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I want my P Bass to be clankier/have more zing

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by caesarspalace, Apr 12, 2014.

  1. Hey guys! I've always struggled to get good tone out of my 2006 MIM P Bass. I've always wanted to have clanky tone with a lot of zing and a bit of buzz to cut through big guitars in hardcore bands. For some weird reason my D string (and sometimes G string, depending on how new the strings are) is the only one that gets this sound while the others just sound bassy and a bit dull at some frets. You can even feel it when it's unplugged, the D string has this zingy sound the other strings just don't have.

    I've played stingrays and warwicks and I can get that sound effortlessly. I don't know if it's that P basses are not made to sound that way cause they lack a bridge pickup or something but I really need some answers! I love my bass and I want to get it to work. :)
  2. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    I've owned several P-Basses through the years. They all had a great "clanky" sound, with a proper setup and fresh strings.
  3. I've been tempted to throw a preamp in my MIM P, but I'm broke.:( If that isn't an issue for you, look at preamps on Best Bass Gear; last time I checked, they had one that (I think) fits without major modification. I'd put a separate battery compartment in if I did it.

    I think separate bass and treble controls would do it. If money is tight, try stainless steel strings first.

    I dunno. I'm kinda nutty.
  4. DannyBob


    Aug 28, 2013
    Compression and overdrive on constantly should help? Oh, and new strings
  5. Crackle


    Nov 3, 2007
    Plano, TX
    I get a huge amount of clank out of my Precision basses. It's a matter of using roundwound strings, turning the tone knob up, and having your action set low. This means a very straight neck and low saddles at the bridge.

    If you're thinking Steve Harris and using flatwound strings, keep in mind that his strings are changed before every show.
  6. Yes. I recently recorded an EP and all that stuff helped a lot. Still I wasn't completely satisfied, the best sounding parts were basslines played on the D string and some on the E string but only on some of the frets. Maybe it was a dead string problem?
  7. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    sell it and get a sterling sub ray 4... awesome basses for the price and can nail the sound you want. I have 2 one to leave at the band house and another for home.
  8. It sounds like your problem is due to the strings and not the bass. I had a similar issue recently where my A string sounded extremely different from the rest of the strings. I replaced that A string and now everything is as it should be. IME strings can change your tone pretty drastically. Trying out some other strings would be your cheapest and smartest next step.
  9. Lower the action.
  10. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009

    Lower action, new strings, heavy touch...clank heaven...;)

    Good Luck!
  11. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    Make sure your pickup has the bass side lowered a bit. It can sound comparatively boomy if it is level.

    If you are hearing this issue acoustically though, it has got to be a setup/string issue.
  12. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    1. Get a good setup. If your neck has too much relief, the strings won't clank against the frets.
    2. Get new strings. If you really want zing and clank get some stainless steels.
    3. Play more aggressively.
  13. I'll buy some stainless steel strings and lower the action to see if I can fix this issue. I can't really set it that low though cause then notes in the higher frets will sound pretty dead. I also find the 7th fret on the A string to sound dead as ****. So many issues :(
  14. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    Might need a fret job. You should have it looked at at a reputable shop.
  15. bluejayway82

    bluejayway82 Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2011
    Yep, stainless steel rounds, lower the action.. aaaannnnndddd.. turn the tone pot in the other direction..
  16. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
  17. tedsalt

    tedsalt Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2010
    Kansas City
    also, might replace the tone pot with a no-load and rotate to the detent, bypassing the tone pot ...
    Flad likes this.
  18. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    our first real tone-changing answer!

    lose the mexi bottom-loaded ceramic pickup for a "real" alnico-rod P pickup, then use brighter pots, like 500ks or even the aforementioned no-load tone pot.

    these things will fundamentally change the sound for the brighter and more "clanky".
    Flad likes this.
  19. iiipopes


    May 4, 2009
    Clankier and more zing?
    1) Seymour Duncan Quarter-Pounder, adjusted as close as possible to the strings consistent with good tone
    2) 500 kohm volume and tone pots instead of 250kohm, or a "no-load" tone pot
    3) .033 tone cap instead of .047 to let more upper mids stay in the mix if your style includes songs where you turn down the tone control
    4) Stainless steel roundwounds changed frequently
    5) Maple fingerboard with light ash body

    Or, just purchase a new Rickenbacker 4003.
  20. devinp17

    devinp17 Guest

    You should look into the EHX Steel Leather Bass Expander Pedal. I have one and its an amazing pedal, I love it! Except its a little too much if you play pick-style, but I play finger-style and it sounds really great.

    Good luck bro! :bassist: