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Mr Fudge

Best D class amp for my P bass ... please read on it's more complicated!

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Hi all,

Advice always greatly appreciated.

My dilemma ... I have played my Jazz bass through TC RH450 and 2x12 Bergs for a while now. The sound is loud enough for my pub covers band and a bit more. The Jazz has wizard pups and sounds tight and cuts through.

I acquired a 73 P bass about 3 months ago and this guitar is poetry in motion. It's weight, balance looks are now totally natural to me. However, I'm struggling with my sound live. I'm nearly 50 and my ears are not what they used to be but I seem to loose clarity and my bass when I gig, especially later on in gigs. I have put some SD quarter pounders in that have tightened things up but I feel I need more volume and clarity and I'm now looking at rigs. Is a bigger head the obvious solution or new cabs, perhaps 2 x 2x10s.

It's not a bad problem to have.

Cheers.

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The loss of clarity later on in a gig is simply ear fatigue...do you use any attenuation - earplugs?

I'd say keep the rig for now and play with your mids - the RH has, IIRC, adjustable/programmable EQ - don't forget that what might not sound a great tone solo'd, especially at home, can sit very differently in a band mix. Which Berg 12s do you have? some of them will respond to mids very well... If your rig has sounded good with one bass, there's every chance it can be made to sound good with another, it's an EQ thing...and the RH has EQ presets, so if you end up with two pretty different EQ settings for each bass, you can store and recall them on a button push. Ask your bandmates for a bit of leeway at a rehearsal so you can faff about in a band setting with your sound.

Edit: Yep, Warwickhunt's correct - I'd remove the 'Class D' thing from the title...it'll save a lot of mostly-off-topic hoohah later :D

Further edit: Dunno about the Quarter Pounders in direct comparison, but all the Wizards pups I've had have been verrrry high output...that could be a factor, too...how do you run your Jazz? Both pups full? Just one?

Edited by Muzz

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Could be the 'hard baked' compression in the RH450 as well.

It's a 235w power amp masquerading as a 450 by using a stack of compression to boost the output. It's built permanently into the circuitry so you can't get rid of it.

On the one gig I used one I found it an absolute tone sucker of an amp and found it hard to hear myself properly and immediately sold it.

A really nice classic P doesn't need all that 'clever' circuitry to sound great. I'd look for a simpler head with some basic tone shaping and let the bass speak properly :)

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Thanks all,

Great advice. I don't do the comp thing too much and my eq is reasonably flat. I have played about with the eq but I feel I should increase the bass and treble which just gives everything a bit more mush. I have the Beg 12 ae range and I'm definitely into simplicity when it comes to amps.

I'm drawn to the Orange 4 stroke?

If I was clever enough I'd drop D class and just put amp

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[quote name='molan' timestamp='1479334349' post='3175815']
Could be the 'hard baked' compression in the RH450 as well.

It's a 235w power amp masquerading as a 450 by using a stack of compression to boost the output. It's built permanently into the circuitry so you can't get rid of it.

On the one gig I used one I found it an absolute tone sucker of an amp and found it hard to hear myself properly and immediately sold it.

A really nice classic P doesn't need all that 'clever' circuitry to sound great. I'd look for a simpler head with some basic tone shaping and let the bass speak properly :)
[/quote]

I've realised tonight reading around the TC reviews I might need a bit of genuine headroom in my amp. Any suggestions?

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The other thing to consider is that your ears may be "tuned" to the Jazz bass tone & clarity, so the less refined sound of the Precision won`t be as easy to pick put. I reckon this could be a factor.

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[quote name='Muzz' timestamp='1479333800' post='3175810']
The loss of clarity later on in a gig is simply ear fatigue...do you use any attenuation - earplugs?

I'd say keep the rig for now and play with your mids - the RH has, IIRC, adjustable/programmable EQ - don't forget that what might not sound a great tone solo'd, especially at home, can sit very differently in a band mix. Which Berg 12s do you have? some of them will respond to mids very well... If your rig has sounded good with one bass, there's every chance it can be made to sound good with another, it's an EQ thing...and the RH has EQ presets, so if you end up with two pretty different EQ settings for each bass, you can store and recall them on a button push. Ask your bandmates for a bit of leeway at a rehearsal so you can faff about in a band setting with your sound.

Edit: Yep, Warwickhunt's correct - I'd remove the 'Class D' thing from the title...it'll save a lot of mostly-off-topic hoohah later :D

Further edit: Dunno about the Quarter Pounders in direct comparison, but all the Wizards pups I've had have been verrrry high output...that could be a factor, too...how do you run your Jazz? Both pups full? Just one?
[/quote]

Attenuation earplugs. I have must google them. Will I find tartan paint and left handed hammers in the same search?

