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My bass sounds too polite!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by smeet, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    My active bass plays wonderfully and sounds beautiful and warm, but I want it to have more of that in-your-face quality that I get from my passive Fender '62 reissue Jazz.

    I love that wonderful dark Bartolini sound, but it's just not aggressive enough in the mids in a way that I can't remedy with EQ.

    It's a 6-string made by Dan Ransom, 35" scale, ebony fingerboard.
    2 Bartolini soapbars w/ 3 band Bart preamp (don't remember which).
    The neck is bolt-on, but it's so tight it feels like a neck-through.

    Does this make sense to anyone? It's kind of hard for me to explain. Any suggestions for pickup/preamps or anything else would be great.

  2. Jiggybass


    Nov 15, 2005
    Sudbury, Canada
    I have a solution, but it only ever seems to work for a few people...Dig in harder when you play :p

    If not, what bass has that sound that you want? find it, and get the same electronics. ;)
  3. Human Bass

    Human Bass

    Aug 26, 2005
    I guess the Bartolini electronics are the "problem", Bartolinis are known for they very warm sound with a lack of grind...
  4. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Agreed. Think of the "Musicman" sound and the "Bartolini" sound being on the opposite sides of the spectrum of "good" sounds. I love Barts for very bass centric stuff but in a hard hitting rock band, the G&L (much more aggresive and "musicman" like) gets the nod.
  5. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Yep, Bart <==> Musicman sounds about right.
    That's why I'm looking at Stingrays and Bongos...

    Is there a way I can get both out of one instrument?
    Or is that an impossible dream?
  6. I wouln't swap the pups, you may find a need for a more polite sound, and since you have a bass already that gives it to you I say, viva la difference! I would get a distortion / fuzz unit to give you some grit / nasty. But that's me!

    Good luck no matter what!
  7. myrockinbass


    Jun 10, 2005
    Try cranking the treble and bass and keeping the mid set flat.
  8. Billy Low

    Billy Low

    Apr 14, 2003
    Sandberg Guitars
    If you do decide to get rid of the pup's and pre let me know!
  9. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I don't think I'll get rid of the pickups, there's something almost maternal and supportive feeling about the sound of the Barts. I just wish I could flip a switch and get a more aggressive (but not distorted) tone. I just picked up an Aguilar DB750, which might help. My Eden sounds whiney and thin in comparison.

    And about the EQ, I actually find that the in-your-face quality of the passive jazz has more to do with mids than highs. But just EQ-ing doesn't seem to get the same quality. Sometimes I think that the loose neck join on Fenders is what gives them so much "pop", since the note dies away quickly you get the impression that there is more attack.

    So on a related note, if I want my DB750 to sound like a snarling SVT, what overdrive boxes does everybody like?

    Thanks again!
  10. You could get a warmoth witha bart pup and a MM pup, get a swith to go between the two. Gotta put up some serious cash though.
  11. Billy Low

    Billy Low

    Apr 14, 2003
    Sandberg Guitars
    That's the reason I love the Bart sound!

    Uh, that didn't sound too Oediple did it?
  12. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    This is a longshot, but have you considered different strings? If you've been using roundwounds, flatwounds might help because they're drier and have a thuddier attack. (Or try some brand of "groundwounds", if you don't want to go all the way to flats.)
    I know exactly what you're talking about, though. About 20 years ago, I had a '68 Jazz whose pickups were dying, and I replaced them with Bartolinis. When I sat in my livingrooom and played, the Bartolinis had a gorgeous, lush, smooth sound, but live the bass got lost in the mix. There's something about the simple, unadulterated, stock Fender sound (pickups, neck joint, everything) that cuts through.
    But maybe try the strings.
    Hope this helps.
  13. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    I had a similar problem with my SR3006, the Barts were too polite, too nice sounding, no growl. I had a pair of stacked humbuckers made by Christopf at www.bassculture.de, I asked for a more growly and aggressive sound, he proposed his stacked humbuckers. They gave me the meat I was looking for in my tone. They worked out at about &#8364;230 or so, dunno if you're willing to spend that much, but I'd highly recommend you send him a mail at least.

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