How much emphasis do you put on gear?
Here at talk bass we have alot of gear heads! I myself try to be also. And I find I often spend way to much time trying to figure out what to use. Reading reviews and asking opinions always worried about my gear and my tone.
So as professional bassist and teachers to future professional bassist how much do you emphasis gear? What do you tell your student's?
Also if you like to list your rig I am sure no one here would mind especially you upright guys!!
p.s. thank you all for your time and willingness to share your collective knowledge! As a 27 year old father of 3 who thumps out root fifth all night playing folk roots songs this is a opportunity I would never of had otherwise!
Not much really. I have been playing the same 1969 Jazz Bass for almost 30 years. I have others, but I just use them for practicing or very special recording sounds. As far as amps go. I still use the Gallien Kruger 200RB that I bought as a freshman at Berklee in 1982. It's the best sounding head I've ever played and it's never broken. I have an old 400RB as a backup. As far as cabinets go, I use an SWR 1x15 Son of Bertha and a Goliath jr. 2x10. I bought those used many years ago. They sound great for me and take a beating. The only effect I use is a Symetrix CL150 compressor. I bought that around 1984 and it's still going strong. Love that compressor.
For me it has to start with a good bass that is set up well!! I need a bass to feel good to me. I do my own setups so I can keep it exactly where I want. From there I use the amp and effects to color my sound. But the bass is where it starts from me. My gear list....
5 String Fender Marcus Miller J Bass w/ Aguilar 5J-60 pickups
FBB Custom 5 String
3/4 Shen Willow Carved Upright Bass
70s Ampeg V4B
SWR Mo' Bass Head
SWR 4x10 Golliath III
SWR 1x15 Son of Bertha
Gallien Krugger 2001RB
Gallien-Krugger MBS-III 1x12
Fulltone Bass Overdrive
Fuzzrocious Rat King (distortion)
Fuzzrocious Dark Driving (low gain overdrive)
Earthquakers Devices Hoof (fuzz)
ZVEX Wooly Mammoth (fuzz)
Skreddy Supatone (fuzz)
Boss TU-2 (tuner)
Ernie Ball Volume Pedal Jr.
Electro Harmonix Freeze
PedalTrain II with Voodoo Power Plus 2
DR Hi Beams
DR Legends (for flats)
I don't use everything all at once haha. But this is what I have in my armory depending on the gig. But what is usually always with me is my 5 string MM J Bass.
I have 4 active 5 string basses all tricked out with pre-amps.
They are nice axes.
Sunday I went to a Blues Jam, the house bassist had a 4 string passive Jazz
bass that sounded just killer.
Just a quick comparison.
Not a whole lot, I like to have a lot of headroom. I kind of just accept the tone of whatever amp I'm playing through at any given time. I stopped using anything extra because it always breaks on me at a gig of course.! More importantly I have learned to dial in an amp to just about any room.
I prefer gear that makes me feel comfortable (in every way), but I feel pretty sure that I, like Dave, can dial in just about anything. That comes with years of experience, and no matter how many supportive endorsements... we often find ourselves on stage with backline gear that we simply MUST make sound good.
I really think that the VAST majority of companies make good gear. It just comes down to preference. For many of us who are fortunate to have close relationships with companies (endorsements) it comes down to how much we like the people, and how much do they support the artist. (gear availability, tour support, etc..
I will say this as well... there are some GREAT companies out there who have been supporting education and subsidizing Artist Appearances.. Warwick, Ampeg, Aguilar, Kala, Daddario, DR, Planet Waves, are some that have made a big difference here at Berklee.
And the Students and Faculty really appreciate it.
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