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[quote name='Lozz196' timestamp='1479335072' post='3175827']
The other thing to consider is that your ears may be "tuned" to the Jazz bass tone & clarity, so the less refined sound of the Precision won`t be as easy to pick put. I reckon this could be a factor.
[/quote]

I totally agree .... I've played my jazz basses past and present for 20 years. I'm just waiting for my ears to click in with the P. The sound it gives to the rest of the band is unsurpassed but I miss the twang and I'm trying to acclimatise to the thud.

Tonight, I restrung my Jazz to take out on Friday night and my P looked at me like a scene out of "fatal attraction". I will take the P because it's new and unexplored fun. The Jazz wants some "sex with the ex". I'm too old for that nonsense.

Is it a valve amp?

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[quote name='Muzz' timestamp='1479333800' post='3175810']
The loss of clarity later on in a gig is simply ear fatigue...do you use any attenuation - earplugs?

I'd say keep the rig for now and play with your mids - the RH has, IIRC, adjustable/programmable EQ - don't forget that what might not sound a great tone solo'd, especially at home, can sit very differently in a band mix. Which Berg 12s do you have? some of them will respond to mids very well... If your rig has sounded good with one bass, there's every chance it can be made to sound good with another, it's an EQ thing...and the RH has EQ presets, so if you end up with two pretty different EQ settings for each bass, you can store and recall them on a button push. Ask your bandmates for a bit of leeway at a rehearsal so you can faff about in a band setting with your sound.

Edit: Yep, Warwickhunt's correct - I'd remove the 'Class D' thing from the title...it'll save a lot of mostly-off-topic hoohah later :D



Further edit: Dunno about the Quarter Pounders in direct comparison, but all the Wizards pups I've had have been verrrry high output...that could be a factor, too...how do you run your Jazz? Both pups full? Just one?
[/quote]

I usually have the volume at 11 and roll off the tone a little bit on both J and P

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[quote name='Mr Fudge' timestamp='1479335044' post='3175826']


I've realised tonight reading around the TC reviews I might need a bit of genuine headroom in my amp. Any suggestions?
[/quote]

For a relatively classic tone I'd probably go for an Aguilar Tone Hammer 500. For cleaner tones maybe a MarkBass Little Mark III or for a 'rockier' punchy sound then something like a Gallien Krueger MB500.

Both the Aguilar and GK options have 800w variants too.

One thing to note on your TC - even when you have the Spectracomp turned off there's still a lot of inbuilt compression in the circuitry.

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Before you change anything - where are your cabinets pointing? Are they flat on the floor stacked pointing at your knees when you play? Get them angled up so that they are either pointing towards your ears or stack them on something taller so they are closer to your head.

You won't need to crank the amp so hard so that it bumps in to compression land and you'll hear yourself more clearly.

If you are relying on this set up as your bass sound, maybe worth getting the PA to assist then dial in a sound on the amp to hear yourself clearly rather than please the punters out front :) The AE cabs are capable of a clean sound so once the PA has taken care of your big 'out front' sound you won't need so much low end from your backline (meaning it will be easier to make out notes)

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I play a P bass but after reading your posts the best advice I think I can give you is go back to your Jazz. I don't see the point in chasing a sound you can't find when you already have a great sound with the Jazz.

But if you really have to sort the Precision sound I'd start with changing the amp. I don't think your cabs are the problem.

I used an Aguilar TH500 with my Berg cabs and it worked well with both my P bass and Lakland.

The Mesa D800 Subway has a great tone and clarity and punch.

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I'm not disagreeing with anything anyone else has said, all worth investigating but I want to open up another possibility.

You mention your hearing early on. If your hearing is suffering a bit. (Who on Basschat isn't?) You also talk about altering your tone a lot. This is ringing alarm bells because surely you ought to set tone for the band, not for your own monitoring. You need to sort this in a way that works for both.

Firstly boosting the bass and treble will always make picking yourself out harder not easier. It's the mids we need to pick out our tone from the mix and boosting those or cutting bass in particular will help you pick yourself out more easily. If you are boosting bass to get the sound you need for the band/audience then hold off and trust the P to deliver in the mix even if it sounds thin to you. The sound signatures of the P and J are very different, hearing loss if you have any is likely to hit a few limited frequencies, mainly in the mids and highs. Again it is the mids that are crucial in distinguishing sounds.

Another factor might be the Quarterpounder. All of these overwound pups have a high inductance that cuts the top end at 6dB/octave above a certain frequency, simply an inevitable physical consequence of all those turns of wire. If that is at a frequency you are already missing a little...

Two strategies you can try before reaching for the credit card are pointing a cab at your ears a little more or shifting a little of your sound into the PA (or a little more if that's what you do already). Turn up the mids/highs on your monitors to get more articulation and the boost the bass through the PA by the same amount to restore your sound. Or buy some in ears.

