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  1. #1

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    Question for yall that play archtops with a band. I feel like no matter what, the bass just sounds too boomy at volume. Maybe it just feels that way to me lately but I'm sure a lot of us have at one point felt this way and come up with ways to deal with it. Most recently it happened with a Fender Deluxe I plugged into, even with the bass set to zero. When I rehearse I usually put my amp on a chair to reduce coupling but there have to be ways to keep the amp down on the ground and not deal with issues like feedback and boominess. Do any of you have some expert tips for dealing with this?

    I put this in the gear forum even though it's not strictly a gear question it's more of a sound question. I'm definitely not looking to acquire any new gear for this. However, let's be honest, the gear subforum gets the most traffic. Would love to get input from people who have experienced and dealt with this issue.

    Oh and I anticipate the "your band is playing too loud". I already agree. If it were up to me we'd be a lot quieter, but there are trumpet players with big lungs involved.

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  3. #2

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    Some rooms are simply dark and you will sound muddy no matter what. Neck pickups, P-90's (or any single coil pickup), Alnico 5 (rather than 2) humbuckers, and lighter strings all can help (as can getting your amp off the floor). An outboard EQ can also be helpful. But some rooms are so dark that nothing will help.
    _____________________________________________
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  4. #3

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    A few possibilities come to mind.

    It might be that the guitar is starting to feedback. Well before it howls, there can be reinforcement of bass frequencies. A solution to that is plugs in the F holes. There is a recent thread on this.

    Amp placement is also relevant. Having the neck point at the amp may be a good way to do it. There are threads on that.

    Tilting the amp may help reduce coupling and may be worthwhile if you can't raise it off the floor entirely.

    If the guitar is just dark, the next trick is amp EQ. If the bass is at 0 and there's too much bass (not unusual IMO) then I'd next try turning down the mids and seeing if I could dial some of it out.

    After that, it's gear. Smaller speaker. EQ box. Split coil pickup or single coil, solid body guitar etc. I know that plenty of players have used an archtop with humbuckers in a big band. So, there must be some way to make it work, but I prefer a solid or semisolid body with very little bass in the sound. Sits in the mix better, to my ear.

  5. #4

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    EQ it out. I recommend the Empress Pedals ParaEQ or the Tech 21 NYC Q/Strip.

  6. #5

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    The first thing to try, because it's the easiest, is tilting the amp back and getting it away from a wall, if there is one.

  7. #6

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    I've almost never have this problem since I switched to closed-back cabinets.

    Danny W.

  8. #7

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    Fender Deluxes can be very woofy in the bass, and if you are handy with a soldering iron, you can look inside and trace back from the bass pot to the .047 microfarad capacitor that defines the frequency the bass control cuts. Replace it with a .022 cap and it will be just a bit clearer on the bottom. Just a suggestion, and it's easily reversible.

  9. #8

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    Plug into channel 1. Bass and Treble around 4 to 6 depending on speaker etc. Tilt the amp so it points at your head, i.e get your head in the beam. This will help with the boomy bass. Make sure you don't roll the tone knob on the guitar too far down, same for volume. Put your body between the speaker and the back of the guitar to help reduce feedback. Try these before more invasive measures such as plugs, pickup swaps and EQ pedals.

    Finally, if the band is really that loud, it may be too loud for a sensitive archtop and a switch to a semi or solid body may be in order.

  10. #9

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    The bass end risks getting muddy with any humbucker/conventional cab/12" speaker combination. What sounds great when playing alone on home volumes doesn't work in a band setting on stage volumes. Solutions: Grant Green EQ setting (bass and treble killed), 10" speaker, P 90. Or TOOB.

  11. #10

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    Pepe aka Lt. Kojak
    Milano, Italy
    https://soundcloud.com/theodore-koja...hy-bro-project
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  12. #11

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    So familiar. Even with a tilted amp.

    Before I bought this Quik Lok amp stand.

    Best ~40€ I have spent in gear!

