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Jason Newstead's tone

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by MOTORHEADBANGER, Feb 9, 2009.


    MOTORHEADBANGER Spud-boy looking for a real tomato

    Dec 23, 2008
    Sidney, Indiana
    Anyone know how to at least simulate Newstead's tone?
  2. Ampeg SVT

    Ampeg SVT Son, I am disappoint.

    Jazz bass, Sansamp, pick.
  3. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    +1 on SansAmp and pick. Not so sure on the Jazz bass... I think I would go with a Precision instead since I'm pretty sure that's what he recorded at least some of his stuff with.
    Direct Box Rox likes this.
  4. Sliza


    Feb 7, 2009
    I'm not familiar with the stuff he uses in the studio, but live on stage he mostly uses basses with Jazz-Bass pickup configuration (since the "justice era").

    Jasons Equipment list:

    Does anyone have a good EQ-Setting for the SansAmp to get close to Newsteds sound? Is the Tech21 VT Bass recommendable for that purpose?
  5. Ampeg SVT

    Ampeg SVT Son, I am disappoint.

    Generally its either P-J or JJ.

    Most of the time he plays Jazz style instruments though.
  6. ollie1988


    Sep 16, 2008
    boost bass, cut some treble
  7. IMHO there isn't really a Newsted 'sound' - he's been through so many, it's difficult to know which one you mean.

    He started out with the punchy, driven Aria ProII on Garage days, used very clean studio sounds on Metallica and Load (tailored by Bob Rock to fit into the mix) and then on to a quite blurry, indistinct sound with the Sadowskys on Reload.

    MY favourite tone of his was probably his live Alembic tone - there's a clip of himsoundchecking on the Year and a half.. DVD, it sounds immense!!:bassist:
  8. Sliza


    Feb 7, 2009
    I like his Bass sound on Cunning Stunts the most.
    indodust likes this.
  9. I'm afraid that really Jason's more recent tones (including Cunning Stunts) has a lot to do with Sadowsky and their tone. Garage Days has a lot of mixed bass sounds and some songs were done by as well.

    But Jason's tone as of late, I would contribute almost 90% to Sadowsky Basses. His older stuff (early 90's stuff) was either Spector or Alembic.
  10. metallibass95


    Apr 7, 2009
    It really depends on if you are going for Jason newsted on garage II and ...and justice for all (1987-1989) or if you are going for the load/reload/garage I newsted (1995-2000). For both sounds you need a SansAmp Driver DI and Dunlop Tortex Blue (1mm) pics (and yes what the pic is made of really makes a difference in sound).

    For the late 80's newsted sound your gonna want to have brand spanking new Ernie Ball nickel strings not broke in at all, your gonna want to take your Sansamp pedal and turn the knobs like this: BLEND-all the way up (5 o'clock)....TREBLE-10 o'clock...PRESENCE-3 o'clock (warning its very bright and twangy).....BASS-11 o'clock.....DRIVE-1 o'clock. That will give you almost the identical late 80's and justice/garage II newsted sound.

    For the load/reload/garage late 90's newsted sound, you will want your Ernie Ball nickel strings to be a bit broken in, mainly loosing the twang you get from brand new out of the box strings. On your sans amp pedal you want to turn the knobs like this: BLEND-anywhere between 11 o'clock and 2 o'clock (his late 90's sound not only had more broken in strings but he also blended his sans amp pedal sound with his clean bass sound too)....TREBLE-12 o'clock....PRESENCE-anywhere between 10 and 12 o'clock....BASS-12 o'clock....DRIVE-between 10 and 12 o'clock (he used less drive in the late 90's). But that will give you almost the identical late 90's newsted sound.

    I hope this has helped you.
  11. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    FWIW, the tone on the Black album is a pretty sweet, yet typical, example of Spector tone with the EMG P/J setup. He played an NS2 on that album and I think it had his best sound of all his work with Metallica. Deep and punchy, with lots of growl and no trace of muddiness.

    You could probably coax a similar tone out of any Spector 4-string with the P/J setup (Euro LX) and the Sansamp dialed up to add a little grit.

    For anything later than that (Load, Re-Load, etc.), I would get your favorite Jazz-style bass (Fender, Lakland, G&L, whatever) and the Sadowsky outboard preamp.

    No matter which era you prefer, you will need to play with a pick.
  12. Vic Winters

    Vic Winters Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    Rochester, NY
    Jason was all about mids on his SVT-II's.
  13. metallibass95


    Apr 7, 2009
    His black album tone I have no idea how he did that one, it is so unique from all other sounds he has ever had . I know on the recording of enter sandman though Jason used a spector 4 string bass with a P and J pickup.

