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Multiple Tones in One Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 18reisd, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. 18reisd


    Aug 12, 2012
    Hey All,
    I was just wondering what versatile bass would be for the music i play. My band plays a variety of different cover tunes and genres and my passive p bass can't cop every tone i need, and i dont want to haul multiple bass to a gig. We play everything from The Who, to The Beatles, to Rush, Radiohead, The Police, Pearl Jam, Zep, Frank Zappa, Stevie Wonder, Janis, etc... I'm looking to spend around 1250$ but i can push up to 1500$ or more if need be.
    Go! :bassist:
  2. DeltaPhoenix

    DeltaPhoenix Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2011
    MusicMan Big Al SSS can cop a LOT of different tones. It can handle P,J, Humbuckers, mellow and aggresive tones.
  3. BKBassDude


    Jun 17, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Lakland 44-94. Humbucker, bridge single when tapped, J blend when tapped, neck for P style.

    Peavey T-40 also can cop most tones, but they require a gym membership.

    Really anything with humbuckers with a coil tap. Best of both worlds.
  4. mcm


    Oct 2, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    G and L L-2000 would be tops. Incredibly made also.
  5. Gab124

    Gab124 The path is greater than the destination Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2006
    I will second the Lakland but you can save money with a 55-02 or 44-02 if you don't do fivers.
  6. mr.mow


    Feb 11, 2009
    Endorsing Artist: BBE/G&L Basses
    Ibanez ATK1200 or 800.. jazz bass, pbass, stingray, fat and dubby.. does the lot in one bass.
  7. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Line 6 Variax Bass I get twenty-four different sounds. :)
  8. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Phillipsburg, NJ
    Not trying to Argue but...What could possibly be more fun than Jamming to those bands on a proper P-Bass. I've done it for years minus the Zappa but everything else you listed and tons more. I'm now doing it on A Ric and it's a bit harder to pull off but not too bad.
  9. the yeti

    the yeti

    Nov 6, 2007
    raleigh, nc
    warwick $$ corvette can be had in that range, it is very versitile.
  10. I've never played one but they say that with all the coil, passive/active, series/parallel combinations the Musicman Game Changer has like 900 sounds. You can even turn on or off each individual pole for each of the four coils

  11. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    Oooops scratch my suggestion. Unless you can find one used. I think I saw one in the classifieds.
  12. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    The most versatile I've owned:
    Stingray HH, jazz bass with an Audere pre (z mode switch is awesome), Lakland 4402 with Duncan pickups.
  13. RoeyHaviv


    Apr 1, 2011
    Charlotte NC
    Endorsing Artist: Vigier guitars, Pigtronix Effects
    Most of Zappa's bassists used a P bass :smug:

    Back to the subject, The suggestions above are great.
    I'de add Godin Shifter and If you can spend some more- Sandberg California VM (about 1850$ in the US).
  14. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Used Fender Roscoe Beck Signature. All passive. Two buckers. You can split the coils in series, parallel, or single. I haven't found a tone I can't cop yet. And it will have a familiar Fender feel. It's a J neck but you get what I mean. Seriously, you can't go wrong with one.
  15. klaus486


    Jun 27, 2009
    portland or
    sales geek Portland Music co.
    I think a passive J bass with fresh roundwounds can cop just about any tone.

    Neck pickup wide open pretty much sounds like a P bass. Roll the tone knob off for a variety of mellower tones. Combine that with right hand techniques to get all of the flabbier sounds.

    Both pickups wide open - tone wide open is a classic sound that works well for just about anything. Again combined with the right hand & tone knob you should be able to get a variety of sounds out of this position. It is also one of THE best slap tones. Throw a pick into the equation and a whole new spectrum opens up. From raw aggressive rock to muted punch.

    The bridge position of course gets you the classic Jaco burp. When the strings are played closer to the neck it gives a wide variety of deeper tones but with a different midrange than the other pickup has.

    I'd say that having a preamp built in would make any of these settings even more versatile but I find that the passive Jazz bass with great J sized humbucking pickups (in my case the Dimarzio Model J DP123 set) can do just about everything a bass needs to do. FOR ME the preamp adds a needless complexity in an already overly complex world. I have also found the Vol/Pan/Tone set up an easier way to navigate the tonal spectrum of the J compared to the Vol/Vol/Tone that is standard.

    The Fender Jazz bass has done it all. Country, Blues, Jazz, Fusion, Pop, Funk, Dance, Latin, Reggae, Dub, Rock, Punk, Metal of every variety, Gospel, non-Western/foreign, Electronica...you name it. A jazz bass has done it.

    Show up with your J. Plug it onto whatever is loud. Twist some knobs and get to work.
  16. Have you considered using a ToneStyler in your P-bass? I love mine!
  17. ilustre

    ilustre Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2010
    Music man 25th anniversary 5HH!!!!!!!!!!
  18. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Any two pickup bass with active 2-3 eq can get multiple tones easy. Its jsut a matter of picking from ones whose voice char for each pup etc suits you.
  19. Lowend65


    Sep 21, 2006
    San Jose, CA
    My Carvin LB70 with the P-series electronics option makes all kinds of different sounds.
    3-band EQ, pickup blend, coil tap, and a piezo pickup in each string saddle. The possibilities are kind of overwhelming