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Best preamp to dial in the fretless "mwah"

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bassdr, Feb 25, 2002.


  1. I still can't find that sound in my head. It's the Pino Palladino "Boys of Summer, New York Minute" fretless sound on the Don Henley albums. I have the bass but can't get the amp dialed in. I have a tech 21 sans amp DI and use it set to the SVT settings for the fretted bass and it has the nice deep boomy sound but when I switch to the fretless it needs some mid push and the sans amp can't do it.

    What would you do?
     
  2. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    GET A TECH 21 ACOUSTIC DI !!!!

    Set the mids for 800 Hz and push the mid level to 3:00 or so. And wind the BLEND up to maybe 2:00.

    Instant growl!

    The drive works only on the midrange (I have heard -- still haven't had it verified) so the lows come through sweet and warm, but the mids growl like an 800-pound soaking wet bumblebee. Perhaps you could tell, I LOVE mine. Never shut it off!
     
  3. So what your saying is you like you AcousticDI... right? :rolleyes: :D

    eli is right; It does make the midrange growl. It can also simulate the growl of an acoustic or hollow body basses, even freted ones. It can make a Mahogany bodied bass sound huge.
     
  4. Is that true about the drive-specific midrange? So I could roll off the highs, and blend in the clean lows with my fat, fuzzed out mids for a nifty fuzz tone? I like the sound of that. 800hz is my new favourite frequency...instant P-tone.
     
  5. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    :confused: I was with you until you said "P-tone"... that growl at 800 Hz is one of the few things a P doesn't do well -- that's why I had to add a bridge position J pu to my first P after I heard Jaco for the first time.

    But, um, yeah, I do sorta like my Acoustic DI...
     
  6. 800 hz is that Precision bass mid-hump. When I want my Warwick to sound more "vintage" I goose that frequency to great effect. Many modern basses can acheive a warmer, more "wood-like" tone when you play with that freq. point. These are subjective terms I know but I learned the trick after reading of other players experiances with it. Works great. The Jaco bridge p/u "J-tone" is something very different....
     
  7. Murf

    Murf

    Mar 28, 2001
    Ireland
    leaving aside effects 4 a second, I always found the best way to get that killer 'mwah' was to play practically on the neck of the bass (roughly where the neck meets the body)...sounds great on any amp.
     
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I was going to say that "mwah" is all about how you play - your touch - where exactly you put your fingers and how you allow the note to bloom - and nothing at all to do with amps, preamps, effects or whatever!!

    If you don't hear it "acoustically", then nothing you do with electronics will get this!
     
  9. A sound is so hard to explain. The attack, I get is OK, the bass does the "mwah" decay when I play, it just seems to get buried by the sans amp when set to the SVT settings. I guess what i'm looking for is how to EQ out that critical range. The 800 Mhz reply is helpful. Now, other than the acoustic sans amp, any preamps especially good at dialing in that frequecy that you have used?
     
  10. I'm thinking of moving this to amps now.
     
  11. jchikhale

    jchikhale

    Feb 25, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    or instead of moving to amps, how about to speaker cabinets?...
     
  12. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Bassdr, if you're not getting serious mwah with the Sonus fretless I doubt that it's a signal chain problem.

    Set your signal chain flat. Turn up the bass on the Sonus. Solo the bridge pickup.

    Now try "not" to get mwah;)

    Some people recommend playing over the fretboard. You get a more broad and expansive mwah there. Try playing close to the bridge. You'll get mwah there but it's tighter.

    I get excellent mwah using Nickel rounds. I've also heard some very nice results with tapewounds. What are you using?
     
  13. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    None.
    i agree 150% with everything Brad said.

    i especially love my Sonus and its "bloom" over the end of the fretboard.

    gorgeous!!!

    my Aguilar only accentuates what the bass already has.

    :)

    f
     
  14. VicDamone

    VicDamone

    Jun 25, 2000
    Fingerboard relief, string type, and string hight may be another part of the formula.
     
  15. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    Sorry I didn't mention this. To mwah, a fretless has to be set up pretty low and slinky -- fairly stright neck (though PERFECTLY straight is not necessary) and pretty low action. My E string is only 1/16" above the fingerboard at the 12th "fret". Roundwounds also help "mwah" with their accentuated highs.
     
  16. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    the mwah is bassicly the sound of the fretboard being eaten up. thus jaco's epoxy and pedulla's thick coating. if the neck is too straight you'll get more of a buzz thatn a good earthy MUAH!
     
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I disagree.
     
  18. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    This is more true than anything else said! You can make a $10k bass sound like a jay turser if you have untrained touch. Personally, the preamp doesn't matter as much if you practice and train yourself to figure out where the sweetspots are on the bass and your hands for your right and left...and thats where real fretless tone comes from: pure touch.
     
  19. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    According to fred, I'm 150% true. That's definitely more true than what Bruce said.

    Thanks fred. Metrics "are" important

    ;)
     
  20. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    None.
    its more a conversion of currency than one of measure.

    f