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Jazz Bass: Finding the Tones that Fit

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by justinellison3, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. justinellison3


    Nov 9, 2012
    My jazz bass is pretty versatile: I can get anything from a deep clear punch to Jaco growl. I was just wondering what settings my fellow TBers use on their Jazz Basses and why? How do you find the perfect tone for a certain song and why? Any tips to helping me use its versatility to my advantage?
  2. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    I pretty much stick to two tones:

    1. both vol knobs rolled back to 75/80%, tone knob rolled off 50% (varies by room) - this is the warm tone

    2. both vol knobs wide-open, tone knob rolled off 50% (varies by room) - this is what I call the 60s/70s thump tone

    This is in a Hwy One Jazz with Antiquity II pups.
  3. wednesdayagain


    Sep 28, 2012
    Hmm I always play both pickups on full, tone open. Just seems to fit any song I play LOL
  4. Lichtaffen


    Sep 29, 2008
    Rhode Island
    I like to put the neck pickup on full and the bridge at 25% with the tone around half way to get a psuedo-P bass tone.

    This could potentially be a good thread. I like the answers so far. Got me thinking.
  5. justinellison3


    Nov 9, 2012
    Thanks guys. I don't usually like the sound of both pickups on unless I'm slapping or playing funk (which is rare :p )
  6. Dredmahawkus


    Nov 4, 2012
    I use everything on 10 full on my passive....but I have lindy fralin 10% overwound with pressurewounds on it so its extra warm and with the volumes and tones all the way up gives it the warm with growl tone...but before I changed the pickups I would roll both off to about 75%.

    my deluxe I just leave everything in the middle and EQ the amp....too many things to EQ with an EQ on the guitar too! lol
  7. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    Both pickups full on most of the time, and I work the tone control. Years ago, I favored the bridge pickup and fattened up the tone on the amp end, but that tone doesn't work as well (for most of the stuff I play) as the both pickups on full tone. I don't really care for the neck pickup soloed tone, it just makes me want to grab a P bass, which is a better version of that tone.
  8. jellymax


    Nov 29, 2006
    SF CA
    most of the time i lower the neck pickup slightly. a bit punchier. together with a deep sounding amp, this works very well for me
  9. I like the tone of both pickups on full, and the tone set about halfway.

    I love the sound of a Jazz strung with flats, but lately I find that I like the extra growl you can get from roundwounds. I simply turn the tone down. I find I'm also liking the feel of roundwounds on a Jazz.

    I had a set of Rotosound 77s on my Jazz for a couple of years, now I like rounds. Tastes do change.

    I have GHS bass boomers on it right now, and like them.

    They're on the dark side; not as bright as Rotosound 66s for those who aren't familiar with both sets of strings.

    My bass also has Sadowsky pups, and the Sadowsky Vintage Tone Circuit, but lately I find that I like using the defeat switch to get the passive tone of the pickups.

    This is a Jazz bass tone I really like, and the way I like to play: walking fingerstyle as opposed to slapping, which I'm not too keen on.

  10. Jimmy Stump

    Jimmy Stump

    Jan 27, 2010
    I tend to run both pickups on full, tone on full as well. If I need to alter the tone for a particular song, I may play higher up towards the neck, lower back towards the bridge, or use a pick if need be.
  11. Dredmahawkus


    Nov 4, 2012
    From that youtube video.....my passive jazz sounded like that with labella flats on it....I put the GHS pressurewounds to keep the mellowness but give it a touch of the roundwound brightness....I really love those strings glad I tried them. even though they say flatwound they are more like a flat roundwound then a flatwound.
  12. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan. Supporting Member

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
  13. bubinga5


    Jun 6, 2006
    my 75 mij jazz (with 70s spacing i might add) is best with back pickup on full, and the front rolled off just a smidge, enough to give the tone some definition but enough front pickup for some punch.. tone rolled off a quarter.. fresh dr highbeams.. really cool jazz bass tone.. i love the tone of a jazz bass with flats, with the front pick rolled down back on full, tone rolled up all the way..
  14. BrianToska


    Jan 14, 2013
    Houston, TX
    I play with both volume knobs 100% with tone around 75% gets me a good punchy punk rock tone. Played with a little overdrive and I get my perfect tone for what I play.
  15. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    I'm using a Carvin SB5000 these days; the controls are neck vol, bridge vol, passive tone, stacked/treble bass active EQ. My default is both volume pots about the same (about 75% open), the EQ flat, and the passive tone rolled back a little (like, 75% also).

    When a tune needs more of a thick/woody tone, I turn up the neck pup, and when it calls for more of a nasal/barky tone, I turn up the bridge pup.

    I adjust the passive tone control so the tone is crisp enough with seeming too glassy or brittle; this is adapting to the room and the cab's tweeter, mostly.

    Sometimes I'll bump the bass EQ up a bit, if the volume level is low; I take it back to flat as the volume level goes up. So that's pretty much taking care of the Fletcher-Munson curve thing with low freqs.
  16. I run both vols full up and tone full up for a funk/slap tone, may additionally boost treble on the amp (ShuttleMax 9.2).

    Most of the time I back off the bridge pup about 1/2 a number, just a tiny bit, which makes a big difference in sound- plumps right up and increases the overall volume. I then use the tone from full up to about 50% depending on how dark/mellow I want to get.

    Occasionally I will run the bridge pup full up, and the neck pup cut just a 1/2 a number, with the tone up full and bass boost engaged on the amp. This provides a fairly modern tone, somewhat like Jaco's tone. Without the bass boost on the amp this tone is just too thin to me to be very useful.
  17. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Usually: Neck p'up on full, bridge p'up rolled off about 2/3 of the way

    Sometimes: Bridge p'up on full, neck p'up rolled off about 1/2 way

    Some other times: Both p'ups on full

    Rarely: Neck p'up on full, bridge p'up off completely (tone rolled back a bit)

    In all cases, I adjust the tone to suit the situation, but often run it full up.
  18. justinellison3


    Nov 9, 2012
    I used to use the neck at 100% bridge 65ish% and tone 50% but I recently started doing both 100% and tone 75% and I'm really diggin it :bassist:
  19. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    Me too. And I agree that bridge pup soloed is too harsh and grabbing a P bass is a much more pleasing version of that tone. But I run the neck on full, bridge 50% and up. The tone knob gets the most workout. And then I adjust how and where I play with my right hand.
  20. peledog


    Jul 9, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Both pickups wide open, tone about 50 percent. Does the job for almost anything. Playing softer by the neck gets a nice round fat tone. Playing harder and closer to the bridge is great for rock. During solos, I'll turn the neck pickup down about 50% and turn the tone to full.