Mesa Amps- A must?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Insomniac, Jun 24, 2002.

  1. Hey all

    I was wondering if anyone knew about using Mesa AMps for getting Justin Chancellor's(Tool) tone. Or a tone like that to cut through that music. Are Mesas a must? or would any other ones work? Such as Ampeg-or SWR or Eden. Also any good EQ setting to help cut through?
  2. Hugh Jazz

    Hugh Jazz

    Sep 13, 2001
    Atlanta, GA
    I have the Mesa M-2000, the same amp as Justin's, and I can get very close to his tone rather easily, even though he has a much much much nicer (and unique sounding) bass, the Wal, and he plays with a pick whereas I play fingerstyle.

    I think you could get close with an Ampeg, but I'm not sure about SWR or Eden. I have yet to find an SWR amp that I really liked (correction, I do remember getting a nice sound out of a Workingman's 15, but that was when I was playing a band setting, it would get butchered at birth). They seem a little too sterile for my tastes, and not enough juice to cut through.

    I haven't played but one Eden amp, which was a while ago, so I can't give a very accurate summary of that sound. However, from what I've read on this board, Edens will be too earthy and smooth for the Justin-like tone. Ampeg and Mesa have the grit that you need to replicate his tone; however, having a Wal will make the biggest difference by far.

    So, in my opinion, if you really want to go for that particular sound, get a Mesa. If you can't, an SVT would be the (distant) second choice. Many may disagree with me, but then again, this is just my opinion. :D
  3. i don't think chancellor's tone cuts through significantly in the first place!
  4. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    hey poser!
    you didn't mention what kind of bass you you were using,but you can get pretty darn close to the sound you want by rolling to the back pick-up and bumping the mids a bit...bear in mind,that the sound you're hearing on the CD has probably been heavily compressed and Eq'd...i wouldn't be suprised if Justin himself has a hard time reproducing his recorded sound live too! :)
  5. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    also,try combining flange,phase,and a bit of overdrive
  6. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    When i think of "Cut" i think of a tone that can be heard thru out the music. he doesnt do that, but he does "cut" with the "Ching Ching" but not low end. very very high tone. pop in some undertow in my system, big bass. pop in the lateralce and no boom boom. That rick sounded (IMO) Ten times better than the wal. i mean, its killer tone from that wal, but as far as a BASS tone that sat well in tool, i think paul, while not as good as justin, had a better, but not more versitial tone that justin. guess the way tool was moving they needed a bassist that could cover ALOT more ground.
  7. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Interesting,, I have always considered Justin's tone to be 10 times better than Pauls tone,, along with being a much better player.

    Bass tone on Opiate makes me want to kill myself.
  8. Justin and Paul are no better than each other,they've both got a totally different style.

    On the 4 albums Tool have released the bass tone is different on each one of them,and they all RULE.

    A bass driver di on the bassman setting can almost get the lateralus sound,but you need a trebly bass to get it,like a rick.

    But nothing comes closer than a Bass 400+.
  9. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    Hmmmmm,good idea on the Rick,but I think the point is that any similar live sound is going to be compromise...I'd be willing to bet that the recorded sound went through at least 3 lines...DI, miked amp (M-2000 or not) and probably another miked distorted amp,maybe even a guitar amp.At least that's what it sounds to my ears.I agree that the Rick will get real close to the sound,but no matter what equipment is used, it's not going to sound the same as JC.
  10. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    But on the other hand,any high-powered tube head should help cut through...boost mids and throw on some OD
  11. What is this with people talking about how you should boost mids to get the Chancellor tone? Have any of you actually used an equalizer? For God's sake, scoop 'em! He has the least midrangy sound of any bassist on the radio bar Fieldy, and it doesn't so much cut as clank. Any midrange in his tone sits in the 1600-2400Hz range, which is treble in my book. That's it--his sound has nothing between 200 and 1600.

    Anyhow, if you really want that sound--God only knows why, you'll disappear instantly if you have two guitarists--put your pickup balance knob at center detent, crank your bass and treble, and add some OD and you'll be on your way.

