Bloody tweeters!

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ICBMICBM Frets: 34002
Who started this stupid idea in bass amps?

I've got a potential new bass amp on loan/approval, and I've just gone and blown the tweeter... sort-of my fault since I was putting fuzz bass through it, but surely the designers should have figured out that someone might do that, and limit the possible power to it enough to stop it blowing that easily. It's not switchable on this amp, but I thought that turning down the top-end so the sound wasn't obviously fizzy would be enough to be safe - wrong.

I admit I do actually sometimes like a bit more high-end than a single 15 or a couple of 10s will give, but there's no need for the extreme HF response of a full-on tweeter - a small-diameter driver or a 'whizzer' cone on the main one would be plenty. It's *bass* amplification, not a PA...
"Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • MattBansheeMattBanshee Frets: 745
    Yup. Tweeters in bass cabs can get in the bin.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 34002
    I've disconnected it for now, which has stopped the nasty scratchy distorted noise it's making - and no, that isn't the fuzz pedal , that's with a clean sound. If I buy the amp I probably won't bother replacing it unless I come to sell it...

    Blown tweeters are one of the most common problems I come across in bass amps/cabs, but luckily very few people seem to care so it's usually easiest to just ignore it if they've died completely .
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 16328
    I won’t buy a cab with a tweeter unless there’s a way of tuning it down or off completely.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 34002
    I won’t buy a cab with a tweeter unless there’s a way of tuning it down or off completely.
    Playing fuzz bass through it at high volume for a short time seems to work quite well :).
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 16328
    ICBM said:
    I won’t buy a cab with a tweeter unless there’s a way of tuning it down or off completely.
    Playing fuzz bass through it at high volume for a short time seems to work quite well :).
    You will insist on buying this stuff with complicated electronics in it ;)
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 34002
    Bridgehouse said:

    You will insist on buying this stuff with complicated electronics in it ;)
    lol

    The only reason I want it is because it's a 500W combo I can carry on my shoulder... and because it's red :).
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 16328
    ICBM said:
    Bridgehouse said:

    You will insist on buying this stuff with complicated electronics in it ;)
    lol

    The only reason I want it is because it's a 500W combo I can carry on my shoulder... and because it's red :).
    And I thought you were the sensible one..
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  • RockerRocker Frets: 2838
    Please explain why anyone would need a tweeter on a bass amp. The frequencies are actually low to very low.....
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 34002
    Rocker said:
    Please explain why anyone would need a tweeter on a bass amp. The frequencies are actually low to very low.....
    It actually does bring out a bit of extra definition and clarity which can be useful. But it doesn't have to be all the way up into the 10KHz+ region which is what you need a tweeter for, a decent small-cone driver is fine. I had a nice little Trace Elliot 2x10"+2x5" cab a long time ago which was perfect... plenty of top-end without fizz, and it sounded fine with fuzz as well :).
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 2589
    My Ampeg PF115 has a tweeter that was noisy, I thought it might be the crossover unit but I never bothered to investigate. I just turned it off and the cab sounds fine without it.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 16328
    Rocker said:
    Please explain why anyone would need a tweeter on a bass amp. The frequencies are actually low to very low.....
    The fundamentals are low, but the harmonics can be much higher - also some people like the clank of the string against fret noise 
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  • pintspillerpintspiller Frets: 578
    I like the clank of string against frets. More noticeable with a maple board too.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 16328
    I like the clank of string against frets. More noticeable with a maple board too.
    I must admit, in the right context I do too...
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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 3072
    I disconnected mine
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  • CirrusCirrus Frets: 3609
    Rocker said:
    Please explain why anyone would need a tweeter on a bass amp. The frequencies are actually low to very low.....
    Typically in a mix, I'll be looking for harmonics and definition somewhere between 2-5K on the bass, exactly where and how much just depends on the song. But if it's a very busy heavier song, then quite often the top end definition on the bass will be *above* all but the highest fizzy air of distorted guitar. Tweeters, though, are totally unnecessary for that. Usually, even with an ampeg 1x15 (my preferred when miking) I'll low pass down to just above the upper end definition to get rid of pointless stuff.
    Captain Horizon (my old band);
    Very (!) Occasional Blog
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  • jpfampsjpfamps Frets: 1457

    Couldn't agree more: totally pointless.

