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Need advice on improving the tone

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tnosam, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. tnosam


    Sep 2, 2012
    Fayetteville, GA
    I own several basses and my least expensive one is an all black Squier Active Deluxe 4-string. I absolutely love the way this instrument looks with its black fretboard and no fret markers. But I'm having a difficult time getting the the right tone from it. It is very midrangey, to the point of sounding nasally, no matter how I adjust it. I prefer the deep, fat sound most often heard in R&B music. I typically use flat and semi-flat strings and I have upgraded the nut and the pickups on this and most of my other basses with DeMarzio Super Jazz pickups, but this bass continues to maintain its nasally sound. As a last resort I am considering having it gutted and totally re-done. But if you guys (and gals) have a less expensive suggestion I would certainly love to hear it. :bassist: Keeper of the looow end.
  2. Bassisgood4U

    Bassisgood4U Banned

    Jan 30, 2014
    Try palm muting, or even placing a sponge under the strings(close to the bridge). I'd never do the sponge thing, myself. Check out Paul McCartney's bass tone on the Guitar Hero isolated tracks(they're on youtube). Paul used his palm on that stuff.
  3. bass5str


    Jun 27, 2010
    this may be a shot in the dark since i don't know what you have tried but before doing anything drastic, try adjusting your technique first. for starters, less up and down plucking movement and more fat side of the fingers. moving closer to the neck also helps. again i haven't seen you play but give technique changes a try first.

    the funk is in the fingers... tone as well:cool:
  4. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Although there are dozens of TB'ers who probably find it incredulous that the pickups change didn't completely alter the tone you were getting, I'm actually not surprised.

    Sometimes, the wood just sounds like that. You can change electronics a dozen times, it'll still probably sound like it sounds.
  5. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    I would suggest to try a set of lower tension, light guage round wounds. Sadowsky or DR are high on my list. The thinner string and lower tension will allow for more real lows and more dynamics. Flats (especially heavy ones) will mainly detract from your tone, giving a shorter, more percussive tone with more low mids and less true bottom and less highs. All "in general"...

    Listen to Michael Manring ("The enormous room") and listen to his big tone. He uses very light strings. Of course, playing a Zon helps, too.