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Any Bass Players using the AX8?

Discussion in 'Bass & Other Instruments' started by DaveO, Jan 6, 2019.

  1. DaveO

    DaveO
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    Like to hear if any Bass Players are using the AX8 for recording and or playing live... If so please share any experiences you may think are useful for others...
    BTW.. Happy New Year.
     
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  2. Atte

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    I'm not a bass player but I regularly record bass with the AX8. Especially the Mesa Boogies and the B7K have been receiving a lot of love from me. The SVT is really good as well.
     
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  3. Geezerjohn

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    I cover both guitars and bass at church depending upon the needs. I use my AX8. I built a preset based on the mighty SVT.
     
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  4. Henry

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    I'm interested in this topic too. I have a III and play guitar, but I'm curious for my bass player.

    What do bass players with an AX8 use for amplification (not interested to know about in in-ears)? A wedge or other FRFR like for guitar, or more likely a power amp and dedicated (bass) cabinet?
     
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  5. jimfist

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    If going full range into "PA-type" cabinets, you have to realize that the fundamental bass frequencies and highly percussive dynamics of the instrument can cause troubles if you don't have overkill headroom or some sort of limiting on the speaker (built-in or otherwise).

    Of course, this is a "use case" issue, and depends wholly on the type of music and volume necessary to hear and/or feel the bass in context. Some speakers are not well suited to handle bass, in which case you may need to run a high-pass filter to keep the speaker from farting out at higher volumes.

    Getting the speaker loud enough while still sounding like you'd want it to sound can be tricky. For a traditional rock band format, I'll often use 2 full range speakers, either 12" coaxial or 15" coaxial, with tons of power to back it up. It costs money...maybe a LOT Of money depending on volume needed and quality of gear desired. Personally, I've sold ALL of my bass amps and cabinets except for my GK head. All of my cabinets are full-range PA speakers. It's all I've gigged with for the last 8+ years.

    So, if you don't have the spare PA gear, or your bassist isn't prepared to fork out the $$$ for it, there's no harm in just plugging it into a traditional bass rig, with amp/cab modeling off - or - using amp modeling (not cab modeling) sent to a power amp (or bass amp's FX input, bypassing the preamp stage) into a traditional speaker.

    All these methods can work great, and if you really want to study the various ways to implement the modeling into a bass rig, there's a lot of good things to learn about audio engineering. This forum is loaded with great information.
     
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  6. DaveO

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    Hi Jimfist, very useful response so thanks, my original post was essentially trying to understand if using my AX8 for Bass Guitar (Fender Precision early2000's) is feasible or should I be looking at a Sansamp or some other device for playing and recording and since this is predominately a guitar player community frankly I didn't expect much of a response so your input is really appreciated.
    Cheers, DaveO
     
  7. jimfist

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    FWIW, I gigged the AxeFxII and AxeFx Ultra for a number of years. The AX8 is the same basic feature set and quite a capable piece of gear for bass. I sold my gig SansAmp and backup as a result of using the AxeFx. Within the limitations of the stock selections for bass, you should be all set, more than enough to get solid bass tones. Myself, being a bassist primarily, I've always wanted more variety of amp and cab models from the stock selection, but there are a lot of 3rd party IRs to help with the cab sim part of the equation (if you're using cab sims).
     
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  8. Marco Sarracino

    Marco Sarracino
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    I'm not a full time bass palyers but I often have bass necessities that my ax8 does fulfill. I've not messed too much with my bass presets so that may be my fault but I must admit that i cannot get the same satisfication from my bass presets as i do for my guitar presets. In particular, i run output 2 to a Seymour Duncan Powerstage 170 (Solid State power amp) + real Bass Cab and i've not been impressed with this option. Output 1 (including cab block) sound better thanks to the IRs. I've been looking for tips about how to make my output 2 sound better. Any suggestions?
     
  9. jimfist

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    what is the bass cab? What impedance? What is the exact chain of blocks in your preset? What are you running your Out 1 (w/cab sim) sound into for a speaker system, and what are its specs? In what way would you describe the bass sound not meeting your expectations for both the Out 1 and Out 2 signal paths? What type of bass tone appeals to you? What bass are you using?

