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Felix Pappalardi Tone

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Al Garcia, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. Al Garcia

    Al Garcia

    May 28, 2016
    I think Felix Pappalardi had one of the most amazing bass tones ever. Check out the clip below.
    Does anyone know what amp and fuzz box he used back then (1970's)?

    Fuzzbass and 10cc like this.
  2. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Guitar guy I'm playing with now is currently playing bass with Leslie West. But I don't have any answer for you :). He's using a POS p/j plugged into whatever house amp is around. If he knows what Papilardi used, I'll be happy to pass along the info.
  3. Al Garcia

    Al Garcia

    May 28, 2016
    Great. Thanks.
    Joe Nerve likes this.
  4. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Texted him and got this back...

    "No effects ..sun amps and gibson bass violin bass and ebo or 3."

    That's the best I can do.

    I think a lot of those great bass sounds came by accident, and gear that's wasn't optimal. I know Geezer Butler's original sound came from a Marshall bottom with a cracked or blown speaker.
  5. RockDoc


    Jan 5, 2007
    What Joe said. Pappalardi used a Gibson EB-1 "violin" bass into Sunn tube amps live (don't know the specific models). He produced some of Cream's albums, and no doubt was inspired by Jack Bruce's distorted tone.
    Fuzzbass likes this.
  6. 10cc


    Oct 28, 2013
  7. 10cc


    Oct 28, 2013
  8. 10cc


    Oct 28, 2013
  9. Bodeeni

    Bodeeni Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2010
    You have no idea how load they played, might have been the loadest band I ever saw. So just to be heard, against Leslie's wall of marshalls, playing a muddy ass EB-1 you would probably have to dime everything.
    Max Blasto and 10cc like this.
  10. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Dating back to that era, I can pretty confidently say the bulk of that sound came from just diming your amp and letting it rip. Back then, here wasn't much in the way of effects (that actually got used - and seldom by bass players either way) beyond a wah pedal, a fuzz face or Big Muff, and the tremolo and reverb on your amp. Or sometimes running through a Leslie cab if you were somebody who had money.

    But the "formula" back then was: 15" speakers (mostly), a whole lotta watts, and a total disregard for the damage being inflicted on your hearing - combined with a bass that "got down really low" like a Gibson EB-0, EB-3, or later on a TBird.

    That produced a sound (especially once your speakers got a little buzzy) you could either dance to - or pour on a pancake. Listen to Mountain's version of Theme to an Imaginary Western (two guesses who by) for another good example of that sound.

    Also +1 with @Bodeeni. I heard Mountain as well. And *LOUD* does not begin to describe them. That stage looked like what you'd imagine the shipping dock at the Marshall factory looked like. It wasn't just impressive. It looked downright dangerous. As in scary dangerous. (And it was!)
    danster likes this.
  11. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    So many great tones from that day were tube amps cranked way up. As noted Jack Bruce pioneered that tone, then there were Pappalardi, Mel Schacher of Grand Funk, Andy Fraser of Free (etc). I believe Mel used a J-bass, but the rest favored Gibson medium scale basses.
  12. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Oh... that wasn't my personal favorite tone (I was more of an Entwistle guy), but I happened across it decades ago at a garage jam/party. The bass amp was a silverface Fender Bassman through a 2x12 or 2x15 cab. Definitely had that phuzzy pharty sustainy sound. That was pretty much the ONLY sound that rig could do, but it was lots of fun.

    Now that I think of it I'm not 100% sure it was a Bassman. Definitely Fender, and all tube of course.
  13. Al Garcia

    Al Garcia

    May 28, 2016
    I'm going to try experimenting with my Bass POD using the Sunn, Marshall, Ampeg and Vox settings. I'll also try the Amplitude SVT plug-in as well. Thanks to all for the replies.
  14. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Sunn 200s heads(2xKT88's in an ultra-linear amp design, based on Dynaco hi-fi amps, generating 60 watts RMS); into a pair of efficient JBL D140's in a unique horn ported 200s cab, sometimes he was seen with Sunn 2000s heads which were twice the wattage. Very clean and loud up to a certain point, and then when the distortion kicks in, it's a very nasty chainsaw. Add to that he was pushing them with those Gibson mud buckers, and there you go. Initially, their Sunn backline was hand-me-down gear from the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

    West would use a combination of 2x15's and diagonal 4x12's.
    Lowendrules, cultrvultr and 10cc like this.

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