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John Paul Jones ROUND tone

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by chief redcok, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. Im a huge fan of JPJ and all the incredible things he did with Zep, but as most of you may know, LZII is probably one of the greatest rock albums for any bass player.. Now my question to you is simply what were the settings on his amp to get that ROUND tone? In songs such as-

    What Is and What Should Never Be
    The Lemon Song
    Thank You
    Living Loving Maid
    Ramble On
    Moby Dick
    Bring It On Home
    and even Dazed and Confused
  2. miles'tone


    Feb 26, 2008
    Wales, U.K
    I presume you don't mean ROUND as in 'roundwound' strings right? Me and my mates grew up calling it the Big and Brown Sound :)

    JPJ got his sound back then from a Fender Jazz strung with flatwound strings and an Acoustic 360 bass amp. As for his AMP settings.. Who knows? I guess he just used his ears and dialled in what sounded good to suit his surroundings. As we all should!

    Hope this helps.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  3. Haha Listen, John Paul Jones if probably my favorite bass player, and I understand he used flats on Jazz with an Acoustic, but Im just trying to find someone who knows exactly what he dialed in..
  4. And no, I mean ROUND as in the overall tone, kind of like the opposite of PUNCHY
  5. prd004


    Dec 3, 2010
    There are many peeps on here who claim JPJ used rounds to get that tone. I have never heard from the horses mouth directly what type of strings he used, however...........

    Having basically learned the bass by playing along to those albums, and spending years seeking that tone, I came closest with Rotosound Flats on my jazz bass. Really close!
    JMacBass65 and Pbassmanca like this.
  6. I know its flatwound strings I just need some help with the Mid section of his tone
  7. miles'tone


    Feb 26, 2008
    Wales, U.K
    Yeah thought that's what you meant. Hey I'm with you, JPJ and Zep II are Biblical round my house!

    I hope you find the answers you need, good luck!
  8. Thank you!
  9. prd004


    Dec 3, 2010
    Rotosound flats have that mid presence you are seeking
  10. Ah ha.. I think so...
  11. Tanner5382

    Tanner5382 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2010
    Canton, GA
    Actually JPJ says he stopped using flats pre Zeppelin.
  12. sugarsand


    Mar 1, 2009
    Personally I think you turn the mid range off, the bass almost on full, and the treble almost on full, push in the "high" button (no pun intended– really do it.) If it's an Acoustic 320 with the parametric eq make the V shape just like the knobs, bass high, waning %, mids off, waxing%, treb high, you play your bass almost full open very little cap in the mix.
    He used acoustic 320 head too.
  13. miles'tone


    Feb 26, 2008
    Wales, U.K
    Sorry this is untrue. I have a bass mag here where he says he used the jazz with flats (yes Rotos I believe) with Led Zep, but he didn't like the valve amps of the day and prefered the Acoustic transistor amp for it's fast response.
  14. Herrick


    Jul 21, 2010
    Munchkin Land
    That sound makes me want a Jazz Bass. There is an extensive thread about his sound somewhere on this forum. I don't remember the title though. JPJ is The Mang.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  15. paparoof

    paparoof Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    fEARful koolaid drinker
    To my ears, it's a pretty hefty boost around 200-250hz. But it's such a subjective thing too. The recording gear was so different back then that I'm sure everything in the chain added some of its own color.

    He also seems to play with a pretty heavy attack. I think that's part of it.
  16. jumbodbassman

    jumbodbassman Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Stuck in traffic -NY & CT
    Born Again Tubey
    magic in his hands
  17. paparoof

    paparoof Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    fEARful koolaid drinker
    Dazed and Confused sure sounds like flats to me....
  18. air_leech


    Sep 1, 2000
    what about the controls on that Jazz? did he favor the neck pup? tone knob rolled quite a bit?
    I never considered JPJ's tone to represent the Jazz Bass tone, I simply never played or heard a Jazz which had even the slightest nuance of his tone (maybe except Van Morrison's Black Eyed Girl which shares a J-bass tone that's in the same ballpark).
  19. I think the JPJ Jazz bass tone is a tone that can only be achieved with an MIA Fender Jazz...

    but with that being said, you made a really good point on the pickup settings.. Does anyone know which pup he had higher or lower, I feel like he had the bridge pup rolled off just slightly and I'm sure he messed with the tone
  20. His tone was the ultimate tone of a Fender Jazz
    bobyoung53 likes this.

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