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A little help here please [message #1052] Wed, 28 November 2001 11:14 Go to next message
omie
Messages: 6
Registered: November 2001
Location: Atlanta
Junior Member
I'm looking for a little(err alot)of help here. My lack of knowledge about gear is only exceeded by my lack of any real musical knowledge, I just know what I like, and I do it every chance I get. I'm working on it. I'm currently playing thru a Kustom TnR 100watt BASS amp(approx 30yrs old). It has the sweetest fuzz(distortion) sound I've ever heard, which is exactly what I am looking for in my band. Right now, I have the volume all the way up, bass all the way up, and treble (almost) all the way down and I play out of the normal-low gain input. I do use the volume on my bass to control the tone somewhat, and some carefully placed effects to give me a little kick when I need it. Problem is I really need to upgrade volume wise for gigs, and I am real concerned about how I am going to do this and maintain the great fuzz tone. Also, I am limited on what I can do with the amp, because of the volume issue(its cranked, and just loud enough for practice) it only does ONE thing FUZZ and lots of it. Well, I was thinking about getting a larger Kustom, but then I will have the same limitations just at a higher volume(I think). Is that a correct assumption? I have asked around a bit, and have been told that I should either get more cabinets/speakers, or run another 100watt in parallel. Because I am so happy with my fuzzy/distorted tone, and the value cant be beat are those reasonable things to do? Or would just a straight upgrade give me more tonal options. I MUST HAVE FUZZ! Is there any best way to run the Kustoms parallel? Also, how are the new amps, they seem like they are priced SO LOW. Do the newer amps distort in the same fashion? My Kustom is the only amp I've ever owned, I've had it 9 years. Ive gigged with it, slept on it, dropped it, burned it, and every kind of minor abuse imaginable, its still growling like the day I bought it. Best value of anything I have EVER bought. Any help is appreciated
Re: A little help here please [message #1055 is a reply to message #1052] Wed, 28 November 2001 23:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
KustomBlues
Messages: 490
Registered: June 2001
Location: Michigan
Senior Member
Omie, There are several options that I can think of as a bass player. Yes, you could add a second Kustom 200 model head, you could also step up to a 250 series head which puts out like 131 watts or so at 4 ohms. You could buy a Kustom power module cab to run with the 250 head (essentially a 500 set) and that would double your watts. I have a recently rebuilt black 250-1 head (thanks Gary), and I can turn that thumper up all the way and I do not get fuzz on bass.... But I have a few solutions for that. Buy either or all of these: a Boss FZ2 Hyper Fuzz pedal (great bass fuzz for days), a Boss Bass overdrive pedal, a blue Tube pedal, or a Digitech BP multi effect unit, or a DOD bass30 effect unit, or anything lese that you try and like. If you'd like info on a 500 set in blue, or to talk more about fuzz bass, contact me. debraehart@hotmail.com
Re: A little help here please [message #1056 is a reply to message #1052] Wed, 28 November 2001 23:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
KustomBlues
Messages: 490
Registered: June 2001
Location: Michigan
Senior Member
To run 2 heads at once, or indiviually buy a Morley A/B/Y footswitch, or a similar one. It will let you choose amps, or combine them so you are "feeding" both amps. It also works good for switching from one channel to the other on one head.
Re: A little help here please [message #1057 is a reply to message #1052] Thu, 29 November 2001 01:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anonymous
Hi Omie... I read your post and can't really help with the technical side, but most importantly...what color is it? JO
Re: A little help here please [message #1058 is a reply to message #1057] Thu, 29 November 2001 09:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
omie
Messages: 6
Registered: November 2001
Location: Atlanta
Junior Member
Black with the purple light. PURPLE LIGHT take me home. So let me see if I've got this straight, you are basically suggesting that I upgrade the wattage of my Kustom, and when I do that I wont get the same fuzz, so I will need to also add fuzz pedals? I suppose Im going to see about upgrading to a 250 or so, and then see where I need to go from there, where should I look for a Kustom power module cab? I guess I have become kinda attached to my current Kustom, but in the very least it makes a great practice amp. Thanks for the help
Re: A little help here please [message #1060 is a reply to message #1058] Thu, 29 November 2001 14:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
GaryH
Messages: 19
Registered: January 2001
Junior Member
