1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Let's talk about a really deep tone- how you get- and pitch issues

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by suraci, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    For decades the tendency has been to go brighter rather than deeper ( I am sure there are major exceptions such as ppl tuning down their 5 str to low A or lower .
    But I am just an old school player w a 4 string
    I will continue to work on my brighter tones- growl - burp- presence etc
    But I find there are times I just want to go back to the incredible power of using a strong Deep Sound with less highs

    My question is directed towards the HOW of creating deep tones- pros and cons of various approaches
    I have a two pick up bass
    First thing o wonder about is which PU do I want to emphasize
    ? Obviously there are merits to both

    Tone settings ?
    A dedicated low end cab?

    If you haven't done it in a while , it is a kick
    The other issue is when you do it so much that pitch gets lost
    Maybe that is not a bad thing?
    And finally avoiding boom and mud

    I invite all opinions on this .
  2. will33


    May 22, 2006
    You have too many pickups.

    P-bass---->tone knob at zero----dead strings----->good LF speakers.:D

    Seriously, use the neck pickup and roll down tone/treble. Sense of pitch comes from harmonics. Even playing a P with mittens on you'll have enough harmonics to have pitch clarity provided your speakers don't suck. The boom you get from have too much speaker crammed in too small a box and/or tuned too high destroys the sense of pitch. Some cabs like this are described as "boomy one-note wonders".
  3. Tim1


    Sep 9, 2005
    New Zealand
    I have a rig that I use specifically for this old style tone - P bass into Orange AD 200 into Bergantino NV215 cab. The tone sits beautifully underneath the mix and still has good definition.
    Other basic advice for any setup - use fingers, not a pick (although I am sure some do); P bass or neck pickup on a J with some tone roll off and roll back the treble as needed on the amp (rather than boost bass significantly). Hope this helps, nothing new in it. Cheers, Tim
  4. dog1


    Dec 30, 2008
    I'm old school (or just old) and I remember what you are talking about. Old Beatles stuff was like that. Paul's bass (pre Rickenbacker) tones were way less defined and, well, boomy.

    Using your neck pup with the tone rolled off, turning up the bass and low mid on your amp (if you have that) and using the mid frequency control at almost nothing may help.

    It shouldn't be hard to come up with the tone you are looking for. But, without mid punch, I think you will need more raw volume to keep up in a live situation.
  5. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    Very informative mr Wil. Thank you.
    Interesting you mention "Too many PU's". After meeting John Kallas ( a killer bass player AND builder ) he made me aware of soloing the neck PU , something I had avoided .
    I am a precision player at heart- but ended up with a killer Vint J bass and can't leave it.

    In the studios they always wanted the tone pot wide open- I got used to it. But let me remind some of you. NOT Playing Low notes necessarily but playing the first lower octave and a half of a 4 string ( low E 41 h to C 128 hz ) kills when you play with an often frowned upon deep tone.
    it is a whole other ball game - I am afraid to get fired on my steady where they want lightweight sounds. If you know what I am mean?
    When you dial less treble and miss and add bass. Your playing experience changes for one simple reason. You bass now absolutely dominates in that register. No longer can wimpy guitars control the action. You become the boss of the bottom.
    It is a thrill. And little by little I need to get back to it.
    In the old days we had these big juke boxes with a 15 in them and bass EQ with Motown etc. And it was great with being grating .
    Anyway thanks
  6. pjmuck


    Feb 8, 2006
    New Joisey
    "Deep" means something different in my mind than "fat". I equate it to a darker, less defined tone. Thus, Precisions can be fat, but Gibsons (i.e. EB0 or EB3) go DEEP, with little top end clarity and a ton on subsonic boom. Humbucker in the neck position tone. The Fender Telecaster bass with the Seth Lover PUP has it too.
  7. will33


    May 22, 2006

    Deep is an octave or more below "fat". MM Sabre with the neck pup soloed. Thunderbird same way. Any of those Gibsons with the mudbucker right up against the neck.
  8. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    Great info - loving this distinction between fat and deep and Gibson Thunderbird vs Precisions
  9. I agree w/a lot of the advice above but if I really need something "deep" sounding I detune a half or a whole step. Lower tension on the strings helps get you there.
  10. I have an Epi Thunderbird and I solo the neck pu and get a super nice deep thud!
  11. You'd be surprised at how much of an effect a foam mute has on your tone. It doesn't just kill sustain.
  12. Passinwind

    Passinwind I am Passinwind and some of you are not. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    You might find some food for thought in this thread , which is stickied in the Amps FAQ. It's long and takes many turns, but at least some of it is probably relevant to what you're asking.
  13. JimWasHere


    Sep 8, 2010
    Portland, OR
    I like deep, rather than boomy... And it has to be clean. I get it with a 50/50 blend of jazz pups and a di sraight to a console with a compressor and 4 band fully parametric eq, and a good 3 way system. I've never had a amp that satisfied me under 80hz. But I like the low end really clean.
  14. The tone knob on my P-bass gives me a deeper tone by backing off on it a bit, then I use an Orange OBC115 to make sure the tone is nice and deep. Humbuckers are a definite plus for this,but with a bit a tweaking you should be able to find what you want. Avoid horns!
  15. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    Clueless question of the minute ( while WIKI is down. !! )
    Is a Precision PU a humbucker ?!!!
  16. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
  17. Smurf-o-Deth

    Smurf-o-Deth ¡No me gustan mis pantalones!

    Oct 2, 2007
    The state of denial.
    It is a split-coil design, which humbucks, but it is not a humbucker in the common parlance of the word. A humbucker pickup will involve two (or more) coils, while the split-coil P is single coil.
  18. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    Wow. Ok a comment that has been wishing to come out for months
    And your comments are just the tip of the iceberg. Ok here it is: wHAT gigs are you guys doing that gives such a common presence of bass in PA that is offstage with a Soundman?
    Where are these gigs? Almost every musician I speak to says work is very very slow.

    Ok I got that off my chest
    Now to JimWasHere. What amount of amps mixers speaker cabinets do you usE, and where do you play with this rig? Do you do "normal" gigs , where you don't need a PA ? and when you do , what gear do you use ?? A few bass players suggested there are good and poor cabs to produce a satisfying BASS note. Again. If you are into modern bright sounds. Just for fun try a deep or fat or both sound even on a 4 string!
  19. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    On my gigs, either PA is provided or we rent it.
  20. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    Jimmy. Your gigs are presumably concerts. Yes?
    I and most of us don't presently do concerts though I have .
    I hear all this talk about bass in the FOH and the Soundman etc
    In my moderate size city I am wondering where all these PA Soundman type gigs?
    And how OFTEN do they play ?

Share This Page