Fernando Saunders setup? Looking for that "New Sensations" sound

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Worldeeeter, Apr 5, 2014.


  1. Worldeeeter

    Worldeeeter Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    I'm sure there are some Fernando Saunders fans on here. I'm looking to get a 5-string (lined) fretless, and I'm very interested in the tone Fernando had on the New Sensations (Lou Reed) album.
    If you know what gear he was using on that album, I really appreciate any info you can provide. Specifically, I'm interested in the pickups / electronics in the bass he used.


    Thanks!
  2. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Don't just TalkBass - PlayBass! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    I don't know about the LR album but here is some FS for you:

  3. Jjango

    Jjango

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Fernando Saunders is a great (and under-appreciated) player!

    When he played with Lou, he used a natural P-Bass with a fretless maple fingerboard. His P-Bass also has TWO additional pickups: a Jazz pickup by the bridge, and, if you look closely, another Jazz pickup, this one between the P-pup and the fingerboard.

    [​IMG]

    The bridge appears to be non-standard, but it's hard to figure out exactly what kind it is.

    The video "A Night With Lou Reed" was filmed within a year of New Sensations, features Saunders, and the whole concert (playlist) is on YouTube here.

    You can get a fairly good look at Saunders' P-Bass on the song Women: https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL8A0416040D65FAB9&feature=player_detailpage&v=OZ5xKQdqZ0Y#t=75
  4. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    That's the same bass he used with John McLaughlin's One Truth Band back around 1979...but in between I know he did a lot of work with Lou Reed on a Modulus fretless 5-string.
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  6. boombloom

    boombloom Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Wadhams! NY (Adirondacks)
    That drop D bass line on New Sensations is fantastic.
  7. bluesblaster

    bluesblaster

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    great record, one of my favorite Lou Reed albums
  8. StereoPlayer

    StereoPlayer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Location:
    Saginaw, MI
    He's a great guy on FB too! Have chatted with him a couple of times.

    I think he's best with Jan Hammer!
  9. Worldeeeter

    Worldeeeter Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    I messaged him, but never heard back.
    Hopefully I'm on his waiting list!

    Here's a live vid from 1985; he's playing something loaded with EMGs (P/J).
    Any idea on the bass?

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9Q74V9OCgxY
  10. StereoPlayer

    StereoPlayer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Location:
    Saginaw, MI
    For some reason, he's got two pages. One is monitored by his manager and won't accept messages.

    He's from Detroit, maybe he saw I was from mi too!

    I saw him with Jan hammer, oh yea album concert in MI
    He said he was just a kid for that tour.
    I would link him, but....I left FB world....
  11. Joel Graham

    Joel Graham I Brake for Basses! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004

    That's an early post pickguard, pre-Pilot logo Guild Pilot bass factory fretless. It has a model number but I can't keep up with that... It sounds fine in this setting! Bruce Springsteen's Gary Tallent used one around that time too!
  12. StereoPlayer

    StereoPlayer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Location:
    Saginaw, MI
    No idea on that bass. When I saw him, he was playing a Fender P with and added humbucker. He also played a 4001 RIC with piccolo strings on the song Oh Yeah!

    He's the reason I switched from frets and played fretless since the '70's.
    He's got and unique sound regardless which bass or amp he used.

    I still used some of his licks from the Hammer and John M. Albums.
  13. Worldeeeter

    Worldeeeter Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC

    Great info! Any idea on the preamp in that model? I think it sounds really good, even live.
    The fretless 5 that I end up with will have a composite/graphite neck; I want to get Fernando's warm, smooth fretless sound, and hope to achieve something close via the pickups and electronics.
  14. Joel Graham

    Joel Graham I Brake for Basses! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
  15. insain

    insain

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2008
    Location:
    Nashvegas
    I'm a big Lou fan. Can't believe he's gone. FS work with Lou is awesome. It's made me get my fretless out and give it another go
  16. i am in touch with Fernando - he has been living in Europe and his son has had some real success in his music career over there - I told him about this posting and sent him the link and he said he would give me a ring when things settle down a bit...

    Patience is a virtue....
  17. Worldeeeter

    Worldeeeter Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Very cool!!! Thanks so much!

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