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Mars Volta Bass Tone

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TeenZombie01, May 14, 2006.

  1. TeenZombie01


    May 14, 2006
    Anyone got any amp setting ideas for a Mars Volta like bass tone? All of their bass players seem to have a pretty good tone.
  2. Unknowndude


    Apr 20, 2006
    Toronto, ON
    Juan Alderete is an excellent bassist.

    Here is a post on The Comatorium (a Mars Volta fansite) about Juan's setup. It's very comprehensive, and should give you all the info you need.

    Essentially though it's P basses, Fretless P's and the occasional J played through an Ampeg SVT Classis head into an Ampeg cab.
  3. A P Bass is a very important part of the Mars Volta bass tone. I don't know about amp settings, but I find I can usually get a close sound using the right amount of attack and the neck pickup of my Jazz Bass. Maybe bump the lows and mids up just a bit.
  4. I'm not sure about Frances the Mute, but Deloused was an early era SVT through an 8x10, with a late 60's P-bass. Flea played on that recording.

    Their permenant bass player also uses an SVT and an 8x10. He's had some type of Jazz bass every time i've seen them.

    It's tough to recommend settings without knowing what amp you're using. But FWIW, i've been able to get pretty close with my Music Man Sterling (single coil setting, EQ flat) and SVT, and very close as well with the Sterling and the Aguilar DB 750 I just got. Dare I say closer than with the SVT.

    Don't go crazy with the low end, and definitely keep the treble tamed pretty well. With the SVT, i'd keep the treble flat, or even roll it off a tad (bright switch off). Switch the mid control onto 800Hz and add just a touch of that. Ultra low OFF, and add just enough low end to fill it out, depending on the cab you have.


    EDIT: Looks like I wasn't that quick to the draw. Great link from the comatorium.
  5. opivy3056

    opivy3056 stardust in a light beam

    Oct 14, 2004
    San Diego
    There is an extremely detailed article on his setup in a bass player magazine from about march 2005.

    From what i remember he uses fender basses, but not jazzes, mostly precision and pj's. Some fretless.

    He uses an ampeg SVT, but he also has 2 other amps. And from what i remember, the cabs didnt look like ampegs at all. Im pretty sure they were 15's.

    As for his effects, he uses tons of them. But the ones that contribute the most to his sound are the 2 Boss CS-2's. He supposedly cranks the sustain to get his sound.

    hope this was a help.
  6. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Lots of compression, old jazz bass or PJ fretless, SVT, 8x10.
  7. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    +1. That's for Juan BTW. HUGE amount of effects.

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