Bassist you admire, but don't like their tone

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by LiquidMidnight, Mar 23, 2002.

  1. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    This has been floating in my head for sometime. I've heard a lot of bassist that knock me out, but I just cannot get into their tone. I'm not putting anyone down for their tone, cause it's all personal to what sounds good to their ears. Obviously, most of these bassist have enough money to buy any kind of gear they want, so they aren't playing through a certain piece of equipment because that's all they could get. There's obviously something about that instrument/cab/head/effect ect. that they like. I'm just commenting on players I love, but don't care much for their tone. I was wondering what some of yours' were.

    Steve Harris
    Paul McCartney (except "Silly Love Songs" that's one of the best pick tones I've ever heard, at least to my ears)
    Geezer Butler (on the early Sabbath albums)
    Les Claypool (just can't dig his sound. I guess it's a big part of Primus' sound though. I really dug his tone on the NIB cover though)
    Tony Choy (are you noticing a trend here? I hate the sound of boosted mids)
    Billy Sheehan (sounds to muddy for his style of bass playing)
    Mark White (I don't think it's so much of his tone, but I wish they brought him up more in the mix)
  2. john entwistle - i like harsh tones but his is just too harsh
  3. Well John Myung is really muddy...
    Didn't care for the fact that Jason Newstead was always turned down on the recordings...

    P.S. Why don't you like Steve Harris' tone? He's got some of the best tone, mostly due to fingerstyle and flatwounds...
  4. steve 1

    steve 1 Guest

    Feb 18, 2002
    utica, ny
    i think victor wooten is a good bass player...but there is something about his tone that irks me.
  5. ya...he should go back to who's next/quadrophenia tones...
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...there's a reason for that, ya know. ;)

    As far as Liquid Midnight's question-

    I like Eddie Gomez' playing...NOT his sound/tone.

    I do like McCartney's tone(especially when one considers the antiquated sound gear used...George Martin is the s***).
    Agree with the Billy Sheehan comment(his bass on Niacin's High Bias is an example of "How NOT To Record The Bass", IMHO).
    Similiar to the Mark White comment...Stephan Lessard's bass is buried a little too much in the mix. 'Sfunny, on the DMB's early & local recordings, his bass sounds fine.
  7. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Oteil Burbridge (Bass Day vid, I like treble, but this was too much)

    Steve Bailey (his fretless sound always makes me cringe)

    John Myung ("my name is mud")
  8. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    In addition to this I want to add Geddy Lee's Jazz tone. His playing has had a big impact on me, but the tones he has on Test For Echo, Different Stages and My Favorite Headache are really not my cup of tea. What he does on Moving Pictures is cool, though.

    Les Claypool.

    Wooten's tone is OK, but it's the ultra-cheesy reverb he tacks onto it that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    Dave Meros w/ the Rick. Too much nasty upper mids and clang. Yes, it's the classic Rick tone... guess I don't like the sound of a Rick.

    And yes, Billy Sheehan too.
  9. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Read what I have posted next to "Tony Choy". ;)
  10. Steve Harris (I hate the sound he has most of the time)
  11. Anthony Jackson's recent tone is pretty terrible--I'm sure it sounds pretty when soloed, but it has no low end and no grit to it. Check the Petrucciani/Jackson/Gadd Live in Tokyo CD to know what I'm talking about.

    Tony Levin can have pretty crappy tone, too; on his latest solo album, he sounds terrible, which is sad, because his tone is amazing on every King Crimson recording he's done.

    The aforementioned Mr. Myung is a pretty serious offender, and Les Claypool's fretless tone is like getting teeth drilled.

    The worst tonal offender on the current scene, IMO, is Dirk Lance. His sound is either pure mud or filling-rattling clank--nothing in between.
  12. I like Dirk's tone on the Warmth. ;)

    Geezer Butler had (has?) awful tone. The "Paranoid" album makes me cringe.
  13. Aww man, Geezer's tone is where it's at for me ;)
    Different strokes for different folks, I s'pose :p
  14. Watt's number one on my list of favorite players, but his tone on some of the Firehose albums was kinda flat and muddy sometimes, mainly the SST stuff. Great songs, I just wish it was a little brighter in places. I always loved the sound he got on the Minutemen albums, the lower budget production actually helped here, and the sound on his more recent solo stuff.
  15. Claypool definitely...he's freakin' amazing, but I don't dig the farty/woody tone that much.
  16. I don't think Myung is too muddy.. but he should have a better tone in the recordings.

    Claypool has a horrible tone IMO, thats what I call muddy..
  17. Hey, how can you say that? have you heard him in live recordings or earlier albums than their latest?
  18. I like boosted mids, and hate scooped mid tones (especially for fingerstyle), so;

    Victor Wooten
    Flea's Alembic tone on the One Hot Minute album (I like the tone on "Aeroplane" and others with the Stingray)
    Flea's tone on Mother's milk (Spector?)
    Stanley Clarke
  19. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Luis, I have to disagree with you on all counts.

    Dirk Lance's live tone is worse than on the recordings by FAR, and it's always been fairly brittle and snappy.

    Myung is definitely muddy. You can't hear almost anything he really plays, especially live, and it just sort of sludges up the mix. Not to mention live it's almost distorted, which sounds pretty gross.

    Claypool...muddy?! I disagree. I think his tone is gross, but only because it's so shrill and middy that it cuts through everything. Just imo, i guess.

    The kind of bad tone right now in my mind is Entwistle. Super distorted and bassless and STILL doesn't cut through. It's worse than Roger Daltry's voice these days! Great player, terrible tone.
  20. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    I would add Myung as well. I just saw them last night. I could see other band members even motioning to the sound man to turn him up. They would point to Myung, and do a thumbs up motion.

    I like his tone better on the new album, but live, he is still far too subdued.