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Help! My Precision sounds way too aggressive!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lowjoe1, Jul 20, 2012.


  1. lowjoe1

    lowjoe1

    Feb 3, 2011
    tennessee
    I recently bought a 1983 precision to use as a backup bass to my '68 Telecaster bass. Trouble is, I can't get a smooth sound out of it. Plugged into the same amp with the same settings as the'68, it sounds super gritty and overdriven. I don't notice it as much through a solid state amp, but I just know it's not right. Through the same tube amp with the same settings, my telecaster with chromes sounds buttery smooth. I plug the '83 P in, and it sounds like Geddy's Ric. Anybody know a cure? BTW, the '83 wears TI Jazz flats. Thanks very much.
     
  2. Rickengeezer

    Rickengeezer

    Feb 25, 2005
    Central Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Steve Clayton Accessories
    Rolling off the tone knob doesn't do anything? Do you know if it's the original pickup?

    '83 was kind of a weird year for Fender instruments....it seems like the accountants took over that year.
     
  3. lowjoe1

    lowjoe1

    Feb 3, 2011
    tennessee
    Yep, tone rolled all the way off. Haven't adjusted pickup height yet, might that help? The reason I chose the '83 is because it is 8.3 lbs, very resonate unplugged, and saeemed to have a VERY high build quality. I usually play 10 lb basses. Do the light ones sound brighter, more aggressive?
     
  4. Roll the volume down a little.
     
  5. Rickengeezer

    Rickengeezer

    Feb 25, 2005
    Central Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Steve Clayton Accessories
    I don't think weight matters that much. When you say your "tube amp with the same settings", might it be that the P-bass just is much higher output than the Tele and it is overdriving the preamp at the same settings? I have a Ric that has such a high output, I have to convince my amp that it's an active bass to keep it from distorting.
     
  6. RedMoses

    RedMoses

    Jul 4, 2012
    NYC
    Try lowering the hieght of the pick up in relation to the strings, that will mellow things out a bit.
     
  7. lowjoe1

    lowjoe1

    Feb 3, 2011
    tennessee
    Yep, tone rolled all the way off. Haven't adjusted pickup height yet, might that help? The reason I chose the '83 is because it is 8.3 lbs, very resonate unplugged, and saeemed to have a VERY high build quality. I usually play 10 lb basses. Do the light ones sound brighter, more aggressive?
     
  8. I would put TI Jazz Flats on the 83 Precision also. If you still have a noticeable difference, it would have to be due to the electronics.
    Rocky
     
  9. nashman

    nashman

    Feb 11, 2011
    Definitely check pickup height. You might also want to consider a new set of GHS Precision flatwound strings.
     
  10. Bardley

    Bardley

    Nov 16, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    Probably just has a different output level. Try backing the gain off on the amp a bit on the amp and see if that helps. Plus, a P pup is going to sound very different than the tele. They are in different positions and different types. I always expect to have to tweak a bit when changing basses.
     
  11. lowjoe1

    lowjoe1

    Feb 3, 2011
    tennessee
    My tele is like a SCPB, same pickup position as a P. I'm gonna try pickup height. Are the GHS precisions really mellow? That may be what I need. Weird though, I always liked the TI's on my '78 P....
     
  12. bruce bennett

    bruce bennett Commercial User

    Sep 8, 2009
    Chattanooga TN
    Owner and Luther for Bennett Music Labs
    I was going to ask you what strings are on your T Bass and how old they are.

    You may be just hearing the difference between fresh strings and older ones. Also. do drop you pickup height down.

    and as a general rule lighter basses do not mean more aggresive, thats usually the pickups output.. which fs you metered both basses, I'm sure you'll find your new P bass is hotter than the T bass.

    Lighter weight can offer more resonance, which can translate to brighter in some cases.
    But this is usually a subtle difference except in the most extreme cases. ( like going from alder to maple or basswood to swamp ash)

    But, some of the early 80s models had a very different and heavy solid milled brass hardware. THIS WILL add both brightness and aggressiveness to any bass.
     
  13. lowjoe1

    lowjoe1

    Feb 3, 2011
    tennessee
    I love Talkbass. So many helpful folks. Thanks for all the tips. I cranked the pickup down all the way, and it definitely helped. With the volume at 8, it gets pretty close to what I'm looking for. I'm gonna change to a more mellow string. Which would have a smoother sound, GHS Precision flats or La Bella deep talkin'? Also, heavier guage may be a more mellow tone too, right?
     
  14. Rickengeezer

    Rickengeezer

    Feb 25, 2005
    Central Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Steve Clayton Accessories
    Turn your gain down and your master volume up!
     
  15. PlungerModerno

    PlungerModerno

    Apr 12, 2012
    Ireland
    Foam mute? I like a little foam when things get Bluesy :bassist:
     
  16. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Lowering the pickup is for sure step one.
    Loweinr your amp's input gain, or, cracking volume shut at the bass a bit is step two.

    Changing from one set of flats to another isn't going to make a big diff in this case, IMO.
    If you were moving from fresh rounds to flats, I'd say that would help, but, you say you're using TI Jazz flats, which are a very nice string for what you want, I think.
     
  17. If you had the tone rolled all the way off and it still sounded bright, the tone control isn't working.
     
  18. mbeall

    mbeall

    Jun 25, 2003
    +1000
     
  19. mbeall

    mbeall

    Jun 25, 2003
    +1000

    You Pbass pick up is hotter then the tele's pickup. You can not use the same amp settings for the two basses, especially on the preamp gain stage.
     
  20. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    I really like the GHS Precision Flats. The guys in a local music store used to think I was crazy because I said I prefer the GHS flats to the Chromes. Chromes are nice strings for sure, but they get better as they age. They're pretty bright when they're new. The GHS flats sound broken in even when they're new, and they still last forever. Plus, they're cheap! (I know you asked about La Bella's, but I don't usually get those because they're more expensive. Not a big deal really, but if I'm happy with less expensive strings, all the better.)

    I actually do use Chromes on a lot of my basses, but if I have one that seems extremely bright, I opt for the GHS flats to mellow it out a bit.
     

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