Need help with tone. So much low end.

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Riley Bushman, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. Riley Bushman

    Riley Bushman New Member

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    Hey all, sorry if wrong place to post this.
    I have a S2 semi hollow single cut and a katana 50. There is so much bass i dont want to play, every thing sounds like mud. I roll all the bass off on the EQ and bump mids and treble to about 2 o’clock, then i avoid the 6th string.

    I have looked around on the interwebs looking for ideas but i cant find any, not even sure what to look for. Any advice? I dont think the pickups should be this dark but i just dont know. Im not an experienced player. I dont have any other amps or friends with a different amp. Every video i watch with a S2 doesnt sound at all like mine, so it must be me but i dont know what to do. I dont really want to sell the guitar, it was my first real guitar, i bought it based on how it felt and never plugged it in at the store. Bad move.

    Please help if you can.
     
  2. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Open-Ears / Zippered Lips

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    Riley,

    Is the guitar comparatively new to you? What string gauge are you using?

    Reason for my questions are that the pickup heights may be off somewhat, and that some slight adjustments can do wonders to correct lower end and midrange mud. You can adjust pickup height without requiring additional set-up or intonation.

    However, if the string gauge is heavier than factory stock (11s or 12s, instead of stock 10s) you might need to have the guitar set-up with a lighter gauge (10s or 9s) and see where that takes you.

    (Heavy gauge strings have better lower end response, but switching to a lighter gauge will balance out the tone somewhat.)

    I'd personally try to adjust the pickup height first, then see if that doesn't solve your problem, then swap out strings and perform a set-up/intonation.

    FTR, My S2 SC had the same issue yours does and the pickup height adjustment solved the problem. Just a slight quarter or half turn one way or the other both sides. Try one pickup at a time first, and hear what is sounds like, and then the next.
     
  3. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    Nickel plated steel strings (rather than pure nickel, usual PRS spec) really cleaned up the lows on my S2 Semi.
     
  4. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

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    If you bought either the guitar or amp from a local shop, take both to them and have them help you debug. Swap cables before doing anything else, in case you haven’t tried that yet.
     
    Tim S and g.wizz like this.
  5. Riley Bushman

    Riley Bushman New Member

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    I have had the guitar and amp for over a year.
    The strings are elixor 10s nanoweave.
    I have never thought about pickup height. Ill definitely try that. Are there videos on YouTube for how to do it? Should i go up or down first?
    I have used several cables between guitar and amp and a few diff pedals. No help there.
     
    shimmilou likes this.
  6. THAWK819

    THAWK819 New Member

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    The Katana is a modeling amp too right? I'm not being snarky at all, because this is totally the kind of thing that I would overlook, but have you tried loading different amp/cab profiles in the Katana?

    I'm pretty sure you can plug that amp into a computer and really customize the sounds it's modeling yourself, or choose from lots of other preloaded profiles based on classic amp/cab combinations.

    Alternatively, bring the guitar down to your local guitar shop and tell them your amp shopping and want to try your actual guitar on a bunch of different amps. It will be interesting to see if you get results you like better (for bedroom level playing try a Yamaha THR series amp). Or, maybe your PRS is just crying out for a tube amp (hehe).
     
  7. Riley Bushman

    Riley Bushman New Member

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    The katana is a modeling amp. I have tried several different patches and its basically the same. I have thought about trying tube amps but to be completely honest, I think i suck and im to embarrassed to go play where people can hear me.

    I kind of need something i can turn way down or use headphones. I normally practice very early of very late and the family doesn’t tolerate much noise. I was thinking about a kemper for that reason.
     
  8. THAWK819

    THAWK819 New Member

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    Well... I’d say you don’t have to sit down and rip out a song or solo or anything, just mash a few chords and maybe play a scale to see if you like the tone.

    Alternatively, I just got the Friedman JJ Jr and with the XLR out I can plug in a pair of studio headphones and don’t even need to have a speaker cab attached; this is not possible with most tube amps. That might be exactly the kind of feature you need.
     
  9. Barquentine

    Barquentine New Member

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    If you can afford a Kemper then you have an incredible number of great amps in your price range. I have a Katana 50 and I think it's the worst sounding amp I've owned in forty years of playing. Just terrible.
     
    CyFan4036 likes this.
  10. WA Paul

    WA Paul It’s ok...I’m with Manny dog

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    Does the Katana have a Studio style EQ where you can set a low filter? If so, you can try to set the range to only allow frequencies above say 250Hz or 400Hz which should noticeably take some of the lows out.
     
  11. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    I also notice the katana as very bass heavy-duty and I expect it would be worse at low violins. There are models that are more midrange focused. There may also be a graphic eq that is accessible via The boss tone studio.

    Also, get the amp up off the floor and away from the wall. That exacerbates the low frequencies. Corners are the worst.
     
  12. shimmilou

    shimmilou Established in 1963

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    Try lowering the bass side of the pup, away from the strings. Turn the screw a few turns ccw and check the sound, go lower if needed.
     
