Why am I never loud enough

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by hstiles, Jul 31, 2003.

  1. I've got a pair of 2nd hand SWR Triads. I originally powered these using a Soundtech 800W digital power amp (2 x 400W into 4 Ohms) wit a Sansamp PSA-1 as preamp

    I had to stop using this setup as the sound was indistinct, muddy and the speakers really flapped

    I've now dug my Bass 350 out of the cupboard but even that doesn't seem to be cutting through.

    Have other bassists had problem with the volume put out by the Triads?

    Please help! I'm trying to get away from the endless cycle of buying more kit. I like the sound of the Triads and the sound pretty damn loud in isolation, but can't be heard over a drummer and guitarist.
  2. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I've heard it mentioned many times that the Triad sounds wonderful but is inefficient and power hungry. And if they sound loud in isolation but can't be heard over guitar and drums, perhaps you're cutting/scooping out too much midrange on your pre? Maybe some combination of the two factors could be at play?
  3. I've got a Triad cab and a Hartke 4.5XL. These 2 cabs are roughly the same size a weight. The 4.5 is 99db efficient and the Triad is 98db, the main difference is that the Triad is a 4-ohm and the 4.5XL is an 8-ohm. However, the 4.5XL needs a lot less gain on the power amp to play at the same volume as the Triad. The Triad sounds better but the 4.5 will cut while the Triad gets buried.
  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Boost your midrange EQ or buy some speakers that emphasize the mids more than the Triads do.
  5. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    Is the SoundTech a PS802?
    I had one and had problems with it using with a Bass Rig. The lows never had volume and the speakers appeared to move more than they needed to - it was as if the speakers were moving alot but not putting out much volume.
    Mine did not work well for low frequencies at high volumes. It worked fine for a PA amp when I used it crossovered at 100hz for our Mains. I tried it for our Subs and had similar problems. Either channel in isolation worked better than both channels running. Maybe the amp was not designed to be pushed very hard.
  6. Are the cabinets in phase with each other?

    Are you using PA support? If so, are you in phase with the PA?

    Is your stack parked next to a boundary (floor, wall, corner?)

    Proper phasing and using boundaries make a big difference.... hope this helps, let us know if you need help checking phase, or need more info.

    I've also heard that the Triads are nice sounding and not real efficient, but we should be able to help you get the most out of them.:)
  7. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    I don't have tons of "gigging" experience, but here are some things I thought of while reading other responses.

    1. gigs need alot more mids than playing by yourself at home, because of other instruments and room sizes. Live I'm always trying to balance midrange loudness with not to much finger noises. sometimes I turn down the lows just to keep everything from getting too muddy because of other people uncontrolled lows. I NEVER LIKE THE LIVE SETTINGS AT HOME.

    2. A couple of times I put my cab in the middle of the long wall, near the wall, but not a corner, and almost got no lows at all. try moving near corners if you have a problem during sound checks.

    3. don't be too far from a back wall if your cabs are rear ported, or even if they aren't VIBRATE THE WALL!

    4. I had SWR Bass monitor 12s used as stack, I'm stupid, and didn't get much bass from them, although more when stacked then when they are side by side or monitors. Swr is not always as heavy as I'd like them to be...Aguilar?

    5. just thought of this... if you use too heavy PSA sound settings that sound great solo or for recording they could have too much bass for live applications. for example "sub-dub" from bass pod sounds cool on a recording or stereo, but cause "flapping" because its too deep.

    just some ideas, yes check phase to
  8. thumbtrap


    Jun 26, 2003
    I know better and this one still amazes me, time after time. Try so carefully to get a carefully balanced articulate, punchy and full sound without being too bright and as soon as reality kicks in THUD!! THUD THUMP! Where'd my highs and mids go?
  9. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    IMO, Triads were never meant to be used in a loud rock setting*. Just too inefficient and too scooped. Beautiful sounding cabs at the appropriate volume just not monsters.

