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boutique basses and vintage sounds

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sloppysubs, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. sloppysubs


    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    ok, i know that there were some very high dollar basses floating around in the late 70's early 80's until present day. but which modern day boutique bass has the ability to recreate the sound of an old school p or j bass? alembic, wal, zon, wariwick, ken smith, tobias, stingrays...? i mean im sure there are quite a few to list.

    also for those who have the high dollar basses, do you prefer to string them with rounds or flats? how do you use them, in the sense of newer amps vs vintage amps, overdrive/fuzz, passive or active, so on and so forth.
  2. Anti_Wish


    May 14, 2004
    Boston, Ma
    Lakland, Mike lull, Sadowsky.

    i dont own any of these but i string all of my basses with D'addario cromes and they sounds great overdriven.
  3. Fretless5verfan


    Jan 17, 2002
    I use a SKB3006. Strung with DR lo-riders (Steel for now). But i do tend to like more vintage sounding cabs and pre-amps. The interaction between the old and new voicings is just great to my ears.
  4. I'd assume Lull would be a good choice as it's made in a passive version, which can be a factor. Sadowsky's are great P's/J's but they have a preamp and modern pickups. The result is a "super" P/J that doesn't quite nail the vontage tone but offers a modern representation. It goes without saying that most boutique basses have their own sound and do not hit the Fender vibe, so your best choice is still a passive bass with warmer pickups. Alder/Rosewood/Ash/Maple are still the woods when it comes to tradition. Check out some other companies such as Celinder and see what options they offer - see if you can pick vintage sounding pickups, etc.

    The amp choice can have a considerable effect - a very modern sounding solid state amp may not have the tube warmth and depth you might be looking for. I think a big part of the 60s/70s sound was tube amps, since many solid state amps sound sterile and hi-fi. However, if solid state is your thing make sure to buy high-quality amps, since the better solid state heads sound great and definitely aren't lifeless.
  5. Dave Hill

    Dave Hill Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
  6. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I don't know the particulars of how they're wound but the FD-3 pups I've retrofitted into my Dingwall have a great passive, vintage vibe. The neck pup solo'd is just P-liscious. It may seem odd reading this but these pups have a TON of passive "magic" in them that just pours right out, even through the OBP-3!!

    I haven't had the chance to play a Super-J yet but I've got to think there's a ton of classically inspired tones and feel to go along with the vintage styling.
  7. sloppysubs


    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    can you get pu's retro fitted into modern basses? well yea i mean like take an old 70's j and put those pu's into a sadowsky or something else that might be active?
  8. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    The SuperJ is a LOT closer to the vintage vibe, especially Frank's with the P/J setup. That thing is amazing. The jazz pickups of Sheldon's are modeled after a 70's jazz. On Frank's very special one, the P's are modeled after a 60's P.
  9. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Pete Skjold also makes basses with Vintage Vibes, allthough they are also very capable of modern hi-fi sort of tones as well.

    You can hear one of his passive Stage Series in recordings under a post I made. That bass is all passive, but setup like a Dingwall in that it has volume, 4-way switch and passive tone controls. His active basses have an East Custom pre in them, based off the U-retro I believe, but with custom voicings.
  10. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    The Lulls and Sadowskys I've played sound Fender-y, but even when both basses are in passive mode they have a more modern timbre to my ears than vintage Fenders. Heck, my Fender Roscoe Beck V has a better vintage tone than both Lull and Sadowsky.

    But really, it depends on how carefully you listen. In the mix, very few are going to notice the difference between a passive Fender and a Sadowsky or Lull run in passive mode.
  11. kjones


    Dec 4, 2004
    I would say that the Lakland USAs sound a whole lot like the vintage basses I've played. In fact, I'm not sure I could tell the difference. I use flatwounds on my Glaub, but my amp and cabinet are more modern (Aguilar/Accugroove). In all, however, it gets a pretty traditional sound.

    I wouldn't say my Sadowsky PJ has anywhere near a traditional sound, and that's not what I use it for.
  12. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    +1. My USA Joe Osborne sounds very much like a friend's '64 Jazz. Might have a hard time telling the difference listening blindfolded.
  13. KPO2000

    KPO2000 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2001

    Same experience here. I had a Lull, Sadowsky, and RBV overlapping at my home for 2 years together.