Author Topic: Bass rig is so important to getting the right sound!!  (Read 2186 times)

pauldo

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Re: Bass rig is so important to getting the right sound!!
« Reply #30 on: March 05, 2018, 06:15:46 AM »
Appreciate the review Tom!

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Twocan

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Re: Bass rig is so important to getting the right sound!!
« Reply #31 on: March 05, 2018, 06:41:37 AM »
I am a big fan of Markbass heads and cabs. They are known for their "transparent" sound, which is exactly what I want for my Alembics - an uncolored amplification of the Alembic electronics & wood. I use a parametric EQ from [SFX] sometimes to scoop my mids, but it does not add color.

I've often thought of getting an Alembic Pre + Power Amp (which I'm sure would sound even better), but with the amount of gigging I do I prefer the portability/ease of the small amp head + 2x10 cab.



Not to be needlessly contrary, but I've had the opposite experience with Markbass. All of their amps I've played have reminded me of Ampegs to one degree or another, which is to say, very difficult to get a completely clean, uncolored sound. It's a great sound for a certain tone and feel, but compared to a rig that really is straight wire with gain (Grace Felix into a power amp), it's very different.

That’s odd to me. There are two filters on Markbass amps that are both 50% engaged when all dials are at the noon position. Not saying this happened to you, but I think a lot of people have been put off by Markbass because they tried the amps thinking they had everything set neutral (and didn’t).
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murray

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Re: Bass rig is so important to getting the right sound!!
« Reply #32 on: March 05, 2018, 02:38:32 PM »
Yes - it is subtle the difference with a GRAMMA but your point about being focused rings a bell.
I don't use it on every gig....Hollow stages benefit and Carpet rooms don't need it. The small outlay for the choice, I feel, is worth it.
Appreciate the report and a shame that the second gig didn't stand a chance because of the variables.
Glynn
 

jacko

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Re: Bass rig is so important to getting the right sound!!
« Reply #33 on: March 06, 2018, 04:10:05 AM »
I am a big fan of Markbass heads and cabs. They are known for their "transparent" sound, which is exactly what I want for my Alembics - an uncolored amplification of the Alembic electronics & wood. I use a parametric EQ from [SFX] sometimes to scoop my mids, but it does not add color.

I've often thought of getting an Alembic Pre + Power Amp (which I'm sure would sound even better), but with the amount of gigging I do I prefer the portability/ease of the small amp head + 2x10 cab.



Not to be needlessly contrary, but I've had the opposite experience with Markbass. All of their amps I've played have reminded me of Ampegs to one degree or another, which is to say, very difficult to get a completely clean, uncolored sound. It's a great sound for a certain tone and feel, but compared to a rig that really is straight wire with gain (Grace Felix into a power amp), it's very different.

That’s odd to me. There are two filters on Markbass amps that are both 50% engaged when all dials are at the noon position. Not saying this happened to you, but I think a lot of people have been put off by Markbass because they tried the amps thinking they had everything set neutral (and didn’t).

I have the VLE and VLF dials at 7 o clock on my LM 800 - so  barely engaged - and find I get just the right tone with everything else very close to noon.  I was initially put off Markbass years ago at the Manchester Bass days when players like Hadrien Feraud and Jeff Berlin used the yellow stuff but sounded very dull and muffled.  Just their style I guess, as with my MK I can sound like anyone through MarkBass kit. (saying that I much prefer gigs where I can use my full Mesa Boogie rig)

Graeme

murray

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Re: Bass rig is so important to getting the right sound!!
« Reply #34 on: March 06, 2018, 08:09:59 AM »
I struggled with Markbass and I had a good few combinations ending with a 12 combo and Traveller cab.  I managed to sell to a buyer who loved the stuff.  I could never get the "ballsy" (technical term) sound that I get with Genz amps.  I suppose if soloing is your thing then it could work.  I found the VLE and VLF dials not much help to eliminate the, for me, boxy sound.  Still loads of folk use it.
Glynn

mario_farufyno

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Re: Bass rig is so important to getting the right sound!!
« Reply #35 on: March 07, 2018, 09:27:33 AM »
Valuable impressions about markbass and gramma, thanks guys!
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jazzyvee

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Re: Bass rig is so important to getting the right sound!!
« Reply #36 on: March 22, 2018, 11:20:29 AM »
My barefaced big baby II arrived today I was surprised at how small it is. Initially I thought they had packed the wrong cab but after checking the label at the back it seems  not.
For a box that is this light and so small the density of sound it produces, at home anyway, is impressive. I'm going to an open mic night tonight so will give it a few songs to see what it is made of. But if it's anything as good as the write ups and the larger cab of theirs I have, I will be happy. Much easier to get in the smart car than my old boogie cabs.
The sound of Alembic is medicine for the soul!

