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How do I get the sound I want

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by PSB, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. PSB


    Sep 18, 2008
    Essex, UK

    I'm fairly new to the bass and haven't really worried about the tone coming out the amp till now I'm after getting a certian sound out of my amp but not sure how to acheive it.

    I'm after a Duck Dunn type sound and don't where I should be sticking my Bass, middle and treble controls. I realise this would vary amp to amp.

    Any advise?


    Pete :help:
  2. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I would start with a Fender P-bass and a decent set of flat wound strings...or maybe even a Squier depending on your budget. IMO, the bass & strings are to contribute more to that type of tone than the amp at this point.
  3. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Hmm, hard thing to do. A lot of it's the bass (any Precison style bass with good flatwounds will get you into the right area) and Duck's attack. He's a very physical player so he pulls the strings very hard.

    And if you're after his Stax recorded sound, it's much more problematic. See, while he used an old Ampeg B-15 in the studio, he has said he never liked how it sounded in the room. It was only after it was recorded, EQ'd, and mixed with the rest of the sounds that it sounded like that. Plus he's not afraid of having a good bit of highs in his sound either.

    As far as where to put the knobs on your amp? That's impossible to say. Different amps will respond differently to your bass than my bass. And different amps all work differently, even before you add in the variables of different speakers, and different rooms. So, start with as "flat" a setting as you can get on your amp. If the amp doesn't have boost and cut marked on the knobs, then try it with all the tone controls set right in the middle.

    Then play and spend some time really listening closely to what happens when you change one knob slightly. Listen to how the controls interact too. Listen closely to what comes out and make a determination of what's missing or what's too prominent. Generally speaking it's better to cut out offending ranges than to boost weak ranges. It's important to understand the difference between too much and not enough.

    Say it sounds "too muffled". Is it because there's too much low end in there, or because there's not enough mids or highs? Do NOT be afraid of the mids!!

    As you progress as a bassist you'll start to find your sound, but it's part of the process of learning to play. It takes patience- Keith Richards has said that Jagger is really a very good guitarist, but he doesn't have the patience to get a great sound, so he gives up on playing. Don't let that happen to you.

  4. Fretlessboy


    Nov 29, 2007
    St Augustine Florida
    Endorsing artist GENZ BENZ/HERCULES STANDS/XSonics
    I have been trying to get that tone for 20 years and I can't seem to nail it

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