help me get this tone please

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by shwashwa, Jan 4, 2013.


  1. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    2,168


    im not necessarily a fan of this bass player, but i do like the tone he's getting here. clear with a great punch at the beginning of the note. i like that fingerstyle pop sound. im posting this question because people use so many words to describe tone and i just dont know what they mean. i couldnt tell you if the above linked tone is vintage or modern or tubey or solid state, i just like the tone. so what i have to work with: most of my basses are jazz type basses or similar. some passive, some active. some have emg's , some have dimarzio model J, and some have single coil. my main amp is a walter woods. other choices are an acoustic image and an swr baby blue. i have several preamp pedals. i have a sans amp para driver, a VT bass and a radial PZ PRE. speakers seem to play a role in this tone i think. i have a 1x12 and a 2x10 to work with (i think the 2x10 might be voiced with a bit of a mid scoop where as the 1x12 is flat). thanks for the help

    edit, i should add that i have just been messing around alittle , and i dont seem to be able to get that clarity and pop. im getting more of a very low end heavy tone. so, im guessing it may be an eq thing too? (i also notice that it looks like his bridge pickup is very close to the strings. i only have that on one of my basses)
     
  2. MoeGJBeener

    MoeGJBeener Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Messages:
    1,501
    Location:
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    That sounds like a straight up jazz bass with stainless strings on it to me. Can't tell what that little head is behind him, but looks like he's playing out of that little Roland Micro Cube. Which is a solid state amp with 4-4" speakers at 4 watts.
     
  3. levis76

    levis76

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,016
    Location:
    48313
    Get fingers like his.

    90% of tone is in the hands, the other 10% is gear.
     
  4. joelb79

    joelb79 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,338
    Location:
    Lansing, Michigan
    This. Pay attention to how he frets, and how he mutes, the attack angle. focus on how hard he plays. That is the key to that tone.

    Also this: that sounds like Jazz bass bridge pickup all the way up with the tone rolled off and a little neck rolled in to thicken it up some. I wouldn't say it has to be steel string.. those could be nickle wound.

    I dont hear a lot of EQ. I hear a player, with a Jazz bass bridge pickup mostly.

    If you pickups are truely that low; you will benefit GREATLY from fixing that issue with your bass. Fender recommends that the pickups be 2mm from the strings on the G side when pressing the string at the last fret, and about 2.7mm from the E string on the other side of the pickup (both neck and bridge).
     
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. BawanaRik

    BawanaRik Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,617
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Get ready for a run on Roland bass cubes. I couldn't get a tone like that if I had to. It isn't in me.
     
  7. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Messages:
    8,576
    Location:
    The Great Midwest

    +1 Hey Joel how is everything with you and the Family still got you in my thoughts and prayers.
     
  8. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Messages:
    8,576
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    That sound is definitely inside of you I know you can get it out.
     
  9. JoeWPgh

    JoeWPgh

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    Messages:
    1,408
    It sounds like a standard Jazz bass to me. Much of his sound has to do with, as others mentioned, his attack. But also notice the different sounds he gets as plucks from different places relative to the bridge.
     
  10. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    2,168
    ok, so you're saying that this is probably a passive bass with the tone rolled off? i think i can get closest to that sound with my passive basses also, good to know. also, my pickups are truely that low. i think ill need to address that. on at least one of my basses i think the pickup is as high as it can go, and is still far from the string. can i put a hunk of rubber or something under the pickup to give it a boost?

    on further inspection, i notice 4 knobs on that bass. maybe not passive? anyway, do you think there is no mid boost going on?
     
