I've been on a quest to get a more aggressive sound while still maintaining clarity. Granted, this is something I notice more the newer the music is. I'm assuming it has to do with some new technology, whether it be compressors or a digital recording media.
Anyways, I recently received an EBMM Stingray 5 as my graduation present. Last Christmas I also got a Gallien Krueger 400 RB-II and a GK MB400 410 cab.
The head is about to be sent into the shop because it's having problems with the input jack, so I haven't been able to try it out with the Stingray.
I have noticed the Stingray has an awesome tone with my Acoustic combo, so I can only imagine it will with the GK as well. However, I don't know if the tone I want to get can come from a clean solid state amp without a little assistance.
I am looking for a very aggressive modern tone with lots of bite and growl without ever getting too much fuzz. The Stingray can be coaxed into being one of the most aggressive basses I can think of (on par with Warwick/Spector and beaten only by maybe a Wal) and I hear GK reputed as doing the same in the solid state amp world.
Examples of what I'm talking about
: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGqPiqIRbYw http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fia3HCuZgYI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roZbgp3W51A http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-59flKkZfTk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txBfhpm1jI0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQMPX5GTb_I
Obviously, that's a fairly broad group of tones that are all fairly related. I'm not overly picky and not attached to one specific sound that I have to have. However, the closer I can get to any one of those and the more I can replicate (especially going from something on opposite ends like the avenged Sevenfold to Katatonia) the better. There are lots of other bands that I like that I wouldn't mind sounding like, but in the end I'll still have my own tone.
I tend to like up to a dirty high gain, and I sometimes use very high fuzz (for Cliff Burton and Flea type stuff) but I tend to avoid straight distortion. 9 times out of 10, it muddies the bass line up unless used very sparingly, in which case I'd rather just get it from a high gain.
Anyways, I've been considering Sansamp. The programmable DI would be awesome, but I've also been considering the RBI, as a rackmount seems convenient.
I also saw somebody on my local craigslist selling an Ampeg SVP, and after doing some research (I'd never heard of it) it sounded like something that would be pretty cool. They were selling it for $300.
Also, I don't have a ton of money to spend. I'm going to start teaching bass lessons soon since I'm freshly out of school, and I'll be saving some of that money for gear. Money is definitely a factor, though I won't buy cheap if it sounds cheap.
Also, I have the Line 6 Toneport and POD Farm, and while it's a really cool device, I could get many of my sounds to "pretty close" but none of them to "awesome". If that makes any sense. It just doesn't sound quite like I'd want it to, so I'm thinking a POD isn't the answer.
If you can add clips, that would be awesome!