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Good "Solo" Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by deathbloomslife, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. It has been brought to my attention that some basses tend to not sound the same heard alone and heard with a band.

    I started this thread to find out if there is any truth to this at all. It struck me to even think that I would get my hopes up for a kick ass bass, and go to test it and have it sound "bad," come back home, get on TB, and be told that when people reccoemend it, they thought I intended to play with band.

    Right now, I am playing solo, by myself, or with a single guitarist. I am looking into EBMM Sterlings and have heard that the MM humbucker solo, is not the best sound in the world, and can be beaten.

    So, is it true?? Is there such thing as a "bad" solo bass???

    kinda scared,
  2. I use my Stingray 5 for solo stuff. I play Bach, Beethoven and several jazz tunes. I don't find it a bad solo bass.
  3. artistanbul

    artistanbul Nihavend Longa Vita Brevis

    Apr 15, 2003
    I don't believe there is such a thing. The "bad for a band" concept can be understood, and bad for a band also differs from setting to setting, style to style etc. In a band you ALSO want to be heard, apart from other things.

    So no. There is no such thing. Just grab something you like.
    stuntbass77 likes this.
  4. EricTheEZ1


    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    I'd say the MMs aren't the best solo bass you could get. MTD X35s are incredible. X being the number of strings you want/ The most perfect tone I've ever heard. Sounded like I was already mixed, matched, and sound tested right out of the amp.

    A more affordable option would be anything with Barts, really. Active basses with Active Pre's USUALLY don't sound so great solo. A little lifeless. I'd stick with Passive with Active pre or just plain Passive. The rest is up to you.

  5. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Maybe I'm misunderstanding the question. You're thinking about going out and testing a bass "solo" in the store, then are worried that it won't sound the same "solo" at home?

    Basses do sound different solo vs. in a band setting, but since you're not playing in a band setting, why wouldn't you just buy something that sounds good (to you) when you try it out solo?

  6. JohnThomasson

    JohnThomasson Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Supro, Mesa Boogie, DR Strings, Source Audio, Pigtronix, & Fishman
    Just go with whatever is your sound. But I didn't like the sound of Sadowskys when I played them in the store. I'm more of a vintage guy and they can be bright, but I took the plunge because I loved the way it played. Man, my oppinion totally changed on the first song I played with a band. I love it now. It's still not the first bass I go for when I'm called into do a session, but I don't do a lot of pop/commercial recording gigs. They usually want more character, so I go for my P-Bass or a hollowbody like my Lakland or Hofner. I do bring the Sadowsky, but producers I work with seem to like the others for the sound they have in their head.
  7. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    With so many variables involved, such as amp choice, effects, strings and acoustics, blaming a bass for having a "good" or a "bad" sound for any purpose doesn't make much sense. It's all about your tone shaping options and finding settings that work for your application at a particular place and time.
  8. RobertUI

    RobertUI Thumper Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2005
    Herndon, VA - NoVa
    Amen Blackbird... it's all about the whole package, with the number 1 piece being your own playing style and technique. I think so much GAS comes into play because there are so many variables.

    I personally have decided to not change (or add) any more of my gear until I can really settle on my own style and technique. I've tried so many different basses and effects and then find out that I am playing differently than I did say 6 months ago (keep in mind I've been playing consistently since 1989). So my $.02 says start with a bass that feels good, and sounds OK, then work on building your own thing. It's only a tool man! :D
    stuntbass77 likes this.
  9. old Lado Solo's (I have one) are one of the best sounding solo basses I have ever heard. I get told how amazing the thing sounds often
    Crazy_Jake likes this.
  10. Alembic short- and medium scale basses are great for solo stuff, my EVH is 32" and there this one dude called Stanley Clarke who does make some great music with his 30.75"...
  11. I have an old Lado Solo as well and always receive many compliments on the sound. I have yet to find a better sounding or playing bass

    ROOTSnFIFTHS Low-end Lover since '78!

    Oct 25, 2012
    NJ to Sin City
    I always thought the Fender Precision bass fit that description. Solo, it sounded kind of honky, but in the mix,live or studio it is phenominal. Still love my Jazz basses and others but appreciate what will sound good as an ensamble more than I used too. So yes I think there is such a thing as a good solo bass vs an ensamble bass.
    IronLung1986 likes this.
  13. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'll solo on any bass. Precision, MusicMan, it doesn't matter...if it sounds bad, it ain't the bass' fault.
    stuntbass77 likes this.

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