Jazz Bass: Finding the Tones that Fit

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by justinellison3, Jan 22, 2013.


  1. justinellison3

    justinellison3

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    My jazz bass is pretty versatile: I can get anything from a deep clear punch to Jaco growl. I was just wondering what settings my fellow TBers use on their Jazz Basses and why? How do you find the perfect tone for a certain song and why? Any tips to helping me use its versatility to my advantage?
  2. Marial

    Marial Pooped Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I pretty much stick to two tones:

    1. both vol knobs rolled back to 75/80%, tone knob rolled off 50% (varies by room) - this is the warm tone

    2. both vol knobs wide-open, tone knob rolled off 50% (varies by room) - this is what I call the 60s/70s thump tone

    This is in a Hwy One Jazz with Antiquity II pups.
  3. Darren Low

    Darren Low

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2012
    Location:
    Australia
    Hmm I always play both pickups on full, tone open. Just seems to fit any song I play LOL
  4. Lichtaffen

    Lichtaffen Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Media:
    1
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    I like to put the neck pickup on full and the bridge at 25% with the tone around half way to get a psuedo-P bass tone.

    This could potentially be a good thread. I like the answers so far. Got me thinking.
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  6. justinellison3

    justinellison3

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Thanks guys. I don't usually like the sound of both pickups on unless I'm slapping or playing funk (which is rare :p )
  7. Dredmahawkus

    Dredmahawkus Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Location:
    Boston
    I use everything on 10 full on my passive....but I have lindy fralin 10% overwound with pressurewounds on it so its extra warm and with the volumes and tones all the way up gives it the warm with growl tone...but before I changed the pickups I would roll both off to about 75%.

    my deluxe I just leave everything in the middle and EQ the amp....too many things to EQ with an EQ on the guitar too! lol
  8. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Location:
    US
    Both pickups full on most of the time, and I work the tone control. Years ago, I favored the bridge pickup and fattened up the tone on the amp end, but that tone doesn't work as well (for most of the stuff I play) as the both pickups on full tone. I don't really care for the neck pickup soloed tone, it just makes me want to grab a P bass, which is a better version of that tone.
  9. jellymax

    jellymax

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Location:
    SF
    most of the time i lower the neck pickup slightly. a bit punchier. together with a deep sounding amp, this works very well for me
  10. Michael Jewels

    Michael Jewels

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2000
    Location:
    Queens, N.Y.(Near JFK Airport)
    I like the tone of both pickups on full, and the tone set about halfway.

    I love the sound of a Jazz strung with flats, but lately I find that I like the extra growl you can get from roundwounds. I simply turn the tone down. I find I'm also liking the feel of roundwounds on a Jazz.

    I had a set of Rotosound 77s on my Jazz for a couple of years, now I like rounds. Tastes do change.

    I have GHS bass boomers on it right now, and like them.

    They're on the dark side; not as bright as Rotosound 66s for those who aren't familiar with both sets of strings.

    My bass also has Sadowsky pups, and the Sadowsky Vintage Tone Circuit, but lately I find that I like using the defeat switch to get the passive tone of the pickups.

    This is a Jazz bass tone I really like, and the way I like to play: walking fingerstyle as opposed to slapping, which I'm not too keen on.


    Mike
  11. Jimmy Stump

    Jimmy Stump Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Canada
    I tend to run both pickups on full, tone on full as well. If I need to alter the tone for a particular song, I may play higher up towards the neck, lower back towards the bridge, or use a pick if need be.
  12. Dredmahawkus

    Dredmahawkus Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Location:
    Boston
    From that youtube video.....my passive jazz sounded like that with labella flats on it....I put the GHS pressurewounds to keep the mellowness but give it a touch of the roundwound brightness....I really love those strings glad I tried them. even though they say flatwound they are more like a flat roundwound then a flatwound.
  13. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
    +1
  14. bubinga5

    bubinga5

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Location:
    cheltenham(UK)
    my 75 mij jazz (with 70s spacing i might add) is best with back pickup on full, and the front rolled off just a smidge, enough to give the tone some definition but enough front pickup for some punch.. tone rolled off a quarter.. fresh dr highbeams.. really cool jazz bass tone.. i love the tone of a jazz bass with flats, with the front pick rolled down back on full, tone rolled up all the way..
  15. BrianToska

    BrianToska

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I play with both volume knobs 100% with tone around 75% gets me a good punchy punk rock tone. Played with a little overdrive and I get my perfect tone for what I play.
  16. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    Huntington WV
    I'm using a Carvin SB5000 these days; the controls are neck vol, bridge vol, passive tone, stacked/treble bass active EQ. My default is both volume pots about the same (about 75% open), the EQ flat, and the passive tone rolled back a little (like, 75% also).

    When a tune needs more of a thick/woody tone, I turn up the neck pup, and when it calls for more of a nasal/barky tone, I turn up the bridge pup.

    I adjust the passive tone control so the tone is crisp enough with seeming too glassy or brittle; this is adapting to the room and the cab's tweeter, mostly.

    Sometimes I'll bump the bass EQ up a bit, if the volume level is low; I take it back to flat as the volume level goes up. So that's pretty much taking care of the Fletcher-Munson curve thing with low freqs.
  17. HolmeBass

    HolmeBass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Media:
    1
    Location:
    Charlottesville, VA
    I run both vols full up and tone full up for a funk/slap tone, may additionally boost treble on the amp (ShuttleMax 9.2).

    Most of the time I back off the bridge pup about 1/2 a number, just a tiny bit, which makes a big difference in sound- plumps right up and increases the overall volume. I then use the tone from full up to about 50% depending on how dark/mellow I want to get.

    Occasionally I will run the bridge pup full up, and the neck pup cut just a 1/2 a number, with the tone up full and bass boost engaged on the amp. This provides a fairly modern tone, somewhat like Jaco's tone. Without the bass boost on the amp this tone is just too thin to me to be very useful.
  18. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Usually: Neck p'up on full, bridge p'up rolled off about 2/3 of the way

    Sometimes: Bridge p'up on full, neck p'up rolled off about 1/2 way

    Some other times: Both p'ups on full

    Rarely: Neck p'up on full, bridge p'up off completely (tone rolled back a bit)

    In all cases, I adjust the tone to suit the situation, but often run it full up.
  19. justinellison3

    justinellison3

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    I used to use the neck at 100% bridge 65ish% and tone 50% but I recently started doing both 100% and tone 75% and I'm really diggin it :bassist:
  20. Jeb

    Jeb

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2001
    Location:
    USA
    Me too. And I agree that bridge pup soloed is too harsh and grabbing a P bass is a much more pleasing version of that tone. But I run the neck on full, bridge 50% and up. The tone knob gets the most workout. And then I adjust how and where I play with my right hand.
  21. peledog

    peledog Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Both pickups wide open, tone about 50 percent. Does the job for almost anything. Playing softer by the neck gets a nice round fat tone. Playing harder and closer to the bridge is great for rock. During solos, I'll turn the neck pickup down about 50% and turn the tone to full.

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