Oh, I didn't like the sound of the TC and went for an MB Tube which I love, mainly because I never have to touch it, it just makes my bass loud.

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[quote name='Mr Fudge' timestamp='1479335304' post='3175830']
Attenuation earplugs. I have must google them. Will I find tartan paint and left handed hammers in the same search?��
[/quote]

No - because some ear plugs are treble reducing muddy sound inducing, and some have a flat attenuation that pretty much keeps the sound you want to hear, but at a lower volume.

There's a world of difference between the yellow roll up ear protection things, and a proper set of ear plugs that are custom made for your ears. You can get them fitted in many branches of Boots.

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OK, I'm using Berg AE112s too, and there's definitely plenty of everything you could need from them - I do use three sometimes, but only because I can - I have a Magellan 800 that'll run three 8 ohm cabs, and, as Dood has alluded to, I like the extra height of the third cab closer to my ears on tight stages.

Again, if your RH is giving you the volume and tone you like from your Jazz, it should be able to do the same for your P with some adjustment. I could understand changing your amp if you weren't getting a tone you liked from it at all, but you are, so there's faffing to be done before spending, I think...

If you're missing the zing, what are the strings you're using? There's a cheap way of possibly adding some in...

The plugs I use are ACS with the 15db attenuators - definitely worth looking at if you're not using any: they simply drop the sound levels without muffling or colouring the sound. Take a little adjusting to, but your ears will thank you.

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Before spending lots of dosh on amps and cabs, ditch the Quarter Pounder. You can spend thousands on amplification but never get a proper P-Bass sound with that pickup, which is midrange-heavy. Put the original back, or fit a Duncan Vintage P.Bass or something similar.

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My P bass (with a Wizard Thumper) sounds absolutely fine to my ears through a TC head into an RS210 and RS112. No clarity issues at all. I've shared it with other P Bass players at many gigs and they sounded good too.
Maybe just an EQ fiddle or brighter strings would help?

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If the sound out front is good and you''re looking at fitted earplugs anyway, maybe it's worth considering in-ear monitors to help you hear yourself more clearly?

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A lot of good advice on here. Firstly repeating what Stevie says, ditch the Seymore Duncan's. They are not good for bass. Di Marzio do some nice bass pickups. Or try an Entwistle PBXN. If you have flats on the P go wirewound. However if you really like the J use the J.

As I see it the P sits nicely in the mix with other instruments, the J is good for soloists or virtuosos.

The comments about the amp are correct but the P bass has a humbucking pickup and the J has single coils. No matter how you EQ it you will never get a P to sound quite like a J. Also the more EQ you need the less headroom you have.

It would be worth using a long lead or wireless system to go out front while playing to check the sound the audience hear too.

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My complaint was about the Quarter Pounder model, not Seymour Duncan pickups in general.

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From personal experience i would advice a Genz Benz Shuttle (the 9.0 as it's "900W" are in fact only 500W). They come cheap in the sales thread quite often.
It's a very flat'ish sounding amp, has all the mid clarity you need and has a built-in HPF wich removes a lot of sub-bass making your tone more percieveable and the bass cut better in the mix. It's also loud enough with a 2x12" for the biggest pub you'll find. The TH500 is another excelent choice but the Genz 9.0 is prety much the same amp, only cheaper. ;)
If you need more bass to feed to the audience there's a nice little bass boost button that'll work well.

As others said, the secret for great tone is in the mids, if you're struggling with hearing loss you can't go with the old method of EQ'ing your amp in the classic "V", you'll need those mids back in for clarity. also, as Phill said (if i'm not mistaken) putting too much bass in your tone also makes your bass fade in the mix.

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As a long time J player who has recently built a P, I found that I needed to re-adjust the ears to appreciate the virtues of the P. It's a thicker, woodier sound than the J and superficially has less clarity. However, it has other virtues - solidity and weight - that you come to appreciate in time. Not a lot of point in spending a lot of money trying to make a P sound like a J. Either use the J or spend some time acclimatising to the difference is my suggestion. Agree with others' suggestion about the QP pickup. It may be louder, but it diminishes, to my ears at any rate, the essence of a P bass - that lovely woody tone.

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[quote name='molan' timestamp='1479334349' post='3175815']
Could be the 'hard baked' compression in the RH450 as well.

It's a 235w power amp masquerading as a 450 by using a stack of compression to boost the output. It's built permanently into the circuitry so you can't get rid of it.

On the one gig I used one I found it an absolute tone sucker of an amp and found it hard to hear myself properly and immediately sold it.
[/quote]

^^ My experience also. I'd rather plug into a wet lettuce using a coat hanger for a guitar cable.

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[quote name='wateroftyne' timestamp='1479392195' post='3176192']


^^ My experience also. I'd rather plug into a wet lettuce using a coat hanger for a guitar cable.
[/quote]

😂 😂 😂

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