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Equalizing tips


Second question in 2 minutes...
I know you jazz players will be horrified by my taste, but...I go crazy for the bass sound of people like Duff McKagan (Guns n Roses) and Rachel Bolan (Skid Row). I just bought a Hartke 3500 head with a 10 band equalizer. How can I set it to get that sharp but powerful sound?
Do you have an eq. setup which might fit?
PS: consider I have a 15" cabinet, so it can't give me great "highs"
Thank you everybody
December 13, 2002 @08:30pm

If I remember the tone in question, it will be tricky to achieve it on 15" drivers. Duff had a lot of upper bass/ low-mids as well as a sharp accent in the upper-mids. With your graphic eq, you'll want to make a shape something like this: ^^. The lower peak should be somewhere around 200Hz (though it could be anywhere between 125Hz and 350Hz). The upper peak can be anywhere between 2kHz and 5kHz. It all depends upon your bass and the tone of your cabinet.
With the lower peak your looking to bring out that low-mid "growl" and maybe a little upper-bass "boom". You want to dip out the low-bass because you'll get too "boomy" and your tone will be muddied and you'll be competing with the kick drum instead of complementing it.
You want to dip out the mids ( between 500Hz to 1.5kHz) because that's where you get a lot of "honkiness." You also want to leave plenty of room for those raspy metal guitars in that range. Play around with that middle dip because you may want to retain some "boxiness" or some "tinniness" depending upon how abrasive you want your tone to get.
Your upper-mid peak is to bring out the "snap" or "click" of your pick and/or your frets. This is where you get that "grinding" tone. Every bass and player has this at a slightly different frequency. Then, you'll dip out the treble (above 5kHz) because you don't really need those high, airy frequencies (unless you like a really bright tone).
Keep in mind that you want your graphic eq "curve" to be centered around your 0dB line. If you boost too much, you can overdrive your amp. It's better to do that with your volume knob. With 15" drivers, you'll have to exaggerate your upper boost because they don't respond too well to higher frequencies. You also may want to try thinner gauged (more metallic sounding) strings.
Hope this helps,
December 28, 2002 @07:59pm

Hanks a lot shepherdmike. You were very precise.
I'm buying a 4x10 cabinet soon, so I think I can get closer to the sound I'm seeking!
January 3, 2003 @12:10pm