    BS-317 - Quiklok - Professional Music Equipment and Accessories

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos View Post
    Question for yall that play archtops with a band. I feel like no matter what, the bass just sounds too boomy at volume. Maybe it just feels that way to me lately but I'm sure a lot of us have at one point felt this way and come up with ways to deal with it. Most recently it happened with a Fender Deluxe I plugged into, even with the bass set to zero. When I rehearse I usually put my amp on a chair to reduce coupling but there have to be ways to keep the amp down on the ground and not deal with issues like feedback and boominess. Do any of you have some expert tips for dealing with this?

    I put this in the gear forum even though it's not strictly a gear question it's more of a sound question. I'm definitely not looking to acquire any new gear for this. However, let's be honest, the gear subforum gets the most traffic. Would love to get input from people who have experienced and dealt with this issue.

    Oh and I anticipate the "your band is playing too loud". I already agree. If it were up to me we'd be a lot quieter, but there are trumpet players with big lungs involved.
    I have a Princeton Reverb, which can be quite boomy. I have the pickups on my guitars adjusted with the bass side of the pickups (humbuckers) or pole pieces (dog ear P90) lower than the treble side and that makes a big difference. With my other amps (one with an 8", the other with a 6" speaker), there's maybe a little too much bass reduction, but I don't really miss it. With a band there's so much other bass content in the room that it's best to have next none coming from the guitar. I also stay away from the low E for the most part when comping. As others have said, it helps to experiment with amp placement. Some rooms have weird resonant peaks that can be tamed somewhat by moving and/or angling the amp.

    John

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny W. View Post
    I've almost never have this problem since I switched to closed-back cabinets.

    Danny W.
    Same here. Although I love the old Fender amps, this problem completely disappeared when I started using Polytones and later Clarus/RE closed cabinets. I have been using The closed back cabinets for about 25 years in many different venues and no “woof” ever. I still have an old Vibrolux Reverb, but I only use it for outdoor gigs these days.
    Keith

  15. #14

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    I don't have this problem much. I use a Fishman Artist, which is a solid state "acoustic" amp but a great, clean-sounding all-around amp as well, and very loud. It is closed back as well.

    It has a sweepable midrange filter that helps tame lower end feedback and boom. I had to make a mid-set adjustment last night--every situation is different, and what works with a crowded room or stage might not work at other times. They had the garage doors open as well at the bar, and that might even have affected the sound.

    On this guitar (Peerless Sunset) I happen to use DA chrome flat 12's. Each set of strings, action, etc has its own sound and possibly a tendency toward note buildup (wolf tones).
    “Without music, life would be a mistake”--Friedrich Nietzsche

    Current lineup: Gibson ES-135 ('02), Peerless Sunset, Harmony Brilliant Cutaway ('64), Godin 5th Avenue, Alvarez AC60 A/E classical, Kay K37 ('56), Fender Squier VM Jazz bass, several ukes. Amps: Fishman Artist, Fender SCXD, Pignose 7-100.

  16. #15
    Thanks everyone, I guess it’s just the plight of playing an archtop through a 12” open back. I want to avoid having to pack an EQ pedal if possible. I like being as minimal as possible. Is there a tilt back amp stand that people would recommend? I want something minimal enough that I can take it out without adding too much bulk to my rig.

    As for modding that deluxe, it belongs to the venue, not to me.

  17. #16

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    I carry a cheap camera tripod for tilting. It's light, folds up pretty small, and goes under the front edge of the amp to tilt it when necessary. There really isn't a lot of weight on it even from a heavy amp. Like Keith, my vibrolux reverb doesn't see much use, it mostly lives in a closet. It was okay back around 1980, but amps have progressed well beyond that now, and it's just not practical, nor does it sound as good to me. YMMV.

  18. #17

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    Trying bronze strings (80/20s are fine) are the cheapest and fastest experiment.
    -----------------------------------

    "The instrument keeps me humble. Sometimes I pick it up and it seems to say, "No, you can't play today." I keep at it anyway, though." Jim Hall

  19. #18
    I use the small Fender amp stand, but not sure it it can handle a deluxe, i use it with smaller amps. For me it has been, put the amp on the neck side of the guitar, not too close to a wall, tilt it for less bass. A stand is great for that, also putting legs on the amp can do the tilting (i think fender sells some). I 've never used f hole covers, nor have i seen that much of a difference with closed and open back speakers. Maybe it is the fact you can have less bass on the amp when having a closed/ported speaker?

