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Fender Bass VI question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by FromTheBassMent, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. FromTheBassMent

    FromTheBassMent Those who can, play bass. Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    Warren, RI
    I just bought myself a Fender Pawn Shop Bass VI. There are a coupla things wrong with it (the bridge pickup is utterly worthless, and I need to install a string tree for the middle two strings to stop them rattling in the nut), but overall I'm really pleased. The fit and finish are really exceptional for the price point, and it's super fun to play. I play exclusively fingerstyle on my "real" basses, but this thing is a total hoot with a pick.

    Soundwise, I am not getting quite what I'm after running into my MarkBass rig. I think ideally what I would use for amplifying this thing would be a vintage Fender Bassman... that would sound wicked cool! But I'm not rich, and I'm not going to schlepp a separate amp to gigs.

    So, do any of you have experience with these beasts? And if so, how would you go about making it sound less like a bass and more like a Jazzmaster (or a Tele!) tuned an octave down? I'm considering trying a Tech21 Blonde to see if that will get me in the zone, and adding a spring reverb pedal to my board.

  2. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Play it through a guitar amp. Then it sounds exactly like you're wanting.
    The tech21 blonde + reverb should get you close.
  3. FromTheBassMent

    FromTheBassMent Those who can, play bass. Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    Warren, RI
    I'm sure a big Fender guitar amp would be ideal. My current guitar amp is a 15w 1x12 Egnater tube combo that would likely explode if I cranked bass frequencies through it, so that's a non-starter. I'm not about to invest in an appropriate guitar amp to make this happen.

    So perhaps you're right, the Tech21 might be the way to go. Would really love to hear from someone who's tried this, though.
  4. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    I've played both my Dano and Gretsch equivalents of Bass VI's through small tube guitar amps and bigger bass amps. With and without effects in front.

    Seriously, if you want it to sound like a low guitar play it through your guitar amp. It'll won't hurt anything. Bass VI's are designed to be played through guitar amps.

    Otherwise, use an amp emulator, as you suggested, into your bass amp and dial the lows way back.
  5. Guitaramp indeed. And what the PS can't, is dial in the typical "Bass VI nasal twang", being the neck & bridge pickup combined, with or without the bass-cut. The Squier can, and it sounds awesome:
  6. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The bridge pickup is useful when playing it as a baritone guitar.

    I replaced the E and A from a regular D'Addario short scale set, big improvement over the factory D'Addario set's E and A (other strings are fine) if you're using it for bass duties.

    I'm still getting used to what I can do with the top two strings. I play it fingerstyle mostly, it's not as difficult adjustment as I first thought it would be.

    I've heard good things about the Squier too bad I had already bought the PS model, eh.
  7. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    Don't own one but I have played a delightful CAR sample in a store so I will offer a third opinion on the bridge pickup: it's great! All three pickups sounded great alone and in the combinations with the others that the Strat switch offers. There is a lot of tonal variation to be had from this beast and all of it is useful. Alas, I cannot afford one right now so I am going to have to settle for the Squier VI and since I have not been able to find one to play I can only hope that its bridge pickup will be as satisfying as the PS VI's bridge pickup.

    But tastes vary so none of us is wrong!
  8. FromTheBassMent

    FromTheBassMent Those who can, play bass. Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    Warren, RI
    Once I get the amplified sound squared away I'll give the bridge pickup another chance. Right now I'm loving the neck/middle combo. Sounds like a ginormous Strat.

    I tried a Squier in a store, and it sounded okay, but the build quality was disappointing, and I didn't really trust the electronics (switches and knobs felt flimsy). The block inlays on the neck were really sweet though.

    brianrost, what strings did you change to? There aren't many Bass VI sets out there. I'm sure the La Bellas are terrific, but the E string is enough thicker that the nut would likely have to be modified. They're also $45 as opposed to $13 for the D'Addarios!