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John Wetton P-Bass Sound?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by DEFUNKTED, May 12, 2006.

  1. DEFUNKTED

    DEFUNKTED

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    So how did John Wetton achieve his early King Crimson P-bass sound?

    I've seen pictures of him with that natural ash/rosewood p-bass and wonder what kind of strings he played and through which amp?

    How do you get a sound like this from a P-bass?
  2. James Hart

    James Hart

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    roundwounds for sure.... big part is the 100 watt Hiwatt stacks he played through. John's hands would help... but a cranked low watt tube head will get you close.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  3. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

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    I've always loved Wetton's sound too. I've seen a few rare KC videos, and it looks like he had a really aggressive plucking and picking attack. It also sounds like he used some kind of fuzz box and wah at times. Just as James posted, I think his aggressive playing style, roundwounds, P-Bass, and those lovely distorted Hiwatt amps all contributed to his awesome sound. I also dig his tone on the UK albums. Heck, even his tone on the Asia albums was fantastic. What a player, -and a fabulous singer as well.:cool: :cool:
  4. DEFUNKTED

    DEFUNKTED

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    Would the Tech21 Sansamp DI help achieve this overdriven sound at lower volumes?
  5. corinpills

    corinpills

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    It or a Sansamp would give you an aproximation of tube pre amp overdrive, but the real deal with that kind of tone is the output tubes on a Hiwatt. I love John Wetton's tone and his voice. He also used a tele bass for a while- around the Crimson Red period, I think.
  6. matrok

    matrok

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    I was just thinking about this as well. I've been listening to "Night After Night" and the tone in the "Nothing To Lose" breakdown is awesome. And his voice, I've said before, if he sang the phone book, I'd buy it.
  7. James Hart

    James Hart

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    no doubt! I dig his playing... but he caught my ear as a lead singer first.
  8. Yellow

    Yellow

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    I grew up in a different time and place, missed a lot of great bass action of the 60s-70's, trying to catch up on all the greats. KC is amaizing, I only heard about them and never really listened to them, untill I heard Tony Levin playing some stuff on their later recordings, then looked into the older stuff, great tone, great sound.

    So much music to discover still.

    I do appreciate tube sound into good cabs, there is a lot of variety of tone available today, I myself tend to gravitate to simple low power tube amp into a couple of cabs, more vintagy tone.


    My Site:
  9. DEFUNKTED

    DEFUNKTED

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    Early King Crimson with John Wetton is quite possibly the most innovative rock music ever made...

    Pure evil sounds to angelic harmonies and everything in between...

    I want to play and sound like John Wetton...:D
  10. matrok

    matrok

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    I posted this in the youtube thread, but thought you guys would be interested. good stuff

  11. galaxis

    galaxis

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    THanks for posting the link to that video, it's simply amazing. I'm a huge fan of Bozzio and Wetton. I'll see Terry play with the Zappa kids at the Beacon soon. He was so young in that vid, and what a hairdo on him! Now I have to get a tube amp. Or fix my Ampeg B-15 that I wired the 2 channels in series for super-fuzz when needed!
  12. PhR

    PhR

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    I think not. He used the same P-Bass and during his Crimson stint he painted it white and removed the pickguard (late '73/early '74).

    He acquired a 60's Fireglo Rickenbacker 4001 and seventies black Jazz Bass with a maple neck during his time with Uriah Heep but didn't use them much ("too much knobs" he said in a Melody Maker interview in 1975). At that time he also had Ampeg SVT heads and cabs and used them with the Hiwatts (Hiwatts were for the distorted sound). The Jazz Bass is definitely used on some UK tracks, for example "Rendezvous 6:02".

    He also used a doubleneck Gibson bass/6-string guitar when he played with Family. The axe belonged to the band.
  13. matrok

    matrok

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    I have to look into that Zappa kids show here. Was already interested, but the chance to see Bozzio, wow!
  14. matrok

    matrok

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    The guy who posted the U.K. video also has a couple Family videos, you can see the doubleneck in at least one. He's playing an Ibanez in the clip I linked to.
  15. senrats

    senrats

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    tha video link is listed as "private" how can I get a link? (joining this game late :)
  16. senrats

    senrats

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    Oh holy hell!
    Here's Wetton playing a Jazz bass... maybe a 72 like Geddy's:

    black body (Alder under paint finish) and a big block maple board
    Not much of a bass part but you can hear that his tone is alot like Geddy's from Moving Pictures

    Asia: Heat of the Moment
  17. nysbob

    nysbob

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    He was playing a P through a hiwatt when I saw hime in '73.

    His sound was terrific - it's really combination of fresh rounds, amp, and technique.
  18. rulyøngo

    rulyøngo

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    Love his playing and singing!!!

    check out King Crimson's: "Live at Heidelberg" from march 29, 1974. His bass sounds wicked!!!
  19. corinpills

    corinpills

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    Well, I believe the original lineup of Asia will be taking a trot around the States in September, so here's an oppportunity to check out the man's tone in person. Something tells me he's not using cool old basses and Hiwatts anymore. I predict pointy bits and too many strings. A lot of times old rockers go quite dodgy with their gear choices- just a phenomenon I've noticed over the years.
  20. matrok

    matrok

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    Try this one.

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