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How do you EQ your P bass

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by tubatodd, Oct 18, 2020.

  1. tubatodd


    Oct 31, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    How do you set the EQ on your amp for your P bass? I'm curious if a pattern emerges with the answers.
    CallMeAl likes this.
  2. thabassmon


    Sep 26, 2013
    New Zealand
    OK I'll play, I don't have a fender p bass but I do have a p bass copy. On the bass the tone is all the way off 99% of the time. Any amp I put it through I set the eq to everything at their most neutral position. So if an amp control range is -10 to +10, bass mid and treble is at 0. I just control the input gain and output volume and play. If I want brighter tones I pluck closer to the bridge, if I want it rounder closer to the neck.

    If it were a genuine fender I'd approach it exactly the same.
  3. Depends on which amp I'm using. With my SVT Classic , most of the tone controls are at 12 o'clock with the mids pushed a bit. For the same basic tone , my PF 500 needs a bit more tweaking. Lows around 2 o'clock , mids around 3 o'clock and the highs at 12 with the ultra low engaged. The bass tone is mostly set around 40% with a few songs needing a bit more clank pushed up to 100%. P Bass with flats FTW.
    DocOrange and MrLenny1 like this.
  4. Riff Ranger

    Riff Ranger Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2018
    Bigfoot Country
    With a pick, and roundwound strings: bass tone knob wide open, boosts around 100–200hz and 1–2khz, narrow cut around 300–400hz, boom and hiss controlled as necessary on the amplifier. Punch, juice, and grit :bassist:
  5. Wife has 3 presets on her Boss EQ-200 pedal. Basically mid-boosts here and there.
    Amp is set flat, DI out set to PRE anyway, so she can adjust her amp setting for stage monitoring without messing up with the mixer guy's work.
    In those situations where there's no real PA and her rig is the PA, usually there's an additional slight bump at around 200 Hz and a small notch around 800 Hz - 1 kHz just to take away some honk. But in these situations it really depends a lot on the acoustics of the place. Wooden floor? Thick concrete walls? Shades? Panels anywhere? What about the rooftop?
  6. Depends on the amp used. My GK is naturally very bright and deep sounding so I'll often reduce bass and treble a bit, with a little mid bump. My Thunderfunk amp is naturally warmer sounding, so it gets a treble boost and the rest mostly flat, with maybe a bit of low-mid bump. Impossible to generalize really.
    jeff7bass likes this.
  7. forrestlaw

    forrestlaw Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2018
    Tone Hammer 500... everything neutral/12o'clock on the amp except for drive and gain. Sounds great on both P-basses I have, one with Chromes and the other with Slinkys.
  8. staurosjohn

    staurosjohn Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2010
    Nottingham, MD
    I have 4 (Franken) P’s... been using MB since 2009... pretty much keep my settings as shown- minor tweaking depending on venue :thumbsup:

    Sonic Blue: Seymour Duncan QP- GHS Brite Flats
    Oly White: Lindy Fralin 10% overwound- Chromes
    Blackie: SD QP- GHS Pressurewounds
    2 TSB: Fralin- Fender Flats

    85F88610-86A4-49D9-9115-86535DA79AB0.jpeg 1CC1CE02-12A1-436D-9FE4-07E6D5023DFE.jpeg
    bassliner50 and CallMeAl like this.
  9. Briton


    Apr 4, 2009
    For me it is everything flat at the 12:00 position but with the Bass slightly boosted to around the 1:00 position.I find it better to more or less keep the amp flat and do any other adjustments elsewhere like on the controls of your bass or simply by playing nearer the neck or nearer the bridge. It aint rocket science really!
    Auspuff likes this.
  10. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    How do you EQ your P bass
    my instruments:
    on both P-bass instruments: the tone control is generally at about 25-30% to start and i adjust up or down depending. i rarely play the tone all the way open/on or all the way closed/off. both axes have a richter VT system. each ax has a different split-coil pickup (fender original in one, dimarzio DP127 in the other). i use rounds on both (tried flats on one = :rollno: ).

    my system:
    i really don't have a go-to EQ setting. each instrument wants its own EQ configuration in different settings/environments. but finding the 'best sound' on that day, in that room, with those goals is pretty straight forward: i start at my system's 'flat' settings and go from there --- sometimes it's just a matter of leaving things in 'neutral'. sometimes i make minor changes/tweaks, sometimes they're more dramatic. my GEQ has 7 bands: the 315Hz slider gets the most action, usually favoring a reduction or all the way off. i might bump 1kHz and/or 2kHz a bit.

    my experience:
    the P-bass is such a limited configuration that i find them either ridiculously easy or outlandishly difficult (and all possibilities in-between) to get the best possible sound in that room, on that day, with that gig/situation. recording them is more straight forward: direct in, then play. in almost all cases: i'm done with the 'tone chasing' thing in a matter of seconds to a couple of minutes. the type of playdown might require a tweak here and there in the first few moments or for a particular tune/section.