I saw your fuzz bass posting, and I’m right there with you…what a great sound! It reminds me of some of the old guys, like Felix Pappalardi with Mountain, or Larry Grahm with Sly or on his own. Your Kustom 100 is fuzzing because it’s running full out when you turn it all the way up, and it’s probably a combination of both amp and speaker distortion. There’s a trick you can do to transfer most of that sound to a larger amp and cabinet setup that would work in parallel with your 100, which I agree is not quite beefy enough for larger gigs. I would add what is called a Power Amp Slave Output. Kustom had these on some of their later amps, but not the 100 series, as far as I know. It’s a cheap and easy thing to add, though, if you have some soldering and electronic experience. If not, then your local repair tech should be able to do this easily from these instructions. The 100 has one speaker output jack. There is plenty of room to drill another hole beside it, and add another standard ¼” jack (your new Slave Out jack), making sure not to leave any metal filings inside to short out anything. Connect one lead of a 100k ohm resistor to the hot tab of the Speaker jack and the other lead to the hot tab of your new installed Slave Out jack (the hot tab is the one that a blue wire is connected to, I believe). Now, on the slave out jack, connect a 1K ohm resistor to the hot tab, and the other end to the ground tab on that same jack. The resistors can be ¼ or ½ watt and 5 or 10 percent tolerance; this doesn’t make any difference. You should be able to find them at any Radio Shack store. This creates what is commonly called a voltage divider. The large output from the K100 speaker jack is stepped down through the resistors to a small level at the Slave Out jack that can be safely plugged into another amp and speaker set for additional volume. This signal will have the distorted characteristics of your overdriven 100 amp, and now so will the amp that you plug it into. YOU CANNOT RUN THE 100 WITHOUT ITS SPEAKER PLUGGED IN!!! Doing this will probably burn out your amp (especially with it cranked all the way up), so make sure it’s set up as always with the speaker plugged in when you use the slave out jack to drive another amp setup. Hope this helps, just my $.02 worth. Gary
Re: A little help here please [message #1061 is a reply to message #1052] Thu, 29 November 2001 21:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anonymous
Hi...and welcome! From your first post it is not clear to me if you are using a Kustom 100 or a Kustom 200. So here is my opinion. IF you have a 200 (100 watts RMS) it is important to know what speaker cabinet you are using. Years ago my first Kustom was sold to me with a bass head and a 2x15 Jensen cabinet.....great tone but it fuzzed too soon to be practical for me to use in a rock format. Later (after my Kustom was gone) I learned CTS was the speaker for bass or better yet Altecs and JBLs. One easy way to get more power for a 200 with a 2x15 cabinet is to simply add another.....it drops the load to 4 ohms...the tone gets fatter and there is more of everything. You can still get the distorted sound....you just have it louder. I use multiple heads sometimes and the splitter is probably the best way to go....but I have also tried the other connections mentioned. If you have a Kustom 100.....(50 watts RMS) you can move up to a 2x15 cabinet.....or ad a second matching cabinet and get the same thing....on a slightly smaller scale. Let us know exactly what you have and we will get more specific! Glad to have you around! BC!
Re: A little help here please [message #1066 is a reply to message #1060] Thu, 29 November 2001 22:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
KustomBlues
Messages: 490
Registered: June 2001
Location: Michigan
Senior Member
That post is the reason why Gary is "da man"! Good stuff from a good guy!!!
Re: A little help here please [message #1067 is a reply to message #1061] Thu, 29 November 2001 22:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
KustomBlues
Messages: 490
Registered: June 2001
Location: Michigan
Senior Member
Yeah, I was wondering too if he has a 100 or a 200 head cuz he said 100 watts... lots of people think that the 100 on the plexi face means 100 watts...probably cuz it sounds so loud! :-)
Re: A little help here please [message #1070 is a reply to message #1067] Fri, 30 November 2001 16:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
omie
Messages: 6
Registered: November 2001
Location: Atlanta
Junior Member
It does say 100watts, which I always thought was split into the 2-50 watt channels, which are labled bright and normal. My rig consists of a head/amp 100watt Kustom, and the black/naugahyde cabinet with I believe 2x10speakers on wheels.. oh yeah, and PURPLE LIGHT. And let me reiterate my original post, at gigs I always have had my amp miked. I've always played with a somewhat distorted sound, but in the 'old' days, i needed a litte cleaner sound, so i couldnt turn the volume all the way up, but that was ok, just get miked, and I could always here myself well enough. Well things have changed, I am now in a band whos purpose is to basically bludgeon people to death with sound.(I know everyone cant appreciate that, but cut me some slack im having fun), I'm talking about heart palpatations, irregular breathing, fainting and such. Well my little 100watt just isnt going to cut it. Sooo what I wanted to do was upgrade my amp without comprimising the fuzz tone that I am currently getting with no effects. I see that obviously there is some error to that logic, and that I will basically have to upgrade my amp and add the appropriate effects. But my bottom line is I must be able to increase my volume. I would like to have more options with my bass, so I really am ready to start investigating fuzz, and overdrive pedals. I wish that I knew more about my amp, but like I said, its all I've ever owned 50%of people i run into think its cool, 50% think i'm an idiot for daring to plug into such an outdated piece of LOVE. Well, im hooked, and I aint ever comin back. BTW Tonite, I am thinking on purchasing a Rickenbacker 4003L Bass. It has Stereo inputs.. hmmm.. does that have any value playing live(two amps?!?!), or is that something mainly for recording puposes. I think its really cool that all of you people are so cool about this and arent blasting me for my lack of technical knowledge.
