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Basses with a clear attack

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Vosk, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. What would you say are the basses with the clearest and sharpest attack? Such as the MM 'Ray, for example. I know you could just say "anything with a pick and boosted treble" but what about the actual bass sound on its own?
  2. Rickenbacker, perhaps?

    I got a new CD by a local band. One bassline, I was told by one of the band's members, was done on a Rick... fingered.

    That sure sounded clear and crisp.
  3. dabass

    dabass Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2005
    Ken Smith!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  4. I personally like an high-end ash-bodied Jazz with a maple fingerboard, but like you point out mentioning a "Ric" and picking, I think there are too many variables. Are we talking acoustic or plugged in? Amp or mixing board? Live or studio? Nickels or Stainless steel strings?

    Hell, I saw two people get differing tones from the same bass, same amp, same EQ based on what we concluded were the toughness of their calluses! Not anything close to a huge difference, but a smallish noticeable one. Too many variables...

    That being said, the clearest attack I've ever heard/played was an ash/maple-top maple fingerboard Mike Lull strung with D'addario Prisms (an extremely bright/articulate steel string that's been replaced by their ProSteel XLs) through an SWR head mono into two Goliath II's. "Cutting through the mix" doesn't begin to describe... :hyper:
  5. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Ken Smith
    Mike Lull
    MTD USA (clarity will vary depending on woods used)

    I still haven't played a Wal, but if a Music Man Stingray counts then Wal certainly does, too!
  7. Akito


    Dec 1, 2003
    Modulus, Zon
  8. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    +1. The Spectors are very bright.
  9. It all depends on what you are looking for..

    Zon and Modulus basses I've heard sound clear, yet kinda dark in tone..FNM's "Angel Dust" and Chili Peppers "Californication" respectively..

    I think Justin Chancellor got a very defined tone with his Wal.

    ... but my all time 2 favorites for a woody bark, and treble bite that can take your head off has got to be a Ric and a Gibson Ripper..ala Paul D'Amour and Billy Gould, early in their careers..you can turn the bass all the way down on your stereo, and when they play hard, it completely obliterates the guitars in those songs:D
  10. abngourmet

    abngourmet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2004
    Hands down, Alembic.

    I say that because I own two Ricks, two MM's, A Gibson RD Artist (the bright mode is something to behold). Nothing is clearer with a more defined attack IMHO. May not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's definitely the brightest tone I've ever heard.

    I own 5 Alembics as well, with another on the way.

    My two cents,

  11. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    I'd say Wal basses. Those are pretty "punch you in the face" kind of attack.

  12. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Los Angeles
    I'm intrigued to see punch equated with attack. I see punch as reflecting impact, in a centered way, but I can imagine lots of sounds that are punchy but don't have a well-defined attack.

    To me, attack means the percussive, leading edge of a note: whether a note has a crisp, almost clicky beginning. Think Russian trumpet players, with whom you can practically see their tounges coming out of their bells...

    Playing with a pick or fingernails, and boosting the treble or upper mids, all can make for more of this quality. Same thing by shifting your right hand toward the bridge.

    However, if you ask about an instrument's capability in this regard, I think you should focus on the natural voice of the axe when playing in your normal manner. I'd listen for how quickly a note jumps off when you play it through an amp, with all of the eq flat on both the bass and the amp. Do you hear a quick, crisp beginning, or does the note instead sort of ooze into being?

    In my limited experience, the Warwick instruments seem to have a strong attack characteristic. I think the combination of smaller bodies and really dense woods has a lot to do with this. Personally, I really dig the rhythmic precision afforded by this approach.
  13. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    For me, it would have to be a Roscoe. Every note seems like it's flying off the fretboard.

    That, of course, is based on my definition of 'clean attack'.
  14. lamborghini98

    lamborghini98 The Aristocrats

    May 1, 2005
    NYC; Portland, OR
    Im going to say Spector and maybe Modulus with EMG's. Mostly Spectors because of their high output, though.
  15. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    My Q5 (bart soaps) strung with SR2000s and played through my Eden rig has a ULTRA clear, crisp attack. It is a little softer sounding through the Ampeg, but the character is still there.

    My Genesis is a little softer, gooey on the bottom end with the singlecoils. Although, it's a little hard to tell with it being fretless.
  16. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    1st ALEMBIC
    2nd VIGIER
    3rd WAL
  17. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan bleep bloop Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2003
    New York
    i have to agree on modulus and zon (and old school aries basses) - the composite neck is just SO clear. these are great basses to run through effects. i also really find that mørch's are extremely clear.
  18. nobes


    Feb 14, 2006
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    modulus flea w/ badass bridge (2 months till it arrives :) )
  19. Rumzini


    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
    My Lakland 55-01 seems to be good. However I would like to hear it with some Basslines.

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