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Ben Kenney, the guy with a good sound

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by slapmachine, May 21, 2011.

  1. slapmachine


    Oct 4, 2010
    PV, Kansas
    Hey guys, I can't help my ears. Ben Kenney isn't the most popular, not the most talented, but he has a sound like I really love. I kinda know that he plays Lakland bases although i'm not really sure of the specific models, but I have absolutely idea of the models of Mesa Boogie amps that he plays!

    Here's a pic from the mesa boogie artist page

    Mesa Boogie Artist Gallery

    That looks like an awfully cool vintage vibe setup but I got no idea guys. Appreciate the help as always my fellow TB'rs. Keep it real and keep playin bass, every day! :bassist:
  2. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    First: he IS very talented :)

    Second: the pic caption on the Mesa site is definetely wrong. It is kind of sad, they don't seem to identify their own gear properly.
    In this pic there are 2 Walkabout Scout combos and two 12" extension cabs

    Third: I think flatwound strings are a big part of his sound
  3. Being a bit of a Ben Kenney fanboy, I can tell you that he mainly plays J style basses. He's got a couple with Joe Barden J pups, as well as a recently aquired short scale 44-60 with ChiSonics.

    The Js and I think there's a P or 2 and maybe even a Lakland Hollowbody, all go through the aforementioned Mesa Rig.

    Killer musician, I love his solo stuff and style of writing for all the parts he plays
  4. GrapeApe

    GrapeApe Banned

    Nov 9, 2009
    Richmond, Va
    Ben Kenney is the F**KING MAN. I pulled out an old issue of B.P. from around the release of "A Crow Left of the Murder", and his gear used on the record is listed as follows:
    Lakland Joe Osborn and Bob Glaub (with an Osborn neck), Line 6 Bass POD, D.W. Fearn DI, an Orange guitar amp, and flat wound strings (he says he hadn't yet settled on a brand)

    Also, for anyone interested he gave away part of (producer) Brendan O'Brien's secret Bass POD setting:

    "All I can say is a pinch of gain, a drop of treble, and a few pounds of compression and you're halfway there. When we really wanted the bass to sound offensive, we'd plug it into the Orange, but that's it."
  5. slapmachine


    Oct 4, 2010
    PV, Kansas
    Gillento, I think that he's very talented, that's the reason why I said not the most talented because some people define simplicity and dynamics as lack of skill. Thanks for helping me clarify that with the pic though! Also do you have any experience with the walkabout stuff from Mesa Boogie? I'm sure it's great if he's using it but just a question xD. Thanks man!:D :bassist:
  6. I read somewhere (prob Bass Player Mag) he stated that he prefers Flatwounds...
  7. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    great player. terrible tone.
  8. slapmachine


    Oct 4, 2010
    PV, Kansas
    Obviously this isn't a thread to hear negative comments like that. I'm sure he's gotten farther than you have in the music industry partially attributed to his tone sir.
  9. GrapeApe

    GrapeApe Banned

    Nov 9, 2009
    Richmond, Va
    I love his tone... and if he had gone for anything more modern sounding he'd have to deal with people accusing him of trying to sound like Dirk Lance. The sound he gets is awesome though. It really drives the band in a different direction, and I think it helps keep things grounded in a band with a DJ and a very heavily effected guitar. Plus he and the drummer really groove together, imo.
  10. I've not seen much this guy really, but what I HAVE heard, he's sounded(& played) wonderfully. I saw he used 4 Mesa Walkabout Scouts with EXT cabs under each. Hard to beat THAT tone. Heck ONE WA with an ext cab can get DAMN loud! & sound FANTASTIC!
  11. MarkusBass


    Feb 24, 2008
    California Coast
    Graphic Designer: Lakland
    I love his tone, and think he is super talented.
  12. slapmachine


    Oct 4, 2010
    PV, Kansas
    Man, I couldn't agree more. That's one of the reasons I love Incubus so much. Dirk Lance brought SO much to the table with Incubus in its early years and had some amazing music that he made with them. Ben Kenney brings a lot to the table with his attitude, and music ability. He definitely was the choice of bassist for the progressive changing that Incubus has endured over the years. DJ Killmore is an irreplaceable asset to the band as well. He adds SO much subtleness to the band that people just don't understand sometimes. Without him Incubus would probably be more like Incub, just not quite there.
  13. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    You just like him because your name/Lakland color is on his website.:D

    I hadn't listened to Incubus in a long time, but I've been checking out clips with Ben on bass==really nice tone, IMO. And as you said, he's very talented. Heck, he played guitar with The Roots before he got the Incubus gig, they only let killer players in that band!
  14. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    wasn't trying to be negative or insult kenney, but i find his tone lacking. i'm sure most of it is from the flatwounds that he uses. i prefer dirks tone to kenney's by far...

    sorry for having an opinion that differs from yours, but its your comment that was negative and quite rude.
  15. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    Just realized you are the OP to the thread. I'm sorry if I insulted you or your thread. I do think that Kenney is a great player. I just do not care for his tone. It sounds boring and flat. I was a fan of it, until I started listening to older Incubus and realized that I really liked Dirks tone and playing.

    I'll rephrase my initial post:

    Kenney: Great player, but I do not like his tone.
  16. Rycebag

    Rycebag Supporting Member

    Feb 22, 2008
    Insane musician! On his dvd it shows him playing bass with the roots! On top of playing guitar! That guy is beyond just a bass player!
  17. :eyebrow:
  18. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

    Feb 15, 2008
    He is the reason I play bass.
  19. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    His Mesa setup gave me the idea of using wine taurus tolex and tan grill cloth on my LDS 12/6 cab.

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