|TimWatson ||11-17-2012 12:12 PM |
EDIT: Coil splitting on Stingray 5, not coil tapping...sorry. Thanks for the correction.
So had another gig with a Latin/jazz band I play with, mostly Tumbao grooves with a few samba, bolero, etc. usually I play U-Bass, which nails the whole baby bass thing. I sold my 5-string fretless U-bass to fund a custom 5-string U-bass, so now I have just the 4-string acoustic one. This music just begs for the extra low range of the 5er. A few months I played a gig in this particular room and it is not very U-Bass friendly. This is also a high volume band, so the Stingray 5 came to the gig.
This Ray I got new in 2000 and it has been my workhorse Electric since then. I generally set it on parallel for a modern, neutral tone. The highs slice and dice and I prefer it in most situations where many others would play a jazz bass.
The series setting I kick it to when I want a belligerent, snarly, aggressive, balls out tone, when I dig in and take no prisoners.
I never had a use for the single coil setting. It has always sounded like a tired, weak version of the series setting. All the grit on the attack, but not as loud, and not as aggressive. Less meat to the sound.
Last night I noticed that when my EQ made the bass sound perfect, the lowest few notes on the B string were too boomy and not clear in the mix. During a song I put it on single coil and *angels singing* Clear notes! I did not notice much drop in volume, and while the tone did not seem to change much, the bass all of a sudden got clearer in the mix! And my low notes tightened up. I ended up boosting bass on the instrument just a hair past the center detent, and leaving the highs backed off, where they already were. I kicked it to parallel on solos (jazz-like, playing over choruses, not just a bass breakdown, etc.) and left it on single coil for accompanying parts the rest of the night.
Folks, I have some possible explanations, and I'd like to her feedback and if anyone has any specific experiences like this too. After 21 years and ~30 basses, I play acoustic piezo basses, stingrays, and P-Bass. I have a cheapo 2-humbucker bass and a parts jazz FOR WHEN THAT SPECIFIC SOUND IS CALLED FOR. Otherwise, I have found that while 2 pickups sound fantastic practicing at home, they just do not work in a mix for me. I always like the single pup basses better. It seems to be even more true after my experience last night. In a live setting the normally weaker single coil setting outperformed the others in a loud band mix, especially on the B string. I'm guessing that multiple coils on the same vibrating string cause phase cancellation on certain frequencies and multiply on others, creating kind of a comb filter. For the same reasons it makes it sound better, it takes away stuff I need in a live mix. I just figured in close proximity of the same pickup it would be less, but I was surprised. Kind of makes me re-think some things...