Good Choices For Solid Easy To Find Funk Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by electracoyote, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. Howdy y'all. I'm new to the forum, but I've been lurking for a while. This place is just awesome.

    I've been a bass player for about 30 years now, usually in pro situations. I currently have 25 guitar/bass students. You'd think I'd have it all figured out by now, but I'm just not the know-it-all type I guess, and that keeps me growing.

    At any rate, at the behest of one of my more motivated bass students, I have really been boning up on my slap and pop playing lately, learning some tricks I should have learned long ago.

    I'm coming to the conclusion that my current line-up of basses are not ideally suited for this style of playing, with the exception of my Peavey Cirrus 5 (USA) maple fretboard. It really zings and thumps almost effortlessly.

    However, I'm in the market for "That Tone," meaning either the classic Fender Jazz slap tone or the classic Music Man Stingray slap tone, and I'd like to make it a 4 string for now.

    I've sort of narrowed it down to either (1) the new American Deluxe Jazz or (2) the Stingray HH. However, maple fretboard and active electronics are my main criteria. I tried a Fender Marcus Miller and was not impressed.

    Part of my problem is my local music stores are no help. The bass departments are just a wreck, and the basses are never even set up for proper auditioning.

    Any opinions about those two specific models mentioned above? I'm open to suggestions, and I thank you all in advance for your time and help.
  2. debassr


    Jan 23, 2008
    Why would you want something active for a funk sound?

    Check out the Fender 70's Classic Series Jazz Reissues - the MIM ones with the bound & blocked neck. They run about $700.
  3. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147

    Seems that you are set on an active bass. Have you played a Lakland Skyline?
    Do you want 4 or 5 strings?
  4. In Absentia

    In Absentia Guest

    Jul 5, 2008
    Passive American Standard Fender Jazz Bass.
  5. I'd like to keep it under $1500, 4 string. My Cirrus has active pickups, and it seems really easy to play slap and pop on it. Something with active/passive would be cool, but electronics can always be tweaked.
  6. Warwick Thumb Bolt On. I play Jazz and Fusion more than anything else and I tried many basses before buying the Thumb and none were better. Be sure to try the same model before purchasing it.
  7. Gothic


    Apr 13, 2008
    I'd go with a precision, or a P/J. As for the active, I think it would sound too "angry" with a preamp pumpin' it up, so I wouldn't suggest it. If you're dead set on it, you can check out the American deluxe fenders.
  8. CatfishStudios

    CatfishStudios Guest

    Jul 6, 2008
    Portland Oregon

    nuthin better for funk slap tone imho
    I have active and passive instruments, and always fall to my passive jazz for "that tone"
  9. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147

    One can ever always "go active" with a pedal, etc. Getting a good bass is step one, IMHO. :hyper: :eyebrow:
  10. Well, that makes a lot of sense, because one of my students has a Squire 70's Jazz (passive of course) and it gets a nice slap tone. But now I'm curious: Why do some of the great slap and poppers (like Marcus Miller) use active electronics if they are so bad for this style?
  11. Gothic


    Apr 13, 2008
    They're not bad, per se, it's just that the generic funk slap tone we're all used to is the result of passive pickups and an EQ'd amp, instead of an amped up active bass. Plus, most preamps tend to get "overused", and I don't think more gain equals better slap (or any other for that matter) tone. But that's just me.
  12. debassr


    Jan 23, 2008
    Because actives are too hot. Take a look at the Marcus Miller Jazz model - it has active AND passive modes. I can almost guarantee you that he slaps in passive mode. If he doesn't, well that's why his name is Marcus Miller I guess.
  13. j.kernodle


    Nov 23, 2008
    South Carolina
    I'm not sure why people are telling you to stay away from active basses. Stingrays and Sterlings have active preamps, and I don't think anyone would argue that those basses do the funk thing. Some of the best slap tones I've heard have come from active Spectors, Smiths, Sadowskys and the like.
  14. markkoelsch


    Sep 6, 2008
    Buy a Fender Squire Vintage Modified Jazz Bass for $279 if you want a jazz. I have played others, but to my ears and fingers there was not a lot of difference.
  15. debassr


    Jan 23, 2008
    Well, Sterlings were designed that way.
    Stingrays didn't have actives back in the day.

    (oops, my bad - they did.)
  16. My 2 cents is this,... it doesn't matter the brand or model, all depends on the particular bass itself. I worked retail in a music store for several years, one year, we got 3,..count 'em,..3 yamaha TRB P II's in,.....all three killer instruments,...great tone, gorgeous basses, rival ANY boutique build I've ever played,...however,..only one of the three really lent itself to slap, just had the tone and the feel. All three set up the same,..all identical except for the woods used for the tops,...really made me step back and go...wth?!?!?!?
    I think you should just play as many basses as you can until you find the "one" that fits your playing style and ear. The jazzes , musicmans, active, passive, Laklands, warwicks, 'em all until the special one falls into your hands,'s kinda like finding the right woman,...gotta weed through a bunch till you find one that fits you.
  17. LOL...ain't it the truth?!?!?!? Same model, same set-up, but something's different. I have had this experience with electric 6 strings more than once. A guitar I heard and coveted didn't sound the same when I bought one. So I bought two more, and the third had the sound I was after. Had to sell off the first two.

    I think there must be something to the active/passive switch or roll off capability. It is nice to have that option in case you are not slapping and popping. And as I said, my student's Squire 70's Vintage Mod Jazz sounded great slapped.
  18. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    -1 on the Stingray HH. +1 on the Stingray H. Seems several people find the HH doesn't leave much room to slap.

    I like the slap sounds a P bass makes though, so what do I know?
  19. Bloodfist

    Bloodfist Guest

    Mar 18, 2006
    Charleston, SC
    Go with the stingray HH. I love it and it has some awesome slap tones.
  20. I was an active guy forever and own some of the best active on-board pre's made and have recently discovered that I get a better tone passive.
    Passive Jazz bass would be my choice for what you want to do.
    But Ray's are cool too(and active).
    Wicks too.
    Whatever floats your boat, but I'm a Jazz guy for 'that' sound.