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What's the closest sound to a 60's P-Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dirk Rockbottom, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. Dirk Rockbottom

    Dirk Rockbottom

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    I just heard a demo of a '67 P-Bass and it's got the tone I've been dreaming of, but it's over $12,000! Can anyone advise what bass will simulate this kind of tone for a more sane price? Thanks, Dirk
  2. Figjam

    Figjam Supporting Member

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    Any other P bass.
  3. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum. Supporting Member

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    Fender Standard MIM P-bass. Replace pickup with vintage-sound pickup of your choosing (I've heard good things about Nordstrand and Duncan Antiquity). Strings to taste. Play bass!
  4. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player

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    Since this was ONLY a demo. Did the player (his sound concept, method/technique), and his gear (i.e., amps, mics, preamps, outboard devices, recording method, etc.) not have, about, a 99% affect on the sound you heard?

    Just asking...
  5. aus_bass

    aus_bass

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  6. Bongolation

    Bongolation

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    On TalkBass? No way! :rollno:
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Loud Mouth Know It All Blowhard Gold Supporting Member

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    Dude. The TB P bass police are on their way here RIGHT NOW! You better skin out the back! Fast!
  8. Catbuster

    Catbuster

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    Bingo. Probably mellow nickel rounds or flats. I like GHS for both.
  9. rodl2005

    rodl2005

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    Active jazz
  10. Jungy

    Jungy

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    :)

    I recommend the aguilar Ag-60p as a good pickup on any p bass to get the 60s p sound. But I've heard duncans antiquities, nordstrand, fender 60s, Lollars and fralins will all do the trick. Rosewood fretboard.
  11. One Drop

    One Drop Supporting Member

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    AV reissues, Roadworns, Classics will all do the trick without mods or PUP swaps.

    12,000 for a late 60's P is outrageous in any case.
  12. Dirk Rockbottom

    Dirk Rockbottom

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    Pretty much just straight through an Ampeg 112 fro what I could tell. No other info. Chicago Music Exchange demo.
  13. emf818

    emf818

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    Any other p bass, possibly with flat wounds?
  14. JAUQO III-X

    JAUQO III-X

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    Disclosures:
    Endorsing artist:see profile.



    Where are you located?
  15. senp5f

    senp5f

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    Can you send a link to the demo? That way perhaps we can tell what it is about the sound that is catching your ear.

    IMO, there are *six* ingredients (from the instrument) to getting the classic '60s P-bass tone:

    1. Pickup--As others have noted, a good vintage flavored P-bass pickup is the start. I personally have Lollars in two basses, and they are very nice, but so are others.

    2. Pots/Caps/etc. -- I would also make sure you use decent full-sized pots (CTS is what I use; Alpha or Bourns are probably good enough for non snobs) and, if you really care, an old-school paper-in-oil capacitor. Yes, it's $10-$50 for a single cap, but you said you wanted a "sane" price compared to $12,000, not compared to $0. Hey, why not put cloth wire in there, too.

    3. Pick guard shield: The old P-basses had a metal shield underneath the guard. (Link here: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/fender-replacement-shield-pickguard-62-p-bass?source=3WWRWXGP&gclid=CIiJptiB3LoCFUHhQgodyT4AsQ&kwid=productads-plaid^57303140107-sku^361397000000000@ADL4MF-adType^PLA-device^c-adid^30422277027)

    3. Pickup and Bridge Covers: Who knows whether the metal in the covers makes a difference. However, they do make a difference in that they force you NOT to play right over the pickup, which is where most of us modern players put our thumb.

    4. Low-mass bridge with threaded saddles: Modern high-mass bridges have too much sustain and kill the punch (theoretically). As a bonus, these old school bridges have adjustable string spacing thanks to the threads! As a bonus, they are cheap. (Link: http://www.allparts.com/BB-0355-001-Vintage-Bass-Bridge_p_590.html)

    5. Flatwound strings. There's probably lots of debate on which are the most "authentic." But for me, the classic styled ones -- TIs, La Bellas, etc -- get more of the old school thumpy sound than modern ones, like D'Addario Chromes.

    6. Foam mute. Many of the late great players from the 60s used a piece of foam (or whatever else they could find) stuffed under the bridge saddles to deaden overtones and sustain so they could get a good fundamental tone. Try palm muting and you'll hear what I'm talking about.

    The good news: You can take any old Squier or Fender that will hold tune and, even if you buy all top shelf components, convert it to a "vintage" sound for probably $200-$250 tops.

    The bad news: Do all these little things add up to the sound of classic P? Does the aluminum pick guard shield really make a darn bit of difference?

    I dunno. If I were you, I'd take your current P bass and spend $40 on quality set of flats and see if that doesn't do the trick. If that doesn't satisfy, I'd go play a ton of vintage styled Ps until you find one you like. I played a Fender US Vintage Reissue '62 Jazz Bass earlier today at a store. I've played a few of the AVRI instruments that didn't do much for me, but this particular specimen was literally the finest J bass sound I'd ever heard -- and it was going for $1050, used.

    The deals are out there, just be patient!
  16. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Heartless mercenary, partially redeemed. Supporting Member

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    Here's the bass in question. The steep price tag is due to the rare Shoreline Gold custom color. The tone is standard garden variety P-Bass in my opinion.

    - Steve
  17. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

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    About the "60's" P bass you heard:

    1. If the clip was recorded recently, the pickups have probably degraded and are no longer reading spec for what was produced in the 60's. The magnets aren't as strong. The most famous recordings people drool over were done on basses that weren't even 20 years old. So do you want it to sound like it's 60 years old or like it did 60 years ago? Two different things.

    2. The capacitors most common in 60's era Precisions were ceramic, not paper in oil. The most common makers being Cornell-Dubilier, Circle D or Erie. If the bass is all original and dates from the early 60's, the value could be a .1uf. Mid sixties or later, a .05. The earliest Precisions dating up to around 58 used paper in wax Cornell-Dubilier "firecracker", "crayon" or "phone book" type. These were different from paper in oil...different dielectric.

    3. The wood argument. One arguable theory is that the wood has dried out over time making it more resonant. Consider that the woods moisture content all those years ago was about what you'd find on a quality new Precision bass.

    4. No two basses will ever sound exactly the same.
  18. One Drop

    One Drop Supporting Member

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    I've played a lot of '60s Ps and none had low output or tired sounding PUPs. I do believe it happens but far rarer than some people say when arguing about the tone of vintage Fenders.
  19. Mr.Fingers

    Mr.Fingers

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  20. noermaen

    noermaen Supporting Member

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    you can get that tone with a good american standart precision. the tone in the demo is great, for sure, but a good example of an standart p-bass can get you very close. try out some p-passes in the guitar store.
    i personally exclusively play fender cs basses. the really sound outstanding. my 59er fender cs is the best pbass i've ever played, and yes, i could try out some old vintage ones. that thing has a perfect setup, the neck is very very stable, and is very resonant, loud, punchy, smooth - a hell of a bass. i payed 2000USD for it. no reason to spend 12k for a vintage one...

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