    Don't try to race the indy 500 with a VW Beetle.

    *Then again I read a recent interview with Ian Hill of Judas Priest who runs four Triads with two SM900's and swears by it, so what do I know (devil salute)
  10. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    I know, I know...you set volume and tone without the band ready to play. set guitar volume, set preamp tone, set preamp volume...that should be good! NO! too quiet, too muddy. :rolleyes:
  11. Try playing through a guitar amp. Sounds terrible solo, but very cutting in a rock band context. To get lows AND cut the mix, run a bass amp and guitar amp in parallel.

    ZZ Top's bass player uses a Marshall stack.
  12. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Do you lack power or is your gear EQ'd improperly? You might have enough power but you may be lacking punch or definition and you're "washing" out in the mix. I used to have an Eden amp. It had an "Enhance" pot on it. When you were alone, this feature added all sorts of cool tone to your sound. Problem was when you were in a room with a drummer, it took away punch and definition causing your sound to wash out.
    Try running your rig flat and see what it sound like with your drummer. Turn up with volume as see if you can get heard. You might be eqing yourself into a muddy indifference!

  13. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I have the same problem. I get the sound I want only to have it get lost when the whole band is cranked. My guitar player insists on having too much bass in his sound. There goes my low end. My drummer wears out his cymbals, there goes my highs. I turn up more. This of course gives the sound man a headache. So I am left with readjusting my EQ. Sometimes I don't even use the neck pickup so I can cut through. Try making adjustments to your mids and back off your low end a little. You may have to comprimise your tone a little. I mean, do you think a guitar player is going to change his sound for you. I don't think so.
  14. Thanks for all of these suggestions, they're all really helpful.

    I run the rig via the active/passive input with gain at 3 o'clock, aural enhancer at 3, bass at 1, 800Hz totally scooped out, treble at 1. I know this has sucked all the mid out, but I really hate a clangy sound and the SWR sounds 'clanky' with even the most moderate of mid.

    I've decided that maybe I need to double up on volume and run two amps. I'm going to look around for a second Bass 350. I've been made aware of a SM400 for sale 2nd hand in a nearby store, so maybe I'll give that a bash. I totally love the sound of my SWR and wouldn;t change it for anything. I think a bit more shove might do the trick.
  15. CS Bass

    CS Bass

    Feb 18, 2003
    Sell them both and buy a Goliath III, greater efficiency than both of them combined...you'll be heard better.
  16. Get a vintage svt, that should solve the problem with getting the right midrange to cut through. I just hope you have a strong back.
  17. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    Therein lies the problem inherent in the system.

    Many people have the sound they wnat when they're playing alone, as soon as the rest of the band joins in, it all goes boobies up. They then spend ages tweaking they're own equipment trying to cut thru to no avail.
    Treat the whole bands eq like you would mixing in a studio. Get the guitarist to take out more of his low end, that area belongs to you. Does the drummer have a tight toppy sounding kick, or a loose boomy one? Adjust your eq to fit around that as well.
    If you've ever soloed the bass track in mixed recorded session, you'll see that the tone can sound god-awful, like it's being played with freddie kruger's glove one, but it sits in the mix perfectly.
  18. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    Get the guitarist to take out more of his low end, that area belongs to you.

    For real!!
  19. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Sell both cabs and get a goliath III! Live sound and solo sound can be different. What kind of bass are you using? SM350 pre to 12
    all tone flat. Master to whatever you need. Get your tone from your bass and let the SWR deliver.
  20. Im a sock

    Im a sock

    Dec 23, 2002
    Central MA
    Yes. A few years ago when I was searching for cabs, it was eventually down to a Triad or a Goliath III. Even when I was A/Bing them in the store I could tell the Goliath was going to be louder and more efficient. I've never had a problem with it cutting through, either. Granted, as long as I carefully eq my rig during soundcheck.