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Do you care more or less about your tone than you used to?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Exo-Politician, Apr 19, 2015.

  1. So, I'm a player that has recreated themselves many times and always ventured into other genres, styles etc.

    Over the years, I've gone from Jazz to Blues to Rock to Soul to Death Metal to Funk to Power Metal.

    I have used from Light-weight Combos to Huge Tube Heads to Standard Solid States to Rack Setups.

    I used to strive for the perfect tone venturing into high prices heads, "Boutique" amps to massive Tube heads and never happy with my settings.

    In the past 12 months, I have gone from $3000 rigs to my current setup that cost $1500 and is twice the volume.

    I am really finding more and more each day that I really don't give f%# what I am plugging into or what I am playing. I just want to plug it into something and play.

    I am no less satisfied with my tone now than I have ever been because when my current band which is very loud. I couldn't tell the difference if I was playing an expensive rig or not. I guess the Effects I use, have a large factor on this currently too.

    My most expensive set-up in the past was around $6000 not including effects and whilst solo it was mind blowing, it sounded no better than playing my new setup that barely breaks $2000.

    Has anyone else regressed in their spending and felt that they have no need at all to venture into the high priced categories again?
    JCooper, rockinb, SirMjac28 and 4 others like this.
  2. AciDBatH666


    Feb 13, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    I think I've done the same as you. I ended up going the route of getting most of my tone through pedals so I downsized my amp from a GK1001RBii to a GK MB800 Fusion. I didn't need my amp for the tone, just the raw power and final adjust-ability at the end of my chain. I tweak things at home constantly, only to find that I end up boosting my mids in practice to punch through the mix. And also to find out that not much of what I've done really shows up in a live setting. So I go through waves of being content, and then some downsizing, and then finding a new sound in an old pedal that I dig only to put it back in my chain... Then to take it out. LOL.
    JCooper likes this.
  3. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra. Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I find that I care more now than I ever did before. It's because I've spent so much time recording these days instead of just playing in a live group where such subtleties get buried. Also, I generally get put pretty high in the mix so having the right sound is even more important.
    P-oddz, Jfever and smeet like this.
  4. What no poll? Awe..
  5. arai

    arai Banned

    Jul 16, 2007
    I care less about getting 'my sound' from my amp out the front then i used to. I used to always want to Have a mic in front of my cab or at the very least a post eq from my amp di.
    But think as time had gone on I've realised that pickup position, right hand technique and strings type play a more important roll in 'my sound' so that makes me quite happy to go pre di
    Although my gear is a lot better these days but not top of the line
    Scooberto likes this.
  6. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    I've never felt the need to venture into high priced gear, although there is some I'd like-I'm okay with never getting it either.

    I care about tone in different ways.

    When I started I just wanted to learn how to play--and as far as tone it was about getting my technique to where I could get a good sound out of my bass (& guitar)
    As that happened I became more aware of different gear and what sounds I liked.
    I did move up from my first electric guitar & years later put better pickups in it.

    But I stuck with the same bass & bass amp for many years.
    When I got a second bass amp it was for convenience of size & portability.
    But I like the sounds of my original amp & newer practice amp

    When I finally got around to buying a second bass, it wasn't so much for one that sound better, but one that was different & went fretless.
    So I started not knowing much about it, gained knowledge & bought some better stuff, then moved to buying different stuff.

    I care about my tone, but I don't obsess about it or spend tons of money on it.
    In fact your cheap rig is far above what I've spent in total--but I love it.
  7. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    yes i have
    zontar likes this.
  8. bebass

    bebass Sho Me Music Commercial User

    Sep 3, 2006
    Bolivar, Missouri
    ShoMeMusic.com; Authorized dealer for Bergantino, Dingwall, Darkglass, Genzler, Phil Jones Bass, Quilter, Blackstar, Cort, Traynor, and other
    I downsized from a complex setup with a separate 1800 watt power amp with 2 pre's to a little 4.5 lb 500 watt amp - and I love it. Although I have to admit I stepped into a situation where I could use another bass players rig as we alternated through the night. I thanked him for letting me use it but went out and got my rig for the 2nd set; just didn't like his rig's sound. I guess I am not good enough to just get a great sound out of any rig. I admire guys/gals who can.
  9. I care less about getting better tone, once you get past bad tone, and into differing shades of good I think there is definitely diminishing returns on your investment.
    Chasing perfect tone just takes up time that could be spent mastering my dance moves.
  10. My feeling about it is that the more mature you get with your ability, the more your gonna care about it. It is an evolution of the impression that you project.
  11. cm3ohana

    cm3ohana Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2005
    +1. I'd like to add that when I first started, I was just happy to have a bass and an amp so I could hear the bass. Tone was whatever volume i could get from the amp I could afford. Many years later and enjoying the TB posts, I've learned to discern tones better and what I like and don't like. I'm in a place today that's a little crazy/silly. When I play on stage, I just send my signal to the board and FOH and just want to make sure I'm heard. Don't really care about the tone cuz I have limited control over what people are hearing. But, when I'm at home practicing, I adjust my sound to the tone I enjoy and want to hear. Weird maybe....but that's where I'm at today....30 years after I first started playing....
    Imaginary Pony and 99Z3 like this.
  12. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Less. It never sounds like what I want it out front so the hell with it.
    Just play.
  13. BigBobbyBass


    Jan 23, 2015
    In short, yes. 25 years ago, I just wanted to be heard. Peavey 8_10, and Hartke 7000.(I still miss that amp!) did the trick. Now, I do want a more refined tone and I found it. I think this is probably the natural progression for most.(not all)
    StyleOverShow likes this.
  14. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    I found my perfect tone its an all tube ampeg and a musicman stingray. Cabs can be anything with 10s
    JakeyBran likes this.
  15. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    Over fifty years of playing I've never been into megawatt or megabuck gear, and I've *always* cared about tone. This went from just right hand placement to pickup choice and now even string choice. It all makes a difference. It also seems to me that the louder we get, the more the nuances of our tone suffer.
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If you don't care about your tone, who will?
  17. RunBeerRun

    RunBeerRun Banned

    Mar 10, 2003
    You can get cool tones from anything even as simple as an entry-level multi effects.
    nightwulf likes this.
  18. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    I'm not a tone chaser. If I can play through decent sounding equipment and be able to use my small pedalboard, I'm satisfied.
  19. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Yeah, I care more now, prob 'cause TB has introduced signal chain, freq response, cross over drivers, etc to my vocabulary.

    Pedals, preamps and pieazos are considerations to create a tone, rough and ragged or smooth and full.

    Stand up amplification is a whole other set of considerations.

    Agree with the OP, at some point you dig in with what you have.
  20. xk49w


    Apr 13, 2008
    If i do care about my tone, who will? They care, they don't care. Meh.

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