Fender Bass VI question
I just bought myself a Fender Pawn Shop Bass VI. There are a coupla things wrong with it (the bridge pickup is utterly worthless, and I need to install a string tree for the middle two strings to stop them rattling in the nut), but overall I'm really pleased. The fit and finish are really exceptional for the price point, and it's super fun to play. I play exclusively fingerstyle on my "real" basses, but this thing is a total hoot with a pick.
Soundwise, I am not getting quite what I'm after running into my MarkBass rig. I think ideally what I would use for amplifying this thing would be a vintage Fender Bassman... that would sound wicked cool! But I'm not rich, and I'm not going to schlepp a separate amp to gigs.
So, do any of you have experience with these beasts? And if so, how would you go about making it sound less like a bass and more like a Jazzmaster (or a Tele!) tuned an octave down? I'm considering trying a Tech21 Blonde to see if that will get me in the zone, and adding a spring reverb pedal to my board.
Play it through a guitar amp. Then it sounds exactly like you're wanting.
The tech21 blonde + reverb should get you close.
I'm sure a big Fender guitar amp would be ideal. My current guitar amp is a 15w 1x12 Egnater tube combo that would likely explode if I cranked bass frequencies through it, so that's a non-starter. I'm not about to invest in an appropriate guitar amp to make this happen.
So perhaps you're right, the Tech21 might be the way to go. Would really love to hear from someone who's tried this, though.
I've played both my Dano and Gretsch equivalents of Bass VI's through small tube guitar amps and bigger bass amps. With and without effects in front.
Seriously, if you want it to sound like a low guitar play it through your guitar amp. It'll won't hurt anything. Bass VI's are designed to be played through guitar amps.
Otherwise, use an amp emulator, as you suggested, into your bass amp and dial the lows way back.
The bridge pickup is useful when playing it as a baritone guitar.
I replaced the E and A from a regular D'Addario short scale set, big improvement over the factory D'Addario set's E and A (other strings are fine) if you're using it for bass duties.
I'm still getting used to what I can do with the top two strings. I play it fingerstyle mostly, it's not as difficult adjustment as I first thought it would be.
I've heard good things about the Squier too bad I had already bought the PS model, eh.
But tastes vary so none of us is wrong!
I tried a Squier in a store, and it sounded okay, but the build quality was disappointing, and I didn't really trust the electronics (switches and knobs felt flimsy). The block inlays on the neck were really sweet though.
brianrost, what strings did you change to? There aren't many Bass VI sets out there. I'm sure the La Bellas are terrific, but the E string is enough thicker that the nut would likely have to be modified. They're also $45 as opposed to $13 for the D'Addarios!
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