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JPJ Heartbreaker Led Zeppelin

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by tinman 1967, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. tinman 1967

    tinman 1967

    Mar 6, 2010
    OK, I just finished listening to Led Zeppelins" Heartbreaker". I believe this to be off the 2nd album? Its been probably 25 years since I heard it last, Have that one on vinyl stashed away in the basement.

    Anyhow.... does any one know what JPJ used as far as bass and amps (effects) to achive that nasty growl? What a wonderful sound he had there.
    Almost like a really boomy bottom with a growl like I have not heard before up top.

    Does any one know what I mean?

    Now I remember why I loved that album so much! Not to mention the bass in the" Lemon" song!!!:)
  2. crucislancer

    crucislancer Supporting Member

    Dec 25, 2009
    Cotati, CA
    He was playing a Jazz bass with flatwounds quite a bit around that time, but I believe that he also picked up a Precision every now and then.
  3. dogofgod


    Dec 24, 2009
    JPJ is such a great player. My complaint with that album was that he was so turned down in the mix I have, and my ears are desperatly trying to cling onto what he is doing. Otherwise, an obviously great album.
    Good luck with the tone!
  4. emblymouse

    emblymouse Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    Lakland Artist Endorser
    Love that sound! I may be wrong but I think someone once posted it was a Jazz, and it was also run through a Leslie.
  5. Heartbreaker was the first track on side B of Led Zeppelin II. I'm not sure but I think crucislancer has it backwards... I think JPJ was playing a 50s p-bass with the single coil pickup at the time this tune was recorded, and I'm pretty sure he would have been using flats. I don't know if he had his hands on that jazz bass yet. [EDIT: some reading has me questioning my assertions here. JPJ states he's always liked roundwound strings in a guitar player interview from the 70s. That 50s tele-styled p doesn't seem to show up until photos dated in 1971, so he probably had the jazz bass first.]

    There's lots of distortion on the bass on that tune. Sounds fantastic!!! I use a VT pedal on that tune when I play it in a cover band (using a p-bass into an SVT rig).

    Emblymouse, I think you're right on that part about the leslie speaker. I've heard that they ran the bass and guitar together through a leslie speaker when they recorded it. I can hear the leslie on the bass for sure, but I think it's mixed with a straight signal (probably the bass amp mic'd). They might have run the guitar and bass tracks from tape to the leslie, then printed it back to tape. It's hard for me to tell.

    I'd use a tremolo pedal in an effects loop if I had one. I don't bother with replicating the warbly part when I play it. I have to admit that when I do it, I get a tone that's closer to how it sounds on the Black Crowes & Jimmy Page Live at the Greek, which is different again. Sven Pipien is shown holding a jazz bass in the liner photos.
  6. dogofgod


    Dec 24, 2009
    Cool link, thanks.
  7. tinman 1967

    tinman 1967

    Mar 6, 2010
    That is pretty cool!!
  8. frisbieinstein


    Dec 29, 2007
    I dunno. Sounds like Precision and Acoustic 360. Still my favorite bass sound.
  9. GaryZee


    Jan 22, 2013
    Page and JPJ used and endorsed Acoustic amps during this period. However, what they used in the studio could have varied. I just heard Heartbreaker today and I hear more vibrato/tremelo than Leslie on the bass. Getting the grungy sound isn't difficult with the Precision or Jazz, with flats. But notice he's also playing fifths along with the low root during the verses, possibly 3 notes with an octave, too.
  10. garmenteros

    garmenteros Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Dominican Republic
    In my zeppelin tribute band I use a jazz with flats and just use overdrive to mild distortion for that sound. I use an ibanez tube screamer believe it or not, and a green rhino.