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MLP Bass: My Ideal Tone -- Tamas Babaras

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pbasswil, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. pbasswil


    Feb 17, 2008
    Because of the tone, and the playing, I've been obsessing over this video for a few days:


    Can't get enough of that sound! Cuts well, but is thick and throaty, like a great bridge dual-coil should sound.

    Anybody familiar with this Hungarian luthier, MLP?

    Also: What more available basses can cop this kind of tone, with a killer B string to top it off? I mean something more affordable than a Fodera!


  2. That tone is awesome isn't it? Brubaker's can pull that off if you cut the treble a bit same with the few Skjold's I've played. I played the Red Burst Valenti STP-35 here: http://www.valentibasses.com/instock.html and it can nail that tone. My Tom Clement can get real close with rounds too.

    A good bass with soapbar somewhat close to the bridge will nab you that tone for the most part.
  3. pbasswil


    Feb 17, 2008
    Thanks for that, Kwesi. I wish I had an opportunity to try some of those great basses you mention, up here in Montréal. Must make a pilgrimage south of the border soon.

    What I hear in that MLP makes me think a bit of a Musicman, but with all the aggressiveness in the high mids buffed out of it. The cut is there, but it's smooth -- if that's not an oxymoron!
    So, a super-smoothed out, fat MM -- but with a bit of J burp added in! Just enough, without going all Jaco.

    But aside from the tone of the pickup, it's obviously a stellar piece of woodworking too -- there's no frequencies that get "filtered out" by low quality woods or a bad joint.

    Nice that someone else enjoys this with me. :^)


  4. pbasswil


    Feb 17, 2008
    I just checked out Tom Clement's website. Man, he does not charge a lot for hand made custom basses!

    How would you rate his work, Kwesi? You said yours can approximate the sound in the MLP video; what pickups does your Clement have? Is the low B solid and articulate?


  5. JPMcGuire

    JPMcGuire Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    Lake Orion, Michigan
    My Warwick streamer stage ii can get that kind of tone
  6. pbasswil


    Feb 17, 2008
    Interesting. I tried one of those many years ago, and really liked it -- it was organic and rich. I don't remember such a throaty, articulate tone as in that video, but I'll take your word for it.

    Warwicks like that are getting mighty expensive, though, huh? What did you pay for yours, if I'm not being too nosey?

    - pw
  7. Slappin'Da Bass

    Slappin'Da Bass

    Feb 5, 2010
    Thanks for posting the link to this luthier, man, his tone is royalty.
  8. pbasswil


    Feb 17, 2008
    Incidentally, the MLP body shape that really does it for me is the Queen. Since it's Flash, I can't link directly, you have to select it from the "Intstuments" menu, at:

  9. Tom's work is easily awesome, lol. Mine has a single Nordstrand DC5 in a position similar to a 60s jazz bridge pup. The low B is rock solid. I have it strung with flats right now and it still can shake the house. With rounds... it's kinda scary :D.
  10. That's exactly how I'd describe it :). I love Tamas' playing as well! His tone is just monstrous no matter what basses he plays but those MLPs are something else. I wish they could find their way to our side of the pond.
  11. bottomzone


    Oct 21, 2005
    Yeah, Tamas is an absolute beast!!! This bass sounds great, too:

    A Groove is a Terrible Thing to Waste! :cool:
  12. SOOOO good. awesome.
  13. pbasswil


    Feb 17, 2008
    :^) So cool that you're familiar with him. Have you seen the vids where he plays his signature double cutaway model, with the Seymour Duncan MM pickup?
    That sounds amazing too, although it's a bit more aggressive than I'm aiming for.

    I did email MLP, but haven't gotten a response yet. I guess there's no reason they can't sell to N. America, it would just be a matter of the price and the shipping costs making sense.

    Somehow, though, I can't imagine Europeans competing with the prices that Tom Clement's site posts -- those are just crazy low. And I have this idea that costs are very high in Europe.

    Frankly, I feel bad for fine craftsmen like T Clemens, trying to make a living in this economy by pricing their excellent work so low.
    But then again, that goes double for talented musicians, trying to make ends meet these days. :^{

    - pw
  14. pbasswil


    Feb 17, 2008
    Thanks for chiming in, you guys -- Slappin'Da Bass, IronLung1986 and bottomzone. It reassures me that it's not just my imagination -- that _is_ tone to die for! :^)
  15. pbasswil


    Feb 17, 2008
    Just got a response from Peter Csendes at MLP Guitars, Hungary. They can do their standard 5 string, Queen body shape, in my tighter 17mm spacing, for around US$3,000. I assume that's before shipping costs.

    This is in the ballpark of what I expected. These are high end folks; and I guess they know they can provide you with a Fodera-type sound, at a good discount to what one of those would cost.

    I can tell you, I don't toss $3,000 around lightly. But I haven't stopped toying with the idea yet.

    - pw
  16. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    If I may say something...

    Tamas sounds amazing on ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. I've seen him play Fodera, Sadowsky, F Clef, MLP, etc. and the tone is always "Tamas".

    But these basses all sound (and look!) so good.

    $3,000 is really nothing in comparison to quality. I mean, these are super custom with amazing electronics and obviously tone for days.
  17. Peter Csendes

    Peter Csendes Commercial User

    Feb 27, 2011
    Owner of PMS Audio
    Hi Folks,

    If somebody have questions about the MLP Custom basses, dont hesitate ask me.
    I would like to know your opinions about these basses.

    All the best:Peter Csendes
    MLP Guitars Budapest
  18. bottomzone


    Oct 21, 2005
    Hey Peter! Other than Tamas, what makes this bass sound so great? Anything special about the woods, pickups or electronics?

    Thanks for joining the discussion.

    A Groove is a Terrible Thing to Waste! :cool:
  19. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Royal, Oak, MI.
    What were the specs on the bass pbasswill????
    I very much like what I see (and hear!).
    And me being part Hungarian (Austrian Hungarian actually) makes it kinda neat as well!
  20. SCMan88


    May 1, 2011
    Someone is selling that bass here on TB...

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