    That's the number one reason i like 10s for archtops, less bass and feedback problems..

  20. #19

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    You said you have this problem when rehearsing/playing in a BigBand setting - well, since you have a bassist in the rhythm section those low chord tones/roots are taken care of and you could simply leave your low E and A strings alone, play the upper chord structures or even less, just use two-note voicings, stabs. An open back cab would not be
    my first choice either - I've had no boominess-problems with my BUD , my Evans RE200 and even my Roland STREET battery amp (with a mic in front) helped me out in a pinch once and I could hear myself perfectly well with the amp on the floor pointing up to my ear. That is a cheap solution, too .....

  21. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Danny W. View Post
    I've almost never have this problem since I switched to closed-back cabinets.

    Danny W.
    That solves the boomyness issue but creates all kinds of new ones. I personally prefer open back cabinets. It's interesting that Raezer's Edge is going to be introducing some open back cabs and their new line of tube amps is of course open back.

    Vic Juris has mentioned many times that he always puts his amp up on a chair when playing gigs. Seems like a simple/easy solution if you use a combo amp lighter than 40lbs

  22. #21

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    Reflected sound waves are also a big reason for bass reinforcement, so +1 on tilting the amp back. Don’t place it closer than 3 feet/1meter from a wall (further is playing at full volume), and never with the back facing a corner. You can also elevate the cabinet off the floor to also cut down on reflected sound wave. I built my last cabinet out of scrap poplar and designed it with a 5° tilt, and it helped a lot. Next one I build will be a 2x12 with 10° of tilt.

    Woof-7bf4656a-b5de-421b-bb27-3f13506f6685-jpg
    Redeemed, Husband, Father, Veteran. Thankful for all four!

    I play a customized Godin 5th Avenue, Córdoba GK Studio, and a Hamer Korina. I also play a Kala uBass on occasion

  23. #22
    ultimately, in a loud band the drummer's ride cymbols, organ speaker, saxophone coming through the PA are just as responsible for feedback as the cab you are playing through.

  24. #23

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    When comping in a Big Band I play in a different style , with a different sound and usually at a lower volume level - except when playing a solo, which doesn‘t happen too often in that setting, with maybe 10 other soloists in line. One other thing : when do we guitarplayers get to choose our space and optimal stage setup when we‘re not the leader but a small part of a large band ? Most of the time I have maybe ten square feet, barely enough room to move and NEVER can I put my amp there where I would like it....

  25. #24
    For many players I believe a good solution ends up being laminate archtops..

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos View Post
    Thanks everyone, I guess it’s just the plight of playing an archtop through a 12” open back. I want to avoid having to pack an EQ pedal if possible. I like being as minimal as possible. Is there a tilt back amp stand that people would recommend? I want something minimal enough that I can take it out without adding too much bulk to my rig.

    As for modding that deluxe, it belongs to the venue, not to me.
    I'm using an AER comp60 and if I can't get if off the deck
    I just use a chock of wood to tilt it back ... Works fine

    But with a fender type amp I would probably use one of these
    STANDBACK

    point the amp at your head not your knees
    and turn down a bit .... might help

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos View Post
    Thanks everyone, I guess it’s just the plight of playing an archtop through a 12” open back. I want to avoid having to pack an EQ pedal if possible. I like being as minimal as possible. Is there a tilt back amp stand that people would recommend? I want something minimal enough that I can take it out without adding too much bulk to my rig.
    Put it up on a folding chair? That will decouple the amp from the floor and reduce the bass. Of course, also roll the bass knob down to 0.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  28. #27

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    I cut a single section of cheap foam anti-fatigue floor mat to fit just under my amp, and when the woof situation occurs, this will uncouple the amp from the floor and isolate the resonance. Easier to lug and use than a chair/stool/stand or tilt back legs.