Need help with bass guitar tones

beatlesfan234

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
I don't know if this is the right place to ask this, but when I play my bass it sounds like there is more treble when the the treble knob on my bass amp is turned down. How do I get my bass to have the good bass tone when I am practicing and playing in rehearsal? I own a Hofner Icon B Violin Bass Guitar, a Greg Bennett bass guitar, a Stagg amp, and a Vox Pathfinder 10W Bass Amp Combo. Both of my basses have Flatwounds as well.
 

moonbaby

Mmmmmm
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Joined
Feb 23, 2005
Location
jacksonville,fl
Getting a "good tone" out of any instrument first requires good technique...
Quote:when I play my bass it sounds like there is more treble when the the treble knob on my bass amp is turned down.
Are you saying that the more you turn the Treble control DOWN, the treble goes UP? Or that there is still more treble than you want with the knob turned all the way down?
Neither of those amps was really designed to produce strong deep bass at any volume, but especially not at a level sufficient to work with a live drummer. And the room will determine how strong bass will develop in it. Is your tone OK when you play live in a band situation (with what I hope would be a bigger amp)?
 

beatlesfan234

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
No, all of the treble knobs are all the way off, but I still hear treble. Yeah there is more treble than I want. Yeah the tone is OK when I am playing with the whole band, but I would like to get the best tone out of it. I've been looking at other amps, but I'm not sure which way to go
 

dvdhawk

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Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Location
Western Pennsylvania, USA
I would second moonbaby's thought that this isn't as much of an "excessive treble" problem as it is a "lack of bass" problem. I have a feeling that when you step up to a more substantial amp things will balance out more to your liking.

Take your Hofner to the your local music store and try everything in your price range. Hopefully you can afford something that can deliver the sound you're looking for. Ampeg, G-K, or SWR would probably be my top 3 choices (in no particular order other than alphabetical) from the affordable aisle.
 

dvdhawk

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Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Location
Western Pennsylvania, USA
That depends to how you answer a number questions - not the least of which:

What price range?
What style of music? ( I'll make a bold guess at least some Beatles )
How loud is the rest of the band? ( especially Ringo )
Would you prefer a combo or stackables?

For the foreseeable future is this band touring, clubbing, just practicing?
How large are the venues you're playing?
Is there a PA system to support the bass rig in larger venues?

Is amp size/weight a factor?
Will it fit in your car?
How good is your back?
Do you have the means/vehicle/sheer-will to transport something on the larger side?


Those are some things to think about, so maybe the bass players among us can make their recommendations.
I'm sure some of the other guys(and gals) will have some other things to consider along these lines too.
 

beatlesfan234

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
The max amount that I can spend is probably $250. Mostly all styles, except hardcore metal and stuff like that. The band is pretty loud, sometimes I can't hear myself when we are playing. I would prefer a Combo amp. For now we are going to practice. We don't have any place to play at the moment. No there is no PA system. An amp under 100lbs would be best. I do have transport for it.
 

dvdhawk

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Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Location
Western Pennsylvania, USA
Moon, that is a really nice rig. The more I play the Musicman, the less I want to part with it. There aren't many amps you can legitimately play bass through that have a good guitar tone too. I'm always surprised how much bite that 15" cabinet has with a guitar.

I had a young metal drop-B tuning dude in here last week buying a Fender Ultimate Chorus 2x12. It's not a very loud amp so he really liked it when we hooked his fancy Digitech pedal up to both the Fender and the Musicman and got them balanced. As he was about to leave to think about the Musicman he said, 'what's the deal with those?' pointing at my SWR Workingman 15 bass combos. We hooked one of those up and it was even more of what he was looking for. The pedal is doing almost all the tone, so all he was really looking for guitar-friendly powered monitors. So, much to my surprise, he ended up taking the Fender and one of my SWRs for the low-end support - mostly because it was about half the price and half the size of the Musicman (but not any lighter). He ended up with what is an unconventional set-up for sure, but the sound is FEROCIOUS and loud enough to compete with a drummer who's an absolute basher. The Fender screams and the SWR moves the hair on your legs from 10ft. away - without it becoming a big muddy mess.

I was genuinely impressed with the tone for that style of music, it was powerful, but still really responsive well-defined. Half the time when I hear young dudes playing that kind of music they might as well be using a chainsaw. I can see their hands moving 4 frets, but it's hard to discern the audible difference between the washed out buzzing F power chord and the washed out buzzing A power chord. This rig is the antithesis of all that. The 15" really suits the super low drop-B tuning.


Right now I'm thinking I might keep the other SWR combo and keep the Musicman cabinet for an extension speaker. Although I'm primarily a guitar player, I still get last minute calls to be a fill-in bass player from time to time. Besides, it will be a lot less hassle shipping the head out of here than the stack.

I want to keep enough stuff so that when we're finished with the building I still have a complete backline, drums, and PA set-up so a band could walk in (motorcycle in, dog-sled in, parachute in, whatever) and practice here - so keeping the extension cabinet wouldn't hurt.
 

dvdhawk

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Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Location
Western Pennsylvania, USA
beatlesfan,

You're not going to find anything real powerful amp in that price range unless you stumble across a deal on a used one. Not to be a buzzkill - but this is one of those situations where you have to weigh your options carefully and decide if it's better to buy whatever you can afford now - or save up for something better.

If you decide to buy, I'd avoid anything that rhymes with derringer as if it were the plague.

If I were shopping 'new' in that price range, I'd be trying out the 50w-60w Orange, Fender, Ampeg, Hartke, or Peavey. They've all got little practice combos in that neighborhood.

You may be able to find a lot of interesting choices 'used' in your budget if you're a diligent shopper. SWR and G-K would be worthy additions to the list of brand names. Who knows, maybe you'll find a deal on an Eden or some other gem. I see TC Electronics has thrown their hat in the ring on combo amps too, so they might be worth a listen.
 

BrotherLove

Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2011
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
+1 to Moonbaby. I finally talked the bassist in our ACDC tribute band to upgrade his setup. He was constantly complaining about not enough balls in his sound. Buying extra cabinets and more powerful heads didnt do much more then increase the overall stage volume. Once he dropped his old passive Yamaha and brought a Musicman Stingray his tone instantly worked. Now he uses a fairly basic Markbass head with 4x10 Hartkey cab, everything set on flat and it sounds incredible.
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
Cool Bass

You definitely need more watts there. I have a cheap Squire 'Affinity' and it sounds absolutely superb through 150w bass amp and better still through my 500w stage amp. Conversely, I have a £2600 Gibson Les Paul that sound pants over an Aria 10w practice amp.

Rule of sound. Plenty of power, many speakers.

MS
 
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