Can't get that Steve Harris tone!

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by SeismicAssault, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. odin70


    Dec 26, 2007
    You dont need his signature strings. They are the same strings as RS77, only more expensive.

    Straight neck
    Scooped mids
    12 inch speakers
    Hiwatt amp
    wear your bass low
    Steve Harris dont use quarter pounder pups, but i think they will work


    Jun 16, 2010
    Evil Funk likes this.
  3. odin70


    Dec 26, 2007
    You dont need to change your strings every day. The roto flats will stay bright way longer than rounds.
    Evil Funk likes this.
  4. madmatt


    Apr 28, 2009
    If you have to change them strings every time you play that does not say much for the strings...
    Evil Funk likes this.
  5. So from what I'm hearing, it's mostly a bass setup and technique issue, not as much the amp or effects.

    Is it worth trying to put together a precision bass from parts, or can I get my Stingray set up to those specs? I've built a number of parts basses, so I believe I could cobble one together. Any good neck manufacturers that you recommend for building a parts bass with such high tension strings?
  6. EdHunter


    Jan 14, 2010
    A humbucker won't work. To get it spot-on you'll need a split coil of some kind. Just pick up a cheap P and install a beefy bridge and some Rotosounds, ynd you'll find you have 80% of it right there.
  7. Edgar664


    Mar 12, 2009
    It's all in his technique, you have to have a very low action and play the strings actually really softly, the trick is you should try to "press down" the strings against the frets so you get that clanky sound: I get a similar tone with Rotosounds 66 roundwounds, he uses flats, and actually the tone I get is brighter. The Eq settings: I boost the high mids around 1.5 - 3 KHz and leave everything else flat, I cut the treble sometimes because I get a really annoying harsh sound when the strings are fresh, and since I'm using roundwouns the tone I get is already bright enough. I never really liked compressors but I use a light overdrive, not a full distortion, just a little touch of overdrive to enhance harmonics, belive me it helps specially live.

    I hope this helps.
  8. ddhm


    Mar 18, 2011
    Memphis Tn USA
    Playing a P bass would be a good start. I seem to recall him using Marshall amps with 12s back in the day. You could try ground wounds to get the tone to stay a bit longer (as opposed to flats). Lotsa folks have given GREAT suggestions and very in depth ones as well... I suggest you follow some of them :)
  9. The Steve Harris signature strings are a heavier gauge than the RS77s.
  10. odin70


    Dec 26, 2007
    RS77LE is the exact same set. Only cheaper and without the West Ham colors.
  11. At Musician's Friend, Steve Harris sigs are $35.00, and RS77LE's are $42.00 ... :)
  12. EdHunter


    Jan 14, 2010
  13. odin70


    Dec 26, 2007
    :) Thats good news, if you like those strings with West Ham colors.
  14. Sounds great! Especially like the bass fills in Betrayal.

    Also sounds good! Is that straight into the MB30? No compression?
  15. Chrisk-K

    Chrisk-K Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2010
    AZ, USA
    Start with the Harris set or a set of Roto flats.
    Install a SD 1/4 pounder pickup.
    Get extremely low action.
    Add lots of compression.
    Boost highs in the amp.
    Use very light touch.
    Change the strings everyday!
  16. EdHunter


    Jan 14, 2010
    Not even the compression on the amp. :D
  17. frankenp


    Jul 17, 2008
    Halifax, NS
    There is a lot gear being mentioned here. You really only need to do 3 things to get started.

    1.) Get yourself a P bass. It's the split coil and pickup location that is going to get you where you want to be. Any brand p bass with decent action. A MM humbucker in the bridge position won't do it.

    2.) Boost your amp a bit at 100Hz and again at 2.5Khz. The 2.5Khz will brighten your sound and bring out the clicky clackity noise.

    3.) Learn to gallop with 2 fingers. Yes 2. Maiden interviews will show Steve merely tickles the strings with 2 fingers.

    Good luck.
  18. Dude iv been trying to get that tone forever, the closest iv gotten is my squier standard P-Bass with Roto steve harris flats, very close to the frettboard. Playing through a Marshall JCM 600 head into a Kustom 410. Here's the amp settings. Bass-6 Mid-8 Trbl-5. Hope this helps
  19. Duke21


    Nov 14, 2010
    Narvik, Norway
    You are very hard on the OP with the string change!!! :)
  20. Bigjohn


    Mar 5, 2010
    That's easy, his tech throws them in the trash.
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