    I used to be able to get a very close approximation of that tone on my old bolt-on, alder-bodied, EMG-HZ-equipped Dean. My neck-through, Bartolini-equipped FBB refuses to sound that thin.
  12. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    I disagree with you Peter,he's got a lot going on in the 500-800 range,and probably mostly working off the back pickup of his Wal,which will give you a more pronounced mid tone.He uses quite a few effects,which are accentuated by the midrange (chorus,flange,OD). I'm not saying the bottom end is dropped out or that the highs aren't present,but his mids are more pronounced. Also,I just pulled up his last BP (May 2001) interview,and he was running 3 lines...DI w/a Demeter pre, miked distortion from a M-2000 and 8x10, and clean from a 400+ and 8x10. He further said that he switched from a MM to the Wal "Because some mids were missing". Also,he plays with a pick which will give you a "chime-like" high end,but will leave the bottom a little lacking unless you EQ it back in....Bottom line,his tone is his own..but to "cut" through in a heavy band,you either have to sacrifice your personal sound for a more low mid/mid heavy tone (ie:Geddy Lee,Justin), or use a LOT of power if you want to retain a fuller range sound.Lots of different ways to skin the same cat..Harris uses flat wound strings
  13. I guess y'all must be hearing something DHC and I aren't, because I hear very little midrange in Chancellor's tone, and I'm listening to Lateralus on good headphones right now. I wouldn't take that BP interview or the amount of gear he uses too seriously, either. Traa Daniels of POD told BP that he had 4 channels going into the board when they recorded Satellite, and I can't hear him on half of their songs.

    Chancellor also said he switched to the Wal to get more high midrange, if memory serves (I haven't looked at the article in a month or so). Weird, because a Stingray--if you leave it dead flat--can be a midrange-monger like nobody's business.

    FWIW, Tool is a heavy band, yeah, but it's possible to cut through highly distorted guitars if you take the 200-400 range and let the guitars have 500-1000 (an "M" EQ curve, essentially). You lose some pitch definition that way, but honestly, with that much distortion going on it's not that big of a deal. Of course, a lot of nU-m3t4L kId guitarists want to scoop out everything between 500 and 3000Hz, but I refuse to play with people who tolerate tone that sounds like a vacuum cleaner sucking up gravel.
  14. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    Hey Pete,I totally agree with you on the "Ultra-scoop" sound,not my bag of tea either...I think we have the same views on a lot of this stuff,except for the mid thing...200-400 hz is actually low mid like I suggested before...I'm hearing a boost, but maybe my ears are just jacked after gigging for 25 yrs ;). Anyway,I agree with you on the MM comment...if you can't get enough mid out of one of those,then I don't know...and I own one. As for running 3 or 4 lines for recording,if you don't have a hand in the mixdown,then it doesn't matter anyway...the engineer going to give you the tone THEY feel is right...always gotta fight for the right to be heard!
  15. I try to be good to my ears, I really do. I don't find myself cranking my car stereo up to 17 or 18 like I used to, but I don't drive quite as fast anymore (road noise from my Cherokee increases exponentially once you hit 80, which is still probably too fast for anything but Nebraska). I've never played amplified in front of more than fifty people (I have way too big of a rig, I think). I refuse to turn up above 4 on any amp, and distrust guitarists who insist they need to do so to get "the tone" or drummers who need to whack the skins at all times to get "their sound."

    But I'm just not hearing anything from Chancellor in the low mids or the "mid-mids" (~500-1000Hz). I think I'll live, though.
  16. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    I don't think I'm going to lose any sleep over it either :oops:
  17. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Well, let me just tell you as a guy thats hung out with the dude, he uses alot of midrange. alot. with a little more high mids than the others. he's a nice guy really. but i looked at his setup, and people. he uses alot of midrange. He does however have diffrent settings for diffrent passages, with a little more low mids.

  18. Duuuuude......,Tell me more,tell me everything you know about him and his setup....please.

    He's the man.
  19. I'm still skeptical of anyone who says "he uses midrange a lot," because most of the players under the age of 25 I've ever met think that:

    -the only way to EQ is a big fat smiley face;
    -anyone whose 250 and 500 sliders aren't at -12 "uses tons of mids."
  20. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    hey Peter... umm lets see how do I say this without sounding like I have "I'm a teenager, I know it all"-itis?

    ok.. I play 7 string bass and I am 15. according to you I should have scooped mids "because I'm under 25"

    well, I'll tell you this. my bass control is set at 3 o clock, my low mids at 5 o clock, my high mids and highs both at 3 o clock. this does not sound like scooped mids to me.

    back to the subject, Chancellor's tone on the new album is OK. its not great, i would add more lows, but then again i wouldnt play a 4 string or with a pick :D