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Why am I getting good tone??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by DirtDog, Mar 24, 2006.


  1. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    hey all - I've been playing about with a lot of decent (and not so decent) bass amps over the last six years including SWR, Eden, yorkville, Ampeg, Hartke, etc. in combo and rig configurations.

    For fun, I plugged in my little 12W Kustom practice guitar amp (bought new $120) into an ancient folded horn closed back cab (Earth Sounds Research bought very very used $50) with a single 15" speaker of unknown provenance or quality.

    It's unbelievable, but this thing sound pretty freaking good, has some degree of natural (and desireable) compression and is loud enough for a relatively loud band practice (drums and two electric guitars) and in my experience, could probably do the job in a small club where my 200-300W combos would have just made it. For what it's worth, I have plugged both my SWR and Eden heads into this cab and it sounded like crap with major fartage.

    12 Watts! Crappy cab! Why am I getting good tone?? And volume? It doesn't make sense....

    Is there some unknown law of physics operating here or have I just accidentally stumbled onto a workable combination that seemed unworkable on first blush.

    DD
     
  2. Perhaps you have found "your sound." If so, congrats!
     
  3. anderbass

    anderbass

    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    Sounds like you found a, amp/cab that pair well. (Good lesson in that story).
     
  4. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Depending on the circumstances, sometimes some bass roll-off could sound good. That might be what's happening.
     
  5. so your 12 watt practice amp plugged in with a 15 in speaker is as loud as your heads that have 200~300 watts thru the same 15 speaker?
     
  6. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    I guess it fits into my parameters for "my sound" as does the SWR SM400 and the Eden Nemesis. (Yorkville, Hartke, Ampeg did not).

    But what I'm stumped with is why a 12W solid state amp (with 12AX7 tube preamp on the "gain" channel that I don't engage for bass) sounds loud enough, while still sounding good, where my "quality" amplifiers produced the exact opposite result.

    Is this a function of the impedence of amp via the speaker out and a function of the impedence of the speaker in the cab. Maybe the cab is of a much better design that I have given it credit for (although it's made of particle board) as well as the speaker (being unlabeled/unmarked in any way). I wonder what it would sound like if I put a reputable speaker in. How much of the "tone" and "volume" is a function of the amp - how much is it of the cab?

    Bob - what's bass roll-off refer to?

    Fraser
     
  7. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Yes...The tone and volume is as good to anything I have ever had in rehearsal all things being equal with the other rigs/combos I have used/owned. There's a lot of nice feeling/sounding bottom end coming out of this sketchy setup. I feel that I could get very good results at a club gig with PA support.

    The SWR and Eden heads plugged into this 15" cab just farted out before I was able to get to a useable volume in practice, athough the tone was fine.

    I guess the next thing to test is how this little 12W amp sounds going through a "quality" cab....

    DD
     
  8. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    with something pushing 12 watts, i doubt you're rig is pushing any major low end, too. most likely, you're pushing lots of midrange, and the bass just compensates by sounding like well... a bass!
     
  9. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    I'm thinking that the guitar amp might filter out below about 80to 100 Hz. That can tighten up a bass's sound and keep it from sounding too boomy or tubby.

    A well-designed horn-loaded loudspeaker cabinet will tend to be much more efficient than a front-loaded one at frequencies above a certain point. So you could get a surprising volume from just a 12-watt amp, though I doubt it would ultimately be loud enough to keep up with guitars and drums.

    где — G'day to you, too. ;)
     
  10. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    given that the guitar amp is pushing 12 watts, and the SWR/Eden stuff might be pushing 300 or more, sounds like the 15" speaker cant handle the power of those low freq's.
     
  11. ibz

    ibz

    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    That's what I was thinking...
     
  12. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Yeah, same here....SWR/Eden amps rated between 250W to 500W...I'm guessing a single 15" of that vintage ('70s) might be 100W at most, likely less.

    Well, and here's another funny thing - I experimented with this cab using an old Echolette tube amp (4-channel PA head) that had variable impedence settings. I think the amp was rated at 100W. Still mucho farting and not great tone - given that it's a PA head, not surprising.

    I'm gonna try and see how my 40W tube guitar amp sounds through it....

    DD
     
  13. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    This is what is confounding me - the thing DOES seem to be pushing as much low end as I ever got from my SWR setup (SM400 into WM410T) and from my 15" Eden Nemesis. And it sounds good doing it. However, the ample headroom of a more powerful amp/cab combo certainly isn't there....

    Either that or I am going deaf. :)

    DD
     
  14. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Hmmm....definitely not boomy - I've had that before (Yorkville). I guess it's just some sort of magic combination, eh?


    Y'old dawg!
     
  15. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Here's a radical concept: you don't need to spend a buttload of money to get good tone. I've gotten good tone from cheapo basses and cheapo rigs... sometimes both at once. I've witnessed plenty of other bassists get great tone with low budget pawnshop gear.

    The reason I've spent a small buttload on my gear is that pricier gear tends to be louder, more versatile, more transparent, more reliable, etc. But again, cheap gear can sound great despite its limitations.
     
  16. somwetimes using ghetto gear can get u a good sound. It's like riding a moped, fun till a friend sees you. My bro is using for guitar a bunch of stompboxes into a Gorilla combo, using the Gorilla as a preamp to get the signal up to push a Peavey 50/50 EL84 power amp. He owns 2 marshall plexi reissues, a Laney, a Red Bear, but he's using this because he likes the way it sounds. Looks funny though.
     
  17. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    I was shocked one time when I was listening to a recorded rehearsal where I was using the 15" speaker out of a broken Crate combo amp and a beat up Hartke head. I know the feeling and I think it's called denial.

    Skel
     
  18. 4001Guy

    4001Guy

    Mar 23, 2006
    good tone is all in the fingers.
     
  19. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    I'm a "end justifies the means" type of guy...



    - georgestrings
     
  20. Crockettnj

    Crockettnj

    Sep 2, 2005
    North NJ
    no it isnt.

    Good tone is in loarge part a function of the user, and therefor "fingers". However you must have something with which to work that will allow you r fingers to acheive their potential.

    get good tone out of a 2" tweeter being pushed to clipping by a 50 watt solid state amp, on a banjo tuned an octave low. Hardly likely. herefore, it isnt ALL in the fingers.
     

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