Hemispheres/Farewell to Kings tone with a Fender?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SubEndSorcerer, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. SubEndSorcerer


    Nov 27, 2004
    I think these two albums have the best bass tone I've ever heard. The first bass notes on Xanadu make me drool. I wish I could get a similar tone with a Fender. I just love the way they look and feel. I tried a Rick at my local music store and I didn't like the feel at all. The flat top really annoyed me. I have a P-Bass right now, and it's just boom, boom clanky sounding. I haven't been playing very long (about 10 months) but there has to be a way to get a more punchy, growly, floating bass tone like on these albums.
  2. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Unfortunately, a PBass would have to be one of the worst basses to be using to try and approximate that tone. Mainly because a Pbass would generally give you the exact opposite of the sound you are looking for.

    That said, a reasonable approximation could be made by boosting the treble and high mids on your amp and perhaps cutting the bass a little. You might also want to consider using a little bit of overdrive to give the bass that growly edge.

    A lot of Geddy's tone probably came from his amp / recording techniques as well as his hands. I believe he used the Rick-O-Sound output of his Ricks to go to a bass amp (all tube) and a guitar amp to get that signature distorted tone. That says, even when he used a Fender Jazz, he still sounded pretty much the same (see Moving Pictures).
  3. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I agree with Mark. His amp setup has alot to do with it. His style in general is quite percussive. A jazz bass might not be a bad start

  4. SubEndSorcerer


    Nov 27, 2004
    I've been thinking about just getting a Jazz. I think their sound is more *me* than the P-Bass.
  5. Just get the Geddy sig bass. It's a nicer Jazz than Fenders Mexican line & the neck is easier to play.
  6. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Yeah, it's kinda too bad Rickenbacker discontinued the 4003S model. No binding, no triangle inlays, no Rick-O-Sound, but the top was contoured more comfortably. The top on my 4003 tends to annoy me after awhile too, and this is even with me owning this bass for 12 years.

    Well, there's always the current 4001C64 reissue models (which have the more ergonomic top contouring), but those go for couple grand or so. They're schweet though.

    And of course there's the current 4004 model, but those are a slightly different animal with a different sound.
  7. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    Geddy's tone on those albums is just magical. Compression? Probably in liberal quantity. Whatever else? Only Geddy knows. I would think that in order to even approach that tone, you have to at least start with the Rick bass. Then close your eyes, click your heels and wish really hard. :)

    The skill that man has on four strings is amazing and much of his tone comes from that alone, I'm sure. It can either motivate you to play like the devil or give it up all together!
  8. If you're looking to duplicate sounds of various players you would find a more inexpensive option would be to grab a signal processor.

    I've got a Behringer Bass V-Amp

    It lets me sound like some of my faves even if I can't play like them.

    It also saves you $$$$ on lots of bass and amp setups.

    This will also give you the ability to sample many tones over your first few years of playing before locking you into one specific tone.
  9. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK

    That is actually a very good idea. Also, the relative "cheapness" of a bass v-amp would probably replicate that 70's recording sound on the early Rush albums! :D
  10. 73jbass


    Apr 17, 2004
    Geddy did the very first Rush album with a P-bass. You can get close, but a Jazz bass or Ric with steel strings is what will really do it.I own both a 73 Jazz and a 78 Ric, both strung with DR HIbeams,and run through a Ibanez Turbo Tube Screamer. There is another option of finding a Peavey Addverb3 rack effect unit. There is an effect on there called "Rickenbacker".It pretty much nails the Geddy by itself. Good luck!
  11. Geddy played the Rickenbackers live back in the 70s and 80s, but he mostly used Jazz basses in the studio, IIRC. So, the Jazz bass would be a great place to start for that tone. However, if you've been to see Rush over the years, Geddy sounds pretty much the same, with Rickenbackers, Steinbergers, Wals, and now Fenders. That magical sound is in his hands.
  12. IIRC, he had the end of his main plucking finger cut off when he was young. When his nail grew back it was some sort of freaky super-nail (I'm deadly serious) so that helps his attack somewhat...
  13. Can anyone recommend a good place to get this finger mod done?
  14. cetera


    Apr 29, 2004
    Surrey, England
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses & Cort Basses
    The kitchen while chopping vegetables with a very sharp knife?! :p :D