top of my rig, just letting feedback vibrate the strings like crazy for a few minutes... While that's going on, I turn my octave pedal to 2 octaves down, direct, octave 1 and octave 2 are all turned up all the way, fuzz is on and so is my delay. It just swells into this massive wall of sub-bass and low mids and as this is going on the drums keep the final beat going and I just watch my speakers looking like they are about to jump out of the cabs.

    My cabs probably only get 100 watts each, maybe 200 with the peaks, but the lowest wattage cab is 200, and the highest is like 600.. So none of them are really being pushed hard powerwise. Not sure if what I do to them at the end of the set can hurt them, but I've had no problems thus far.

    I've never owned one, but I've known people that had them, and I don't know, I'd stay away from the 4-pro altogether. Never liked that amp. Too quiet, tone has always been pretty tame sounding. I don't know.

    I've read and posted in other threads of yours, and I'd say if possible, get another SVT-CL, and if you're feeling crazy enough, and have the money and the vehicle to transport it in, get another 8x10 and another 2x15. :bassist:
  12. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    By bumping the hell out of Lows and Mids and leaving the highs flat essentially is the same thing as leaving Lows and Mids flat and cutting treble and boosting amp volume.

    The difference is that you're increasing volume coming off the bass to your amp by boosting EQ on your bass. The negative side of boosting the EQ is potential noise coming off the bass that wouldn't be there otherwise. Just depends on the quality of your bass and EQ.

    Personally I try to never boost more than 10% or so for specific needs and cut more than boost to accomplish my tone needs. But that's just me.

    Whatever works for you.

  13. bovine mind

    bovine mind

    Jun 17, 2008
    San Francisco
    well, the problem is the only way i get the volume, physical feeling, and tone is is i do both, crank the volume AND crank the EQ.
  14. bovine mind

    bovine mind

    Jun 17, 2008
    San Francisco

    Metal Matt, i do a lot of octave/delay abuse like yourself, and have blown a speaker and melted a couple heads trying to get massive results. the difference is you have plenty of speaker surface to even out the damage i think. i will probably not be able to afford a rig like yours for another couple of years, so i need a LOT of power in a smaller package.

    i'd add another SVT-CL, but i'm totally disgusted with the amount of service had to put into just ONE, and i can't imagine having to repair and retube another, ESPECIALLY when we decide to go on lengthy tours. every show is like playing a combat medic, and i'm trying to pare everything down to the simplest rig possible.

    it's interesting how weak a huge rig setup can sound too.

    i saw Kylesa last weekend at a 300+ audtiorium. the bassist had a full orange 4x12 stack, and a couple 4x10's if i remember. three tube amps, all mic'ed thru PA. i was standing 20 feet away and could barely hear of even feel him competing in the mix of 2 droptuned guitars and two drummers.

    a couple nights ago i saw Autolux. bassist had one 810 and what looked like an SVT4PRO. their guitarist had a pretty mighty setup, but not like kylesa's. dude's bass tone could be heard at any point in the same venue and his CLEAN tone was totally overwhelming, i could feel my innards dissolving. could have been their own sound guy manipulating the PA, but it made an impression on me when it comes to high powered SS amps.

    did you friends run the SVT4PRO in bridged mono, and through what cabs? i can't imagine an all tube preamp and 1200w of SS ampeg power sound quiet & sterile....
  15. bovine mind

    bovine mind

    Jun 17, 2008
    San Francisco
    really the biggest determents to adding more tube amps is:

    1. repair/service costs
    2. weight / touring issues
    3. lack of loud CLEAN volume

    for the amount of deep lows and intense full body bass sound, and yet still have a CLEAN tone i need LOT of power. tube amps in my experience so far seem to be loud, but only in the overdriven way unless i use more than one, which i'm trying to avoid.

    the ideal bass tone i'm looking for is the kind you find more in electronic music. that is typically not a tube driven sound, but i also love the intense overdriven lows of doom/sludge. i'd just rather leave the dirt to pedals and have a foundation of gobs of fresh clean power.

  16. Well, I was lucky enough to happen across some awesome deals which is why I was able to afford my setup, the 4x12 I use actually belongs to my drummer, and once I get another slave amp, I'm going to be running another 2x15, that also belongs to him. It was almost a year, from when I bought the first piece of my rig to where it is now. I just waited for deals to come up, pawn shops, craigslist, etc..

    It's much cheaper, and makes way more of a difference in volume to add more speakers opposed to trying to put as much power as possible into less cabs. I'm only running 400 SS watts which a lot of bass players would consider barely enough, and I've heard from quite a few people that we're the loudest band they've ever heard. A friend of mine was talking to me the other day about how when he sees us, the volume and vibrations just sort of make him zone out during our set. So, for me, I've done something right, and the way I did it was adding more power AND more speakers. But like I said, more speakers will always give you a more dramatic boost in volume than adding more power.

