How to get a fatter tone from my G string?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Dirk Rockbottom, Mar 24, 2014.


  1. Dirk Rockbottom

    Dirk Rockbottom

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    New strings always sound sound a little too brassy, but even after time, I struggle with getting a beefier or "fatter" tone out of my G string.

    Are there any effects pedals that would fatten up the highs a little without making the lower strings too muddy?

    Thanks,
    Dirk
  2. gregmon79

    gregmon79 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Media:
    49
    Albums:
    2
    Location:
    Chicagoland area
    Fuzzrocious BDPG
    EHX POG

    Or just play the hell out of a new set of strings for a couple days straight.
  3. davidjackson

    davidjackson

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    A compressor might level things out a bit but, to be honest, I never found a G string I was happy with until I switched to heavy flatwounds - initially Rotosounds but now La Bella's.
  4. Duckwater

    Duckwater

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    USA, Washington
    Try a pure nickel G string, and if that isn't fat enough try a GHS Precision flat G string.
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. JimmyThunder

    JimmyThunder Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    that's not about effects, that's about proper setup of the instrument.
  7. MCS4

    MCS4 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I would recommend trying one of the compressors that is known for thickening/fattening your tone (tons of threads on this). One of the main reasons why I rarely use a compressor is because I don't like the fact that they tend to fatten up my D and G strings, whereas I like them to keep a bit "stringier" tone on those -- but that sounds like it's what you are looking for.
  8. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2006
    Location:
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Flats can help if you like that sound. But some basses just have a thin sounding G, especially on the lower frets. A jazz with both pickups all the way up will tend to sound that way, as you need the mids to thicken up the sound. I've found that a decent P bass has the thickest and most consistent sounding G for me.
  9. interp

    interp Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Location:
    Garmisch, Germany
    Effects pedals are the last thing you should look at to resolve a tone-related issue.

    First learn to produce a good basic tone with the chain: fingers>strings>pickups>amp>speaker>ear. Tweak those factors until you get a tone that you can build on. Then use pedals (if you must) to enhance or shape the tone you're looking for.

    Very few people have the patience to do this.

    In your specific case I would recommend first looking at string type/gauge/tension, pickup type/output/height, pickup combinations, right hand technique, EQ setting on the bass, EQ setting on the amp, and cabinet/speaker design and performance features.

    If none of that gives you what you want, THEN start looking at pedals.

    Just my $.02 worth.
  10. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    I was having a similar issue. I typically use medium gauge strings, where the G is .045 gauge. The last set of strings I ordered, I got medium gauge but asked for a .050 for the G. It made a heck of a difference. No more "twangy" sounding G.
  11. Dirk Rockbottom

    Dirk Rockbottom

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012

    Yeah, I use D'Addario Chrome flats with a .50 gauge G but I just had a setup and my Luthier recommended putting a new set on. Probably should have kept the old ones.
  12. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Location:
    London, Ontario, Canada
    +1.

    I would add the clarification that after poor physical setup, "smiley face EQ" is probably the most common cause of this complaint, and I'm not just referring to the position of the knobs.

    Bassists often don't realize how much mid scoop or treble emphasis is already baked into their gear when the knobs are at noon. If you could plug your bass into a good audio interface and a really flat-response studio monitor, you might be surprised to hear how even the G string sounds relative to the other strings.

    Contour controls, bright switches, slap switches, "aural enhancers", two-band boost-only EQ on active basses, Sansamps with two-band EQ like the BDDI, modern cabs with piezo tweeters and a simplified crossover, etc., can all contribute to a snappy sounding, out-of-balance G string.

    Even old-school gear can be a major contributor. For instance, all heads and preamps that use a Fender-style tone stack (most non-Ampeg tube heads, Alembic F1-X, SWR, Mesa products like the Walkabout, etc.) tend to have a scoop and a pretty major treble boost when the tone controls are straight up.

    The closest thing to a flat response from the original Fender circuit comes when the mids are dimed, and the bass and treble controls are rolled back quite heavily. That's not the way most of us run our amps...
  13. WaldoNova

    WaldoNova Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    Yonkers, NY
    I would try the bigger gauge G string first and, as gregman said, play the hell out of it. Might do the trick for you.
  14. VanillaThundah

    VanillaThundah VERY enthusiastic walks... Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Media:
    1
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    + 1

    Soooo many other factors at play here besides just the string. Always try tweaking the gear you have before jumping to something like an effect purchase.
  15. Duckwater

    Duckwater

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    USA, Washington
    +1

Share This Page