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Dark Tone

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by LightForce104, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. Aloha, folks.

    I just wanted to know how to get a really nice dark tone on a bass without it mellowing out. Sorry if this is vague, I can go into more detail if you want me to.

  2. Eric66


    Sep 23, 2013
    The Netherlands
    Start playing flatwounds.

    I always say: I'm a bass player, thus I wanna hear bass.
    That is why I play flats.
    Even in rock music my P with flats is great.
  3. GretschBassist


    Nov 11, 2012
    Yes, that and the MXR Ten Band EQ or Empress ParaEQ should get you there. I prefer turning down frequencies I don't like rather than overly boosting those I like. It makes a better signal IMO.
  4. bluesdogblues


    Nov 13, 2007
    Flatwounds heavy gauge strings, right bass, palm/foam muted,..pick toward the neck,.. (bonus: for me,..I pick with my thumb always downward)..
  5. If I understand what you mean by 'dark' but not 'mellow', I would tend toward a good EQ pedal, probably an Empress like GretschBassist said. To me, mutes and flatwounds definitely 'vintage up' a tone, and may introduce other things you don't like along with the darkness. I would probably also tend towards a series-wired bass; a precision will work, obviously, but a jazz in series or something with series soapbars also would, and maybe give you a bit more definition. A cab that can go big down low also important.
  6. Yeah, I tried playing flats, all I got was the dullest tone I've ever heard, so I do declare that to be out of the question.
  7. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    I think you might want some of the Bartolini deep voiced pickups.
  8. Could you help us with dark tone a bit? Think of a bassist or a song that has a dark tone on it.

  9. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    Dark but not mellow?

    Sounds like you want a short scale.

    Wait, I see in your signature you already have a SS Jag. What kind of strings are you using?

    In my mind you've got to be at least close to what you are looking for already with that bass.
  10. I'm using GHS Boomers, the only short scale strings that stores near me carry.

    The Song of Storms cover by BadBadNotGood that popped up on here yesterday comes to mind.
  11. Bumpity bump, would like to hear more input on this.
  12. SlappyWhite

    SlappyWhite Banned

    Mar 6, 2014
    You can mod your bass as much as needed..but it'll never be as dark sounding as a Gibson Thunberbird.
  13. Old Fart

    Old Fart

    Mar 11, 2011
    Rosewood Sunburst Tort P :ninja:
  14. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    the gibson flying v shortscale and the L2000 are my dark basses, the jazz gets pretty mellow and the sb-2 is always just a little bright
  15. emblymouse

    emblymouse Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    Lakland Artist Endorser
    I've got a Lakland 55-01 with Nordstrand Big Splits, these seem to do for me what you describe. BTW it is strung with rounds. IMHO it is all about the bass, not the rest of the chain.
  16. tuning to c# will do the most for you.
  17. Try something black and pointy.

  18. Last bumpity for any more opinions.
  19. Dual coil pickups are darker than singles.
  20. extreme


    Mar 20, 2000
    Listening to the clip you posted, I'd say that sounds a lot like Jimmy Haslip's tone. There are a lot of low mids in that tone...maybe boosted around 400-500 Hz? So, do that and roll of your passive tone knob to taste.