Originally Posted by dtripoli
You are right and I did finally track down the band and the bass player's email.
I just shot him over a post complimenting him on his playing and requested details on his rig/set up.
For all we know the guy may be a TB member
I'll post back when I get the data
I'm not sure that David got around to posting the 'data' he mentioned, but being as how I'm the bass player he so generously mentioned, I'll fill in best I can.
First off, I freely admit to being a ROCK bass player, straight ahead. However my earliest influences were Jack Bruce, Stanley Clark, and perhaps more obscurely, Jim Feidler of Blood Sweat & Tears and Peter Cetera of Chicago. When I was a young buck I only wanted to hear complements on my 'chops'. But once I got over that I wanted my bass playing SOUND to be impressive, and over the last ten years or so, I have been complimented on that so consistently, that apparently I'm doing something right. Read on:
David The bass I was using (and still have) is an interesting one: a 1986 Fender Jazz Bass Special. Basically it is an ALL black P-Bass with Jazz Bass pick-up configuration. That's why, in my opinion, in plays so well and sounds so good....up until I started playing a Music Man 5-sting three years ago, it was always my main axe.
At the gig you saw, I was playing thru my Hartke 350 "combo" amp. 4 10" speakers and a nice 10-band EQ.
I NEVER use foot pedals or effects when playing live. Back in the day (i.e. late 80's) I used to go thru an Ibanez floor box with either flange or chorus, but they screwed up my tone settings, especially that nice low end, so I gave it up.
My Hartke amp has a 'compressor' feature which is fairly good and I always use to varying degrees. Being a 'fingers only' player (with an occasional thumb slap'), the consistency of finger-pressure on all strings is a big issue with me.
(note: originally, I thought David was referring to another gig in the same town - Sierra Madre CA - where the band was indeed running thru the PA. Not so at the 'carnival' gig. It was just my fingers, my bass and the Hartke. And yes, the tone of some of the other musician's gear was less than awesome)
Other than the above 'facts', let me add a few observations regarding 'tone': when I played HARD rock I had an SVT and a Music Man Sabre and that was IT. Plug in next to the little red light, turn it up and blow. I assume that's still true today.
When I started playing smaller amps like my Hartke 350, I kept the same settings, but as a guitarist once pointed out to me - after a large outside gig - I was totally missing my low end! I am now glad I did not get the Hartke with double 12's or a single 15. If the cabinet is good, and the electronics well designed, there's no reason that 4 10"ers can't handle the "heavy lifting". Two things to remember: Ampeg SVT cabs are 8 x 10's; and, if I had been playing with a ROCK band, I wouldn't be using a "combo" amp.
A few more details: I don't fiddle around with settings a lot, but after years of playing I've obviously developed a natural sense for what ought to work. IMO, being comfortable with your axe and your amp, and the WAY you hit the strings is basic. I use D'Addario strings, regular, long scale. I've tried others, but always go back. I've also learned that boosting my low is critical while remembering to not cut out the highs. A touring professional guitarist friend of mine sat in with the band at a club one night, and made a special point of telling me my bass sound was "clear and punchy". Now THAT is a compliment.
I now play a Music Man 5-string (which makes my Jazz Bass Special feel like a freakin' Strat). It's a great guitar, but heavy as a mother and hard to EQ, IMO. Also, good luck finding a Jazz Bass Special. Apparently they only made that model for a couple of years, and the closest you can get now is a Squire P-Bass Special. I know - weird. (I've attached a photo of both basses mentioned. Hope they come thru)
Good luck to all, and wish you many gigs. Any questions or commentary, please feel free.