Cirrus 5 question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rugrat, Nov 25, 2003.

  1. rugrat


    Nov 12, 2003
    Northwest Illinois
    Just wondering if anyone else noticed the difference in sound when playing over the front pickup vs. the back one. I like the sound better over the front pickup but I hate the way it feels. I don't like the floppiness of the strings. I've tried to make eq. changes but it doesn't seem to help. Any advice?
  2. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    If you find a bass that sounds and feels the same when you vary the right hand position, let me know so I can put it on my list of basses I'm not apt to like...


    In all seriousness, why don't you try playing between the two pickups?
  3. The difference is normal. When I want a full tone, more volume, longer sustain, I play closer to the neck. When I want to play fast with a crisper tone, I play closer to the bridge. Just locate the spot you like for the sound and feel you're looking for and play there.
  4. superphat


    Sep 30, 2001
    dude, your bass is defective...

    :D ;)
  5. EBMatt


    Nov 21, 2003
    Springfield, MA
    It's like that on every bass. It's all because of the bridge - if you play furthur away from the bridge it will sound warmer. If you play closer it will sound brighter.

    The strings also have more give when you play closer to the neck, and are more tight when you play closer to the bridge.

    Don't worry about it, you will actually learn how to make these differences in tone and feel work for you.:bassist:
  6. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    If you want to get real technical, it is because of harmonics. When you play close to the bridge, the 2nd harmonic is not developed well. If more in the middle of the string, it is exaggerated. The 2nd creates most of the body of the tone.

    The fact that is happens is a good thing. Varying your tone is something we should want to do.
  7. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    The fact that the Cirrus is so responsive to right hand placement, and plucking technique (more than any other bass I've played), is one of the reasons I think so highly of this bass.
  8. rugrat


    Nov 12, 2003
    Northwest Illinois
    I already know the physical reasons on the sound difference and the feel. I guess what I am saying is that I don't really like the sound when I play above the back pickup but I like the feel. I like to have an anchor for my thumb so I don't really want to play between the pickups. I have been playing my Stingray 5 for quite a few years and I suppose I am having a little trouble getting used to this new "modern" bass. The Stingray seems like more of a "no brainer". Just plug it in and play. The Peavey has more tonal options and a very different feel. I really like the Cirrus though. :D
  9. jivetkr


    May 15, 2002
    I went through this too when I bought a 2 pickup bass after playing a stingray 5 for 3 years.

    The string tension on the stingray is nice & tight right above the pickup. On a 2 pickup bass you are going to miss that sweet spot tension.

    My advice...Get a thumbrest installed between the 2 pickups. It will feel just right.
  10. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I learned to "free" my thumb after 20 years of always anchoring it on a pickup, and it was a difficult transition at first, so I understand where you're coming from. You might try to rest your thumb on the very edge of the pickup and kinda get between them. As Oysterman pointed out, the Cirrus really responds to different right hand positions, and finding a comforable way to take advantage of that will help you get the sounds you want...

  11. rugrat


    Nov 12, 2003
    Northwest Illinois
    Like you Donkey, I also have spent 20 years playing with my thumb anchored to a pickup. Old habits are hard to break. I am much better than I used to be though. Playing an acoustic with no place to anchor and switching to a 5 string. Often I find myself using the "B" string for a thumb rest when I play. I also use my thumb to mute strings. Thanks for the input everyone! This board is a great resource. ;)
  12. superphat


    Sep 30, 2001

    have you thought about trying different string brands? different tones AND different tensions, so you might find one with tension that's a little more to your liking (not as floppy over the neck pickup or not as tight over the bridge pickup)

    personally, i think using a "dragging" thumb anchor method is essential... i use my low-b to anchor my thumb and then the E or A strings when playing higher up.
    I don't use the low-B nearly as much as the other strings and use a lighter touch there, so no thumb rest problem there.
  13. Im a sock

    Im a sock

    Dec 23, 2002
    Central MA
    I agree here with the different string tensions. Get thicker gauge strings, that should make the strings near the neck pickup less "floppy".

    I own a Cirrus as well, and yes, the difference in sound between the neck and bridge pickups as well as position is huge. Thats one of the reasons I love it so much! Also, I personally like the feel of the strings at the bridge pickups (I use. 100s).
  14. incognito89x

    incognito89x ♪♫♪ ♪ ♪ ♫&#983

    Sep 22, 2002
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    I noticed that a lot on my old Warwick Corvette. I played much better on the bottom pickup. I think I just hit the strings too hard to play at the top pickup :p
  15. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    I don't understand why it's 'bad' to anchor your thumb on the pickup. I do it and feel it promotes consistent string attack. My teacher anchored too and he is a professional bassist. I guess the point is there is no such thing as the 'right' technique for everyone.
  16. This is not about it being "bad" to anchor one's thumb on the pickup. I used that technique myself and was taught that way by my instructor. But after purchasing my 5-string, I found it difficult to play with my thumb planted on the pickup. I moved the thumb to the B-string and started playing as it was much easier to reach across to all the strings. I, somehow, instinctively started sliding my thumb onto the E-string and to the A-string as needed which, I found, greatly improved my muting skills. Also, I now regularly play anywhere between the neck and the bridge without searching for a thumbrest point. Please believe me, this is not a rant on someone else's technique, but just comments on my own experiences. Now, to take a poke at myself. Although I've found an effective manner for my right hand, my left hand is the one that suffers. I just do not fret well, never have been able to train my fretting fingers to perform well. Very discouraging. Well anyway, I seem to be able to make up for fretting finger slowness by having very effective right hand technique. I suspect that most of you who prefer to use the thumb on pickup technique have much better fretting skills than I do.
  17. rugrat


    Nov 12, 2003
    Northwest Illinois
    I don't think it's "bad" to use an anchor. Nobody's bass skills have ever been deemed "good" or "bad" just because they do or don't anchor. I think it is nothing but personal preference. Yes, I do agree that it provides a more even string attack. The problem for me is when I play my acoustic, there is no place for my thumb. It took me a long time to get comfortable. I wouldn't dare ruin the top of my bass by glueing something on it just so I have a place to put my big sweaty thumb.
  18. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I agree. My Cirrus is more responsive to right hand placement than any other bass that I have played.

    I prefer floating thumb, because this allows me to take full advantage of the versatility this bass offers.

    Like on one praise and worship soing my band does, it starts out soft. Pluck over the 23rd fret, and I get a nice, round tone that blooms almost like a fretless. Switch to slap on the chorus, and then the second verse is a lot heavier, so I pluck back by the bridge. Three very different tones without touching a single control knob.

    Most of the time I pluck right in front of the neck pickup, or between the two pickups.

    Free your thumb, and you hand will follow.
  19. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Learning to free your thumb from it's pickup anchor doesn't mean you have to become too snobbish to *ever* park your finger there again... If I'm hammering out eighth notes on the E string with my classic rock band, chances are my thumb will be... yup, on the pickup!

    :bassist: :)
  20. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I agree 100%. I still plant my thumb occasionally, too, usually when playing oldies with my cover band. But once you learn to play without it, you open so many more tonal possibilities.:)