5a quilt top

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Re: Bass rig is so important to getting the right sound!!
« Reply #37 on: March 22, 2018, 11:57:11 AM »
My AER amps have taught me that size is not as important as it once was to obtaining good / big bass tone.


Just use the rear panel line out and let the PA do the work - !!


Here's a photo taken at a recent private party - the AER Amp 3 is at my feet (facing me and the drummer). You can see the XLR cable which fed the PA mixer. This diminutive rig, when pumped through the PA, held its own against the guitarist's 100 watt amp and 4x12 cab (far left in photo).

dtothec

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Re: Bass rig is so important to getting the right sound!!
« Reply #38 on: March 23, 2018, 01:32:49 PM »
I am a firm believer that all of the links matter in the end product. I've have experimented with many basses, amps, and cabinets to get deep clear and clean sound throughout all the frequencies that the bass produces. I currently have a big rack unit with a power amp, f2b, sf-2. A rack with a Ampeg SVT 4Pro, a rack with a Ampeg SVT 7Pro and a Genz Benz Streamliner 900. I also have a second sf-2 in a rack case that I use with the other amps. I use the Streamliner for practice and carry it in my backpack as a backup. I usually gig with one of the 3 racks.  As far as speakers go I've tried everything from 2x10's, 4x10's, 15's and 18's of various brands. Right now I am sold on fEARful speakers and have a 15/6, 15/6/1 and 15 sub. For what I play (funk, R&B and pop) they are incredible! The cabinet is specifically designed for the speakers and they have crossovers in them.  The 6" driver (18sound 6ND410) does most of the work. The woofer (Eminence 3015lf) is a low frequency woofer which goes real low and real clean. Fearful's sound great at low volume as well as at high volume, and they will get very loud if needed. I like the warm tube sound which the Ampegs and Streamliner all produce. Whenever possible I don't go through the FOH system so that my basses sound like my basses coming through a system that will reproduce what the bass is putting out. As most of us have probably experienced, some sound guys don't understand that different basses sound different and it is possible to actually hear all the notes clearly, and all basses don't sound like Fenders. I guess I said that to say this, you have to find the equipment that will create and reproduce the sound that you want, and that is different sounds for each of us. Most notes that we play on our basses are midrange and to my thinking it's asking a lot to expect a 8" 10" 12" 15" etc. to reproduce the entire spectrum. That's what I like about my fEAfuls being two and 3 way. BTW I never use the tweeter on my 15/6/1 because it's way too bright!  My 2cents worth.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2018, 01:35:11 PM by dtothec »
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sonofa_lembic

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Re: Bass rig is so important to getting the right sound!!
« Reply #39 on: March 25, 2018, 07:03:13 PM »
After almost 40 years and many thousands of gigs, I have settled on a rig that never disappoints no matter what, where, and who I am playing with.  The most critical piece is either an F1X or an F2B.  That clarity from the bright switch is a must, but the signal with all the tone knobs at 12 o'clock is virtually perfect.  The second important component is a solid state a/b power amp with preferably a minimum of 3000 watts.  I have a Samson that has 4600 watts bridged, but it runs a bit hot and is my second choice after the Carvin DCM3800L.  The DCM3800L has incredible response, great clarity, and produces fantastic tone from ultra lows to the clearest highs.  Being an a/b class amp, it also does not introduce the grind and distortion of a D class amp. Trust me, it is there if you ever get the chance to really test the two styles of amp side by side. I know you are likely scratching your head asking why I would want a Carvin product at all, but I have found this particular amp to be outstanding, and I have used them now for 4 years.  If it works and does not let me down, I am not going to turn my nose up to it because it says "Carvin" on it.   The third part of the equation is the cabinet, and I have not found a better sounding one than the Genzler 12-3 Array.  To me, it is a perfect product.  It is light, extremely well made in the USA, and sounds amazing in all venues.  These cabinets produce low end like a 15 or 18" speaker, but have incredible sparkle on the top end.  The array of four 3" speakers down the front do something I have never gotten from any other cabinets.  Your sound is dispersed over the stage and audience so that everyone, including yourself, get an accurate reproduction of your tone.  These Genzlers are a very important part of my rig. 
With all this, I also get good performance from the use of a Phil Jones C8 and or C4 cabinet with either a Demeter 800D or Bugera Veyron tube amp. 
Some other observations over many years of playing are that every room is different and there are many factors that can affect what you are hearing.  Carpet, deck style wood stages, and crowd size are just a few of them.  The key is to find a rig that is consistent in virtually any situation, and that has the right tonal adjustability to compensate for the different factors.  To this day, my #1 rig is incredibly consistent no matter what is thrown at it. 

mario_farufyno

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Re: Bass rig is so important to getting the right sound!!
« Reply #40 on: March 26, 2018, 04:40:59 AM »
That's a point, the room have a major impact on how we perceive lows. Corners in bad proportioned spaces can drown you in mud.
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edwin

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Re: Bass rig is so important to getting the right sound!!
« Reply #41 on: March 26, 2018, 06:02:20 PM »
sonofa_lembic, it's great that you've found your perfect rig!

