How do you set your MTD 535

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by grooveguru, Oct 24, 2003.

  1. grooveguru


    Sep 14, 2000
    Central PA
    I absolutely love my Korina/Wenge 535 but tend to stick with the same setting which is the lo's boosted to 10, mids cut fully with the mid switch up and hi's about 3/4 boost. What's you favorite setting and do you play fingerstyle, slap or with a pick? I'm curious on what I'm missing out on.
  2. jdombrow

    jdombrow Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I'd say if you keep the lows boosted to 10 (Whoa!) and the mids cut fully, you're missing out on a whole lot of killer tone from a killer bass.

    All I can suggest is that you experiment and keep an open mind. Start with all the tone controls centered and change them slowly, one at a time. Although, if you're used to the settings you use, you may not like much else.

    In my mind, playing bass is not all about low bass; it's about the full range of tone available from the bass and from the strings. Try listening to a lot of different music and seeing if you can match the tone on the recordings.

    Have fun.
  3. If you use those settings in a band situation, it will be mud! Mids are your friend. Lows on 10 may sound good in your bedroom, but are unlikely to be much cop live. The above poster is on the money. Shame to have such a nice bass and be wasting it.
  4. WinterBass


    May 19, 2002
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Endorsing Artist: MTD
    I have been working on this for the past year and a half. My 535 bass is Ash/Maple top, Maple neck and fingerboard.

    I turn all of the tone knobs into the center detent, the blend is in the middle and the volume is all the way up. I then turn my amp up loud enough so I do not need any tone boost at all. I then adjust the tone for each song.

    Motown Sound - blend twords front P/u add mids and some bass

    Slap - Blend center, boost some highs, boost some middle-mids, and a touch of bass.

    Jaco - Back P/U not all the way. Boost low mids, a touch of bass and take away some highs.

    Punchy Disco - blend in center, boost highs, boost high-mids, and a touch of bass.

    If I have a problem cutting thru or needing that extra boost, I always adjust the mids and it never lets me down. If it's a muddy room, I roll of some bass and add mids. It will still fill the room. I almost never turn the tone controls to full. ****Don't forget hand placement and plucking pressure are big factors in adjusting tone also.

    Good Luck!
  5. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    With my old wenge/korina and wenge /avadore 535s, I think the setting I used most was treble flat, mid switch down (250 Hz) and mids bumped up slightly (more or less depending on how much I needed to cut through), and bass boosted slightly. When doing stuff like country and blues rather than rock, I might have bumped the bass up a little higher and cut the trebles a bit.

    Most tonal changes were managed with the pickup blend, though 50/50 was usually the starting point.

  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Bass boosted maybe 50%, mids and highs flat, sometimes I'll boost the mids at different center points. Panpot centered. Ash/Burled Maple, Wenge neck 635. I never cut the mids. My 635 through my Bag End D10BX-D or Nahas cabs is a beatiful thing IMO.
  7. todd 4ta

    todd 4ta

    Apr 3, 2003
    Mike Tobias has a couple of recommended EQ settings in the 535 description on the web site.

    Here it is:

    "There is great variety in the settings of the EQ. The basses can be made to sound very traditional by cutting the mids all the way at 1000 (switch in top position), and boosting the bass and treble to 10 with the blend pot at center. This offers a great slap tone. Boosting the mids at 250 ( switch in lower position), with bass at 10 and treble at 9-10 with the blend pot on the bridge pick up gives the early Bartolini TCT tone. This offers a very percussive finger tone. These are just suggestions. The tone will vary depending on the rig and technique used."

    I pretty much always used the second 'fingerstyle' settings. Pickups blended most of the way to bridge or all bridge, bass on full, mids set at 250, treble boosted to 80%, and then add mids as needed.

    The slap settings Mike recommends for a 535 gives the best slap tone that all others are compared to.
  8. Sean Baumann

    Sean Baumann Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Livin' in the USA
    I have a 535 w/ mahogany body, maple burl top, maple neck, ebony fingerboard. I used it w/ my praise band. Generally, I ran it with about 50-70% bass boost, a little treble cut, and mid boost based on what I was after at the time. If I was slapping, I added some low mids, for rock stuff I added high mids. I rarely cut the mids.
  9. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    I start flat, boost the lows maybe 20%, switch centered, and go from there. Depending on the room, I may ad a bit of highs, and do the majority of adjusting tone by changing the blend....usually centered, but sometimes lean it a hair towards the bridge side. Also add a slight high boost when thumping.

    Great tones!
  10. grooveguru


    Sep 14, 2000
    Central PA
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I wanted to clarify a couple of things. First I've been playing for a very long time and I'm very picky about my tone. I like a very clear defined type of sound. The setting I described is the one Mike Tobias suggests for Slap. It is by no means boomy or gets lost in a band situation it is quite the opposite and very articulate. I tried this setting on my Lakland 55-94 and it sounds horrible so it must have something to do with the 535. I do run my Eden amp almost perfectly flat though! Even though you don't use this setting give it a try and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. It's just like Mike describes it. The man know's his stuff!
  11. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Yep, I remember running through Mike's suggested settings when I first got my 535, though I still ended up sticking with something a lot closer to "flat" and a bit stronger on the mids--I've never really been one for heavy EQing. It's obviously entirely a personal preference thing regarding what you want to hear when you play, though! Anyway, glad you're enjoying the MTD, and there's really almost no way to make it sound bad...

  12. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii

    I've been playing a 535 for nearly 4+ years. My bass has an ash body with a maple burl top, and a maple neck with a Wenge fretboard. I run the bass and treble with a slight boost, and the mids flat or slightly cut with the switch in the middle position. pick up blend at 50/50 most of the time.

    First off, the previous posts that suggest that you start with all onboard tone controls flat and then work your way toward finding your preferred tone are right on. Try it, you might still end up at your settings, or you might find something better.

    A second important point to keep in mind as you peruse other TBers tone settings is that an MTD's tone can vary depending on the woods used. Granted all 535s have the same onboard preamp, the basic tone may vary from bass to bass due to the woods used in constructing the bass. Mike uses a variety of woods including ash, maple, korina, wenge, tulip wood, ebony, walnut, avadore, mytle, etc. So, one 535 may sound entirely different from another 535 just because of the woods. and that's a major part of Mike's genius! His knowledge of how-to mate different types of woods and build a bass gives rise to beautiful instruments having a wide variety of tone characteristics.

    Keep tweaking the tone settings for your bass and amp at practice and gigs... you'll eventually find the setting that speaks best for you.
    Good luck on your Quest!
  13. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    535, myrtle/tulipwood, wenge neck.

    Treble and bass are flat. I usually goose the mids a bit at 250Hz, but sometimes use 500Hz depending on the room and the song. Blend is usually 75/25 in favor of the neck pup, but when I want the standard funk slap tone I set it 50/50.

    These settings might not be relevant to anyone else because of the following reasons:
    1) As mentioned, MTD tonewoods can vary considerably.
    2) Signal chains (amps, FX, speakers) can vary
    3) Playing techniques will also vary.
    4) Taste will vary!
  14. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    I'll add:

    Myrtle burl on poplar, wenge/wenge.

    Eden Pre, 410XLT cab