    I remember a very painful and circular "discussion" with a customer along the lines:


    Me: You've blown the tweeter in your bass amp.

    Customer: Why's that then?

    Me: Do you use fuzz?

    Customer: Yes.

    Me: That will be why you've blown the tweeter.

    Customer: Oh, but I like the sound of fuzz with bass.

    Me: Well it's probably better not to replace the tweeter.

    Customer: But it doesn't as good without the tweeter.

    (Actually I found this hard to believe, but there you go).

    Me: But you'll blow  the tweeter again if you use fuzz.

    Customer: Oh, but I like the sound of fuzz with bass.

    Me: Well it's probably better not to replace the tweeter. 

    Customer: But it doesn't as good without the tweeter.

    and so on......
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  • jpfampsjpfamps Frets: 1457
    Rocker said:
    Please explain why anyone would need a tweeter on a bass amp. The frequencies are actually low to very low.....
    The fundamentals are low, but the harmonics can be much higher - also some people like the clank of the string against fret noise 
    In most circumstances you don't really hear the fundamental but the harmonics, so you don't really need very low frequency reproduction either.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 16328
    jpfamps said:
    Rocker said:
    Please explain why anyone would need a tweeter on a bass amp. The frequencies are actually low to very low.....
    The fundamentals are low, but the harmonics can be much higher - also some people like the clank of the string against fret noise 
    In most circumstances you don't really hear the fundamental but the harmonics, so you don't really need very low frequency reproduction either.
    That’s true - but our ears often put the various bits of “evidence” together to create the fundamental in what we hear 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 34002
    jpfamps said:

    Customer: But it doesn't as good without the tweeter.

    (Actually I found this hard to believe, but there you go).
    To be fair, I think the tweeter does add something good with fuzz, if you want that sort of ‘synthy’ fuzz sound... but you only need a *tiny* amount of it. So putting a big resistor in series will probably help, if there’s no attenuator built-in.

    But if the options are full tweeter or no tweeter, no tweeter wins every time.

    And I still think it’s better done with something like a 5” cone speaker anyway.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 16328
    If only bass players weren't hung up on old school tech like bass heads and cabs, and instead investigated the world of Preamp pedals, DI, modelling and FRFR more..

    ..Oh, hang on, yes.. that's right - we do. Just like we embraced class D amps with open arms (and non-screwed backs) a long while back too...

    ;)
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  • sparkspark Frets: 5
    always I turn the tweeter off, it's useless (at least for me)
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  • LegionreturnsLegionreturns Frets: 5426
    edited October 16
    I've got a single tweeter. It's 15" and it can tweet on it's own time if it wants to. 

    Am I doing it right?

    My Trading Feedback    |    You Bring The Band

    Just because you're paranoid, don't mean they're not after you
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 16328
    I've got a single tweeter. It's 15" and it can tweet on it's own time if it wants to. 

    Am I doing it right?
    How big is your main driver? 12’ ??
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 34002
    If only bass players weren't hung up on old school tech like bass heads and cabs, and instead investigated the world of Preamp pedals, DI, modelling and FRFR more..

    ..Oh, hang on, yes.. that's right - we do. Just like we embraced class D amps with open arms (and non-screwed backs) a long while back too...

    ;)
    The amp I blew the tweeter in is a 500W Class D combo with a 10” speaker, which is light enough to pick up with one hand but loud enough to work as backline-only if the drums aren’t mic’ed, and has a detachable amp section which I can run into a provided cab as a head or use as a DI’d preamp if I feel like it... which I think is pretty modern tech even though it’s also an ‘amp’ :).

    (Strictly speaking it’s only 250W into the internal speaker, but it’s still ridiculously loud for its size and weight.)

