most important for good tone

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by veggieboy, Apr 23, 2002.

  1. strings

    24 vote(s)
  2. wood (body)

    16 vote(s)
  3. wood (neck)

    4 vote(s)
  4. wood (finger board)

    1 vote(s)
  5. pick ups

    28 vote(s)
  6. hardware

    1 vote(s)
  7. number of pieces of wood

    1 vote(s)
  1. what is the most imprtant part of the bass for good tone?
  2. Tone can be ruined more easily by bad strings than by any other faulty component or material.
  3. Yeah, I'll have to see it that way to.
  4. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    Yeah, the player first....than IMO, the neck wood.
  5. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Player, then strings, then body wood, then pickups, then fingerboard wood, then neck wood.
  7. supergreg


    Jan 20, 2002
    You would really be suprised how much different strings can change the tone of your bass.
  8. Max

    Max Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bakersfield, CA
    Jeff, I would like to know what's behind your order.
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Well, the player is the most important ingredient. Victor Wooten would still sound like Victor Wooten, even on my Peavey Foundation bass.

    Strings play a lot more into tone than a lot of people think. You can totally change the tone of a bass, just by changing to a different type of strings, IE stainless steel roundswounds to black nylon tapewounds.

    Body wood has a pretty great impact on tone, I know that a hard ash body sounds a lot brighter to my ears than a basswood or alder body.

    Pickups are supposed to be pretty transparent for the most part, but let's face it, they do color the tone a fair amount, even very transparent pickups such as Lane Poor's or Lindy Fralin's.

    Fingerboard wood can get pretty controversial, but I believe that I can tell the difference between two identical basses, one with a maple board, one with a rosewood board, especially when slapped or tapped.

    Neck wood may appear to have no affect on tone, but a wenge necked bass sounds different than a maple necked bass. Ask anyone who plays a Warwick, or anyone who has played both a maple neck MTD and a wenge neck MTD.
  10. 1. You left out neck-body joint.

    2. I can't believe how many people chose pick-ups. You can always and easily swap pups but tone foremost starts with the wood. Poor wood can never sound great no matter how good the pups. Great wood can always have poor pups replaced with good ones.
  11. DarkMazda


    Jun 3, 2000
    "The Tone is in your Hands!"
  12. incubus2432


    Mar 21, 2002
    Grafton, Ohio
    First, I ruin the tone myself (by being sloppy), then I blame the strings:D
  13. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    With the "pickups" option, you can also include their placement, which I think is the largest single contributor to a certain tone. But that is more a design question than about the pickups themselves, so I have nowhere to put my vote? :(
  14. jvasquez18


    Sep 23, 2000
    S.E. 323, 13
    what's next? hardware? or fretboard wood?
  15. HiFi


    Apr 20, 2002
    Anaheim, CA
    It's all in the Funk of the Fingers. Jaco's sound is so hard to reproduce because of it.
  16. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    If you will look at my post again, I already mentioned fingerboard wood as #5.

    I guess that hardware would be next, although IMHO other things such as pickup placement and construction have far more impact on tone than hardware.
  17. Boppingtheory


    Aug 27, 2001
    I agree entirely with Jims. In my opinion mainly the wood does a great difference in tone: you can detect if a bass is good or not even playing it unplugged.
    Of course "you can always and easily swap pups but tone foremost starts with the wood".
    Then the musician makes the difference.
    But if you play on woods good for burning and you pluck washing lines, tones does not change easily even if you are a good player.
  18. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    body wood
    pickup placement
    pickup type
    construction type
    neck joint
    neck wood
    fingerboard wood

    i think everyone would agree that a bass with high quality solid hardware and super tight joints will sound better than a loose bass.
  19. Given everything that's been said, why do vintage instruments sell for 2 ,3, 5 or 10 times their modern counterpart? Was the body wood better? Were pickups better? Was the hardware better? Were the necks of a higher quality? Were the neck joints better fitting? We know that the strings were not better, so what makes vintage basses more valuable on the market?