How do I "beef" up the Beast?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by FishDub, Oct 8, 2016.

  1. FishDub

    FishDub Stuck in the 80s and happy about it Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2011
    Charlotte, NC
    Ok so my passive MTD Beast 4 sounds awesome as-is, being passive with the exposed pole piece Bart j pickups. In certain songs and compared to some of my other basses it can sound slightly thin? I also have to boost the gain and master more so than others. So what are some suggestions to beef it up a bit still remaining passive? I thought about replacing the Barts with another set of passives but don't have a lot of experience replacing pickups. EMGs? Another Bart set? Outboard preamp?
  2. Hotblack

    Hotblack Pay the cost to be the boss. Supporting Member

    May 20, 2002
    Provided content for Genzler Amplification
    Soooo many options. Everything you listed could give you what you're looking for.
    Easiest possible solution: Take your bass to the local music store. Try out some compressor pedals.
    FishDub likes this.
  3. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    For the price of some new strings you might want to try this.
    Some people put down Behringer but just check out all the positive reviews on Amazon for this.
  4. FishDub

    FishDub Stuck in the 80s and happy about it Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2011
    Charlotte, NC
    Thanks! I may just have to try this out... And for $30? Geez
    Love_Bass and jd56hawk like this.
  5. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    Just be warned it has a huge mid cut built into it.
    If your a mids player this is not a good choice.
  6. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    Oh I don't know.
    Maybe turn up the bass and mids on your bass and amp?

    You know.
    Those knobs.
    That's what they're there for.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016
    EagleMoon and madjazzbass like this.
  7. J.D. Detroit

    J.D. Detroit

    Nov 12, 2015
    I'd of said a compressor too pedal wise. Since that was covered I'd also suggest trying some different strings.
    I've found that remedies a lot of what might be missing.
    FishDub likes this.
  8. FishDub

    FishDub Stuck in the 80s and happy about it Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2011
    Charlotte, NC
    Um's a passive bass and has no bass knob. And the knobs on my amp ARE turned up, which is why I am posting for a suggestion.;-)
  9. hztjtao


    Sep 29, 2016
    Bring up the pickup height until it sound with the right output.
    DavC, honestjohnny and Arthur U. Poon like this.
  10. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    So it has a volume knob only?
    No tone control?
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
    Bodeanly likes this.
  11. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    To the OP, this was my first thought too, hopefully a simple pickup height adjustment is all that's needed. I know most Bartolini's have a lower output compared to other brands of pickups. If a pickups swap ends up being the solution, post in the TB Pickups section for which brand and model of pickups will give you increased volume, without changing your tone too much.

    Whenever I read a thread where someone is looking for more output and a beefier tone from a set of J-style replacement pickups, I always think of the DiMarzio Model J set. And they're pretty affordable.
    honestjohnny, fhm555 and FishDub like this.
  12. Dragan


    Oct 5, 2009
    assuming OP is working bass player who plays outdoor with the band, that wont give him some serious "beef-up" on the stage. so,preamp is wise choice Aguilar tone hammer as great bang for the buck (not cheap but it is really great unit) and for a really really serious beef,and much more money - Noble DI.
    FishDub likes this.
  13. I have one and use it all the time. Best $30.00 i;ve ever spent on gear, had it for two years and have had no reliability problems with it.
    FishDub likes this.
  14. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Strings can play a big part. I have always found DR Lowrider's to sound very beefy and powerful. I use EB Slinky Cobalt flats though as I like flats that sound like rounds. I find these to be a very beefy sounding string as well.

    IMHO, low mids are the beef. If you can bump these on your amp, give it a shot.

    If you go the pickup route, Model J's will add a lot of beef (almost P-bass sounding). I had these in a J i no longer have and loved them.

    If you can find one, an aphex bass xciter can add beef. I have one that is always on.

    A parametric EQ can help out too. I use the EWS BMC.

    I also use a VT Bass DI, which you can certainly dial in beef if you want.

    Good Luck!
    FishDub and JGbassman like this.
  15. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    I have one, too...three years or more. Never had a problem with it...definitely made my cheap basses sound better.
    Some people say the housing is flimsy, that you can't really stomp on it, but seriously, I don't engage it with my pinky, nor do I try to crush it like a bug.
    FishDub likes this.
  16. As stated, strings are a major influence on the sound of the bass. There are bunches of options you could go as well, pedals, pre/post amp, pups...personally if I'm looking for more options on changing my sound, I like an onboard preamp. For me, I like having either a mid sweep control or a hi/low mid control to Taylor the sound I'm looking for. I'd go that route if you play just the one bass. If you change basses up a lot, you might look into pedals or rack mounted pre amp. The tech 21 vt bass pedal can throw some serious girth into your sound, and the sans amp pedal or rack mount preamps/di are great at shaping your tone as well. I'd first decide on which way you want to go first
    FishDub likes this.
  17. Callused Finger

    Callused Finger

    Feb 22, 2007
    New York
    Measure what your current pickup heights are and try raising them a bit to see if you like the change in sound.

    JMO but I prefer having just a cord in between my bass and amp. Every effect I've tried detracts from the sound rather than enhancing it. I've had better results trying things at the bass and/or amp/cab.
    FishDub likes this.
  18. Bodeanly


    Mar 20, 2015
    All the pics online of the "MTD Beast 4" show it with three knobs. Maybe OP has a custom one-knobber.
    gebass6 and FishDub like this.
  19. Love_Bass


    Sep 5, 2012
    If you don't already, use a pick when you play, use bright sounding round's.
    FishDub likes this.
  20. Primary

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