getting that sound....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by iriegnome, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    I have been working on my tone a lot lately. Searching for "that tone". Actually the tone I am looking for can be found in "Never Been Any Reason" by Head East. So this last Saturday I was at an outdoor show, the band was playing and Damn it there was my tone coming off stage. Ampeg SVT-Classic (new) and a Ampeg 8x10 cabinet.
    Am I doomed to have to get gigantic heavy cab's and amp??
    I currently use a SWR BASS 750 putting out 850w at 2 Ohms through a Schroeder Mini 12(Original design w/o horn) a Schroeder 1212 (Original Design) and a SWR Bass Monitor with a Emeninence Delta Force speaker to match my Schroeders. I added a PE15 parametric EQ to boost and cut frequencies, but just cannot get that sound...
    I do not want to change anything about my system unless I have to. I have got to imagine there has got to be a way to coax out that sound on my current system?? Yes?? No??
  2. ldmm


    Aug 18, 2010
    Victoria, BC
    Yes... you can get a VT Bass.
  3. Bardley


    Nov 16, 2007
    Louisville, KY
  4. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140

    The best to hear the tone I am after is in this song. Right about 4m 12s...
  5. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    The bass depends a lot on that sound too. I think you will get different sounds using a pbass vs a Jazz, and everything in between. I assume he probably used a pbass, but it was hard to tell from the videos I looked at (That video is not Head East, but the audio is).
  6. JSK5String


    May 19, 2008
    Littleton, CO
    If you get 100 responses to your question I'd be surprised of 95 of them aren't telling you to get a VT Bass or VT Deluxe. Ampeg tone in a box, period.
  7. MrBEAR

    MrBEAR In Memoriam

    I remember talking to bassist Dan Birney at a Head East gig at "The Rafters" in Nekoosa WI shortly after "Flat As A Pancake" was released.

    When I quizzed him on what he used for that classic tone on "Never Been Any Reason" he confirms it was indeed an early 70's SVT with the 8x10 cab and was mixed favoring the microphone signal from the cab.

    His Fender Jazz bass with Rotosound Round wounds was played with a pick.


    Mr. BEAR
  8. Or you can work out of the box, and go after your own tone. That's why everybody doesn't use the same amp, get what makes "you" happy.
  9. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    Well, the band I just saw the bassist used a Washburn RB2002 w/Basslines in it. I know the sound and tone can be had with different basses. I don't know about pedals. I don't know how they work. Do I run direct to the board? Would I use the VT as a Pre-amp, pick up a power amp and run to the board like that?
    Is there just no way to pull that tone/sound out of my tube pre/SS amp?
  10. FromTheBassMent

    FromTheBassMent Those who can, play bass.

    Jan 19, 2010
    Providence, RI
    I won't repeat "get a VT Bass." Oh wait, I just did.

    Your SWR + Schroeder rig is very hi-fi and the Schroeders especially are going to emphasize way more barky midrange than the Ampeg 8x10 typically would. You'll be able to get your SWR to sound more like an SVT head with the VT bass pedal, but I'm guessing you'll continue struggling with those hyper-aggresive cabs.

    In my 30+ years of playing I've come to believe that you can coax almost any tone out of almost any rig... but there are limitations. I play Americana/alt-country/folkadelic and use EBMM basses through a VT Bass and Markbass amplification, and I can get a very vintage sound with a bit of knob twiddling. But Markbass is known for having a rather warm, vintage sound among SS amps. I'm not sure I could get what I'm getting now with SWR (had an SWR Redhead back in the day, and ultimately it was just too aggressive sounding for my genre).
  11. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    By the By, this is the tone I like, a lot. I have set my sights on my own ability to play and perform as I do. I play like me. The sound however, I want in the general direction of this, but I do not want a 300 pound head and cabinet!
  12. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    My tone currently is big fat rolling and thunderous! I don't know what I am doing, but I have no problem with hi-fi tones and aggressive behavior. That is my whole point, I want that overtone crispness that I should have.
  13. I Forget

    I Forget

    Apr 16, 2010
    +1 Those schroe cabs have a very pronounced voice. If it's not the tone you want you can try to eq around it but you will only get so far. It's like trying to make a pbass sound like a jazz, eq is not going to make it happen. Much better to start with cabs that are close to what you want with no eq, let alone 15 bands.

