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J bass tone issues

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

  1. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    For more mids, I just dial back the neck a hair.

    I like the scooped sound for a lot of modern R&B and Jazz. Add a sadowsky pre, and it's perfection.
  2. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    This. IME, how you blend the pickups on a J bass can provide a very wide range of tones before you even touch the tone knob, an onboard pre or the tone controls on your amp. It seems some others here feel the same way, I see.

    I don't use Js as often as I used to, but when they were my main thing I found that:

    both on full
    neck rolled off a bit with bridge full
    bridge rolled back a bit with neck full

    were about all I ever needed in a rock or pop context.
  3. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    I disagree with the above: the ash does have a mid dip and it will show through the pickups. I would try an alder body instead, with standard passive J-pickups and wiring.
  4. this is something i've experienced a number of times with active basses. they have disturbingly strong lows and glassy highs, which is great for a lot of things. but when you try to do the motown/old school soul/classic rock thing, you find yourself missing those natural mids. it's definitely the electronics, mainly the preamp. not the wood. even if the onboard EQ includes a mid knob, i find that you can't quite dial in the same kind of mids you'd get from a passive P or J (which is what i'd be looking for with that kind of music).

    stuff like this can drive you bananas because your tone becomes a macguffin. there's always some other preamp or pickup that might make your bass sound better. to me that's too much of a distraction from the actual playing, but some people enjoy it. best place to start would definitely be the strings. Rotosound 66's are pretty gnarly...if i had a bass that needed some extra midrange i'd try those first.
  5. raphaeldc


    Mar 24, 2010
    Porto, Portugal
    My J has Ash body (chambered), one piece maple neck and Aguilar obp-2 preamp. In Passive mode, it has a very strong midrange character. With The preamp engaged, i can hear a mid scoop. If I favor neck or bridge PU, The midrange character gets stronger.

    That's how I feel it. Maybe it's very particular to my bass.
  6. jsbarber


    Jun 7, 2005
    San Diego
    you might want to check to mare sure the pickup height is correct. Maybe they're a bit farther from the strings than they should be.
  7. LakeEffect


    Feb 21, 2013
    I really would just start with strings and rolling off the front pickup a bit - also, step away from your amp and play (if you haven't yet).

    Given your proximity, the way you hear an amp may be different than the way the band/audience hears it. Worth a shot, it can be an illuminating exercise on EQuing. Good luck!
  8. stonewall


    Jun 14, 2010
  9. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Jule-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    That's definitely particular to your bass...in my experience ash body's generally have less low mids than alder, and maple necks are generally brighter with less mids than rosewood...and with the OBP-2 on my Spector Coda there is zero discernible difference between the active/passive tone as long as the preamp is set flat

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