    ...etc...
     
  10. Marco Sarracino

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    The bass cab is a Mark Bass 1x15 + extension Mark Bass 1x12. This is my bassist's rig who is kind enough to let me use it with my AX8. Impedence is 8 ohm, which my Seymour Duncan Powerstage 170 should handle with no issues at all.

    The speaker system is a basic one but, as i said, output1 is quite good and, in this moment at least, i'm focused on how to make my output2 sound better.

    The reason why i'm not happy with what i'm getting is that I find the bass tone too much processed, often too bassy and muddy or too harsh, but not bright. I like pure, bright bass tones, which should be quite easy to get: i just dont understand why it's so difficult with the Ax8.

    My signal path is: COMP + DRIVE + MESA BASS AMP + CAB (for output1)

    I've also tried this path: COMP + DRIVE + CAB (for output1)

    By bass guitar is Fender Precision Mex.

    Any suggestions? thanks!
     
  11. jimfist

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    I won't grapple with you about the Powerstage 170. Spec is as follows: POWER:170 W at 4 Ohms (https://www.seymourduncan.com/power-amp/powerstage-170) so if it is in fact seeing an 8 ohm load, you're getting a lot less than 170 solid state watts, which isn't much for bass IMHO. But if it works, it works...all good.

    A clean, full, bright tone should be pretty easy to get. I'd start by bypassing everything in the signal chain, and have a close listen to what the bass sounds like, as well as noting how loud it is with no other processing. This is an important step since you can add a TON of gain when you start building up a number of blocks. This may be a source of the over-processed, muddy sound you describe. You don't want your processed tone to be wildly louder than the bypassed tone. Start with you Powerstage 170 set to "flat", and keep in mind that the Powerstage was designed first and foremost with guitarists in mind, not bassists, so the amp itself may have some baked-in voicing that works better on guitar.

    From there, start with just the amp block and work with the basic tone and amp gain parameters. If you want clean, then be sure that the initial input gain is set low so there's no preamp overdrive distortion. Or you could use a different amp type that is designed to be clean by default. IIRC, the Mesa bass amp is pretty clean in general.

    If the tone sounds too bassy or muddy, you may want to work with the high pass filter to clean it up. If you're able to get a satisfactory ballpark tone, then you can start adding the other finishing touches. Remember, the amp block has its own compressor, so you may want to utilize it before a dedicated compressor block (Master Volume needs to be set fairly high in order for it to work noticeably IIRC). Too much compression in FRONT of your amp can also result in a sound that doesn't "breathe" like you'd expect, and compression on bass is a totally different animal vs. guitar, so be careful with this also. Again, you're starting point with every block you use should be so that it has a relatively neutral impact on the core tone. You can always go crazy from there.

    Many drive blocks will frequency limit the sound of the bass. Again, be careful with this, and if you're using it to enhance a clean tone, you'll need to either select one that is designed for clean/boost, or tweak the settings so that it's not doing its own squashing to the tone.

    I've used my AxeFxII as the preamp to my SVT 8x10 cabinet (powered by a Crown Xti4002 - tons of power) and the experience was really good. Not exactly the same as my SVT Classic tube head, but I'm probably the only one who could tell the difference. It did take a bit of work, though, no lie.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  12. Marco Sarracino

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    Thank you for taking the time for this reply.

    This will be very useful, i'll try to apply all your tips above and see where I get. I agree that the tone i'm chasing shouldn't be too difficoult to obtain but that's been my experience so far.

    Just let comment on the impedance of the SD170: I know it's rated at 4 ohm but i'm sure it actually handles 4-16 ohms with no issues and with slight volume differences. This has been widely reported by amany users and that's been my experience with the different guitar cabs i've used the SD170 with.

    Again many thanks for your reply!
     
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  13. jimfist

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    Cool. Good to know there's a small format amp like this that can handle bass. Let us know how you make out.
     

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