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Need brighter sound

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Argento1980, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. Argento1980


    Oct 5, 2012
    Hi, everyone. This is my first post. I went through some threads on muddy sound but didn't find what I was looking for.

    So I have a PJ bass (Korean-made Spector), not a USA-made one but for now it has to do. :D

    Then for strings I use nickel-wound D'Addarios.

    My amp is a Trace-Elliot head with 2 cabinets of 2 10" speakers each (so 4x 10s in all) on top of an other 2 cabinets each with 2 15" speakers (that's 4x 15s in all).

    My amp's huge and I'm quite satisfied with it. I set my EQ completely flat and play on both pickups but wish to get a brighter sound.

    Strings are obviously new. I'm thinking it could be the P-pickup. I was thinking of changing it to an other J-pickup. Any opinions, please? :bassist:
  2. try stainless steel rounds, plenty to choose from like Rotosound SwingBass 66s. Much cheaper and easier than swapping out a pickup.
  3. garmenteros

    garmenteros Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Dominican Republic
    Regarding the bass, play closer to the bridge for a brighter sound... you could also just favor the bridge pickup as well if your bass has that option... Try messing with its on board EQ and your amps EQ as well.
  4. Argento1980


    Oct 5, 2012
    Thanks for the immediate reply, dhsierra1! :) Yes, stainless steel strings would seem like one way of brightening up the sound.
    In fact I've tried D'Addario's stainless steel series but to be completely honest I really didn't hear that much of a difference in the brightness! Maybe it's my hearing after all. :D
    And the fact that people say the harder stainless steel eats your frets more easily was kind of scaring me. :bawl: lol So I went back to regular nickel-wounds.
    But I'll check out Rotosound's stainless steel strings for sure! It may be the answer. :) Thanks again!
  5. Argento1980


    Oct 5, 2012
    Yeah, that helps, too! Thanks! Maybe the bridge pickup just slightly favored instead of turning the neck pickup all the way down would make it sound more natural.
    And of course playing closer to the bridge pickup.

    One could use a combination of all these techniques to brighten up the sound.
  6. conqr


    Feb 16, 2009
    Possible really stupid question so forgive me - any of those cabs have high end drivers?

    There really is no major difference between the brightness of new nickel or stainless rounds.
  7. Argento1980


    Oct 5, 2012
    You mean the treble horns or whatever they're called? Yes and I set them to the mid position.
    Setting them all the way to 10 does make the sound brighter but it seems to make it harsh then. My ears perceive it as distortion actually! Like a buzzing sound. The manual does say that the treble horns may sound overbearing at high settings so I don't think it's a mechanical fault or something.
  8. not my experience at all. And the difference becomes more pronounced as they break in. Since most of us don't change strings everyday that's what you should be paying attention to.
  9. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    EQ is meant to be used.
    Best way I find to get a brighter sound is to cut bass (rather than boost treble).

    Also picking closer to the bridge will brighten up your sound.
  10. Try tweaking that flat eq a bit. Maybe a set of DR High Beams. I had a Spector NS2a for a while and they sounded great on that.
  11. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    Maybe you have the head setup wrong. Make sure you're not overdriving the cabs. By that I mean hat you don't have the master down too low and the channel volume up too high.
  12. conqr


    Feb 16, 2009
    I see, it may be then than you simply need to start USING that EQ ;) - that plus some external tone shaping/boosting effects would probably be the ticket.
  13. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    Couple things to think about:

    1. Get an active bass. I do agree with the strings...not a real difference on a new set of nickles compared to stainless...but the stainless sound brighter longer.
    2. Get a hearing check done. Judging from your cabs, you are using a very powerful system....are you playing in a loud rock band? I can honestly say I permanently damaged my hearing by playing in loud bands during my youth. That resulted in a noticeable roll-off in treble frequencies. it sucks, but this is why so many veterans on bass say you should wear ear plugs...they mean it! They are hoping we will learn from that tragic mistake!
  14. Alex1984


    Jan 16, 2010
    Yeah, it's hard to imagine a Spector that's not bright enough. Play around with the onboard eq.
  15. Drop 1 of the 15 cabs. :p Your rig is overkill for anything but an arena. lol

    Also, turn up the high mids on your amp by 2 degrees.
  16. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    Boost high mids and some treble
  17. Have you tried turning up one of the tweeters?

    Also, do you need all those cabs - could 4 cabs with one amp create an ohmage issue - could you use 1 1 x 15 and 1 2 x 10 and get the same power?

    Favouring the bridge pick up and setting your bass EQ as centre detent and boosting the treble a little may help - and also pluck the bass over the bridge pick up.

    In combination, these should give you a treblier sound.
  18. mattattack187

    mattattack187 Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    Bangor, ME
    My suggestion may rattle a few cages. Play with a pick!
  19. MarthaSamira

    MarthaSamira Banned

    Apr 29, 2012
    Mind if I ask why?
  20. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    For free:

    Play closer to the bridge
    Favour the J pickup more
    Mess with your EQ - if flat isn't cutting it, try to cut some frequencies, then boost some.

    At minimal expense:
    Stainless steel rounds. Despite what some say, my experience is that stainless gives a brighter sound than nickel.