Which Gretsch for Jack Bruce sound?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Boomer777, Jan 4, 2013.


  1. Boomer777

    Boomer777

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Looking to add a shorty and don't have much cash - Am intrigued with the Gretsch G 2220 and 2210 - Do I need both pickups to get approximate to a growly Jack Bruce sound?
  2. bill reed

    bill reed

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    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
    scotland
    Jack gets a lot of his sound by the way he thumps down on the strings and the way he hooks his finger. you have to have that attack to get that sound.
  3. FrednBass

    FrednBass

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2012
    Mudbucker pickups + marshall stacks + diode distortion installed into his bass wiring.

    Any Gretsch with this configuration will sound similar to JB.
  4. Boomer777

    Boomer777

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    thx for that. I have plenty of attack and have pretty good Bruce technique - just was wondering how pertinent the two pickups are vice one
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  6. pedro

    pedro

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    Location:
    Madison, WI.
    Cream or post Cream Jack? IMO they are very different.
  7. bill reed

    bill reed

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    scotland
    he has allways had the same style of playing. if you watch the Cream royal albert hall in 1968 and then again in the 2005 you see Jack still played the same way. he really attacks the strings giving you that overtone. again playing a EB1 or EB3 gived you a diffrent tone from the warwick fretless. but the underlying tone comes from the way he hooks the strings.
    i have been a fan of Jack since the 60s and it took me years to get the sound from my EB3.
    I can even get his tone from my beatles bass so you should be able to get that tone from a Gretch. i use my 5 string fretless when playing most Cream songs.
  8. pedro

    pedro

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    Ah fellow Jackophile. I've been a fan since 1966. Anyway, his 'style' or 'technique' is the same but the tone is quite different, IMO.
  9. bill reed

    bill reed

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    he seemed to use two Hartke amps and both have the EQ set diffrent, one set with a smile and the other set the other way a frown, so one amp has the mids boosted and on the other amp the mids are set low.
    dont really see a big diffrence in tone other than the use of the fretless. when it was Bruce, Moore and Baker he still had that cream tone. and later with Robin Trower it was still the same. even last year on tour I did not think there was any change in tone, change in the type of music.
    i think you can tell when its Jack playing as his sound and style is so unmistakable.
  10. SturmUndDrang

    SturmUndDrang

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    Jack's playing style was inspired by flamenco guitarists. If your short on cash and want the Jack sound, go for a faded SG Gibson. I hear they're nice and can be had for a resonable price at GC. Don't short change the importance of the mini bucker either. I have a 66' EB3 and I find the minibucker is responsible for a majority of the useable sounds. Sounds great when it pushes a tube amp or even just a tube pre-amp like on my walkabout. The diode thing is over rated IMO.
  11. bill reed

    bill reed

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    i agree that the Eb3 and use of the minibucker does change the sound and you do need a tube pre amp and have that turned up so it started to overload. works really well, Jack had the diode fitted to give the distoted overload sound with the newer more powerfull amps and they were only set about 60% the older amps were set at 100% before the diode was fitted.
  12. pedro

    pedro

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    Madison, WI.
    Of course he always sounds like Jack Bruce because of his technique and note choices, etc. but the tone of a Warwick fretless thru a Hartke rig vs. an Gibson thru a cranked Marshall stack to my ears sound completely different. YMMV, etc.
  13. pedro

    pedro

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    Not that I know of. He did study an Indian instrument similar to a sitar and he does use a similar technique on his electric bass.
  14. SturmUndDrang

    SturmUndDrang

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  15. bassvi

    bassvi

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    Jul 12, 2005
    Location:
    Iowa
    I'd go for the two pickup configuration. The bridge PU is important if you want to get the kind of burpy sound an EB3 mini bucker can give. Favoring the neck PU will sound more like the EB1. Someone was trying to sell what looked like a de-fretted Warwick Thumb on Ebay last week, I almost went for it I'm still such a Jack nut.......
  16. pedro

    pedro

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    Madison, WI.
  17. Boomer777

    Boomer777

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    Feb 17, 2011
    I have been going gaga over his playing and sound with West Bruce and Laing - if you U-Tube Politician West Bruce Laing - that bass is so over the moon along with his syncopation
  18. pedro

    pedro

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    Madison, WI.
    Jack's brain should be studied.
  19. bassvi

    bassvi

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    Location:
    Iowa
    Jack Bruce sits at the top of the best rock bass innovators ever, a bonafide cutting edge bassist of the 60's.... I put him in a league/class with the likes of McCartney, Jamerson, Entwistle, Bogert.....maybe the best of all of them but of course that's really just IMO... he still inspires me and many others to this day. Have you heard Spectrum Road? The guy just never stops... what an amazing artist.

    If you are aiming towards a Jack Bruce sound/style, you could do a lot worse IMO for inspiration and you are a kindred spirit...good luck with your Gretsch pursuit, let us know how it turns out...
  20. bill reed

    bill reed

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    Location:
    scotland
    acording to Jack he has never used any effects with his bass, so what you hear is from the bass and amp.
    the only think that was moded was when Jack had instrument technician Dan Armstrong install a diode into the EB-3's wiring to produce the same effect without overdriving his Marshall 100 head amplifiers.
    now Jack uses four Hartke 7000 amp's with two set with the Eq like a frown going to two 8x10 paper cone Hartke cabs, the other two Hartke 7000 amp has it set with a bottom and level EQ and it drives two 15" bass units, seemed he wants more mids out the two 8x10s.
  21. SturmUndDrang

    SturmUndDrang

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Nashua, NH USA
    Getting back to the OP. If you had to pick a gretsch, I guess the G2220 Junior Jet Bass II could fit the bill. Short scale bass with two mini buckers and cheap. Basswood bod and maple neck instead of mahogany though and despite what Dan Armstrong thinks, I think the hog' plays a significant part. Not sure if it's set neck or bolt on. The EB3 is set. You sure won't look like Jack but good luck.

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