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Your best piece of wisdom about gear selection

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mcrelly, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    o.k. its late/early and I'm bored, but I wanted to type something and stir up the pot.

    in regards to bass equipment, gear, amps, cabs, combo's, pre's, processors. What is the most pivotal, stunning, mind blowing, paradigm changing revelation that you've had during your days, months or years of playing bass??? Especially something you see others trying to come to grips with, especially newbies, and you want to shout it from the highest mounten top.

    ok, not being one to easily choose just one, I've got two. I end up repeating this to others ALOT:

    #1 Need more volume? try more cabs FIRST before boosting your power, unless your are ridicullously underpowered, like you only have a 20w practice amp

    #2 I see many people including myself get burned on this...DON'T BUY ON RECOMMENDATION ONLY, Try before you buy, if you can take it on a gig!!!!
  2. bigbajo60


    Nov 7, 2003
    Laredo, Texas

    What sounds "killer" in your bedroom will get lost at the gig.



    Volume CAN = Tone! :D
  3. What do you mean by Volume CAN = Tone?
  4. bigbajo60


    Nov 7, 2003
    Laredo, Texas
    Well... let's see...

    All things being equal... that is, if your bass is where you want it to be setup-wise, and the rest of the band is where they want to be volume and tone-wise... then a lot of what some folks call "PUNCH" and "PRESENCE" and "CUT" and "CLARITY" can come from simply having the necessary volume to get those qualities across. And it can be from your stage rig, or it can be from a quality PA system operated by your "knows what they're doing" sound engineer.

    And that is why I say unto y'all that volume can indeed equal tone.



  5. brothernewt

    brothernewt Some people call me the stormtrooper of love...

    Apr 13, 2004
    Happyrock, OR
    spend more time playing than shopping for or worrying about your gear selections....
  6. Ok, so what you are saying is that often your bass actually sounds the way you want it too, but you just can't hear those little nuances because it isn't loud enough? It does make alot of sense though that punch, cut and clarity specifically can be volume related...!!!

    Good point, I never thought about it that way...hmmm....
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    You get what you pay for!!
  8. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    If FiElDy endorses it, it sucks.
  9. Ray-man

    Ray-man Guest

    Sep 10, 2005
    Therefore, it is impossible to get ripped off?
  10. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I resent that remark. My amp rules, despite the fact that Fieldy plays one too...
  11. arock


    Sep 16, 2005
    Verona, WI
    This is true for the first 90% of the quality. Chasing the last 10% is beyond the knee in the price/performance curve.
  12. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    hehe, fun thread!

    my two cents?

    if you're buying brand spankin' new speaker cabs, give 'em time to break in. dont matter if they're acme, epifani, EA, etc., IMHO, all speakers need time to slowly break in. but once they do... oh the glory! :p


    buy as much wattage as you can afford. headroom is not a luxury, but a must in our profession.
  13. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    No one in the audience cares about your gear.

    Bass is more felt than heard, unless you're one of those "solo bass" guys. If they hear you, you're probably screwing up somehow.

    It's more about getting the audience involved with what you are doing than it is impressing the audience with what you're doing.

    Gear is just a big money sink. If you have enough money, and you enjoy gear-hoggin', then by all means go for it. But plenty of great music has been made on minimal equipment -- in fact, much of the best.

    "Good enough" is much cheaper than "optimal." And pretty much as good.

    One great sound is better than dozens of mediocre ones. No one can hear that $(%* anyway.

    Don't mess with your gear onstage. Connect with the audience instead.

    Plug and go is better than something you need to adjust or set up.

    So, from me: simple, reliable, sounds good = go!
  14. angrydad


    Jul 31, 2004
    As a youngster, lugging around my refrigerator sized 2x15, and heavy Sunn head was never a problem, as band members or friends were always available to help move my gear.
    As I got aolder and began playing profesionally, I went with a heavy 4x10 and a heavy 4 rack space preamp/amp set up. In this case I was moving the stuff alone, in and out of clubs,catering halls, medium sized concert venues. I ended up re-injuring an old sports injury (lower back) which required surgery$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$, and had me laid up for 6 weeks.
    I would advise searching out light wieght gear, and or a modular set up that you can move by yourself with a good hand truck( the Rock n' Roller hand truck is a life saver!). There's definiteley some awesome sounding smaller/lighter stuff out there ! I'm positive, were this stuff around years ago, it would have saved me alot of pain and money.
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    As long as you avoid buying on eBay!! ;)
  16. ezstep


    Nov 25, 2004
    north Louisiana
    Never consider the brand name just because it is that particular brand name. Listen rather than read.

    Conversely, never skip over a brand name simply because it happens to be that particular brand name. Give it a fair chance with your ears (not with your eyes).
  17. The Owl

    The Owl

    Aug 14, 2005
    Atlanta GA
    1) A spare axe is ALWAYS a good thing

    2) Better to have a simple setup that sounds amazing as opposed to something that looks like the cockpit of a space shuttle and sounds like garbage. Besides, the less things you have to hassle with, the more you can concentrate on just simply playing and enjoying the experience to its fullest.

    3) It's not a contest of who can have the coolest gear and how much of it you can accumulate, it's about CREATING and playing!

    4) If you can't groove on a 4-string to start with you don't have any business calling yourself a bassist. Everything else after that is icing. Just to clarify, I have NOTHING against extended range basses (I happen to play 5-string and like 6 a lot as well), but there does come a point where some folks go hog wild with fancy gear at the expense of actual musicianship. Don't be a wanker!

    5) Cheaper is not always better, investigate throughly before you buy. Better to spend a bit extra and have something you'll be happy with for a long time as opposed to something cheaper that will disillusion you right off. Frugal is one thing (being a bargain hunter is a GREAT thing) but being cheap is different (NOT a good thing).

    6) Pet peeve of mine (and it's NOT out of jealousy folks, I DO NOT have gear envy), guys that accumulate HUGE amounts of axes and gear that hardly gets played or is used to show-off and say "Hey look at me, check me out I'm so awwweeesssoooommmeeeee!" (People can see right through the vanity more times than not. Befuddling with BS usually backfires). Don't be a gear hog, and remember he who dies with the most toys, still dies. Stamp out GGH (Gratuitous Gear Hoarding). Buy it ONLY if you are going to actually use it.

    7) Don't listen to people who say things like "You should sound more like--" or "Why don't you play bass X or amp X etc" . You are a unique individual, celebrate that and embrace it, or as the Sweetwater Brewing Company puts on their labels "Don't float the mainstream". Your choices of equipment, tone etc should reflect who YOU are as a unique individual, not what everyone else says you should be.
  18. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    Buy used!!!
  19. Accelerate in a lower gear, and when not accelerating, choose the highest practical gear.

    Start in 2nd gear when on slippery surfaces, sometimes the torque is too high in 1st, and the wheels slip.

  20. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    When you're judging the sound of a bass cab, don't just stand dead-on-axis, directly in front of the cab. See how it sounds OFF-AXIS.