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J bass tone issues

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Stu Rose, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. Greetings,

    Just bought a high end J Ash body Maple neck and FB with 2 band eq. (have a 7 day return policy just in case). Great build, great feel, comfortable neck, looks killer.

    The bass has very deep lows really amazing and great highs "BUT" it also seemed to lack a enough natural mid range to cut through on rock and Motown style tunes particularly on the low notes in first position. Up the neck 7th, 9th, etc... it sounded like the mids gained some strength.

    Switched it off with my Lakland Skyline P bass maple neck and FB and the P cut through nicely, rock, jazz, Motown, etc...

    On Jazz tunes walking lines, muted walking lines, and upper reg. soling it was pretty good can't complain, however I still fear I don't have the mid range.

    With a pick it cut better but I am a finger player for the most part.

    I did boost mids on the amp but seemed to mud the clarity more then I liked.

    Do Ash/Maple J have a general lack of mid range, this is the first J bass I bought with this wood combo ash maple/maple?

    Please comment or share some ideas?
  2. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Where are you running the pickup blend? Dead center does result in a slight mid cut to my ears. I'll compensate for it by boosting my mids (but I do that with any bass/amp/etc), but some will roll the blend slightly to one side or the other.

    When I first started playing J basses I was mainly playing P's. It took a little while to get used to the different sound and some experimenting with EQ to cut through with the authority that I like.. Now I prefer J basses.
  3. PhatRon

    PhatRon I blow bass

    Feb 29, 2012
    Lake Stevens, Wa.
    I string my J (Fralins) with fender flats. No lack of mids now. Actually I cut at 500/600 Hz on my para eq. I have been extremely satisfied with the sound. It's punchy when needed, thumpy when slightly muted, Still has that responsive to right hand trait that I love about the J's. I also have a series/ parallel switch mod. At times when in series it sounds more like a P than J, but I only use that occasionally.

    I'm with bassgod. Love/prefer my J over my P. As with any instrument, the more you play it you get it figured out. The fender strings did it for me on this bass.
  4. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    That's a good point...strings! As with any bass certain strings make a huge difference.
  5. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    Active or passive? V-V-T or V-P-T?

    I can give the mids a bit more presence on my Sadowsky with just enough pan to the bridge PU to know the knob is off the detent and chase it with a VERY slight bass boost.

    It's Ash/maple also btw. My experience has not been that any ash/maple bass is less mid present than any other wood.
  6. Active 2 band eq., bass and treble cut/boost

    We are all talking Ash body / Maple neck and board
  7. PhatRon

    PhatRon I blow bass

    Feb 29, 2012
    Lake Stevens, Wa.
    where are you running your bass/treble eq's? If your boosting highs and lows then yes it will appear as if mids are cut. no different, really, to actually scooping mids. Try running flat and see if any different.
  8. If you cut both bass and treble, what's left is mids.
    Play with it and see what happens.
  9. marc40a


    Mar 20, 2002
    Boston MA
    Let me guess, your pickups are Humbuckers?

    That trumps any wood combo.
  10. Did some digging and found that according to one custom maker the preamp in this particular bass is made to have a scooped sound.

    It was also suggested I was running to much bass as well. Unplugged however there didn't seem to be to much natural resonance as some great sounding basses have.

    I returned the bass and bought a Mike Lull M4V from the same seller after speaking with Mike about my issues. It is being built now should have next week I guess.

    All comment appreciated. :)

    I will update this post when I get the new bass in.
  11. JellinWellen


    Oct 18, 2012
    Forget about the wood, Jazz pickups are naturally scooped when both are all the way up.
  12. No Singles
  13. Mike Lull says his basses with the bart pre amp, fralin pups and tone control will have no mids issues.
  14. PhatRon

    PhatRon I blow bass

    Feb 29, 2012
    Lake Stevens, Wa.
    I have those same Fralins from Mike. you won't be disappointed
  15. LowBC

    LowBC Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2008
    Music Go Round - Aurora, CO (owner) We buy used gear!
    consider having a series/parallel switch installed if possible. The standard parallel wiring of the two pickups has a naturally hollow midrange compared to what will happen when running those two coils in series.

    good luck!
  16. PhatRon

    PhatRon I blow bass

    Feb 29, 2012
    Lake Stevens, Wa.
    +1 and be prepared for a boost in output as well
  17. PhatRon

    PhatRon I blow bass

    Feb 29, 2012
    Lake Stevens, Wa.
    I must add that my jazz with those Lull Fralins and Fender flats have never lacked midrange imo
  18. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I would try a different set of strings first.
  19. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147

    No, pre is cut and boost. Sadowsky is boost only. :cool:

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