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MTD Slap Tone?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Dec 20, 2016.


  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis


    Is this pretty much how American MTDs sound slapped, or is this simply a case of a genius players doing what the rest of us can't?
     
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  2. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    A great player no doubt, but that slap tone is REAL hard to get to cut thru a mix. If you listen to his playing on the Chaka Kahn live CD (GREAT playing), the bass line you hear is low end and some clicks up high, and when the whole band is in it's really hard to pick up his lines. He actually admits he likes to boost 6K for the high end? He's fighting the cymbals, and 100hz in the low end is right in them middle of the kick drum. I love MTD basses and Mike and Daniel are two of the most stand up guys in the business, but unless you're playing in a small intimate Jazz ensamble type situation with a lot of Solo bass lines IMHO they aren't the ticket with out a lot of EQ manipulation. Ironically with the right wood combos Mahogany bodies/Wenge nects they are GREAT Rock basses Having said that if I ever win the lottery I'll buy one. :cool:
     
  3. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I thought I could hear Andrew Gouche alright on that album, but I will listen again tonight.;)
     
  4. They are terrific sounding basses and about as 'modern' and cutting as any wooden construction bass I've ever heard.

    That slap tone he gets there is sweet, but it sounds like he has a lot of compression at work as well as some EQ work to scoop the mids. The bass, the player and the backline/processing are all at work there to produce that particular tone.
     
    so tuff and Dr. Cheese like this.
  5. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Could have been the video but that's not the tone I go for. It's a very sterile sound to my ears. I like a bright high end but not glassy. I like booty in my lows. I keep my mids in the flat position but on my GK amp, I flip the contour switch on which basically 'smiley face's' the eq. The electronics on the MTD sound like Barts which I love but just not eq'd like that. I love old school tone (Jazz basses and Musicman basses).

    I've seen Chaka Khan with Andrew and Melvin. I prefer Melvin's sound in the mix.
     
    Jamie_Funk, Mr_O'B and Dr. Cheese like this.
  6. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member

    American MTD's all sound different depending on the wood.

    The original Norm Stockton sound (which is probably what most folks think about with MTD basses) which is poplar/myrtle/wenge/wenge is glorious when soloing but tends to get lost in the mix. Check out Norm's first two solo albums to here this tone. But in a more traditional band, the leader asked him for a more traditional tone. And that's how the Norm Stockton model was developed. Very different from his first MTD.

    I wanted a more traditional sounding MTD. Mike recommended makore/maple/ebony/maple. Mike nailed it. This bass lives for the mix.

    Best thing to do is describe to Mike what kind of tone you want and he'll recommend the woods.
     
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  7. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    That is the advantage and danger of boutique basses: you can pretty much get whatever you want, but it pays to know what works or be smart enough to listen to the builder.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016
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  8. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member

    True. A couple of advantages with MTDs.

    Except for some of the Saratoga's, the electronics are very transparent. It's truly a wood thing and you don't have to worry about the electronics coloring the sound.

    And, Mike is such a great guy, he'll help you pick woods if you're buying a used as well as new bass.
     
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  9. Versatek6

    Versatek6 Fretless is like Trombone Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2008
    Twin Cities, MN
    Here's Norm on his signature model.

     
    Mastermold and DWBass like this.
  10. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Regarding the video, that is definitely an MTD sound but it is not the only MTD sound. As Leon mentioned above, the wood does make a difference with these basses. That's not to say that the sonic characteristics can always be predicted with certainty but Mike can help steer you in the right direction. The MTDs that have been my favourites (I've owned seven 535s) have had a meatier tone than Andrew's bass in the reference video. Definitely more towards the "old school" end of the spectrum. My two favourites have been an alder/maple/rosewood combo and an ash/wenge/wenge combo - both slap monsters that sit very nicely in a mix (not just in a four or five piece, but in thirteen piece bands as well). But MTDs are just like any other bass - you have to find one that's right for you (as there will likely be many that aren't).
     
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  11. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Norm Stockton sounds brilliant as always! Listening to his bass, I chuckled to myself because it pretty much sounds like another active Fender clone. A really nice one though.:bassist:
     
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  12. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    To me Norm's bass in that video sounds like the MTD Saratogas that I've played (his signature bass kind of bridges the Saratoga and the 535). Mike T designed the Saratoga because he was getting requests from people (like Norm) to come up with something more "traditional" and Fender-esque. Still very MTD sounding to my ears though.
     
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  13. Versatek6

    Versatek6 Fretless is like Trombone Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2008
    Twin Cities, MN
    About $7,600 worth of nice right there.
     
    gjohnson441496 likes this.
  14. Mr_O'B

    Mr_O'B

    Feb 22, 2015
    MTDs are great basses, but their slap tone is not the ideal slap tone.
    Some people may get upset, but I think the MTD slap tone lacks bottom\heft.

    The best slap tone on a MTD that I've heard is one that David Dyson use to play.
     
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  15. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Yes Dyson is a bad man. I no problem hearing him funk when I saw him with MeShell Ndegeocello.
     
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  16. Mr_O'B

    Mr_O'B

    Feb 22, 2015
    If you were there then you know David Dyson was killing it on his MTD! :):thumbsup:
     
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  17. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Again, not all 535s sound the same. My two favourite 535s are pretty much as good as it gets slap-wise (for my tastes). Very thick and rich when slapped. But I know what you mean, I've encountered some 535s that are a bit more on the anemic side when slapped. I think that goes for any brand/model though - some individual basses are likely to be thicker and punchier than others (I've certainly seen that with Fenders and Sadowskys, for example).
     
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  18. Mr_O'B

    Mr_O'B

    Feb 22, 2015
    I posted a video below of David Dyson and his MTD.
    Besides his MTD, I haven't heard thick/rich slap tone coming from
    MTD basses. We probably have different definitions of what we consider thick/rich/punchy!

     
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  19. They don't all sound like that. My super won't sound like that ever. His has a definite scoop to his sound and strong highs. Mine has more lows and mids and a lot smoother treble with both humbuckers on. Much more full sounding for finger style. On the flip side it gets a whole lot more slappy with both coil taps in single coil mode. Mine is ash, maple/rosewood.
    There's a good video floating around online of someone comparing a handfull of 535's with different wood combos back to back. They all sound similar but not the same.
     
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  20. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Yeah, I'm very familiar with DD's MTD sound from his time with Me'shell. That's pretty much the sound of my MTDs - which I would say are thicker and richer sounding than any of the Sadowskys I've owned when slapped.
     
    Mr_O'B likes this.

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