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Geddy Live - Steinberger or Wal?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by lijazz, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. Freez


    Nov 8, 2008
    I love the way the Wal sounds on their albums, but that vid of YYZ above has some of the crappiest live tone I've heard from Ged, overly processed ampless jazz tone notwithstanding...the jazz sounds great live now that he's back to using amps. Wonder what he was using for amplification on that YYZ vid?
  2. ProfGumby


    Jan 15, 2007
    Michigan's U.P.
    The audio quality of that you tube clip is just terrible...nasty...and yet the song still manages to sound great! And even though I think the band has never sounded better than right now, I still love the Ric tone...
  3. afinalfantasy

    afinalfantasy Banned

    Jan 11, 2006
    To be honest I found that period of Rush and Geddy using those brands of basses to be terrible, the quality of the sound was pretty poor. The bass sounded better back in the 70s with the Rickenbacker and Fender. Now it's just garbled loudness ever since Vapor Trails.
  4. number11


    Jun 17, 2010
    Steinberger all the way.
    Its very prominent on Power Widows too - once you have an L2, you can really pick it out on certain tracks.
    i thinkk the Wal is a little too dead and woody for my liking.
    son_of_mogh likes this.
  5. I believe that Power Windows was all Wal, no 'berger on that album. Grace Under Pressure was the only studio albumn that it was used on.
  6. number11


    Jun 17, 2010
    I don't believe so.

    Take a listen to Marathon - its Steinberger. Sounds completely different to Big Money, for instance.

    Also to most of Hold Your Fire
  7. I think that Geddy is one of those bassists who makes the bass sound like him whatever he uses.
  8. Duke21


    Nov 14, 2010
    Narvik, Norway
    Maybe, but the Wal sound the least like Geddy than the Rick the Jazz the Berger or the p bass. But it might be so due to various amps he used through the years.
  9. Duke21


    Nov 14, 2010
    Narvik, Norway
    I must after seeing the Rush X3 DVD, I have to say the Wal doesn't sound bad at all! Much better than on the CD.
  10. smcgov

    smcgov Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2010
    Northshore Mass
    I have a european cd of rush live called "over the europe" and the Wal sounds terrible live. I've been through 2 wals and have tried all kinds of strings and amps and I've never been able to get a tone like he gets on the albums live with a wal.
    I've had 2 different soundmen ask me to bring diff basses when I gigged them.

    I think the best sounding bass tones he gets are on hemispheres and signals. I'm quite fascinated by the sheer number of guys on here that have sold Wals. IMO they are the most overhyped bass in existence and if Geddy hadn't used one I think they'd all be on ebay for 1400 bux. Please take no offense if you love them, you may have found some amplifier synergy that I never got going...just speaking for myself here.
  11. Duke21


    Nov 14, 2010
    Narvik, Norway
    I've never cared for Geddy playing the Wal, as his "signature" tone is more associated with the Jazz and the Rick.
    I've always liked the sound of the Wal from listening to Brand X where Percy Johns plays his fretless Wal. And one should not forget the 3 neck Wal that Chris Squire played on Awaken.
    So, while I've got a bit more respect to Geddy's Wal tone from listening to his Wal in the X3 Rush DVD (on some songs the Wal sound just awesome) , I still think that all the other basses he played sounded better, including his P-bass from Rush
  12. Short of being there personally at The Manor Studio, I can emphatically say Power Windows was recorded exclusively with Peter Collins' Wal. I don't have the sources here (most are in storage), but the various interviews/articles I read all stated that Ged had started basic tracking with the Steinberger and that Collins had recommended Ged try a track with the Wal and had fallen in love with it. He then began doing A/B tracks with Steinberger/Wal and always chose the Wal. He eventually quit A/B-ing as it was clear the Wal was more to his liking/style at the time.

    re: Marathon specifically, to my ears it's clearly a Wal... I mean, at 2:55 when the bridge kicks in that Wal-ish honk/quack/mid-tone clank is just JUMPING all over that tone. Which goes to the heart of why I think (imho) Ged chucked the Steinberger -- rag on the Wal all you want (you meaning TB or anyone in general), there's a certain type of 'articulation' the Wal affords that the Steinberger tone does not. It fit Ged's hyper kinetic funky stuff perfectly. To my ears, when I hear Ged play PW songs on the PW tour with his Steinberger they just sounded... cumbersome, lumbering. Powerful, ballsy, etc? Sure. Just not as articulate.

    FWIW, it was one of the reasons I sold my Steinberger (well, my divorce being the primary reason, but one of my babies had to go and it was the Steinberger).

