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Metal Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Zenthan, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. Zenthan


    Sep 17, 2008
    I'm looking into upgrading my bass. I play metal and I don't slap, just hold down the low end and i play a little melody. I want something that looks AND plays metal. Anyone have suggestions?
  2. Dale_M


    May 6, 2008
  3. djwackfriz


    Jul 31, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    ESP F-404

    If you can spend a LOT more, a Warwick Vampyre would be pretty metal, too.

    Spectors sound amazing, but they are too small/smooth for me... I like something pointy for metal
  4. Funny, I was gonna say Spector as well. My new Spector sounds amazing. Very clear tone, solid solid bottom end.
  5. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    In my opinion the most suited bass for metal is still the precision bass.

    Mostly because of Steve Harris. But my personal opinion on P-style basses is really positive. And I only play metal with my electric basses.

    What are your experience on basses?
    Any features you desire as a bassist? (pickup, strings, scale,...)
    What "kind" of metal do you play?
    Any hero-metal-bassists of you that have a sound you like.

    As far as look: BC Rich is what comes to my mind first.
    Not too extravagant (I like the Mocking Bird myself as "metal" look) and decent and fair-priced basses.
  6. gm jack

    gm jack

    Oct 5, 2008
    Reading UK
    I would agree with Warwick, especially the bubinga bodied ones (for that massive low end), though ash would do fine with its more cutting tone.

    Remember, looking too metal just ruins the whole point of it. Stylish will get compliments from metal fans and those of other genres.
  7. Ampeg SVT

    Ampeg SVT Son, I am disappoint.

    Warwick or Spector maybe a musicman
  8. ysand


    Mar 26, 2005
    spector, warwick, p-bass, maybe a thunderbird.

    My opinion is stay away from pointy basses, like bc rich ones.
  9. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    +1 on that.

    Something I figured for myself during my career.
    I started out on a precision, I personally like it for the genre, so I want to go back.
    I don't want to sound boring but: a good metal bassist can play his chops on almost any bass. (Off course there are basses that are not suited for metal.)

    But, to join the spirit of the OP: there is nothing wrong with some eye-candy. :D

    It's so easy to induce GAS on me. :meh:
    Now I'm gassing for a MockingBird. :atoz:
  10. Kramsey


    Feb 9, 2008
    Denton, TX
    One of my basses is a Warwick Corvette with an ash body and while my style of playing is far from metal...i have tuned it to drop D before and played with a metal band once.

    all this to say...the growl of the 'wick really does a great job of holing down a solid big low end, especially in drop tunings.

    Hope that helps.:)
  11. atheos


    Sep 28, 2008
    Tampere, Finland
    Yeah, Warwicks are good. Just listen to Nightwish :cool:

    Yet probably the best metal sound - in my opinion - comes from Fender Jazz Bass with ash body. It has the mids that Warwicks lack in my opinion, sure you don't need that if you play some extreme death/black metal but for anything else it just works. I hate the boring "kill the mids" sound where the bass is actually just an octaver for guitar. What's the point?

    Well, I have an Ibanez Iceman but that for the looks :cool: It sounds nice but I'm considering to replace the pickups with Duncan MM pickups and throw away the active electronics and put LP style adjustments instead (separate tone and volume for each pickup and a 3-way switch).
  12. gm jack

    gm jack

    Oct 5, 2008
    Reading UK
    Warwick, lack mids? I'm not sure what you have heard, but the signature Warwick tone is their midrange growl. The ash bodied ones have far more upper mid growl than jazz basses, and the bubinga ones a very heavy but articulate low mid growl. Without touching the EQ on my amp, I have cut through perfectly clearly in death metal situations. They are incredibly cutting basses.

    And black metal generally has little/no bass, due to the 'kvlt' tradition of a guitarist buying a cheap bass and starter amp that gives no bass to record with.

    Maybe you have been listening to recordings where the players did cut their mids out for some strange reason.
  13. Currently playing Doom/Stoner/Sludge Metal....

    I own ESP, B.C. Rich (old 80's N.J. Models) and Now Traben

    as far as looks go the B.C. Rich win in that department (Warlock, Virgo, Mockinbird, Black Widow, Zombie...etc)

    but when it comes to sound, the look, and the build quality...the ESP "F" series (I own two) winds hands down, can't say enough about mine


    with 35" scale the hold de-tuning very well and sound amazing, plus for the $700.00 you will spend nobody else can touch them for features

    Mahogany body, flamed maple top
    Thru body 5-piece maple/walnut neck
    Rosewood fingerboard with 24 XJ frets
    Custom tribal graphic inlays
    EMG 35-DC active pickups
    Volume and blend controls
    EMG B64 3-band active EQ
    Grover tuners
    ESP BB-604 bridge
    35" scale

    ...The "AX" series is nice too but not avaiable in 35" scale last time i looked


    then there is the EX series but i was never a fan of the body style...but it does look the part


    quite recently i picked up a Traben Obsession the bride screams metal it has nice sustain (maybe too much) but i still haven't formed an overall breakdown as of yet (I haven't played it live yet)


    really any bass will work for Metal just some a little better than others (more agressive tone, hotter pick-ups etc.)....the most important thing is that You like the way it looks, sounds, and feels!

    Try a EBMM Stingray as well

    good luck and let us know what you end up with!
  14. gm jack

    gm jack

    Oct 5, 2008
    Reading UK
    The trouble with these basses is that they look out of place anywhere but a metal gig. If he decides to venture into jazz, he will get strange looks holding a Warlock.

    However, a Warwick or a Jazz bass would be right at home.
  15. SERPENT865


    Jan 1, 2007
    Wichita , KS
    spector or ESP/Ltd
  16. probably the same looks i got playing "Honky Tonk" and "Country" with a Warlock...lol

    The OP asked for a Bass that LOOKED as well as PLAYED the part!

    Goes back to What i said about it being important for him to like the way it looks, plays, and sounds...

    if you look at metal bands you will see as many different brands as there are bands......

    do what works for you.....In my case both B.C. Rich and ESP attracted me based on looks, while the Traben attracted me by sound
  17. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008

    If the OP ever decides to play jazz he might get another bass, even all different gear all togheter. (I he stays a member here possibility is that the next bass wont be his last.)

    I have different gear too: I play in a jazz band on a double bass.
    I used to have a metal band, now only in private practice or jamming.

    That's the cool thing, you can own more than one bass. :cool:

    Speaking of basses that look right for metal: that boat-anchor-bass might fit the part.
    (it was posted here some months ago.)
  18. this is what i use a justification to my wife for buying new gear....lol

    well honey i need this one becuase it does both active and Passive...

    or but this one has a single coil and a humbucker....lol

    you get the idea....
  19. gm jack

    gm jack

    Oct 5, 2008
    Reading UK
    Im my opinion, the overly pointy instruments looks very poser-esque. Martin Mendez of Opeth rock a Marcus Miller Jazz Bass, and the guitarists use PRS's. Nobody thinks any less of them for having move concentionally shaped instruments.

    Again, a Warwick or a Spector, who have designs which are a twist on the norm both have incredible tones and will not look out of place.
  20. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    BC Rich, Spector, Warwick, or one of those crazy looking Minarac or Moser basses. They all LOOK metal and sound great. I would aviod any oif the real cheap BC Rich basses though as they are no better than a $99 Squier IMO.

    I hate LTD and Schecter basses for metal as only the ESP basses (and high end Schecters like the DeLeo model) sound good enough to gig IMO and they cost a fortune.

    Personally, I have always used a passive Fender P for metal. The odd time I used a Gibson G3 or Ripper.

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