Post-Fender Fatigue Syndrome

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jsonnenblick, Feb 8, 2001.

  1. Hi. I just bought an American Standard J used (with a really cool mod: a series/parallel pull-pot, which adds thick, bassy tones when you want 'em). I played it along with CD's and the radio for a while, then busted out my "fancier" basses: Warwick, Modulus, Alembic. . .

    After playing the Fender (and I've found this before, with P-basses, too), the Warwick & Modulus just don't sound like _basses_ to me (altho' the Alembic can, if I don't go nuts with the filter control). They all sound GREAT alone, but the Fender just sits in any kind of pop or rock mix the way the original bass on each recording did.

    Has anyone else found this? I love the other basses for jazz or slap, or originals (where the tone isn't competing with an existing sound), but for 95% of covers, the Fender is _the_ bass.

  2. Well, that's because for 95% of songs done before 1980, a Fender was used...

    What you hear as "sitting better" is more a case of sounding more familiar to you. Fact is, a Ken Smith will probably sit better in an R&B or Latin mix (less aggressive midrange, more bottom), a Modulus will sit better in a metal or hard rock mix (more upper midrange and treble), and a Music Man will work better for a lot of heavier rock (the hyper-aggressive midrange when picked, or the gigantic "scoop" slap sound).

    Sure--for straight-ahead, MOR classic rock covers, nothing beats a Fender or a "super-Fender" (Sadowsky, Lull, Lakland, etc.). For pretty much everything else, well, there's a reason that these boutique basses came into existence.
  3. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I never thought of it that way. Very insightful.
  4. FunkmastaJ


    Feb 1, 2001
    Seattle WA
    I made a similar discovery with my way cheap mexi jazz. And the fender will definately sit much better in the mix than any of the basses json mentioned.
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    There's an old quote attributed to Leland Sklar about a bass that sounds nasty alone but great in the mix. In the mix is what counts, to me. There are quite a few great-sounding bedroom basses that don't blend as well as a Fender seems to.
  6. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    Your other basses all have active electronics right? I find that active pickups don't have the organic feel of passives. The Fender passive tone is the template for passive tone.