    Sorry if I came off as a Richard Von Döûché, I'm just slightly passionate about this. :)

    re: the difference between the PW and HYF tone... other than going from Peter Collins' Wal (which was a natural walnut finish) to Ged's black and gold bass, I have to wonder what the difference in tone was since they were both MKIs. I recall Ged mentioning a slight difference in tone from an interview ca. 1987 but I don't recall his exact comments. HYF sounds a bit more open and less clenched to me, but I suppose in two years time A/D and other stuff improved exponentially in the recording realm.

    ok, one last Wal (non-Ged) story: back in the late 80s my girlfriend and I were huge Fixx fans, and I really thought bassist Dan K. Brown's playing was awesome in a pop context.

    We go to see them in a small club, and we're denied because it was over 21 (we were only 19 at the time). So we're hanging out by the side of the club, girlfriend in tears, the band is loading into the back and sees us and we must've spoken with them for an hour before the show. I got to speak with Dan Brown at length about his basses (he also used a Steinberger and a Wal) and his playing, recording techniques, etc.

    Check this out -- he got his Wal for *free*. The Fixx were in the recording studio and Waller walked in and was chatting with the producer and engineer. When he saw Dan he handed him a Wal and said 'here, do you want this? It's got a dead spot, I can't sell it in good conscience.' (paraphrased)

    Brown was blown away. He said the dead spot was so minimal it wasn't even funny.

    A free Wal!
  13. I must reaffirm my belief that Power Windows, HYF, Presto and RTB were ALL Wal all the time. The only studio album that the Steinberger was used on was GuP. The red Wal that Geddy used live in the early 90s sounded MUCH better to my ears that the black Wal he used prior (see: A Show of Hands). But I still think the 'berger LIVE sounds better than even the red Wal.

    Again, just my opinion.

    By the way, maybe I am opening another can of worms here, but all these years I have thought that it was the Ric on "The Analog Kid" from Signals, but just the other day I was listening and was shocked that now to my ears it sounds like the Jazz. It seems to sound more like the other tunes on Signals that the Jazz was used on.

    Any thoughts on this fellow TBers?
  14. The only thing I have a vague recollection of was around Presto, when they were stripping out a lot of the keys during the songwriting sessions, Ged had mentioned getting 'reacquainted' with the Jazz when he and Alex were jamming, but it didn't resurface until '93's Counterparts.

    As a teen, I assumed all he used was the Ric since that was what he was holding on my Rush poster. :) But yeah, just by memory the only songs I can say for certain were the Ric were Countdown and Subdivisions.
  15. I just listened to all of Signals again last night and I have to say that I now agree with you that the Ric was used on Countdown and Subdivisions and I am sure Chemistry also. My ears tell me that the other 5 songs are the Jazz for sure.
  16. number11


    Jun 17, 2010
    @ swarzfeger: I couldn't swear to it one way or another - just going by what i hear.

    But stories of what players used in studio sessions I always take with a pinch of salt, particularly when said people have endorsements with big manufacturers - not meaning ged in this case.

    What I have noticed with regard to the Steinberger is that while the Grace Under Pressure live video,in certain parts, has a less-than-ideal tone, people assume that was the tone of that instrument all of the time. The assumption then being Steinberger = bad tone all the time.

    But the Jazz and the Wal have sounded vastly different on the various recordings there are of them live. Some are better than others. The same assumption is not made in the case of either bass. Perhaps because more recordings exist of them, and therefore more variety in tone is there ? I dunno.

    I hate the tone he has had with that Jazz and amp sims for the past wee while. I saw them in the NEC in Birmingham and was really disappointed with the sound of the bass. For me, it lacked clarity.

    I love Steinbergers, but i'd be the first to agree the tone on GuP live is not good.

    With regard to The Fixx, I love Dan K. Brown's playing, nice story!
  17. 21Dmoney12


    Mar 24, 2011
    Marathon is not a steinberger, it's a Wal
  18. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Long Island, NY.
    Supposedly Geddy used a few MusicMan basses while on tour for a brief period of time, but stopped using them because of their need to be adjusted constantly. I'd love to hear some clips of what he sounded like with those.
  19. I agree!

    I just started diggin' on that album:)
  20. Wal, even Geddy himself says they sound lifeless. Now, my favorite Rush tone is with the Rickenbacker. It's just...Geddy. I'm not slamming Wal in anyway, because that creation from hell that Roger Newell(Chris Squire got it after him) played with Rick Wakeman on King Arthur has one of the nastiest, growly, bass tones I've ever heard.

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