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New bass, or try flats?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SteveMcB, Dec 3, 2006.

  1. Hi all,
    My brother has become a convert to bass playing like me:D

    He's playing fingerstyle funk (with minimal slapping) on an Ibanez BTB (don't know the model # but it's a 4 string with a flamed transparent grey/black top). He got it for a steal, because the previous owner had ripped out the preamp, and not connected anything back up. So he has it now wired V/T in passive.

    The thing is, he doesn't really like the sound... I've tried to drag more detail out of him, but he's just not being forthcoming. He's convinced it's the bass, and wants to sell it and get a CIJ Jazz. Now there's nothing wrong with doing that, but I was wondering whether he's not getting the fatness he desires because he's used to the flats on his Ibanez ATK fretless.

    So what do you think - should I buy him a set of flats for christmas to see if that will change his opinion of the bass, or should I just let him get himself a nice Jazz in the hope that it will fix his sound woes?

    He's playing old-school James Brown etc funk with a little bit more modern stuff also, and through a SWR basic black.

  2. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    Tough call. It depends on what he doesn't like about the tone. Flats will sound a world different, but they can't make a bad tone sound good. I suppose the deciding factor would be affordability. If he has a few extra bucks, I would say go with the CIJ. But, it is the holiday season and money is tight around this time.
  3. IanStephenson

    IanStephenson UnRegistered User

    Apr 8, 2006
    A set of flats is gonna cost him £15 to maybe save himself a few hundred (and even then he probably wants to try flats anyway!).

    Try the flats - if they work, great (and you've got one less pressie to figure out). Don't expect miricles, but if its doesn't help you've not lost much.

    Personally I like ground wounds...

    Also if the electronics have been hacked, try wiring the pickup(s) straight to the output jack. If you can live without a volume/tone control (you can tweak it better on the amp, but you can't change it as easilty mid-song), then it's a cheap way of getting a much fatter tone.

  4. Let him get the CIJ, think about it, you're his brother, and he will let you play your basses, now would you rather play a whole new bass, or a normal bass with new strings :p?
  5. Here's an idea.

    Ask your bro to join TB and let him ask himself :p
  6. All good thoughts!
    My brother is not as much of a gearhead as me. I've let him know about TB, but I was thinking of getting him the flats for christmas. But if it don't change his mind on the bass, it'll be a waste of money for me:bag:

    I'd love him to get a CIJ. But I think I'll get him the flats (if I can find any in this town that aren't crazy expensive) and make wiring suggestions...

    Thanks guys.

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