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Billy Sheehan's Tone

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by The_Ryst, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. I did a search but didn't want to bring up too ancient of a thread, and most people don't have an answer.

    I see the gear on his site, but how EXACTLY does he set up, and what's the cheapest/best way I can emulate his tone? Most people hate it, but I love it. It's so damn aggressive.
  2. eldave777


    May 24, 2005
    Compression, compression, compression. Also as you probably know he uses two amps - sets one for highs, and one for lows. The two pickups on his bass have their own inputs. One drives each amp.
  3. dannoman

    dannoman Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    He has 2 Ampeg SVT 4 Pro's, One is ran with his SVP BSP Preamp and a additional parametric and is eq'd for highs only, plus that is the rig that he uses distortion from his preamp on. The other is plugged straight into from his bass and is eq'd only for lows. Both of these is ran through a dual channel compressor and out to 2 Ampeg 8x10's...

    His bass is ran with the Pstyle pups through the highs and the other for the lows....

    You should check out his latest DVD, there is a section on it where he actually goes step by step through his rack and explains everything... It's pretty cool.....
  4. Is his latest DVD Astauria (sp?) with Vai?
  5. dannoman

    dannoman Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    No, there are actually 2 out called Basic Bass and Advanced Bass. There are also books available for them too

    Both of'em are cool....
  6. Will I learn anything from the Advanced bass DVD? The book seemed not to teach me much.
  7. dannoman

    dannoman Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    dont know if you will or not..... It's pretty much the same stuff from the past vids... I just enjoy watching stuff on bass..... it covers economy of motion, practice techiques (sp??) and other stuff... it's cool if your a fan of billy's stuff, I own both but never really sat down to learn anything from them.....
  8. Ah. What kind of Compression can I use to emulate that Sheehan tone? Would the Boss one work? Since I'm a huge BOSS guy. (Just ordered an ODB3 to go with my CEB3 and TU2, It's in working progress.)
  9. I use a tech21 bass compactor, only one compression control but it has a level control which can give you a real Sheehan sound I think.
    Check out the tunes on my band's website to hear it, it's just an old P bass, through the tech21 and into a peavey firebass + 4x10.

  10. Interesting. Is that what he uses?
  11. Don't think so. But it gives a good sound. :)
  12. Starbucker

    Starbucker Guest

    Jun 29, 2005
    Billings, MT
    Austria? Austrailia?
  13. asoria. that's it.

    Urie LA 4 Compressor/Limiter

    Where can I get info on that?
  14. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
  15. RustyBass


    Jul 5, 2006
  16. Dimarzio Will Power P pickups(Billy Sheehan's), I have them on my bass, and they sound pretty close to his clean tone, theyre very middy and fat...

    I'm also curious, I love his overdriven tone, how do you think I should eq my amp or bass, and which kind of distortion should I use...
  17. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    it's 'Astoria' :


    I have a Yamaha Attitude bass, and it's clear to me a certain part of Sheehan's sound is due to the mix of the low end from the humbucker with the P pickup

    in addition to all the compression and overdrive & bi-amping stuff of course

    so if you want to emulate his tone, pick up a 'tude bass for starters :)
  18. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    Biamp. Get a Y cord that split's your bass's signal into two. Plug one into your bass amp and turn the bass amp's treble control turned down or to zero.

    Plug the other into a guitar amp with the guitar amp's bass control turned down or to zero.

    As simple as this set up sounds it's the best way to get started in bi-amping and works surprisingly well.
  19. perfektspace6


    May 9, 2006
    he also uses a chorus effect and overdrive of some kind. The distortion doesn't sound natural to me so I assume it is from a pedal or rack unit. He also boosts the treble big time to get those harmonics. Such a distinctive sound.

    P-bass, chorus, overdrive, compression = Billy Sheehan tone
  20. Not to be disrespectful but that guy has more than billy's tone, he plays just like him. You'd think you'd want to find some new territory and not just become a clone.