John Paul Jones Alembic/GK sound

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by keith1r, Mar 21, 2019.

  1. keith1r

    keith1r Supporting Member

    Aug 4, 2009
    John Paul Jones is one of my favorite bassists and his Fender Jazz through an Acoustic 360 is probably one of the best Bass sounds ever. I know there is debate whether he used flats or not but after using Rotosound 77 flats, that is his sound and he stated in an interview he used them on his jazz and the swing bass on his 51 p bass.
    Listening to bootlegs from the 1977 Led Zeppelin tour when he switched to the Alembic 8 string and Bevcar 4 string active through a GK GMT 600 head and the Acoustic 361 cab is one of the worst Bass sounds he ever had. He used a Hagstrom 8 string through the Acoustic in Presence and had a good sound. His sound didn’t improve in 1979 and 1980.
    I just don’t know what he was thinking with that sound.
    Axstar likes this.
  2. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    I would exercise caution when basing his sound on a bootleg recording. Jimmy Page has made remarks that even the quality of many of their professional live recordings were not up to his standards.
    BOOG and danesdad like this.
  3. BOOG


    Dec 13, 2016
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I have a bootleg my sister got from the Knebworth concert she went to in 1978 (?). It is horrendous. She said that it doesn’t sound anything like they did live. Technology then ain’t what it is today for the portability/clarity/quality ratio.
  4. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016

    Jimmy Page talks as though he is some sort of audiophile, but his mixing and mastering is idiosyncratically brilliant at times and clueless, borderline ugly at other times. He talks a good game.

    JPJ's Alembic tone didn't sit well in the otherwise unchanged Zeppelin live mix in 1977. It added a sort of trashy, fragile and inconsistent edge to a bass tone that didn't lock into the drums any more (not that you probably could lock in too well with the coke beast that Bonham became in the latter '70s). That tone is there on both soundboard and audience tapes. JPJ traded out solid mids for a subby rumble and staticky high end, as many do when they jump onto active basses.
    keith1r likes this.
  5. keith1r

    keith1r Supporting Member

    Aug 4, 2009
    I think When Entwistle switched to Alembic in the mid 70’s his sound wasn’t as good but John McVie also switched to Alembic while still using an Acoustic 360 and still had a good sound

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