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Good Slap Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by EdgarHons, Nov 15, 2000.

  1. EdgarHons


    Oct 14, 2000
    I'm looking for a good bass for playing slap on, preferably a 5-string...I guess I'm not giving you many specifics, but could you reccommend something possibly? I'm sorry if it's asking much, but like if you make a reccommendation, could ya give an advantage of it over others? Thanks no matter what.
  2. mark


    Apr 7, 2000
    In failing to fill out your profile you've seriously hindered any attempts any of us will try to make if helping you out here....so fill out your profile!

    Now on to your question. It kinda all depends on what kind of funds you are willing to throw down however my favs for slap are a Musicman Stingray, Modulus Flea or a Warwick thumb. Those are all fairly expensive. List on a new ray (assuming you're from the states cause you never filled out your profile) is about $1400, for the Flea, about $2300 and for the Thumb, about $3300. No one better not jump down my throat if this is a bit off....I'm Canadian Eh! You will undoubtedly get all os these instruments for much less that this. I just gave you a worst case senario...no one is cruel enough to ask for the list price. Now go fill in that profile!
  3. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    For really good slap tone? Ill agree with the Modulus Flea. Or a Modulus Quantum. For a more "woody" sound, try a Lakland 55-94 Deluxe. Those are some of the best. Since you didnt name a price range, im not limiting it.
  4. Jato


    Nov 2, 2000
    I have a MM StingRay 4 in trans red with 2 band eq and maple neck...sweet! Got it used for $700, took me a little while though. My other is a '99 Lakland 5594 in amber quilt and maple neck. Jazz or StingRay tones easily and a B string that will rock your world. Pretty salty at around $2400-2600. Worth every .01.
    My amp is an Eden Metro 2-10 with xlt4-10 cab underneath. This is my recipe for great slap, and any other tone/technique I am looking for. Music Man Stingray also comes in 5 string...another great funk machine.
  5. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    I think if you want a slap bass you should look for:
    swamp ash body
    maple fret board
    21 or 22 fret
    4 string

    If you can find a 70's jass bass you will be happy. But they are expensive these days. I have a sadowsky 4 string and it sound incredible. 4 string are easier to slap than 5 string, less strings to mute and a better string spacing.

    Hope i helped you a little bit.

  6. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    One thing to think about is clearance between the string and the body to get in for popping. Some Yamahas and Ibanezes even have parts of the body scooped out to give you more room. Pickups near the end of the neck (ala Rickenbacker) can get in the way. The fewer frets on the neck (Fenders have 20, StingRays 21 but many high end basses have 24) means more clearance between the end of the fingerboard and the pickup(s).

    I've found that pickups with exposed poles (incudes stock Fenders, G&L, StingRay, etc.) can cause problems if you palm mute the strings. If the pickups can't be lowered enough the string may come in contact with the pole piece and cause a clicking noise. Pickups with no exposed poles don't have this problem.

    If you like to use different EQ for slapping than for fingerstyle or pick playing, having adjustable EQ on board (some basses even have "slap EQ" switches that kick in preset EQ curves) can be useful.

    These are some things to think about when you go trying out different basses.
  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    I love Jazz basses, and the Rapture J2 5 is a Jazz bass on steroids. I own one with birdseye maple board and maple body(they all have maple bodies) and the extra wide 3/4" string spacing, and it is a slap monster. I use this bass for fingerstyle, palm mute plucking and slap, does all 3 very well.

    The Bartolini pickups and preamp are dead quiet, get the vintage J sound plus, dime the treble and dial the bass at about 80% and you've got the Marcus Miller tone, great for that hi fi modern slap tone, but it does the Larry Graham sound just as well.

    The Stingray 5 is very nice, but is more of a Sterling than a 'Ray, which isn't necessarily bad. But the B on the Stingray is not as tight or authoritative as the Pedulla.

    But the main thing is, play as many as you can and find what pleases your ears and hands. For me, it is the Rapture!
  8. Jato


    Nov 2, 2000
    I've heard alot of good things about the Rapture, both 4 and 5, and both 1 and 2 pickup config. Pretty good price too, for the quality. I was looking for a 4 string Rapture when I found my StingRay. No regrets, both good basses for funk or traditional style.
  9. I've heard the comment a lot that a maple fret board is a needed to get a good slap tone and I'm not sure that is necessarily true. I ended up getting a Lakland 55-94 with a rosewood fretboard. I bought the bass used at a good price but was concerned about the slap sound I would be able to get from it since I play in a funk band and do quite a bit of slapping. As it turned out, I get and awsome slap tone from it. The rosewood fretboard gives it a little more of a focused midrange sound, so I just increase the treble and bass volumes a little (on the bass) when I do a song that includes slapping. I normally run the eq's flat.

  10. I've always thought Warwicks, with their super-duper-bright wenge fingerboard, have a really nice slap tone, particularly the Fortress Masterman and Streamer Pro M models.
  11. maestrox


    Oct 8, 2000
    Depends on what you want out of your slap tone. My old Sterling was great in paralell mode. Of all the 5-strings I've owned, the absolute best was/is Kenneth Lawrence. The one I've got now has grenadillo fretboard...so much for the maple fretboard myth. It does have a swamp ash body, but with a chechen top. Killer slap tone, both flat and with the pull pot in "slap mode" (boost at 60hs and cut at 750hz).

    Number two would be Lakland followed by Sadowsky. My Zon fretted with soapbars and Demeter pickup sounds pretty lousy slapped. My lightwave fretless however is pretty cool with the thumb...
  12. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I haven't noticed any mention of Spector Basses. I own one and must say that it sounds phenomenal, IMHO! :D

    And, if you have a chance and haven't done so already, Bass Player did an absolutely fantastic review of the 5-string Spector a few years back! A line from that article was, "One of the best sounding B strings they'd EVER heard!"

    And, that was even before it was offered in a 35" scale! :)
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Reality check....is there a budget?


    BTW I don't think people are saying that a Maple board is mandatory. I'll bet money that it does indeed sound different, though. I have basses with rosewood, Pau Ferro and Ebony boards that sound very good for slap but..

    I have two Ash bodied, Maple board basses (78 Jazz, 81 G&L L2000E) that sound ridiculous. There is a difference. Naturally deep, tight and clear, with no EQing. My Maple board Lakland isn't too shabby either. Of course YMMV.

    I played an excellent Ken Lawrence 5 yesterday but...

    I also played a 4 string Fodera that killed. First bass in a long time that I 've played that could approach the dynamics of a kick drum when thumped (like my Ash basses;)).

    Fill out your profile:D It helps.

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