    TL;DR = PJs are better. :laugh:
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
  11. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    Fender Rumble: 10/2/2/10. No tone shape buttons engaged.
    Markbass Combo head: 12/12/12/12. VLE and VPF both at noon as well.
    Tone knob: 10 for rock, 5 for country. (Give or take a little as needed.)
  12. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    I use a high pass filter (HPF) to cut lows below 80hz, and that's it.

    If I have to use someone's borrowed equipment and don't have a HPF, then I simply cut the Bass control. On most amps I like the sound with the bass control somewhere between 9 and 11 o'clock on the dial.

    It's obviously worth pointing out that, bass amps all have different EQ curves, and bass cabs all have different EQ curves. So setting all the controls at "noon" on my rig, could sound very different from all controls at noon on your rig.
  13. Matty Koff

    Matty Koff

    Aug 21, 2014
    Recently brought my P-bass home from my drummer's house where it's been sitting largely untouched. Plugged it into my audio interface which has no EQ knobs and think it sounds pretty fantastic. It's had some Rotosound 77 flats on it for the last year and a half..so rolling the tone off is almost not noticeable other than the addition of some very slight string noise with the tone at full.. but because I haven't been cleaning the strings or maintaining it, they got that old corroded metal stank.

    I ordered some Ti flats last night, I've never tried them before, but when they get here I'm going to clean the bass up and put them on it and see if they live up to the hype.

    I have two 5 string basses with P/J setups and active EQ, one I like to boost the bass just a hair, and tend to boost the low mids as well. The other just has a 2 band EQ and I do enjoy boosting the bass frequencies on it.. but it sounds really good with the EQ bypassed as well. Amp stays relatively flat, boosted slightly @80Hz.
    musicman556 likes this.
  14. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Totally depends on the song/context and where you want to sit in the mix. I've been mostly playing at home on my headphone rig lately, so getting good at dialing in DI tones. My favorite P is currently strung up with TI flats.

    With my Broughton P15 preamp I like two settings, one with Bass and Treble both rolled back to about 10:00 for a nice natural dry tone, or bass and treble both boosted to ~2:00 for a more saturated amp-like tone.

    With my Chameleon Labs mic pre I usually set HPF at 50 or 80 Hz, bass boost at either 60 or 110 Hz, mid boost at 700 or 1.6k, and treble boost at anywhere from 3.4k-7k.

    SWR Interstellar Overdrive: usually a mild bass boost, slight treble cut, and mids to taste.
    drumvsbass likes this.
  15. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Depends on the amp.
    NKBassman likes this.
  16. bwildt


    Mar 21, 2017
    Wichita, Kansas
    Pbass 4 and 5 stringers with TI flats, with most times a Genz Benz Shuttle 6.2/Avatar 212 or a Carvin MB210. Most of the time, my settings depend on volume and kind of followsthe Fletcher-Munson curve (bass becomes less prominent in the ear at low volumes.

    Generally the bass is set full or near-full volume. The tone is full on or slight cut to take the edge off.

    I usually have a slight bump in the lower mids. If I'm in a quiet, low volume situation, the amp bass control might get boosted to about 3 o'clock. As the band/room volume gets louder, the bass eq control starts heading back toward flat.
  17. So, everything maxed? Dang! You should really try a different bass if you don't like what yours sound like.
    Vinny_G and SLO Surfer like this.
  18. Eq changes with songs. That said, I usually start flat. Then I either cut 800hz a little, or boost 300hz a little, cut or boost bass a little, cut or boost treble a little, flip on the ultra bass and cut bass boost 800hz, flip on the ultra high and cut treble 4k, cut 300hz, boost 40hz, cut 3k, boost 4k, tone down all the way, up 800hz, cut 40hz, tone up all the way, crank gain, ultra low, cut bass, up 800hz, up treble...add infinum. (I actually do this) I never sound the same, but I always sound like me.
  19. I use a v-4B and it is almost always set pretty neutral. No Ultras on an no big eq tweaks. I never touch the amp except for volume control. I adjust my tone inbound from my preamps and pedals. I use 2 PJs, one with flats, one with stainless, usually rolled to full P
    thabassmon and groove pump like this.
  20. I was gonna say having the VPF cranked might be working against him..
    JeezyMcNuggles and MartinB like this.

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