mtd 535 cut through the mix?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by johnbkim93, Aug 25, 2013.


  1. johnbkim93

    johnbkim93

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2013
    I was planning on getting mtd 535 because I play gospel music and like the slap tone of it. However, I heard a lot of people saying that mtd 535 dont cut through the mix that well. Is that true?
    If it is, what bass do you suggest mainly for Gospel, hip hop, soul and quite versatile overall that cuts through the mix?
  2. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2000
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    Its one of the basses ive been asked not to play over the years. Soundmen dont know what to do with it.
  3. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    I found that my MTD cut extremely well and I play with 2 loud guitarists.
  4. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2000
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    As for suggestions, how about a sadowsky 5? Or a warwick stage I or II.
  5. sha975

    sha975

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Location:
    The Atlanta, GA Area
    The MTD does cut through the mix well however, you must turn up the preamp which comes to you set flat from MTD. Open up the electronics cavity and you'll find a small gain knob turn it up to your liking. I have a 2nd 634 being made now and it isn't because it doesn't cut through. Besides that even if it was the case...it's not the MTD but the electronics which is a easy change out.
  6. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Location:
    Upland, California
    I'd have to agree. I love MTD's, but you have to be careful that mixing is done well.

    I've played lots of basses in lots of venues. My Roscoe and Sukop both had Bartolini pre-amps and pickups (like an MTD), they were the hardest for the sound guy to mix; and the other musicians complained about my tone being hard to hear; it seemed very "round" and "lifeless", which I unfortunately had to agree with, and we were all using in-ear monitors. Meanwhile, I have consistently received compliments by many musicians and sound guys about the tone, cut-through, and presence of my Carvin SB5000 (Also while playing in a gospel band), it is my main workhorse now because of that.

    Overall, something like a Sadowsky or Carvin SB5000 (or any other super jazz) will cut through a little easier than something like an MTD, from my experience.

    Now I'm sure there are hundreds of guys out there who will say they get great tone and plenty of compliments about the tone of their MTD, and also rave about how well it sits in the band mix for them. But from my experience, gigging many basses at the same venues with the same musicians, the single coil J-basses have been the easiest to sit well in a live-band mix, without extensive mixing needed.

    If you get an MTD, I recommend you get an amp or DI that highlights the basses natural tonal qualities and contributes to a good live mix.
  7. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Location:
    Camarillo, CA
    Interesting. My Jazz bass (single coils) totally disappears in the mix compared to my Ibanez with two Bart humbuckers. I've found that the Jazz (for me) doesn't have the low-mid thump to support the band. Soon enough, I'm gonna put some Bart stacked humbuckers in it.
  8. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Location:
    Upland, California
    And I second what sha975 says, don't be afraid to dial in the pre-amp or tweak the inside adjustments to make the tone fit in better. I've heard some killer recordings and live albums done with MTD's.. So a good mix is entirely possible.
  9. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Location:
    Upland, California
    Is the J-bass passive and the Ibanez active?

    My Carvins and Nordys were all active, as were my Roscoe and Sukop and Spectors. Yet the Carvin and Nordy both cut through much better for whatever reason. Very well could have been the pre-amps.
  10. MarTONEbass

    MarTONEbass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Norton, MA
    IME it depends on the mix and the wood(s) that make up the bass. Mike claims the wenge/wenge necks compress the upper mids. If that's where you "sit" or punch through the mix, it can get lost. With my funk band, in a dense mix, I found my ash/maple jazz bass fit in the mix better than the wenge/wenge necked 535 I had.
  11. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Location:
    Upland, California
    I also had a Warrior Dran Michael 6 string with soap bars and a very bright Aguilar OPB-3 pre-amp. The lows were thunder and the highs were very brightly present, yet the mids were still a little lost. I could hear a lot of sting noise and low end, but the 'growl' wasn't entirely there. The tone sounded fairly decent to me, but I never heard a single compliment for that bass. For whatever reason, that jazz bass bark and growl, when amplified by a good pre-amp, has always gotten me the most compliments, and been easiest for sound guys and studio engineers to work with.. Just an observation from my experiences.
  12. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Location:
    Upland, California
    IIRC, Lincoln Brewster (Christian rock/worship artist) asked his bass player Norm Stockton to play a Jazz bass on his album instead of his MTD because it fit the sound he was looking for better. Norm is known for being a big MTD guy, so Mr. Tobias built him an MTD with single coils that would sound more Jazz-bass like than the standard MTD design.

  13. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    Metro St. Louis
    I think a bass like a MTD 535 will sound best with a very high quality rig. Clearly Andrew Gouche and Bubby Lewis have had no problem getting gigs with their 535s.
  14. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    +1

    Played my incredible sounding 1972 Jazz today at rehearsal and it really doesn't cut very well. Comparing to my dual coil equipped Fodera isn't really fair. The Fodera almost cuts too well... Every missed note is right in your face IME.:)
  15. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Location:
    Upland, California
    Sounds like you are pretty disappointed with your 72 Jazz, you can store it at my house if you'd like ;)

    All the presence and mix issues that I experienced with my basses were all in very large auditoriums that seated 800-5000 people while using in-ears. In a typical rehearsal space using only my 410 or 212 cabs I could make both my J-basses and soapbar/bartolini basses fit in well. Which is why for large gigs that run through a house system, I usually use my Carvin/Nordy setup, and for small bar gigs were I only use a cab, the Roscoe/Sukop/F-basses all sounded just as great in the mix.

    Also, playing gospel music usually involves playing at churches that don't always have the best sound systems or in-house backline. Many of the sanctuaries were build 50+ years ago and have horrible acoustics, making a great sounding bass sound muddy and boomy. A good bass D.I. is a must, as most churches have old SWR rigs or Countryman D.I.'s that make your bass sound like cardboard.
  16. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Location:
    Upland, California
    I'm a big fan of GK amps and cabs, they have lots of mix presence that I like. Here's Norm playing his 535 through one and it sounds pretty good.

  17. BassistForJesus

    BassistForJesus

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Dude. Go with the MTD but after you call Mike Tobias and ask for his recommendation. He will either build or stir you in the right wood combination for your goal. I play a 535 Ash Body/Walnut Top/Ash neck/Birdseye maple and it cuts well. I also play through a thumping Uber 410 with the 9.2 Shuttle. Darts flying at audience type of effect.
  18. bass12

    bass12 Fueled by chocolate Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    I've owned and gigged seven MTD 535s. I've only had "cutting through the mix" issues with one of them: an ash/walnut/ash/maple combination. Over the past three years two of my main gigging basses have been 535s - an alder/maple/maple/rosewood and an ash/maple/wenge/wenge. I've played these basses in all kinds of rooms from small bars to large event halls (seating thousands), as well as at outdoor festivals ranging from small to large. I've never had a problem with my MTDs in such circumstances - whether using an amp or in-ears (headphones in my case). One of my main gigs is with a fourteen piece corporate band and I've had no problems at all sitting in the mix. I regularly work with one of the best sound guys in Montreal and he's told me that he loves the fact that, with my MTDs, all he has to do is raise the fader. Every bass is different and some are going to sit in a mix more effectively than others. There are no guarantees with any brand, but I'd be wary of any sweeping statements made by people who have only ever gigged one or two MTDs. ;)
  19. johnbkim93

    johnbkim93

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2013
    Thanks for your opinions,
    So if i turn the pre amp or use a good bass D.I. would mtd be able to cut through the mix?
  20. BassistForJesus

    BassistForJesus

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    yes, Norm Stockton uses the Aguilar Tone Hammer DI coupled with the TLC Compressor for that mid presence prior to buying his J Prototype

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