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Can you get a Jazz Bass sound out of a Roscoe?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by anyonefortennis, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. anyonefortennis

    anyonefortennis Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2005
    Lincoln, NE
    the SKB-3005 in particular.

    I kinda want a jazz and a roscoe but if I bring 2 more basses into the home the wife may kill me:)

    I was thinking about the Nordstarnd dual coil pups so I could split the coils and get a "jazzier" sound.
  2. Joe BassPlayer

    Joe BassPlayer Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    The Nordstrand p/u's might be your ticket. Give Gard a call and get his input. He has the Nordstand p/u's in his fretless.

    You can by the way tap the coils of the std. Bart soapbars. I haven't done it (on a Roscoe) but I know a few TB'ers that have. Bart's are dark sounding though so it may not be the flavor you're looking for.
  3. You can probably achieve somewhat similar tones, but largely speaking, Roscoes sound a lot different than do jazz basses. A lot of it has to do with the electronics and the pickup placement. Roscoes have their pickups set back towards the bridge, which gives them a very bitey, aggressive sound. Jazz basses tend to be a little smoother and rounder.

    Having said that, I'm sure that on a recording, I pick out a Roscoe against a jazz bass 100% of the time.
  4. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I'm with JOME77; I'd definitely pm or call Gard. Roscoe offers so many different wood combinations, along with three (to my knowledge) different preamps, -and now there's the option of Nordstrand pickups! :cool: I'm confident Gard can suggest a way to get you pretty darn close with the right combo.

    Yesterday I was playing my Lull J-style 5-string and my Roscoe SKB3006, and I noticed the exact opposite. My Roscoe sounds smoother and more refined compared to my Lull. -Maybe this has a lot to do with the wood combination/preamp/eletronics package of each bass. :confused:

    My Roscoe has a spanish cedar body, maple/purpleheart neck, Bolivian rosewood fingerboard, and Barts with a Bart 3-band preamp. My Lull has a swamp ash body, maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard, and Duncan single coils with an Aguilar OBP-3 preamp. The Lull sounds a bit more open and aggressive to my ears. At this time, I give the nod to the Lull's tone for the classic rock band I'm in, it really cuts through. But I have a plan to get my Roscoe back onstage:

    As soon as the wonderful people ;) at the IRS send my tax refund to me, I'm sending it back to the shop for a preamp swap. I'm leaning towards the Aggie, but I'm going to get Gard's opinion on whether or not the Demeter preamp might be the better choice for the sound I want.

    I should be getting that refund anytime now!:hyper:
  5. Thats the same combo I have on my Roscoe. I do have to say, its a pretty smooth sounding bass. The neck p/u by itself has the perfect amount of bite I need for some of the harder stuff I play with my band.
  6. I just had an e-mail conversation with a TB member who is both a multiple Roscoe/multiple Jazz owner and the positives and negatives of both came up. Let me drop her a line and see if she'll repost some of her thoughs...
  7. I'm one who has owned many 'hippie sandwich' type boutique basses, and always attempted to move them toward a 'Jazz Bass' sound... by trying single coil pickups, dual coils with coil tap, pickup location changes, etc., etc., etc. They, for the most part, sounded great.. but nothing like a Jazz Bass.

    I finally found out that if you really want a Jazz Bass sound, it's best to get either a Jazz Bass :)eek: ), or one of the high end 'super jazz's' like Lull, Celinder, Sadowsky, Atelier, etc. that are basically true Jazz Bass designs made to exacting standards.

    I would highly recommend looking into an FBass if you want a high end 'boutique sounding' bass that can also do the J Bass thing. The FBass in single coil mode is the closest thing to a J Bass sound in that type of bass that I've heard.

    IMO, as always!
  8. Well, hmm...

    ...a Jazz is a Jazz, and a Roscoe is a Roscoe. Getting one to sound like the other is a tall order to say the least. In the end, Ken (hey there) is probably right, if you really want a Jazz tone, get a Jazz, or one of the innumerable facsimilies.