  11. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    2,168
    just noticed that he has this in his preamp, although not sure if its on in the recording:

    De Gier/Vanderkley Fatboost

    The fatboost is an active but subtle bass boost. It is designed to keep the sound as close as possible to the original passive sound. The boost is activated by a switch and gives you a maximum of 6dB boost of low frequencies. It is ultra low noise. The result is as if your passive sound grew up intstantly. In the off position it is true bypass for a 100% passive sound.

    anyway, im not good at describing sonic characteristics, but if i were forced to, i would say that the bass is not overly heavy on the lows and maybe pronounced in the low mids? would anyone agree? im not speculating on the cause of that sound, preamp, fingers, etc, but is that the net result of whatever factors caused it?
    im thinking that maybe on my basses the lows are covering up that part of the mid tonal spectrum, perhaps because the pickup is kind of far from the string? could this happen? (im mostly an upright player, so i dont know the technical aspects of electric bass pickups and preamps and set up very well)
     
  12. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    2,168
    after researching more here on TB i think that my issue may indeed be pickup height. i will mess with it tomorrow, thanks joel, i had no idea about that factor. one question though, as i mentioned, i think on at least one of my basses the pickups are maxxed out and still far away, what can i do for that?
     
  13. Kmonk

    Kmonk

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    3,355
    Location:
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    I hear people say this all the time but disagree. I feel that if you take 2 people with equal talent it will be more like 90% gear and 10% the player. Even players with marginal ability can get good tone. They might not have proper technique but they can still get a decent tone. I have heard great players who had terrible tone. It's all subjective. What I think is good tone may be different than what someone else likes.
     
  14. two fingers

    two fingers Loud Mouth Know It All Blowhard

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Messages:
    6,212
    Sounds like a bad man on a J to me.
     
  15. BawanaRik

    BawanaRik Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,617
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Believe me that sound isn't me. I usually use a neck through bass. And while i like to hear other get a sound out a bolt my Jazz Bass sits in the closet.

    I don't know why but the neck through give me an evener note. It has more , what I call cool.

    And no it can't pop it, or get a cool sound like this but it's me.

    Does anyone know why the bolt neck has a different sound and feel than a neck through? Why does it have more punch? I doubt if Flea would be Flea with a TBird.
     
  16. NelsFaptha

    NelsFaptha

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Messages:
    8
    turn all treble down and only have the deep bass sound on.....thats my best guess.....cuz thats a very deep sound
     
  17. JoeWPgh

    JoeWPgh

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    Messages:
    1,408
    Sorry, but while you have a point, you seem to be missing it. The question was about how to arrive at a specific tone. 2 people with equal skill will indeed produce a good tone, but it's highly unlikely they will produce the same tone. I noticed this guy used multiple attack positions, relative to the bridge. He also seemed to use different attacks from his fingers. He seems to strike the string with less meat from his fingertips as he gets closer to the bridge. That's where he get that's Jaco-y tone.

    Your fingers are indeed your best tone control.
     
  18. BawanaRik

    BawanaRik Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,617
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I watched the local guitar guru, Joe Boloitti play Machine Gun on a Kids acoustic guitar. No, it wasn't the same tone as a Strat going through a stack but it was good tone.

    Ginger Baker got his first paying gig on a child's drum kit. Said his was in the shop. I can't help but thinking he had some tone to get the gig.

    I do not know percentage is what for tone but seeing Danny Kalb play an acoustic set I knew it was him. Jack Bruce has gone from Marshall stacks and short scale Gibson Mudbucker equipped gear to solid state amps and Warwick basses. Fretless. and it still sound like him. Maybe not totally the same but his finger print was there.

    And as far as marginal players getting good tone yeah that be. But walking around the old NYC Guitar Show when it was there I heard people getting tone that I would love to get.

     
  19. two fingers

    two fingers Loud Mouth Know It All Blowhard

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Messages:
    6,212
    Nah. I sound just like me no matter what gear I am playing through. My friends would recognize my sound if I were behind a curtain playing gear I had never seen before.
     
  20. 64jazzbass

    64jazzbass

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2002
    Messages:
    317
    Location:
    Chicago, Il
    Richard Bona is one of the most expressive and original bassists out there today. I have seen him numerous times in different bands playing everything from a Fender Jazz to a 5 string Fodera and his tone is pretty much the same. It's mostly coming from his fingers. Incredible player. To the O.P. be careful not to bring your pickups to close to the strings with single coils. This can result in an out of phase sound in the upper registers which is annoying. I don't think pickup height has much to do with his sound IMO
     
  21. joelb79

    joelb79 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,338
    Location:
    Lansing, Michigan
    Were staying strong and looking forward, although things are tight and I could still use a day job.
     

Share This Page