Piano like tone

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Luis Fabara, Apr 18, 2001.

  1. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    How to get that piano like tone on a Bass?
    What im looking for is suggestions for:

    -Wood Selection
    -Neck Wood Selection
    -Fretboard wood

    I think that Alembic Pickups and electronics will help.
    36" Scale is a must for that very tight timbre
    ABM Piezo Bridge for more acoustic tones

    Please give any input.
    I think I will begin designing a posibly second Pushic Bass for me.
    If the bussiness gets going then I will probably have the money around August.
    I think im gonna call it :" Psi Bass 6" for the greek letter Psi, Im already waiting for the "Omega Bass 6"
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    New stainless steel strings will probably do the most to get you there.
  3. Ask Kurt Kurosawa about Pushic basses that sound like a grand piano. Dave and I did it with a Mahogony body, maple neck thru design ( ask Dave what wood he uses for the fretboard. I am at work and can't look at the materials list) and the Alembic P/J activator electronics and pickups. Turning the "filter" control about 3/4 gives the most awesome grand piano tone I have ever heard on a bass. This does have roundwound strings on it and I think it all contributes to the final result.
    I hope this helps you in your quest.
  4. Basswou


    Apr 15, 2001
    would you recomment this bass ? is it better then a fender ? has it a good slap playabillity ? And sound ? Are there some negative aspects on this bass?

    please tell me about it ...
  5. I own a bass with the characteristics that you've mentioned in your post. It's a Kawai F2-B, what I refer to as a "poor man's Alembic". If you've never seen one, it is very similiar to an Alembic in design and construction:

    Neck thru construction (5 piece neck)
    Maple core, Zebra wood faces, Rosewood fretboard
    Maple/mahogany neck construction.
    34" scale
    Strings thru body
    Heavy brass bridge
    Kawai pups (Alembic style) 18v preamp
    Strung with D'Addario XL roundwounds (.45-.105)

    This bass is so lively that you can hear 2 distinctive harmonic tones over the root note by just fretting the instrument without amplification. I can chord easily and the tone is precisely that open and clear ring that a piano has. If there is anything that could be improved on the bass, it's the bass response. It's there but you've got to do some adjusting with the amp and onboard electronics to allow it to come through. When it does, it'll shake the house.
  6. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    I'd have thought that taperwound or exposed-core strings would have a HECK of a lot to do with getting that piano tone. These strings seem to be much "sproingier", which in the really low registers translates to the metallic piano "clang". Hambone, have you ever tried 'em?

    Also, it may help to realize that a piano strikes the strings very close to one end, rather than close to the middle. Jaco used to play very close to the bridge, and IMHO got some of that piano clang. The point is, technique affects it too.
  7. Eli, I think I get your drift concerning the exposed core strings. I haven't tried them but through an accident, have probably seen this effect:

    When I finished the CAD/CAM bass, I used my usual D'Addario XL HalfRounds for the fretless. Since I made the design as a thru-body stringing I the E string came up a little short of getting all of the outer windings past the nut. I just let it lie, and cut the nut for the thinner portion of the string that it was in contact with. This has yielded an very deep but defined tone on that string. Kinda neat! I certainly think that having a bass with very dense construction (like a piano) will produce the desired effect.