    Live And Justice gigs he mostly used a 5 string Aria that had a J-P-J pickup combination and from Load til now he got a deal with Sadowsky and started using their 4 and 5 string jazz basses mostly.
  14. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    No deals - Sadowsky doesn't do Endorsements, and Jason paid full price for his first eight Sadowskys (that's serious cash to drop all at once, roughly 25K!) - Roger gave him his 9th as a freebee, and joked the next Sadowky was "Buy eight and get one free!" From a '96 cover story in "Bass Player" around the release of "Load":

    Jason Newsted owns nine of Roger Sadowsky's handcrafted basses: four 4-strings and five 5-strings. He carries eight of them on the road, while one resides at his home studio. (All of the road instruments sport maple fingerboards.) The 4's include a Lake Placid Blue Vintage model with an alder body and a morado fingerboard, a black Vintage model with an ash body, and two PJ models with quilted-maple tops (one cherry sunburst and one caramel sunburst). The 5's include three Vintage models (two black, one cherry sunburst) and two black 24-fret models with EMG-40J pickups. To accommodate Jason's aggressive, downstroke-heavy pick attack, Sadowsky places the neck pickup on the 24-fret models about an inch closer to the neck than normal. (For more on Newsted's picking style, see Sept/Oct '91.) All Vintage models include Sadowsky exposed-polepiece pickups, and every bass features the Sadowsky preamp. Each also has a special modification; Roger Sadowsky explains.

    "Jason voiced his concerns about moisture and reliability; apparently some of his basses were having an intermittent output, and when his tech would remove the output-jack plate, water would literally run out of the control cavity! The guys in the band don't like to be cold while they play, so they don't use the air conditioning during a concert. It turns out the humidity levels at the shows are so high from the heat, water runs down the front of the amplifiers! And moisture was building up inside the control cavities from condensation."

    "Our solution was to put a thin rubber gasket on the back of the control-cavity plates and underneath going eath the football-shaped output-jack plate. We also sealed the holes from the pickup cavities to the control cavities with silicone sealant to keep any moisture that might come in through the pickup routs from flowing into the cavities."

    "Everything else is stock. We didn't charge Jason any extra for the waterproofing service--but at the same time, I really want people to know he paid full price for eight instruments. I sent him the ninth bass as a gift. He didn't try to do the typical artist-endorsement thing with me; he was a real mensch. So the new Sadowsky promotion is, "Buy eight and get one free!"

    I personally think his ReLoad/Garage, Inc/S&M-era Sadowsky tone was the best, but as I'm a J-bass tone junkie I'm skewed in that direction. After that, the "Black Album"-era Alembics with the JPJ setup and Series II electronics. Also nice was his live use of Spectors (SSD-era) live including the extremely awesome "JN" signature model based on Stuart's newer "SD" body design, of which there were only 30-something built. However, these were the basses shorting out that led him to Sadowskys so they weren't used long in the live setting. For recording purposes, Jason = Spector... although I love the *CRACK* :30 into "Wherever I May Roam" which is actually a Warwick 12-string. :D
    Direct Box Rox likes this.
  15. TribalEagle


    Mar 19, 2005
    Finland EU
    Allways though it was Hamer
    "GW: Did you use your new Hamer Mandocello twelve-string bass?

    Jason: Yeah. I played it on some different little pieces."
    from http://www.metallicaworld.co.uk/Interviews/1991_jason_guitarworld.htm

    And as far as I know (wicht s not much:atoz:) he never used sansamp as main recording or live tool. You can get some what close to his tone with it tho..

    About his live tone in load/reload time I commented in "Bass sound on Cunning Stunts" thread here: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=525282&highlight=cunning+stunts+tone
    Link above is about Black album tone (1991 Jason Guitarworld) and here he tells about load tone: http://www.metallicaworld.co.uk/Interviews/1996_jason_bassplayer.htm
  16. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    It could likely be either: my source is the "Classic Albums: The Black Album", where Jason brings it up in regards to the original recording and plays along to the track in the studio with the Warwick. And I've never placed too much faith in Guitar World's "reporting", as they seem to be the most fan-pleasing, perpetually 13-years-old adolescent male joke, never says a negative word in gear reviews (compared to GW, Bass Player is Consumer Reports :rollno: ) - witness "Spectre" and "SVR" (SWR)...and this was 1991, not like these companies was just starting out and easy to mistake. It could be an error in the transcription, but I've seen them make similar mistakes in both "Guitar World" as well as their short-lived "Guitar World's Bass Guitar" magazines.
  17. Thanks for posting this. I saw Jason with this bass in Phoenix way back when...The Metallica/Suicidal Tendencies/and :ahem: Candlebox tour - when Alice in Chains was slated, but backed out.

    Loved the bass, loved the tone...and had no idea what he was playing.
  18. metallibass95


    Apr 7, 2009

    Wow man, as much sadowskys as he has and as much as he is so hardcore into those basses anyone woulda thought it was a deal involved. Jason buying those basses himself, those must be some awsome basses, lol. And holy crap man, where did you get all that info? Thats insane, lol.
  20. +1 on this. I was watching a documentary on the making of the Black album recently and saw that he was using a Spector, and went aha! Great tone.