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Just started on electric bass

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by jussi, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. jussi


    Dec 26, 2006

    I've played double bass for a few years and recently traded an acoustic bass I had at home (didn't play it) for an eletric one. Iam used to the electric world world of guitars (amps/pedals/pickups/VST's/etc) but now I feel a bit lost in the electric bass world :p

    I have a few questions if someone wants to help:

    - Am I weird for enjoying so much playing the bass straight with no fx (DI, no amp)?

    - Is it usual to have the balance set at exactly 50/50 between the P and J pickups? (I only realized that basses usually don't have a pickup selector after I got this bass :D)

    - What are the "hot setups/plugins of the moment" regarding a good bass sound on a mix (vst's)? I've been playing with Ampeg SVX and I only like the BA-500 amp model. Sometimes add in fron of it is Chorus.

    - Iam using a Line6 UX2 and I don't like any bass amp or preset in there. Can someone share some usable presets?

    THanks! :hyper:
  2. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    The other guy/gals will have to help with the settings. I have mine with flats and foam rubber so I sound like a double bass.......
  3. chris stopa

    chris stopa

    Feb 8, 2011
    I have played bass since the 60s when we always just plugged directly into a tube amp. Now with some solid state or hybrid amps, bass players are looking to make them sound more tubey or gritty using pedals between the bass and the amp.
    One reason for pedal use is that solid state amps, as your probably know, do not distort well and many players want the gritty or distorted sound that a slightly overdriven tube amp gives you. Some newer solid state amps have tried to emulate the tube sound or the gritty sound but many bassists still like a pedal.

    I use a tech 21 VT pedal when I need a fuller, tubier sound or a more booming sound from my hybrid amp. I do not like distortion or fuzz in the bass sound. A slightly gritty sound is acceptable for certain music.

    I have only Fender Jazz Basses and not a P/J pickup setup. I like my neck pickup on full volume and the bridge pickup backed off about an eighth of a turn. This is opposite to every thing I have read on how to get that great fender bass sound ( neck pickup backed off and the bridge full on ). It gives a fuller an less treble sound my way.

    About playing the bass with no amp - Its not great to do because we tend to play too hard when not amplified. The great thing about an electric bass is you can do very complex finger things on it because you do not have to hit the strings hard .
  4. jussi


    Dec 26, 2006
    Thanks for the insight.

    I use an amp but it's a Pionner from the 80's that is connected to my soundcard. The thing is that Iam not enjoying any bass amp emulations except that BA-500 model from Ampeg. Maybe Iam just weird. ;)
  5. chris stopa

    chris stopa

    Feb 8, 2011
    Unfortunately the ampeg BA500 is no longer being made. If you like ampeg you might want to look into their tube amps. The big 300 watt SVT is 85 lbs and runs around 2grand. A smaller ,lighter 100 watt tube amp is now being reintroduced for about $1200 and might be something to look at.
    Or you could continue to focus on the BA500 .
  6. KeddyLee


    Nov 12, 2013
    Plugging in with no effects is great. Pure bass punchiness!

    I use a MXR-M80 now but only cause I'm emulating a Rush sound with it. I love a pure punchy tone.

    Ultimately, do what you like the sound of. No rights or wrongs in tone.
  7. jussi


    Dec 26, 2006
    Well... only half a year as passed and as you might notice, that bass I got was very nice (SGC Nanyo 400 Series MIJ) but I never played it unless I was working on a song and needed to record a bass track... grab it from the stand, track it, put it down.

    A swap came up and I went for it since originally I played the double bass. This time I got a Fame (Mayones Be) Baphomet 4 NTB Fretless. I think I've already played this thing more than the bass that went away.... this is SOOOO much fun, even better (and practical) than playing the double bass. I guess I don't like frets on basses, roundwounds either (had a new set of Ernie Balls and they always felt sticky).

    I was worried about getting what you guys call "mwah" because everyone who plays fretless does that thing and I find it annoying. The strings might be helping not getting that (some black nylon tapewounds, I love nylon) sound but to my amazement, if I just press the notes dead straight like I would on a fretted instrument.. it sounds like a regular bass (no mwah ah ah) :p

    Regarding this great bass, I have a question for you.. On the back of this basses there's a separate plastic compartment for the 9v battery, mine only has a big wood plate for everything (electronics + battery).

    Does this mean that I have an older version? Are there any other differences that you know of?

    BTW, that BA-500 is still my favourite bass amp.. and now that I think of it, I think I never even saw a picture of that amp.. only on the VST version xD