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Entwistle Sound

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Start_Me_Up, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. Start_Me_Up


    Dec 3, 2005
    I wanst exactly sure where to put this but I figured since Entwistle is a bassist...I was wondering if anyone could give me a good eq setting that can give me a John Entwistle type tone for my P-bass. Any suggestions?
  2. paul n

    paul n

    May 6, 2005
    Arden, NC
    I know in one interview he said he sets every thing flat in the studio. Live, in the HiWatt days he ran two heads, one with bass all the way up and the treble off, and the other head with the teble all the way up and the bass off (the first bi-amp set up). Either way I think he really only used the EQ to separate the different frequency bands. A flat setting would probably be the best bet. Actually I think the volume makes more of a difference in his tone than any thing, set it loud. Also, he tended to have the highs distorted and the lows clean, that was a big part of his tone too.

    ~Paul :)
  3. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    The best tones that Entwistle ever got were the ones that Glyn Johns got in the studio. Listen to the albums "Who's Next", "The Who By Numbers", and "Who Are You". Glyn had an uncredited hand in some of "Quadrophenia", too, but that albums suffers in production value largely from the "And Justice For All" syndrome - artist who doesn't know enough about production self-produces - so it doesn't sound nearly as good as the other ones I mentioned.

    His live tone was great through the 70s, I think once he put down the Alembics his tone really suffered. Those Buzzard basses always sounded like ass to me in all the live videos and records (and I have 'em all). I think he was losing his hearing really bad near the end so he may not have known how bad it sounded and who was going to go up to the Ox and say "Your tone stinks"?

    I'm not sure there's any way to duplicate his unique tone. Watch him play some time. Get the video "The Kids Are Alright" and put on the "Ox-Cam" special feature on disc 2. It presents Entwistle alone on the two songs they recorded for the film. "Baba O'Riley" isn't that interesting as it's a pretty boring song on bass, but "Won't Get Fooled Again" will have you staring jaw agape at some of the stuff he does. His technique was unique to say the least.
  4. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    I agree that it would probably be impossible to duplicate his sound, but a P-Bass with a maple fingerboard, the tone all the way up, and Rotosound Swing Bass strings would be a simple place to start.
  5. duckbutter


    Mar 30, 2005
    Have it, saw it, jaw still in sling :p
  6. paul n

    paul n

    May 6, 2005
    Arden, NC
    Yeah, I never get tired of watching that video! H?e's jsut putting so little effort into it but plays PERFECTLY.

    Somethign else to consider is the fact that Ehnwistle played with SUPER low action and very light touch. I've read acounts from Alembic and Leland Skylar that his basses were unplayable to every one except John. I think it was Leeland who said that you could just fit a buisiness card between the string and the last fret, now that's low. A litght touch combined with a cranked volume, will help give you that huge head-roomy osund he had. I think that's hwo he got that great clear tone even back on Live at Leeds, he wasn't driving the front end of the amp that hard with the out put from the bass, rather he let the bass do the work.

    ~Paul :)
  7. TechZilla


    Jun 18, 2005
    Owensboro, KY
    This is a very cool site if your interested in the gear he used.
  8. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I recall Entwistle saying in an interview that he liked the bass 'piano string' sound. Not 'keyed' but plucked. And he set his gear to achive that effect.
  9. mdbeck50


    Jan 30, 2006
    sussex cty, nj
    I tried one of the signature Buzzard basses at Guitar Center that someone had on consignment. Plays great, feel and balance are perfect. Unfortunately they sound awfull, very plastic and sterile.
    I agree that his Alembic sound was it!!!!
  10. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    Hehehe...some cool posts here!

    I agree the Alembic's sounded ferocious with "thunder fingers" plucking them. As pointed out above, John seemed to pluck the strings rather than strum or strike them. He did favor super-low action and towards the end of his brilliant life he seemed to me, to turn into a real gear-junkie. I've got his DVD The John Entwistle Band which I think, is the last recorded material of him playing live. He really has, a less than desireable sound in my book and I attribute that to the mountains of processing gear he was running.

    As for the Buzzard...well, I love them. The feel, the balance. It's a work of art in my book and I swear by mine. I also heard, the differences in sound between the Warwick and Status Buzzard are huge. I only saw footage of John playing the Warwick Buzzard a few times...mostly I saw him playing the Status, followed closely by a Modulus custom Buzzard.

    FWIW...you might look at this sight...it's got a good bit of John's gear info on it.