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can a bass be too versatile

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by egotistical, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. i was just noodling around with my peavey millennium (usa) and playing with a lot of different combinations and as usual im floored by the wide variety of tones this thing can dial in... its amazing and the more i play with it the better i get at being able to get the right sound out of it... the only problem is that if i wanted to switch settings around a lot during a gig it could take a while and be a bit of a pain in the ass... so im left wondering if i would be better off with a less versatile bass and a good programable preamp

    what do you think?
  2. Baofu


    Mar 8, 2003
    How many knobs does it have? I mean, my bass has quite a few tones on it, and when you are gigging, it's just rehearsing the knob changes with the song.
  3. smifedeg


    Apr 28, 2004
    Århus, Denmark
    Well it's all a matter of taste is'nt it?!

    I like to have alot of sound possibilites at my service. But that will always mean comprimise.
    You you want to be able to say change pick up quick and precise, a bled pot like most basses sport today is'nt the best of options, it's not super quick (I know it's not that slow but still a switch is quicker) and not very precise unless you want to dial it all the way back or forward.
    Most bassist don't change pick up during a tunes, well I do. I use alot of different sounds during our tunes, it gives me and the tune alot more flavor.
    Currently with a little help from Warmoth and alot of others, I'm building myself a little experriment axe, which has all the features I would like, and should give me a very versitile bass:

    *Great balance: Jazz Body
    *A little bit of a chunky neck: P-bass (with tele stock...)
    *24 Frets: Needed a bigger cutaway (ahh well next time)Looks amazing on a Jazz by the way...
    *Massive sustain: AAA Birdseye Maple Neck and fretboard, Gotoh bridge with string through body option, brass nut, Stainless steel frets.
    The p/u's: At the moment vintage Basslines P+J, will probaly be changed.
    *Pots: Theese will probaly change too. At the moment they are: from the the back: Bass/low mid (stacked), treble/high mid (stacked), Volume/blend (stacked), 3 way p/u switch. The blend is by pased when the swith is in postion 1 and 3, so it only works in position two (middle with both p/u's selected).

    As I said I wanted to change pickups quick and smothly during a tune, so this is what we are working on now.

    This along with my Bongo should give pretty much what I need soundwise.

    A last thing with regards to tweeking sound during a tune, you should be carefull and not over do it. Do it with taste, it will seem like you have a problem if you have this radical sound change in the middle of the song. Also it should still match you role in the band, so if you play a bottom heavy bass sound and all of the sudden have all treble and no bottom, this will screw up your sound, the guitar and the whole bands sound.

    Another thing (I know I said last thing in the paragraf above.), the more post and knobs and such you have, the more you can screw up your sound, so unless you are very comftable with tweeking and you bass layout, leave it. Ever seen any of Phill Lesh's old axes modified by Alembic, they have like a gazillion knobs and such, I would hate that.
  4. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    No, not musically/sonically/etc.

    Yes, for your abilities. That is, it can have more knobs, switches and buttons than you can handle. Or the positions of the knobs are too hard to note, so you can't find your way back to that wonderful sound you just had. Etc.
  5. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Yes, a bass can be too versatile, though this applies primarily to non-bass players..

    For example, if you show up with one string, knob or switch too many, you can kiss the bass chair in that trustafarian-indie-hipster-beat-up-vintage-equipment-only band goodbye.
  6. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I just buy "Modern Vintage" basses :cool:

    from the audience they look like any other old P basses... just bigger and shinnier :D
  7. because with a programmable preamp you get the sound you want and you save it and when you need that sound again you can get it in a second
  8. I think a bass can be too versatile in that it can distract some players into paying too much attention to tweaking controls rather than to just playing, which is the whole purpose of our game, isn't it?

    If you play violin, trumpet or sax, how many settings do you have?

    Mike ;)
  9. its a lil more than just eq... anyway the preamp that interests me is the ada mb-1
  10. I like having a some good tone varities on my instrument and you just have to remember where to turn the knobs when you are gigging. I have about 4 tone settings that I use on my cirrus. you just have to get used to switch around to them for the particular song. I generally leave my preamp the same, except fot turning up the distortion knob sometimes.

    lotsa bass
    high end boost

    but I will say that there is something to be said for a simple bass like a P or Jazz where you can just turn up the volume and have one great tone.