How do I get the Thumb Bass sound using a Non Thumb?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Whippet, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    Does the aggressiveness come mostly from the pickup placement on the 5?

    A 6 string bolt on Bubinga with 2 band EQ would be:
    1. less aggressive.
    2. less sustain.
    3. due to the 2 band, getting that 5 string mid growl would be difficult.

    There are a bunch of 6 string Bubinga and Wenge combo with 2 bands on sale. But as some others have noted, 2 band eq just might not cut it.....
     
  2. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014

    It's interesting you say that the wood has zero effect. The 4, 5 , and 6 have different pickup placements and that many people say the placement affect the tone a lot.

    I just have to go to a store that has different configurations of the thumb and just try them out side by side.
     
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  3. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    I gotta look into this. I like to play the 6 string and my Corvette is a 6 string too. The 6 BO is easier to find at a cheaper price than the 5 BO. 6 string BO Thumbs don't get a lot of love or attention. LOL
     
  4. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    I tried this with a Dingwall Z3 that I had briefly before I sold it. It didn't work. Could be my lack of patience.
    Well a new Z3 6 string is on the way in about a...... year or so. I'll give that a try too.

    I did get a P kind of sound out the Z3 though. LOL
     
  5. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    Which toneworks? the handy small one? I have that original Pandora Toneworks.
     
  6. My thumb nt 6 has a ton of low mid growl lol especially the fretless. Just saying. Mind you I have a 3 band preamp by bartolini with low mid and high and individual pick up volume control. This in response to those saying the 6 doesn't have as much low mid growl
     
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  7. anavar

    anavar

    Oct 10, 2013
    Australia
    my bass tone can beat up your dad's bass tone.
    thanks man :)

    got another one in the works. pretty excited :) :)
     
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  8. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    Is the top a tone wood or cosmetic? Let me guess the price...... 5500 USD?
     
  9. anavar

    anavar

    Oct 10, 2013
    Australia
    my bass tone can beat up your dad's bass tone.
    cosmetic man. I don't subscribe to the idea that wood has an affect on tone.

    so long as it looks good, feels good and is structurally sound, im happy :)

    price was um.......high. lets put it that way lol.
     
  10. bongostealth

    bongostealth Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    I will answer your question in its corresponding order:

    1. My observation has been that the Thumb 5 is more aggressive due absolutely to the pickup placement. Even the Thumb 5 2-band bolt-on is more aggressive than the 4 and 6 Thumbs because of the pickup placement. In my opinion the reasons are as follows:
    a) The Thumb 5 uses two jazz-shaped pickups. Because they are naturally slim-shaped pickups, they are placed closer together and are also both placed closer to the bridge because they fit there. Not only that, but those are split-coil pickups with the two coils placed in-line within the pickup, thus saving space and allowing both pickups to be placed closer together and closer to the bridge. This placement allows the pickups to capture that low-mid nasally attack naturally present close to the bridge due to the higher tension around the bridge. (This is how Jaco got his tone when panning to the bridge pickup only). Also, notice that the slant of the pickups is parallel to the bridge saddles, allowing for even distances from the bridge saddles across the strings. Thus, providing consistent attack across the strings. This is why some builders, such as Dingwall, will slant their pickups parallel to the slanted placement of the bridge saddles.
    b) The Thumb 4, however, uses the exact same pickups but places the neck pickup further away from the bridge and closer to the neck. This reduces some of the low-mid and nasally attack because the neck pickup is capturing a "floppier" vibration, which is more present the closer to the neck you go. Not only that, but the neck pickup is placed perpendicular to the strings and not slanted parallel to the bridge saddles.
    c) The Thumb 6 uses two soapbar-shaped pickups which are also split-coil. However, the coils in those pickups are placed just as you would find in a P pickup, and the treble coil is closer to the neck with the bass coil closer to the bridge. Now, the soapbars are not thin like the jazz pickups. Therefore, they are not placed as close together, and together are not placed as close to the bridge, although they are both slanted parallel to the slant of the bridge saddles. Combine all of that with the P placement of the coils, and this is why the Thumb 6 also has slightly less attack than the 5.

    2) With regards to sustain, I could not tell you because I've never really paid attention to that other than I know that my notes have always rung fine.

    3) Yes, the bolt-ons have 2-band pre-amps. And yes, mids is an integral part of the equation. But this is easily remedied by installing a 3-band pre-amp.

    I hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
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  11. jpTron

    jpTron

    Apr 19, 2010
    NJ
    The bolt on is supposedly more naturally mid-range-y from what I've heard; so the mids are already there and kinda makes up for not having a mid knob. I never touch the onboard eq, but you could always do the 'poor man's mid bump' by cutting the bass and treble slightly. I'm also going by my BO 5 string so IDK if the 6 would be any different. On a side note, I gotta say that my Warwick sounds the same unplugged (growly as hell) as it does plugged in, so it's more about the construction of the bass itself than the onboard pre.
     
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  12. Robroy

    Robroy Guest

    Jun 21, 2006
    Yeah. The red one. Second generation.
     
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  13. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    Thank you very much for the detailed information. Just what I was looking for. It all makes sense now.

    A 5 BO with 2 band in Bubinga Wenge combo converted to 3 band would be one of the answers I could look into.

    Once again thank you very much for the info.
     
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  14. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    I really have to just try the BO5 vs NT5 at the store. What you say about the bolt on makes sense.

    The funny thing is that some of the BO5 made in 2016 have a 3 band eq but the prices on these are high though. The pre2016 didn't have them. The price difference between the BO 2 band and NT 3 band is just so ridiculously different that it makes me wonder if I am getting the full Thumb with a BO.

    Bongostealth explained it well so the way to go might be a BO 5 with a 3 band alteration. The 6 string BO with a 3 band alteration might be acceptable but then again that's a whole different thing.

    Anwyay thanks for the information. much appreciated.
     
  15. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    Ok I gotta try this. I got that red one too. Going to have to go through the toy box and get that old thing out!!!
     
  16. techbass76

    techbass76 Guest

    Nov 15, 2011
    Just FYI. Guitar center.com has a few thumb basses under there used basses section. All under $1600.
     
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  17. Robroy

    Robroy Guest

    Jun 21, 2006
    It is my magical practice tool. Whenever I join a new band or project and need to bone up on stuff, I use a site that strips audio from youtube videos as an mp3 and then connect my computer to the input and my awesome headphones (in my avatar) in the output, fire up Winamp, and I'm good to go. That's actually what I was doing when the avatar picture was taken.
     
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  18. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    BTW which setting is it?
     
  19. techbass76

    techbass76 Guest

    Nov 15, 2011
    thumb.png Guitar center has this one for $1249. Bolt on 5. The neck through are super nice but the price is at least $2500. They do sound awesome. I installed a bartolini preamp in one with the original pickups and it sounded even better.
     
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  20. This is perhaps the most beautiful thing I have ever seen...drool
     
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