    That said, if you choose the right stuff, it's POSSIBLE to get at least in the ball park with getting an SKB 3005 to get a somewhat "Jazz-like" tone, and some of the suggestions here have been good ones - i.e. the Nordstrands with the coil splitting option. Keep in mind, splitting the coils drops the output very noticeably (but does give a satisfying "single coil" tone! :) ).

    Picking the correct body wood will help as well, either alder for the 60's-early 70's tone, or ash for the mid-70's "Marcus snarl". Using the right top wood will help as well, to dial in the tone you're looking for, but that's a topic which is a bit long for a post here. In the case of ash, I'd even suggest NOT putting a top on it! (Looks great, and doesn't NEED it)

    Unlike someone posted in another thread, I honestly think that fingerboard choice is somewhat important, as it directly affects the attack of the notes in my experience. Basically, maple for a snappier attack, rosewood for a rounder, mellower attack, and use those as starting points for the variations of other choices.

    However, if you are expecting an EXACT "tonal replica", you are going to be disappointed - again, a Jazz is a Jazz, and a Roscoe is a Roscoe....if you REALLY want the tone of a Jazz bass, you should get one, there are plenty to choose from! If you want the tone of a Roscoe, well...I can honestly say that there is only one way to do that! :)

    I think the original poster needs to 'splain to his better half that it's like wearing sneakers to a black tie dinner, you have to have the right shoes - you have to have the right bass to get the tone you're looking for. The best choice would be to have both basses! (Another accurate analogy - you wouldn't drive a nail with a screwdriver, gotta have the right tool for the job!)
  9. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    As a jazz bass guy who has played quite a few Roscoe's, I think Roscoes do the back pickup jazz bass thing pretty well...it's a little smoother and more compressed, but it's in the ballpark sonically (Check out Jimmy Haslip).

    If you want a big single coil sound, Roscoes are definitely much more modern (compressed) than that. It kind of depends on what aspect of the jazz bass sound are important to you.

  10. +1 There are many different Jazz Bass sounds, and some are 'easier' to replicate in a 'non Jazz Bass' instrument than others!
  11. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I second the Fbass notion of a modern bass that can somewhat handle tht Jbass sound. You will be happy.

    KJung or anybody, I got an R bass that has and alder body, maple neck RW board and buckeye top. It has a haz lab pre and bart duals with coil splitters. I am not looking to nail the JBass sound, but I am trying to get a cleaner clap sound out of it, the finger sound in tha bass rocks but I'd like something I can switch my styles up on. Also, its expirementation time with it. Any recommendations on pup/pre combos? I hear you guys saying Nords also, did not go crazy of the aggie obp-3 with it, but what other guys pair well with them?

    Sorry for the hijack!
  12. Wilbyman is the expert here.... he has an R Bass and has tried a number of different pickup combinations (and actually is having a 'somewhat J style Roscoe' built at the moment). If he doesn't drop back into the thread, PM him.
  13. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Leo...hmm...I might count as anybody...

    Are the Barts in your R-Bass P2 sized? If so, you can either try the Nordy dual coils or the Bart Classic dual coils. I prefer the Bart classic stuff to anything I've tried. They have that great Bart low end, but they have a very clear top end and gorgeous punchy mids. The Nordy stuff is very good too. However, since you seem to pretty much like your Barts I would try the Classics and see if this does it for you. I'm going to try both the Nordies and the Bart Classics in my Roscoe forthcoming.

    Preamps wise, I would leave the Haz-Labs in. I think the Smith/Pope/Haz-Labs pre's are the best thing going if you have to have an onboard pre. They're all similar enough that I just lump them together. I don't think the Aggie stuff compares. I like the Bart preamps with Bart stuff (ala Roscoe), so that's an option too.

  14. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Thanks man, good info. I think they are the p2, I'll see if I can try the classic. Actually, the Nord dual coils sounds like a good idea, I agree with you about the smith pope haz lab thing, IMO they put a certain spin on the tone you won't find anywhere else. That said, the Nordstrand dual coils on their own actually sounded like what I might be looking for, and the thought of having that sound passive and then this killer finger tone while active just got really attractive!

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