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Geddy Lee Exit Stage Left Bass Tone

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Osztertag2112, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. Osztertag2112


    Jan 27, 2013
    Does anyone know what bass(es) were used on the record. His tickenbacker is a given, but was there any jazz on it? I have trouble beliving yyz was a rick?
  2. From what I know, the jazz did make appearances now and again on the ESL tour, but if the album track coincides with the film footage, then it was the Ric.
  3. NWB


    Apr 30, 2008
    Kirkland, WA
    AFAIK, that one was all Rick.

    Certainly sounds that way to me too.
  4. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    I saw that tour. I don't remember anything but a black Rick and a double neck
  5. nattiep

    nattiep Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2008
    Buffalo, NY
  6. BrentSimons

    BrentSimons Supporting Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    Vergennes,VT USA
    It's all Rick. But his black Jazz was sitting on a stand ready to go. You can see it in the beginning of the video.
  7. BrentSimons

    BrentSimons Supporting Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    Vergennes,VT USA
    Wow! My mistake. I apologize.
  8. On a side note, his Ric tone on ESL is his best recorded live tone IMHO with the Time Machine tour second.
  9. Jaymi

    Jaymi Pink Bass Man

    Feb 11, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Jaydee Basses
    NOTHING like that Rick tone!!!
  10. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    His best tone by far.
    Jazz comes in second.
    Geddy's early P tone was quite good also.
    I never cared for his Wal or Steinberger tone at all.
    Spectrum likes this.
  11. Jaymi

    Jaymi Pink Bass Man

    Feb 11, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Jaydee Basses
    Truly a bummer that the Rick left in Signals
    byoung93888 likes this.
  12. Every single song was Rick. I saw it in an album liner in some long gone day. One the bright side, many Geddy tone posts are rising.
  13. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    I would be surprised if that is true. I could have sworn Digital Man has that thicker sound characteristic of the Jazz.
  14. Jaymi

    Jaymi Pink Bass Man

    Feb 11, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Jaydee Basses
    Listen closely....some tracks are Rick and some might be jazz but there is Steinberger in there too
  15. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    Wait, are we talking about Signals now? I'm having trouble following the conversations. Wait, are we now talking about yet another album??

    I'm about 95 percent sure that both the Rick and the Jazz appear on ESL. Somewhere on TB is a thread that breaks it down by song. They sound pretty similar; the Jazz can almost, but not quite, get that grrr sound of the Ric IMHO.
  16. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    No steinberger on ESL or Signals. The only album with the steinberger is Grace Under Pressure.
  17. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    I was talking about Signals.
  18. Catanova


    Apr 7, 2011
    Golden CO
    I have a vhs tape of Exit Stage Left and in the video it is all Ric. Doubleneck on Xanadu. Perhaps there are films floating around out there with Ged using a Jazz during that tour as well. My 2c. What a great live album though :)

    They did go through a number of amplification changes prior to/and during that era (1981) and was also when digital was cutting edge in the studio. There may be more to consider regarding the final recorded sounds...
  19. Mossmatic

    Mossmatic Compulsive Modder

    Jul 19, 2012
    Let's not confuse studio recordings with ESL... Geddy acquired his '72 Jazz bass (at a pawn shop in Kalamazoo, MI) prior to recording Permanent Waves and - in his own words - he played it on "half of that album" (which tracks he used it on were never made clear to my knowledge). The Jazz was also used on Moving Pictures... At least on Tom Sawyer and Vital Signs, according to Geddy.

    In the ESL video, he played the Ric throughout, but obviously, various video and photographic records show that he did indeed play the Jazz during the Moving Pictures/ESL tour(s).

    Getting back to the original topic of tone; watching (and hearing) ESL at the time of its release had a very profound impact on my 13 year old mind. I was literally blown away... Not only had I never heard a bass player like Geddy, but I also had no idea that a bass could sound like that, which was largely responsible for inspiring me to not only become a bass player, but also gave me life-long GAS for a Rickenbacker bass.

    After finally acquiring a Ric (many, many years later) I realized that Geddy's tone owed more to his use of overdrive/amp settings and his playing style than the Rickenbacker itself. I really wanted to love that bass, but there was very little about it that I even liked (no offense to all you Rickenbacker fans out there) and no matter what I did, I was ultimately let down.

    Believe it or not, I have an SX Jaguar copy in which I installed '72 Jazz bass pickups (among other mods) which gets way closer to the "Geddy tone" than my Rickenbacker ever did (It's a growly mamma jamma!).

    I only mention this because these forums are constantly full of threads about how to get that "Geddy tone" and I don't want people to make the same mistake I did. If you think that you have to spend $2,000 on a Rickenbacker to get there, you might be disappointed. Ultimately, Geddy's tone comes from his hands (and from there, his set-up, effects, amp settings, etc.).

    Now that I'm older (and hopefully, wiser) I think it's better to find a bass/tone that best suits your playing style, while also having the flexibility to adapt to other musical styles. If Geddy gave you one of his own Rickenbackers, you still wouldn't sound like him.
  20. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    Exit Stage Left was all Rickenbaker except for YYZ which was the Jazz. Back then the tone he got from both basses was similar. He was playing through a big Ampeg amp with 10s or 15s and he used some sort of chorus effect.
    Vyachslavovich likes this.

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