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Duff McKagan Tone.

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by devinp17, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. devinp17

    devinp17 Guest

    Hey everyone. I wanna get your opinion on something I've been thinking about. :)

    If someone wanted to get their Duff on, what P/J pickups would they go for? I know Duff has always used Seymour Duncans so that's what I would go for (not sure which models though). What do you guys think?
  2. J. Montgomery

    J. Montgomery

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    Having played lots of G N' R back in my youth, I'd say to get the Duff McKagan "tone" is as straight forward as putting on some new roundwound strings (GHS Boomers) and playing with a pick.

    Granted, I play a Fender Precision Lyte (a P/J hybrid bass from the late 80s/early 90s) and use a Gallien-Krueger amp, both of which likely factor into things.
  3. VanillaThundah

    VanillaThundah

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    The PJ, fresh rounds, pick, and a GK amp will definitely get you the Duff vibe for sure.
  4. JellinWellen

    JellinWellen

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  5. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    Duff didn't play Power Jazz Specials, they were Jazz Bass Specials. The originals didn't have Seymour Duncans in them, they were just the stock JBS pickups.

    He also plays with a pick and used Rotosound SS rounds into a GK rig.
  6. mmbongo

    mmbongo Supporting Member

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    And lots of chorus! He even has a signature Toneprint for the TC Corona.
  7. devinp17

    devinp17 Guest

    Read this article:

    http://www.seymourduncan.com/blog/backstage-pass/talking-bass-with-duff-mckagan/

    He says that his original had Seymour Duncans. And also, his Fender Signature Bass has a Seymour Duncan Jazz Pickup.
  8. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    Interesting. That's the first time I've heard/read/seen him say anything other than he used a stock JBS back in the Gn'R days.

    I'm well aware his signature bass has them, it was a somewhat hot topic of controversy when it was released.

    Since he endorses SD now, and that's a very recent article, I'm not convinced it's actually the truth. In that article he also states that it was a Precision Bass Special, which it isn't.
  9. devinp17

    devinp17 Guest

    That was probably just a mistake he made, instead of saying Jazz Bass Special. But even if his bass didn't have Seymour Duncans back in the day; the Seymours he uses now do a great job in recreating his GN'R sound.
  10. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    Maybe. I know I forget things that I've been doing every day for almost 30 years. ;)
  11. Jim C

    Jim C Supporting Member

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    I think it is more about the amp than the pups
  12. Gasman

    Gasman Supporting Member

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    He has endorsed SD since the Use Your Illusion days
  13. lz4005

    lz4005

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    Yeah. In this case strings, EQ, setup and playing technique are all probably more important than switching pickups. As long as they're a PJ set to begin with.

    edit: Also lots of chorus, as someone else said, and mastering that one fill he played in half their songs. (which I totally try to throw into non-GnR songs all the time as a joke that nobody but me and one other person in the bar will get)
  14. KOLAD

    KOLAD

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    A bass with a P/J pickup setup, fresh bright Rotosound Swing bass 66 45-105's, .73mm yellow Dunlop picks, into a Gallien Krueger 800rb, tuned down half step - and you will be almost there...then you just need Matt Sorum or Steven Adler. :smug:
  15. joeyl

    joeyl Supporting Member

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    I think a lot of his tone came from his GK rig. It always sounded to me (at least :bag:) that his bass tone was similar to Flea's despite very different playing technique and technical expertise. I suspect because they were both using the same GK rig at the time.
  16. KOLAD

    KOLAD

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    I agree, they do have a similar overall bright type sound.
    GK's have more of a truer direct type of clean sound.
    They still have "character" and coloring, but that character is alot less noticeable than say an all tube head like an SVT, Marshall, Hi-Watt etc.
  17. KOLAD

    KOLAD

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    I forgot to mention the Yamaha SPX-90 Chorus.

    That's been a staple to Duff's sound forever.
    It's an old rack Chorus unit. Slash used one too. (listen to Knockin On Heaven's Door for an example of it on guitar)
    They were a pretty standard unit in the 80's.
    I've played almost every analog Chorus imaginable in my years and the SPX-90 is it's own beast, I'll just say that.
    Nothing sounds "exactly" like it.
  18. JTE

    JTE

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    Well, all the JBSs I've played (I was a Fender dealer '77-'88) had that ugly annoying midrange nasal honk he seems to like...
  19. Jim C

    Jim C Supporting Member

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    "midrange nasal honk"
    Great tonal description
    OTOH it does cut through the din of the guitars, drums, and shrieking vocals

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