    A VT pedal is cheap enuff. If you like it I'd suggest taking it, your bass & head and plugging into a variety of different cabs. If nothing else it will put the tone of your schroe's into perspective and help you appreciate their strengths and limitations. It might help you determine what's missing with your current tone.
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    love the vt and you can cop a very close sound to that with it. i have used almost every major amp on the market and that's about as close as it gets without buying an actual svt. the swr stuff is great, but it's not built to get that tone. it can get sort of in the ballpark, but not as dead on as the vt. plug it in the loop return and bypass the preamp or run it in line with your bass and use the vt and the swr's preamp...doesn't matter.

    but as much as i like it, there's really no sub for the real thing. you'll get very close but there's a reason i still lug tube amps even though i have a vt and vt deluxe.
  15. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    I think a big part (a HUGE) part of that sound (in the above clip) is a nice, old, hot, passive single-coil neck pickup. (Jazz Bass, or the P-Bass's split single).

    Did the OP mention what bass he was using?

    If you got ANY bass and dropped the RIGHT Fralin, or Antiquity, etc..., etc... blah... you'd get really close to that sound. A nice hot P-Bass or Jazz Bass sounds GREAT through whatever you play it through. Best P-Bass tone I ever heard was through a solid-state Sunn Coliseum 300 and 1 x15. Tiny in comparison to an SVT rig. The right P-bass can nail that tone all day, no matter what amp you use.


    <begin highjack>

    I think this discussion touches on something hilarious.

    Since the late 60's, amplifier manufacturers and bass manufacturers have been desperately trying to "normalize" bass tone. Tube amps "break up" too early and get fuzzed out. Passive pickups were noisy and had a very distinct sound.

    (And thousands of records were made with these primitive tools).

    Then in the 80's and 90's SS amps perfected 100% clean, sterile tone. No coloring of the signal whatsoever. And active pickups appeared and tried to remove all noise and hum and character from the pickup.

    So, now, you can buy a $2000 bass that has no "sound" whatsoever. Just accurately reproduces "exactly" what the string produces. And you can by amps that are totally sterile, that don't color your sound at all.

    Then you buy a VT bass, which uses computer-generated impulse-captured speaker-simulation algorithms and amp-modeling hocus pocus attemping to accurately reproduce the decay and compression and fractal chaos of an actual tube amplifier.

    So... why buy a clean amp and sterile bass if you're just going to keep searching for a pedal that makes it all sound like an ol' beat up P-bass and a 69 SVT?

    <end hijack>


    I think some nice single coil pickups will get you closer to the tone you seek. Iriegnome, what kind of bass are we talking about here again?
  16. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    Mine - 1978 Modulus Bassstar 5 w/Bartolini p'ups
    The band I was watching - a 2000 Washburn RB2002 w/ Seymour Duncan Basslines

    Anyway, The real deal of this is, the tone/sound I am looking for, from what I can gather, is only going to come from a full tube head - Anyone agree with that? I don't like pedals. just never got into using them. Again, from what I am coming to gather from the comments is that the what I am looking for is a tube only and probably cannot get that from my rig.
  17. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    I'll bite...Weight and $$$ (initial and tube maintenance) are the reason's I haven't made the jump yet...but I will. I believe there is some flexibility of using a pedal and a clean solid state amp head that you wont get with an SVT. This is all from what I read here, of course.

  18. Use a Pick -> Chromes -> Vtbass = will make anything sound like that.
  19. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    I'm not 100% familiar with what pickups are in there, but if they're active humbuckers... that's a bigger part of the issue than your rig.

    Check what size the pickups are. If the Nordstrand Big Singles, or Big Splits will fit in there, they will change the sound of your bass entirely, and get you in the neighborhood, and on the same block.

    I don't think you need a full tube head to get that tone. As I said, I've heard that tone out of a Solid State Sunn Coliseum head. (Because that particular P-Bass already sounded so good.) I've heard that tone out of GKs and SWRs

    Granted... there is something that happens with an all-tube head that you can't ever replicate 100% (not even with the VT Bass) but you should be able to get the sound you want with the amp you have. Try a friend's passive P or J through your rig and see if you can get any closer.

    The secret-sauce of tube heads (IMO) has more to do with the dynamics of the sound, the presence of the sound, and how the amp reacts to your attack, rather than the fundamental "sound" itself.

    You should be able to get there with your rig and the right pickups.
  20. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    I know u said you dont wanna change your setup,But, I'd lose the 12s...and go with a 410, or a coupla 210s.
    thats my next deal, those GK210 neos...mmm..mmm.

    Of course the guy in the video is prolly usin an 810...or 215s...who knows...

    But, I digress.

    +1 To the VT bass

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