Musicman tone

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Langueta, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. Langueta

    Langueta Guest

    Jul 9, 2007
    Asuming you can get the typical tone from the bass, how is the best way to get it????To begin changing the knobs of the bass and leaving the amp flat, and then start changing the knobs of the amp??
    Leaving the bass flat and changing the eq of the amp??
  2. I'm not quite sure what you're asking.

    The typical Musicman tone will come from setting the bass flat. You can tweak it to be thumpier or smoother my tweaking the bass EQ. Start wit the amp flat.

    if you're getting close the sound you want but not quite, adjust the amp EQ to taste.
  3. I assume you are using your GK head and Hartke cabs that are listed in your profile. If so, that is a CLASSIC combination (i.e., MM and GK, with the Hartke cabs falling out of favor a little bit these days, but still sounding great).

    I can guarantee that rig and bass will sound great.

    Here's a couple tips from one who gigged for years and years with a similar rig and bass.

    1) Set the pickup selector switch to parallel (can't remember which setting that is... I think all the way to the rear... I assume you have the manual). That parallel setting provides what most hear as the 'classic' MM tone

    2) Go REALLY easy on that on board preamp. It can quickly 'boom and click' out at even modest settings. So, IMO, at MOST, you should just be boosting the bass a small amount if needed. Start of flat (centered).

    3) Set the amp to neutral (filters OFF, tone controls at noon), and then dial in the EQ as needed... with MAYBE just a touch of contour if you really feel the mids are too strong for you.

    MM basses actually like mid voiced rigs with no tweeters, since they have SUCH a wide voice down low and especially way up top, so you should be able to get a very articulate, punchy tone with some of that nice MM sparkle up top.

    Here's a clip I recorded with an SR5 set flat through a GK MB150, also set flat (kind of a mini version of your rig). It's a little long, so skip to the middle of the clip to hear what I define as a good MM tone using the above logic (you, of course, might disagree and be looking for something else). The clip is in a 'jazz' setting, which might not be your thing, but at least it will hopefully help you anchor the basic tone in your head and then you can tweak from there.

    Good luck. That is a very good mix and match you have there IMO.

    Edit: I see you have the piezo option. I would keep that 'off' for the most part. It adds boom and click to an already widely voiced bass. Fun to have for limited contexts though.
  4. Langueta

    Langueta Guest

    Jul 9, 2007
    Thank you kjung!!
    Ive got what I was looking for
  5. KJung, I really enjoyed the clip you posted. Your tone and playing were excellent. Most people quickly write off the MM tone for anything other than rock or funk. Very wrong perception, in my opinion.
  6. Thanks! I think the MM basses get a bad rap from some due to mostly user error. The first thing many want to do is crank up that bass and treble control, which can sound OK in the living room, but just sucks all the character and punch from those basses.

    I always dug the 'flat' tone of those basses. That little bit of upper treble 'click' is very unique to the MM tone IMO, and it sounds very good to me. They REALLY like GK rigs IME!
  7. Langueta

    Langueta Guest

    Jul 9, 2007
    Paul denman tone

    With kjung explanation I am very close to his tone, I think you can get it, boosting the mids a little bit, leaving the bass control flat and cuting some treble. Pickup selector swith to parallel
    GK: Voicing filters-Contour at 1/4 and presence off
    the active eq flat
    DBX160A compressor ratio at 5.1

    How can I get the tone of flea at funky monks?
  8. Crank up the presence contol on your GK a bit, and just tweak the treble up a touch IMO. Also, try the pickup voicing switch in 'series' (I don't own my SR5 anymore, but I think that's the 'toward the neck' position), which adds a bunch of mid grind, and 'compresses' the frequency range of the instrument a bit (i.e., tightens up the low end, reduces the upper treble 'sheen', and gooses the upper mids (like the GK 'presence' control). IME!
  9. His tone (along with Louis Johnson) was always my 'gold standard' of MM tones. Wonderful!
  10. jwbassman

    jwbassman Supporting Member

    Aug 9, 2006
    killer playing on that clip kjung! great tone. that's a sweet version of Autumn Leaves. :bassist:
  11. I just discovered this! I'm new to the MM Stingray, having played mostly P-basses, and my first inclination was to try for that fat sound; best to let the MM do what it does best. I did boost the mids a little.
  12. Horny Toad

    Horny Toad Guest

    Mar 4, 2005
    His tone was/is fantastic, but let's not forget he's using a 2 band EQ Stingray. Different voicing than the 3 band.
  13. +1, although I went directly from my 77 Stingray to my Ernie Ball era SR5 three band, and I felt I could get a tone close enough to the 77 from the SR5 to not even have to think about it.

    90% + identical to my ear, although I'll give the 10% in favor of the original.
  14. Langueta

    Langueta Guest

    Jul 9, 2007
    you mean treble flat or more?????
    Treble of the musicman or the treble of the gk?
  15. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Really awesome MM tone right here from 4:02 to 4:22 The tone is a bit darker than the StingRays I have played.
  16. Treble of the MM pre... just a bit boosted from flat (or a little more for a one way cab with no tweeter) To my ear, the Flea tone is classic 'series' MM tone. That series switch compresses the tone of the MM a bit (i.e., less bass, less upper treble, more mids and a bit more upper mid 'dirt'). However, Flea (again to my ear) still has a bit of sparkle way up top that the MM on-board pre provides nicely with a slight boost. Again... use your ear... just a touch to bring out a little 'click' at the attack when digging in or slapping.

  17. Sounds great, Ken. The guitarist is truly great.EDIT: just got to the bossa section, awesome!
  18. Thanks! He's a joy to play with. He's a Berklee grad, and a great player (rock and jazz). And talk about 'the gear doesn't matter', he's playing a stock Fender Strat (not what you would typically consider a good 'jazz tone' guitar)!
  19. Holy War

    Holy War

    Sep 18, 2008
    VA Beach
    i like my stingray tone VERY thick and cutting. i play hard rock and need very aggressive sound from my bass. ive found that on my bass EQi like to leave my treble flat and dime my mids and bass frequencies. on my amp i have my bass set to about 2 oclock, my treble at 11 oclock, my mids at 3 oclock, and significantly boost the 200 range. it sounds increadibly fat and aggressive and i get a lot of complements from other bass players at shows. dont know what style of music youre playin, but this works for me