    It’s so impressive, the guitarist asked if they do a guitar version - it’s about the same weight as his 30W valve head.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 16328
    ICBM said:
    If only bass players weren't hung up on old school tech like bass heads and cabs, and instead investigated the world of Preamp pedals, DI, modelling and FRFR more..

    ..Oh, hang on, yes.. that's right - we do. Just like we embraced class D amps with open arms (and non-screwed backs) a long while back too...

    ;)
    The amp I blew the tweeter in is a 500W Class D combo with a 10” speaker, which is light enough to pick up with one hand but loud enough to work as backline-only if the drums aren’t mic’ed, and has a detachable amp section which I can run into a provided cab as a head or use as a DI’d preamp if I feel like it... which I think is pretty modern tech even though it’s also an ‘amp’ :).

    (Strictly speaking it’s only 250W into the internal speaker, but it’s still ridiculously loud for its size and weight.)

    It’s so impressive, the guitarist asked if they do a guitar version - it’s about the same weight as his 30W valve head.
    Was it a TC?
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  • MattBansheeMattBanshee Frets: 745
    ICBM said:
    If only bass players weren't hung up on old school tech like bass heads and cabs, and instead investigated the world of Preamp pedals, DI, modelling and FRFR more..

    ..Oh, hang on, yes.. that's right - we do. Just like we embraced class D amps with open arms (and non-screwed backs) a long while back too...

    ;)
    The amp I blew the tweeter in is a 500W Class D combo with a 10” speaker, which is light enough to pick up with one hand but loud enough to work as backline-only if the drums aren’t mic’ed, and has a detachable amp section which I can run into a provided cab as a head or use as a DI’d preamp if I feel like it... which I think is pretty modern tech even though it’s also an ‘amp’ :).

    (Strictly speaking it’s only 250W into the internal speaker, but it’s still ridiculously loud for its size and weight.)

    It’s so impressive, the guitarist asked if they do a guitar version - it’s about the same weight as his 30W valve head.
    Was it a TC?
    Doubt it; the amp would have blown before the tweeter did.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 34002
    Bridgehouse said:

    Was it a TC?
    Doubt it; the amp would have blown before the tweeter did.
    Probably true :). I dont trust TC reliability at all.

    No...

    Ibanez Promethean 5110.

    I don’t know for sure if they’re any good either, I’ve never seen another one.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 16328
    ICBM said:
    Bridgehouse said:

    Was it a TC?
    Doubt it; the amp would have blown before the tweeter did.
    Probably true :). I dont trust TC reliability at all.

    No...

    Ibanez Promethean 5110.

    I don’t know for sure if they’re any good either, I’ve never seen another one.
    Which means they either didn’t sell very well or don’t last very long - either way, not a great sign of super reliability.. 

    Maybe you should try a good old Trace combo. You can use both arms to carry it..? Oh. 

    Well, you could get a trolley and wheel it around. Though if things start slowly gravitating towards Scotland we will know why...
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 34002
    Bridgehouse said:

    Which means they either didn’t sell very well or don’t last very long - either way, not a great sign of super reliability..
    I’ve seen a couple of reports of problems with the switch-mode power supply, although that's not unheard of with anything that uses one.

    I suspect they may have not sold well simply due to the fact that Ibanez is not a recognised name in bass amplification - and worse, not an unknown newcomer either - and you know what people are like... even we less-conservative bass players :).

    Apparently it’s designed by the same person who did the Red Sub.

    One thing is for sure, if it dies for any reason and isn’t repairable I’ll be looking for something else with the same sort of feature set. My original intention was to get a MarkBass head and a Barefaced cab, but this was a lot cheaper...
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • martmart Frets: 2896
    edited October 17
    ICBM said:
    ...

    Ibanez Promethean 5110.
    ...
    There was a lot of love for the Promethean online about 10 years ago.

     The last person I saw live playing one was Dave Pegg, and he had a tone to die for.

     They used not to be that hard to find second hand, although I haven’t looked for a few years.
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