Worship Bass

Music and Worship => Bass Gear => Topic started by: Jon on December 28, 2014, 12:53:20 AM

Title: Amps
Post by: Jon on December 28, 2014, 12:53:20 AM
Hi.  This is my first post with a question about amps. I've started playing bass for my church around 7 years.  Before that, I sang bass.  :D  Our church music is light rock ... lots of music by Chris Tomlin, Hillsong, Jesus Culture, etc.  Sound is controlled at a sound board.

My guitar is a 5-string fender jazz bass owned by the church.  I bought a Line 6 Low Down 110 amp when I started playing.  Generally the amp can't produce low notes (low E and below) at volume, so I usually play high on the fret.  The 110 has a direct line out into PA system, the sound board boosts the bass signal, but the bass signal has ALWAYS been weak. 

My kids just bought me a Mark Bass Traveler 151P with a Little Mark III amplifier.  Wow!  Really clear low notes, and way, way more power.  With the VLE and VPF I can get really nice mellow tones in the upper and lower registers.  I like turning VLE down giving more punch, but it can sound "tinny" in the high registers.  In contrast, the Low Down 110 was never tinny in the upper registers. 

So I'm considering adding a Traveler 102P to the 151P, thinking it might give better tone in the upper register. 

Any thoughts?  Advice?  Thanks in advance.  -Jon  :)

Title: Re: Amps
Post by: Child of God on December 29, 2014, 07:16:13 AM
Hi Jon!

Bottom line up front -- it's all about price and what sounds good to you.  But here's a suggestion:  Since you already own two amps that each have do part of what you want, why not just use them both and "balance-out" their individual characteristics until you get the blend that you desire? 

Otherwise, its time to grab your axe and head to the local music store(s) and try some gear out.  That's always fun anyway! ;D

God Bless You & Keep You!

Title: Re: Amps
Post by: Jon on December 29, 2014, 09:27:53 PM
Thanks Carl.  I appreciate the advice.  The family was out tonight so I cranked it up a bit, did more experimenting.  Lots of fun.   :D  I'll try your advice.  Thanks again.  -Jon

Title: Re: Amps
Post by: chrisfbass on January 17, 2015, 03:41:07 AM
Hi Jon

Nice to be back on forum!

I use a Mark Bass amp. Over many years I have owned many different amps: without doubt the Mark Bass range are tonally the most accurate I have ever used. Hi-Fi for bass!
You say it's the church's Jazz Bass. Has anyone (you) put on new strings? Also make sure you are using a quality jack lead.
I assume the bass is passive - if so always play with the tone control full on (ie no treble cut) then adjust eq at the amp (I run mine flat). If the bass is active; put in a new battery.

Have fun  ;)


Title: QQQ
Post by: Jon on January 17, 2015, 09:51:30 PM
Hi Chris, the bass is really nice.  Fender Jazz Bass, 5 string, active pickups.  If another instrument is playing, the body usually starts to vibrate just slightly, so it's pretty responsive and with a nice sustain.  One pickup went out so I replaced both with OEMs, replaced the strings, and had it tuned (I'm not sure the tuning helped, but I don't know much about bass guitars). 

It does stay in tune.  I usually keep the pickup selector right in the middle, the treble EQ knob in the middle, and turn up the knobs for the low and middle EQ active preamp (?) about an eighth.  The guitar volume knob is turned up all the way, but the amp itself is not turned up too loud ... loud enough for the stage, but the sanctuary gets its volume from the houses system.  I will try a new battery in the guitar.  I also ordered new VOX bass guitar cables but they haven't arrived yet. 

The new amp is sounding better.  The more I play I keep learning little adjustments.  The biggest change was when I moved the amp to different rooms.  The original room (at home) was hurting the sound somehow ... it's better in the other rooms.  My biggest current issue is the pedal board is making white noise in the house system.  It goes away when the pedal board is disconnected.  I'm hoping the new VOX cables will fix that.  I'm also thinking of eliminating pedals and connectors one at a time to see if that can locate where the noise is coming from.

Thanks for your advice.   :)

Title: Re: Amps
Post by: chrisfbass on January 23, 2015, 11:28:56 AM
Sounds like you are doing all the right things.  Make sure you input gain on the amp (any amp) is at least half way. This will then provide a good solid signal to the mixer desk via you XLR DI output. You can trim your stage volume using the Master Vol - that way you don't affect the sound man's mix.

Once you are happy with your stage sound (under your control) perhaps you can spend some time alongside the sound engineer and see how he handles your signal. Perhaps his preference is not your preference!

Don't be too bothered by apparent lack of bass. I think it is more important to find some space in the lower midband to mix in some added punch. This will cut through below the guitar and keys, and sit above the kick drum.

With regard to hiss on your pedal board, certainly do your suggestion of removing pieces to find the troublesome areas. Also make sure signal leads are routed away from AC and DC power  leads.  When you can, invest in a high quality power supply for the board. It took me 30 years to realize this. It gave me a quantum leap in quality from my own board!  :-[

Whatever:  Don't get too hung up on this (I'm sure you won't) and just enjoy the praise and worship.

after all as my avatar says "worship and fivers go together"