Is Entwistle Leeds tone P-bass representative ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Clemouze, May 23, 2020.

  1. Clemouze


    Sep 1, 2016
    Paris - France
    Salut all

    I don't LIKE using typical Precision bass tone. 0 character to my ears. Obviously if it's OK for other players, fine, but I won't be bothering listening carefuly the bass.
    But I LIKE Jamerson tone.

    And I LOVE Eniwistle live at Leeds tone.
    Could we say this tone is representative of a Precision bass ? Or exotic p bass tone ?
    And what about your tastes ?

    Mentaly, I stuggle to put Live at Leeds and Precision bass in the same box !

    Of course hot Hiwatt are the main ingredient !
    teh-slb likes this.
  2. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 Life is short, buy the bass. Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Slab Precision + Rotosound strings +Hiwatt DR 103 = Live at Leeds. Also the cabs were SE1234 (4×12) miced no DI.
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
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  3. ad9000

    ad9000 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2004
    Leucadia, CA
    I love that tone too. I'd say it is not very representative of a P-Bass generically and is much more a product of the amp sound and the player. If you hear some of the earlier Who stuff where he was playing a Jazz Bass it doesn't sound hugely different from the P.

    Entwistle next went with Thunderbirds (or a Thunderbird with Fender neck aka "Fenderbird"). He was playing one of those when I saw the Who live in Sept. 1971. I'd describe the tone from the Thunderbird as more even and piano-like and less edgy than the Live at Leeds sound. The Alembic bass (or basses) that he started playing in the mid to later 1970's seemed to be even more of a refinement of his sound in that direction.
  4. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    I would say John Entwistle is the main ingredient.
    And for Jamerson, James Jamerson is the main ingredient.

    Musical instruments are tools. The player is the craftsman.
  5. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Entwhistle’s sound was 5% bass, 5%, amp, 5% strings, and 85% Entwhistle. 85 might be low.
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  6. spufman

    spufman Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Central CT
    Not much about anything Entwistle is representative of typical. Unique bloke, no doubt.
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  7. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    Astoria, NY
    That Leeds tone is representative of the tone Entwistle liked best.

    Now, the tone on Who's Next was suggested by their producer and JE went along. Having said that.

    Listen to JE's solo albums, especially live, and he takes that Leeds tone to another level by flanging and chorusing the daylights out of it.
    He'll get that tone from any bass he uses. It's unrecognizable compared to his earlier stuff, with Leeds being the closest
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  8. Clemouze


    Sep 1, 2016
    Paris - France
    I always asked myself why the Who's Next tone was so "mokay" , thanks !

    Not so fan of the latter modulation effects use neither !
  9. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    Astoria, NY
    Me neither. For me, he overdoes it and his playing gets lost in the effects.
    I thought his tone on Who's Next was stellar. Real bass depth that supported the tunes and his playing. He admitted it was a departure from what he would have preferred, but he went with it.
    Low Crow likes this.
  10. Vinny_G


    Dec 1, 2011
    Hi Clemouze.
    What is a typical Precision bass tone? Could you give an example?
    Isn't Jamerson's tone a typical Precision bass tone? What about Steve Harris? P bass + flatwound strings, they should sound the same, right? ;)
    This tone is representative of what Entwistle wanted to do with a Precision bass. :)
  11. Clemouze


    Sep 1, 2016
    Paris - France
    Typical precision tone could be all the classic rock band tone , CCR, Neil Young, even Pink Floyd, Rory Gallagher, etc
    The kind of tone that does the job but without any shinning (FOR ME).
    The kind of tone most people imagine in their heads when thinking about "bass"

    Lots of time when I watch bass video and when I hear precision bass I fall asleep, it's so often just a "mokay" tone.

    Jamerson or Harris tones are for example strong in personality and not so typical, I apreciate them !

    Maybe I am not putting enought efforts into anlysing the tone of the bass players I first named !
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  12. Briton, ahc, uwrossl and 1 other person like this.
  13. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    You've defined the vast range of the P bass in your post with those two examples.
  14. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    All you'd need is a pick and some Rotos, maybe the Hiwatt might be part of it but and good amp especially tube should get you there. I've gotten pretty close to that tone with a 68 P bass, Rotos, and an SVT playing fingerstyle.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  15. FantasticFour


    Dec 14, 2013
    So, let me recap. You like it when renowned players play P basses on legendary albums, but you don't like wankers playing them on Youtube videos. Conclusion : you don't like P basses.
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  16. teh-slb


    Sep 21, 2018

    My eye-opener was when someone really good at what they're doing played my P bass through my amp with "my" settings in front of me. I was immediately awestruck, embarrassed, and inspired at the same time.
  17. Clemouze


    Sep 1, 2016
    Paris - France
    Not really indeed. It is a quick misreading.

    I like when P bass sounds with a special something and not a generic tone everybody used.

    On YouTube most of the time we hear some generic P bass tone, for example to compare to other basses.

    I also nammed several of my FAVORITE bands in the first sentence in which the bass tone is not exciting me , I can also add Queen or Clash or Pixies to that.

    I own two Precision Bass , one Motown ready, and another standard. I really struggled to like it tone, until I put EMG P. I think it is again not a very standard precision tone from these pickups.
    teh-slb likes this.
  18. GManfromOz


    Jul 27, 2016
    I was in a "school Rock type program years ago and we had a pro bass player as a mentor for our band. He used to play in a big 80's band and some other notable projects down here. One time he wanted to show our bass player something on his el cheapo bass. He took it and made it sound like gold. Our bass player said he was going to upgrade his el cheapo bass for something with a better time but after hearing what a pro could make it sound like he knew it was himself, not the bass that sounded bad.
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  19. Ross McLochness

    Ross McLochness Living Room Bassist Extraordinaire Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2013
    Eden Prairie, MN
    I think Deacon is (at least in in the 70’s) the best example of the representative P-Bass tone. His signal chain was pretty dry so you pretty much are getting P-Bass into Acoustic 360.
  20. The tone of J. Jamerson is absolutely typical of a P-bass equipped with heavy-tension flatwound strings and a string muting device of some sort ... in addition to this we may add the use of the amps available in the early ‘60s, which can now be found through various hardware or software reissues.
    If this is not one of the typical examples of the tone of a P-bass I am totally lost :dead:
    Vinny_G likes this.