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MTD 535 setting

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Hman, Jan 19, 2002.


  1. Hman

    Hman

    Jan 8, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    What is the best setting for Jazz tone? Any suggestions?
     
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
  3. Hman

    Hman

    Jan 8, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    Just bought this new bass and playing around with all the control buttons. I think I got a nice slap tone...but not a very smooth jazz tone like a Fender jazz. Any ideas?
     
  4. Steve

    Steve

    Aug 10, 2001
    cut a little 800hz then boost the bass and treble to taste. OR....switch the mid to 250 and turn everything all the way up.

    Those are my two favorite settings for that preamp
     
  5. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    You might want to be more specific, and there are many variables. Are you referring to a tone from a jazz bass, or a tone for jazz music. The jazz bass has many different tones in and of itself (Marcus Miller / Jaco).

    I think getting a Jaco tone is easy (back pick up). Getting a jazz bass tone Marcus style involves putting in a mid scoop. cut the mids to taste and boost the bass and treble.

    I find that I can't get my MTD 535 to sound like a Fender. It really has its own unique MTD-esque tone. For Jazz music, I would run the 3 position mid-switch in the middle position, with mids flat and a slight boost with the bass and treble controls. Ofcourse, the different ypes of woods that MTDs are made of and also your amp settings would make a difference in tone as well. My MTD has a swamp ash body w/maple burl top and a maple neck w/ wenge fretboard.
     
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Same here... I can't really get my 635 to sound like a Fender. It does however sound great. Mine has swamp ash body w/maple burl top and a wenge neck and fretboard.

    For slap and fingerstyle I have the pan in the center, slight bass and mid boost, mid switch in the up position.
     
  7. Hman

    Hman

    Jan 8, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    This bass really has many different sounds. I like to have the Marcus's sound..... Mine is tulipwood body with flame maple top. Wenge neck and fret. I'll try your suggestions. Thanks!
     
  8. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Keep trying Hman. Try experimenting with both pick ups on, boosted treble and bass, and a good cut in the mids with the mid switch in the middle or up position.

    See, one secret to Marcus sound is a notched midrange, like a smiley faced EQ. The cut needs to be at specific frequencies though, which I'm not sure about. I just do it by trial and error.

    The other major part of Marcus's sound is wood. His Jazz has an ash body and a solid maple neck. This imparts a specific tone to his sound.

    because your bass has a wenge neck and fretboard, you may not be able to copy his sound. I hear that a wenge neck and fretboard gives those MTDs a somewhat compressed extra-focused tone in the mids and mid bass frequencies. The Marcus tone actually has a lot of bass and top end.

    Anyway, don't worry if you can't quite get the Fender tone. your bass probably has extra punch and focus in the mids and bass because of the wenge. That's what will make your bass come through a band's mix real clean, ballsey, and punchy.

    In the words of the great Michael Tobias...

    Peace.
     
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    For more info on how Marcus gets his sound, go here: http://www.marcusmiller.com/

    You can probably dial in a sound reminiscent of a 70's Ash Jazz on the MTD, through experimentation. It's doubtful that you'll nail it though IMO. As gfab said, especially with a wenge neck, the sound is very tight and focused. The cool thing, for me, about the Ash Jazzes is, they aren't as tight and focused, the sound is more "unruly" than most boutique basses. They cut through in the mix like crazy. That's one of the reasons I cringe when people get into "which is better?" type discussions. "Tight and focused" should be "better", logically speaking, articulate should be "better" than thuddy, like a P basss with flats BUT, if the raucous sound of the Jazz or the thud of a P is what you WANT, which is "better"?

    I have a 78 Ash Jazz and an MTD 635 and I love both of them for what they do.
     
  10. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Hman, I forgot to say one other thing about Marcus sound. I was concentrating so much on the woods, I forgot to mention his preamp. He has a custom preamp in his bass. As much as you might hear people say that it's just a Sadowsky preamp with bass and treble controls, I heard that his preamp was really custom made for his bass by Sadowsky and is different than the one available on the open market. I've tried that preamp (you can get a decent price at Bass North West) and it does help you to get closer to the Marcus sound especially if you run a Jazz Bass through it.
     
  11. Hman

    Hman

    Jan 8, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    I think you mean this Sadowsky is as close to Macus's bass.....btw, just sold to a guy in Kihei, hawaii. I guess I'm getting use to the different sound from the MTD vs. the Sadoswky!
     
  12. Hman

    Hman

    Jan 8, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Actually, that's a common misconception. Marcus has an old two band Bartolini EQ in his jazz... installed by Roger long before he had his own preamps. Go to the website I posted.

    The other misconception is that the majority of the sound of his bass is because of the modifications, and not the bass itself. It's directly attributable to the dreaded (by some) late 70's Jazz bass, easily achieved without a preamp, on an Ash bodied, Maple necked Jazz. The heavy ones;). The tone is in there, while MM's playing is in him.

    It's really not hard to get MM's tone... on a Fender Jazz. What gets most people is when they try to get it everywhere else but there.
     
  14. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Thanks for the clarification Brad. I heard the same thing a few years back, but I forgot about it. Over the years I ended up just mis-recollecting details on that preamp. Now that you jogged my memory, I remember my friend (who knows Roger personally) saying that Roger put in Bart pick ups and something called a Stars Guitars preamp which had a two band eq. Marcus site may not go into detail on this. Subsequently, Stars got bought out, merged with nother firm, or went out of business.

    Whatever the case, the Marcus tone is killer.

    On a side note, I just finished replacing my Jazz Bass's rosewood fretboard neck with a solid maple neck. It has an alder body, barts, and a Badass bridge. I'll be bringing it along with my 535 to practice tonight. It gets close to the Marcus sound, but has a warmth in the upper mids and may not be quite as punchy because of the alder body. It's pretty close though.
     
  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    As far as I know he still has the stock pickups in it. According to him, Roger did the Bart preamp (and that huge pickguard) and changed the frets, which MM later had changed back to the stock size. IIRC this is around the same time Ken Smith was building a model with an internal envelope follower, which also had a huge control plate. The good old days:D

    My first Tobias ( a 1978) has Stars hardware on it. They did very nice work. It also has a JHD Audio preamp, which is a single band semi-parametric EQ with Q toggle. I'm tempted to go with a 2 or 3 band Bartolini in it. It's still one of the fastest basses I've laid hands on. Mike's the man;)