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  13. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    +1

    Folks don’t realize that the location of the amp in the room matters quite a lot.

    Get the amp up off the floor and away from the back wall and corners.
     
  14. Riley Bushman

    Riley Bushman New Member

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    I didn’t realize my amp location can have that much of an effect.

    Im going to try adjusting my pups and move the amp tomorrow and ill let ya all know the results

    Thank you all so much!!!
     
  15. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Open-Ears / Zippered Lips

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    What Shim said. You might need to balance the tone by adjusting the bridge pickup as well, since the middle toggle uses both pickups. Though the neck pickup would be the place to look first.

    Thanks for this. My 35W 1x12 sits up off the floor, on a wooden shelf, in an alcove between concrete blocks. The bass is actually not that bad, and the amp projects well, much like a singer raising his head and holding mic aloft. I think if the amp were tilted backwards though, it’d be louder than needed, simply because the amp would be aimed at my ears, and not my midriff. Yet, the corner amp location makes sense. If the amp were closed or open-back, what might happen?
     
    LSchefman likes this.
  16. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    This is why I return here daily, the advice and sharing is a credit to us all.

    Best of luck with sorting your low frequency overload.
     
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  17. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Low frequencies are omnidirectional. Because the bass is omnidirectional, it behaves pretty much the same way regardless of whether the cab is open or closed back, but the midrange and high frequencies will be affected differently depending on placement, and by the fact that sound coming out of the back of an open cab is out of phase with the sound coming from the front.

    Imagine the speaker hanging by a string in the center of the room, not near the floor, ceiling, or walls. The omnidirectional bass frequencies are free to radiate around the entire speaker.

    An adjacent boundary surface, like the floor, reflects half of these omnidirectional bass frequencies, making them louder. This is half space reinforcement.

    Adding a second boundary, like putting the cab on the floor against the wall, reflects omnidirectional sound radiating at two boundaries, and it’s called quarter space reinforcement. The increase in bass is greater than just putting it on the floor.

    Add a third boundary with corner placement, and you have eighth space reinforcement, which makes the bass still louder.

    The type of surface matters, too. A heavily padded, carpeted floor will absorb some, but not all, of these frequencies, etc., but it’ll also absorb some higher frequency reflections, so things get complicated.

    In the case of putting a speaker cab on a wooden shelf, the shelf and the blocks holding it will vibrate sympathetically and increase frequencies at their resonant points.

    The best solution for accuracy isn’t a shelving unit, unless the speaker is completely decoupled from the shelf with isolation materials. The most accurate sound is a dedicated stand with the cab decoupled from the stand. In other words, the closer to the ideal of the speaker hanging by that string in space, the greater the fidelity to the original signal.

    Note, however, that a cab that needs more bottom end might sound best if the bass is reinforced by one or more boundaries. This is why some amp and cab manufacturers recommend floor placement for more bass wallop.

    A complicating factor is sympathetic vibration. Floor vibration causes structural vibration that transmits noise elsewhere in a building. This can be solved by decoupling a speaker cab from the floor, and is why the Auralex GRAMMA platforms work, but they prevent structural vibrations like light fixtures rattling, or reducing those boom-boom bass noises transmitted to the downstairs neighbors, and don’t address the question of boundary surface reflections very much since the cab is still close to the floor.
     
    #17 LSchefman, Jun 27, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
  18. Riley Bushman

    Riley Bushman New Member

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    I couldn’t sleep this morning so i started messing with the pickups. Still using my katana 50 but headphones on. I set the eq to 12 o’clock on all bands.

    I tried making small half turn adjustments but didnt notice anything so i started making big changes. I feel like the volume changed, the low end got quieter but still over powered everything. If i dial the bass on eq back to 3 o’clock its better still but im just not happy.

    I tried my epiphone es-355, my other humbucker guitar, and liked the balance much better.

    So at this point im not sure if my expectations are just wrong and i want this S2 to sound like something its not or I still dont know what im doing with dialing in a tone i like.

    Im going to take the guitar to the store I bought it at and see what they think. Have them readjust the pups and do a new set up. Proly try a few amps. If that doesnt work out i could make the drive to The Guitar Store in Seattle, they deal with a lot of PRS and see what they think.

    But right now im not happy with it. Not sure if i should change the pups or sell it and move on.
     
  19. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    If it sounds too bassy through headphones, then it's not the acoustics of the room for sure.

    It should not be this difficult to match the level of low frequencies in a 335. I'm wondering if you've got a wiring problem where the neck pickup is just shorted in and never gets switched off. If you tap the pickups with your pick while plugged in, do the correct pickups make noise vs. the pickup switch position?
     
  20. swede71

    swede71 Tja ba!Läget?

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    I had a Gibson Explorer many years ago that sounded exactly like you describe it...til i turned the toneknob up on the guitar.Just saying! :).
     
    Tim S, CyFan4036 and CandidPicker like this.

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