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Formula for great tone

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by jive1, Mar 15, 2003.

  1. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Just curious to see what TBers consider essential factors in creating great tones on their bass. Is it the pickups, amp, technique, bass, strings, outboard gear? Or what combination thereof? What matters the most? What matters the least? Have any "secrets" to share?
    Tone is one of those subjective discussions, but I'm sure that youngsters and tone seekers can get alot from everyone's input.

    Here's my 2 cent formula
    30% Technique
    20% Amp
    20% The woods on the bass
    10% Strings
    10% Pickups
    10% Outboard effects (ie. preamps)

    Anyone else have any ideas or comments?
  2. old_skool


    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    You might want to wiegh in the acoustics of the venue as well.
  3. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I think you're pretty close with your ratios. And, off to Misc.
  4. 90% EQ.
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Here's my 3 cent formula:

    5% Technique
    40% Amp
    20% The woods on the bass
    5% Strings
    30% Pickups
    0% Outboard effects (ie. preamps)
  6. Killdar


    Dec 16, 2002
    Portland Maine
    I would think it would go in this order:

    on the bass, the strings, since a string change can make thump go to zing instantly....then woods...electronics in the bass.....and then the amp itself.

    Effects would probably go first, but it depends on what effects are being used really....same with EQ.

    and the technique factor is quite important....you can't have good tone if ya suck.
  7. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    70% tone knob on bass:D

    The rest is EQ:eek:
  8. DRN


    Mar 17, 2002
    Las Vegas

    Nice cenobite!!!

  9. My opinion;
    Technique 25%
    Amp 40%
    Ability to EQ the sound to suit the venue and the band 35%

    IMO, all the fancy pickups, strings, and woods in the world dont count for squat if the player does'nt have good right hand technique, does'nt have power to suit the occasion (power+tone), and just automatically assumes that a "smiley-face" EQ is going to suit every situation. To expand; I have seen guys with Pedullas and such-like basses that sounded crap. I have seen guys with Samicks that sounded good. I've obviously also seen Pedulla players that sounded good, and Samick players that sounded crap. This therefore eliminates the instrument from the equation.
  10. Every time i hear a pro play, it sounds great. No matter what the equipment is, sometimes i've heard the most groovy-sounding basses in music stores through a Micro-Teacher, played by someone who knows what he's doing.

    70% skill, also the skill to EQ the equipment
    30% gear (including bass,amp,effects etc.)
  11. 40% bass
    30% Amp
    20% technique
    5% woods
    5% strings

    at least in my opinion
  12. The smiley face EQ is a godsend !!!!!!
  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    It sounds great when you play by yourself. Play that way with loud guitars, and nobody will hear you. Mids are the real godsend.
  14. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Those with good tone know how to overcome the obstacles. To me cab placement, room acoustics, and the ability to analyse what your hearing are far more important than equipment.

    Oh and EQ with your ears, not your eyes! Too much emphasis is placed on the shape of the sliders IMO.
  15. Petey, I agree with you. To get my setting on an amp, i shut my eyes, and figure out what knob does what, then doodle around...
  16. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    90% - Carrots
    10% - Everything else
  17. TRU


    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    My opinion:

    20% - technique
    10% - woods on the bass
    10% - pickups, preamps and cabs (it's fine if they are at least decent)
    20% - you know what to do to get your tone
    40% - the tone you are after is good (don't kill the sound with eq etc.)
  18. Mids were forged by the scaly hands of Lucifer himself .

    I dunno , I like to leave Lo-mid flat for warmth , and cut Hi-mid down to about 9 o'clock , because Hi-mid sounds s!*t .
  19. 50% heart (aka gumption)
    25% perception (hearing what you want everyone to hear)
    25% the rest (equipment, technique, yadda yadda)
  20. Am I the only person who hates mids ?