However, I have to comment on the amp thing.

First, I doubt that your Carvin or Samson put out anything like thousands of watts. Carvin, in particular, has always had incredibly optimistic specs, rating an amp that is in the 2-300 watt per channel area as thousands of watts by rating it at peak power at 1khz at a pretty high distortion level. Almost any amp can put out thousands of watts measured like that. To truly put out thousands of real watts (i.e., at full bandwidth and low distortion for longer than a few hundredths of a second) takes more current than you get out of a standard circuit. The Carvin, which seems like a very nice amp, claims THD< 0.03% @ 50% output, which means that it's really a 350wpc amp at 8 ohm. Not terribly shabby, but not quite what the marketing claims. I have a power amp (A QSC that is designed for stadium installs) that really does put out 800 wpc at 8ohms continuously at full bandwidth and low distortion that bridged to mono will do 2200 watts at 8 ohms at full bandwidth and low THD. I bridged it for one gig and it literally caught the speaker on fire, with smoke billowing out. Thousands of watts is simply not an option for a bass rig without blowing it up. Even the GD wall of sound was 4 Mac 2300s for the bass, so 1200 watts, which weren't run flat out.

I have an old McIntosh MC2105, my bass amp from high school, and brought it out to a gig a couple of years ago just for fun (it's really, really, really heavy, so it stays home) and is rated at 105wpc. It has nice meters on the front, so you can see how much of the power you're actually using, and it was really loud on stage, powering a Sunn double 15 JBL cab with one channel and a 12" JBL on the other (pickups run in stereo) and according to the metering, I was still pretty much in the 80-100 watt range. It was easily as loud as my Peavey amp that claimed to be thousands of watts, and it was coasting.

Second, class D vs. AB done right doesn't result in a difference in sound like you describe. In fact, class D is known for being lower distortion in general than class AB, at least until you hit clipping and most class D amps have built in limiting so you don't clip it. Early designs had problems, but many high end audiophile setups (and recording/mastering studios) are moving over to class D because of the improvement in the sound. The Hypex amps get great reviews. Over the years, I've gone, amp by amp, from a Crest CA9 (60lbs) and the above mentioned QSC, both AB, to a Crest Prolite 3.0, which is class D and weighs about 12lbs. It is not distorted or crunchy sounding in the least. There's no grind. I don't like grind (which is why I don't like SVTs). No good solid state amp which is not a purpose designed bass amp meant to sound like an Ampeg will give you crunch, grind, or other distortion.

If I had my way (i.e. roadies and a good road case for the Mac), I'd gig the McIntosh/JBL rig all the time, but the Crest/MAS (this speaker: http://www.masoundworks.com/manage.numo?pid=6&module=shopping_cart&component=catalog&cid=4)  combination sounds amazing. Utterly clean and very deep.

You're absolutely right on about the preamp!

jazzyvee

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Re: Bass rig is so important to getting the right sound!!
« Reply #42 on: April 07, 2018, 07:17:04 AM »
After getting rid of two of my Mesa Boogie Powerhouse cabs, still trying to sell the last 1x15 cab, I now have two Barefaced cabs and, well I've been having a play with them through my rack head system and Series II europa and Series I shorty. I really like the sound from them however I do think that because I'm used to the middly sound of my boogie cabs I find that aspect missing from the the BF cabs at lower home use volume but once it's turned up it comes through better but not as in your face as the boogie. However the BF wins hands down on the low end and the top end is not as edgy as the boogie can be. I may try bi-amping and using the boogie cab on the bridge pickup, or the treble side of the F1-x crossover and the barefaced on the neck pickup or lower frequencies out of the F1-x. That might be a good mix.
The sound of Alembic is medicine for the soul!

jazzyvee

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Re: Bass rig is so important to getting the right sound!!
« Reply #43 on: April 09, 2018, 03:00:59 AM »
Here is my current big rig. Only stacked that way for convenience at home but not likely to have the speaker that close to my ears on a gig.
Barefaced Big Twin II ( 2x12 plus adjustable tweeter) rated at 1600w
Barefaced Big Baby II (1x12 plus adjustable tweeter) rated at 800w
I've just ordered a Crown XLS1502 power amp to replace the QSC PLX 2402 for no other reason than the weight of it puts me off using the rack as my main gigging amp.
I hope I don't lose anything sound wise.




« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 03:05:58 AM by jazzyvee »
The sound of Alembic is medicine for the soul!

jwright9

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Re: Bass rig is so important to getting the right sound!!
« Reply #44 on: April 10, 2018, 01:37:58 PM »
BAP!

Nice rig man!
That looks like a dream to play through.