Re: A little help here please [message #1071 is a reply to message #1070] Fri, 30 November 2001 21:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
KustomBlues
Messages: 490
Registered: June 2001
Location: Michigan
Senior Member
Omie, you could run a DI box and run the dang thing into the pa!!!! And so could all your band mates. That way YOU don't go deaf! I am still foggy on the model of your head. On the front panel, by the purple light, does it say 100 or 200? That number there does NOT mean that's the RMS watts. The cab you describe is a 2-12" cab, and based on that, I'm gonna assume you have a 100 head. A 100 head operating in prime condition with the correct speaker load is somewhere around 65 watts RMS I believe. A 200 model or a 250 will be louder, with the 250 being the loudest. And then if you are lucky enough to buy a 500 set (see the literature on this site) you'll essentially have 2 of the 250 heads power sections thumping your butt, one of which lives in the bottom of the power module loaded cab I will honestly say that if you step up to a higher powered Kustom and the fuzz is not there or what you have expected, buy a Boss FZ2 Hyper Fuzz pedal. I love mine! It puts out a fat full fuzz that makes me :-) plus it has 2 different sound settings and you can actually use it as a boost pedal too. They have been discontinued but are still found on ebay frequently. If after getting that you feel that you need a different fuzz, try some of the other stuff I suggested earlier. As far as The Rickenbacker--BUY IT!!!! The stereo capabilities of that bass is awesome!!!! But to really use it, you will need a ric-o-sound kit (I can make you one for a lot cheaper than Ric wants) and then you will need 2 Kustom heads and 2 Kustom (or other) cabs. One set handles the bass thumping and the other handles the treble stuff. And, I must say that there is another use for the Ric-o-sound kit. You can use it to spread the spectrum a little wider off a 2 channel amp, like the Kustoms. You set the normal side up as the bass side, and the bright as the treble side. Moving the 3 way pickup selector switch does some cool things. Then you fine tune your sound. That way you need only one head and cab, but it doesn't sound as cool as the true stereo setup. Have fun and let me know if you need anymore suggestions. I'll be here thumping on my 250-1 head......:-) Deb
Re: A little help here please [message #1076 is a reply to message #1052] Sun, 02 December 2001 11:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anonymous
A lot of good advice out there on your quest for more volume. From everything I've read, you do have the K100-1 head and a 2x12 bottom. The 100 head is designed to be used with a 8 ohm load. It will produce about 60 watts rms. Now to add my two cents worth. Garys idea of adding a slave out jack is the best way to go. I have posted the same idea on the amp repair section of this site. The kustom service manager turned me on to that idea several years ago, and I add the slave or line out jack on all the amps I use on stage, and just send the signal to the PA system. If you go with addition of adding the second power amp to drive a second cabinet, you will have a easy time in controlling the whole system by using the slave out jack idea. One thought is that when adding the second amp/speaker cabinet is that you may find that your sound too loud and by turning the guitar or amp volume back down, you lose the tone you like. I would add the slave out jack, and I would replace the power cord with a grounded three pin ac cord as long as the amp is opened up. My advice is to put in the jack and direct it to the mixing console and let the pa do the work. Removing the mic for the amp will also help clean up the overall sound of the pa. Mic's even though well placed still will pic up any noise around them. With all things considered, you have to find a power amp that is about the same wattage as the k100 and cabinet that is loaded the same as the one you are playing now. Cost is another thing to think about. You may to consider investing the money in beefing up the main PA system. One last thought, to get a amp to be twice as loud, you need ten times the power of the amp your using. A 100 watt rms amp would need to be a 1000 watt amp to be twice as loud. An example would be a 100 watt amp and then adding a second 100 watt amp will only produce 3db increase of sound. Don
Re: A little help here please [message #1110 is a reply to message #1070] Sat, 08 December 2001 21:56 Go to previous message
Anonymous
I have a used a slave very reliably. All I did was to send the speaker output directly into the High impedance input of an old Sunn SA21 power amp. I ran that bridged into a 4 OHM Kustom bottom. The bottom has 2-8 OHM speakers wired in parallel to yield 4 OHMS. The amp puts out 400 Watts into 4 ohms. That setup would rattle your teeth. I don't think you would do any damage to your 200 as long as you are not clipping the output by running the Kustom to it's limit. HOWEVER, I would suspect that you are getting your fuzz sound from a combinaton of amp clipping and speaker distortion. Once you change any of the components of your system, your sound may change. Even disconnecting the speaker from your amp will change the output signal shape as you are no longer loading the ap the way it was before. You may need to run the amp into a dummy load resistor to maintain the same output waveshape, but even a resistor is not the same as a speaker load as a speaker is inductive and a resistor is not. Good luck Conrad
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