    I can't really suggest any tube amps to you, because I've never owned one, but I'd say find a tube amp that has a lot of clean headroom... Put the volume on that just below the point of clipping... Then use a fuzz, or a clean boost, or something like that to drive the amplifier into clipping when you want.

    Or, if in the future you have the money to do so, add another cab or two, and get a SS power amp and slave it to whatever tube amp you have.

    I'd chalk the Kylesa and Autolux thing to the soundman. I saw Kylesa last year at Dudefest and heard the bass just fine. Can't remember what they were running through though.

    The bass player in my old band had the 4pro, running it through an Eden 4x10 (the one I have now) and an Ampeg 4x10. Not sure about the bridged/mono thing. With all that power though, he was still struggling to be heard over two Line 6 half stacks. I've heard that amp a few other times at shows, and it's always just plain and boring sounding. Pretty much seems to be the norm whenever anyone has one of those 1200 watt heads. Plus I've never heard anyone that actually uses that power... Always seems like everyone is terrified of that little clip light. :rollno: And I always thought, what the hell is the point of having all that power if you aren't using it? I understand that some want more clean power and all, but I don't know. Just never liked that amp.
  17. David S

    David S

    Apr 4, 2004
    A good sound man & PA is better than another stack. <G>

    If you get into your stage rig vs the PA you will lose. Let them do the work and spend the $.

    For me a simple rig is a good preamp, with DI, and a power amp (ok I have a compressor too) rack mounted, just open the rack and hook up the cords.

    Speakers can be band image based, but with some tiny stages, small stuff can be a lifesaver.

    I wave wanted a Ampeg 810 for almost 20 years, just could never justify one. When I was young and broke, my cabinets were as big, just cost less. Now I don't have room to store and am too lazy to haul 'em. My (huge) 4-12 is still in storage.

    But I still check them out on CL, I have this stupid lust for one.


  18. The problem with trying to rely on a soundman in this case, is for the genres Bovine and myself are talking about, absolutely overwhelming volumes and physical presence are desired and how many soundguys out there are going to be willing to push their PA systems like that?

    The extreme example of this is the band Sunn who run through massive walls of speakers, but they also tell venues in their tech riders that they play at 125 decibels on stage, and they also demand that everything be miced and go through the PA. Now, Sunn is at the forefront of their genre, has label support, has been releasing CD's for a little over a decade now, all of which gives them the ability and clout to say..."this is what we want and you will do it"... A small band wanting to achieve the same types of volume and physical presence with their live show might not have that luxury and will probably run into a lot of soundmen that will simply refuse to push the pa the way it would need to be pushed... so instead, you get a large cab setup and since most of the venues that stoner rock/doom bands play are small, you can usually just say screw the PA and fill the room with the volume you want from the stage.

    And I can't speak for Bovine, but I want the volume for myself as much as I want it for the crowd.... Running direct or through a smaller rig isn't going to give me that.
  19. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    In an effort to punch a hole in your generalization:

    Both of my custom basses are completely passive, with no onboard tone or volume controls. One of them has a 3-way Gibson style pickup selector, but... come on... :p

    I run a DB750 into a Schroeder 410R completely flat. If I need to compensate for bad room acoustics I'll use the DB750's relatively wimpy 3-band EQ to make subtle adjustments.

    I'm all for you guys that want to do strange things to your EQ to get your sound, but not all of us "flat" guys need 35 knobs, 3 pre-amps and 11 pickups to nail our tone :smug:
  20. bovine mind

    bovine mind

    Jun 17, 2008
    San Francisco


    it's an argument that comes up frequently whenever Metal Matt and post about what we need to make music in these genres. It seems most of the TB community with the exception of the effects forum is of the smaller rig / emphasis on live PA stock.

    in my case it's a little different because i want two very intense sounds that cull from two very different approaches to live sound:

    1. the huge subs, intense lows, body high of electonic music synth bass. this approach is usually gained through using the house PA system of a venue with little stage volume.

    2. the swollen, very high gain, often droptuned lows of stoner/sludge/doom. this approach is the total opposite, huge stage rigs providing most of the volume in the venue.

    to make matters more confusing, is i will be playing a lot of venues with little PA support; warehouses, galleries, basements, even house shows, where i need a combination of both live approaches.

    it seems the best way to nail both is a combination of the benefit of high wattage SS amps with tube preamps, and a couple large cabinets.

    it might be ideal to trade my 215 in for an 18sub, and trade the SVTCL in for an SVT4PRO. to get a combination of the two apporaches...

    hopefully others can weigh in.

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