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Props for Bassists in General

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by rickbass, Jul 24, 2001.


  1. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I was speaking with a high end, custom pickup designer/maker the other day, (no, not someone at Bartolini, Basslines, EMG, DiMarzio).

    Two observations he had about bassists -

    1. He said that in his experience, bassists are far more concerned with tone than guitarists. He finds we are much more concerned with lows, mids, highs, transparency, tone colors, et al, whereas guitarists tend to be concerned with sheer output as much or more than how something sounds.

    2. Based on the orders he gets, and the feedback he has heard from the 200 (approx.) custom luthiers he deals with, he said over 90% of bassists want something innovative, unique or different when it comes to custom gear, whereas, about 5% of guitarists want something that is not already an existing, standard, design or sound, or based on one.

    This parallels what Ned Steinberger said - "They're (bassists) not so satisfied with their instruments, they're not so well established...I think guitar players like to have a lot of different guitars and don't necessarily want to spend all that much money on them whereas a bass player's more likely to have just one or two instruments," (some of us nonwithstanding), "and put everything he's got into those."
     
  2. It's true. I have only met a couple guitarists who actually sit down and tweak their tone. I generally end up fixing their tone, as muddy as it may be.
     
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    relman - guess how most guitarists go after tone, according to the pickup guy I referred to in this thread?

    His answer - Stomp boxes!

    That's what he said. And many want pickups that emphasize only a small part of the tonal spectrum while they could get pups that give the full spectrum and they could be selective just by using their guitars' controls.

    He said he finds bassists tend to BEGIN with a good fundamental tone.
     
  4. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    Joplin,Missouri
    Dude you said it correct! I also talked with the guy who designes myers sound equipment! He said that anyone could use the cans he makes for there gear but they are really high! But he said he has only had a hand full of guitar players buy one! Including Dave Mathews but there is tons of bass players that have bought them! I find it funny that stefan usses one! How much do you wanna bet that steffan told dave to get it? Man id love to have one but wow they are high!
     
  5. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Speaking as someone who has one foot in the guitar world and the other in the bass world (I'm a serious doubler), I agree with statement (2) above, but I think the guy is way off base with statement (1). I'm not any kind of oracle, but I may have a bit more experience on the guitar side of things than some folks here on what is, after all, a bass forum.

    Guitarists can be, if anything, far *worse* about tonal niggles than bassists, IME. All you have to do is hang around any gear-oriented forum, and the endless obsessing about this preamp tube or that one, metal or polyester film in amp capacitors, point-to-point wiring versus PC boards, paper pickup bobbins vs. plastic ones, how do I get SRV/VH's sound, alkaline batteries vs. nonalkaline ones for stomp boxes, this booteek amp or that one, this pickup or that one, which of 17 PUs I tried in the bridge of my Washburn most resembled a record I heard at my friend's house of a guy who had a 52 Tele, which Strat copy is actually more Stratlike than a Strat ... I swear, it will just make you want to hurt somebody. And I'm a peaceful guy.

    I think that *on average*, guitarists and bassists may be roughly on a par with respect to tonal concerns. I will say, however, that guitarists may exhibit a wider *range* of behavior. I mean, there are guitarists who think tone is something they put in laser printers, whereas I have never met a bassist who was quite that clueless. On the other hand, I have never encountered a bassist who was nearly as obsessive about tonal minutiae as many guitarists I've encountered. Not even you with your woods, rick! :)

    Bassically (ha), I think bassists tend, very generally, to be more *sensible* about tone--but that's not the same thing as being more sensitive to it or more concerned about it.
     
  6. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    Joplin,Missouri
    We wont even start on drummers! My drummer is so anal about his set thats its funny! I love it because he has the bset sounding kit in ht eworld i think! We go to a drum store and most drummers say hey nice splash but my drummer is more like hey that splash rings out to bad! And will try 10 before he is happy! Dont get me wrong i love this but its worse than going to the mall with my wife!
     
  7. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    I can definatly believe that, most of the guitarests Ive played with have had stomp boxes. i think all but one2 didnt...one had an rp-12 and the other a 2101. and sad to say everyone that used stomp boxes had a very lousy tone, even the the rp-12 guys tone lacked presense.
     
  8. Ok.. here's my vision on this subject..
    i can only speak for metal, coz that's the only genre i've got some experience with..

    i think the reason why ( most ) bassplayers are more picky on their tone, etc than guitarplayers has to do with this :

    1st of all..a bass has way lower frequencies than a guitar, and at low frequencies any crackle, pop, whatever is far more noticable then with higher frequencies.

    2nd.. Metal guitarists play their guitar through a distortion/overdrive/fuzz pedal, so any cracle,pop, blah is pretty much unnoticed. but most bassplayers play clean, so any crackle will jump out like hell..

    3rd.. Bass is more expensive. A decent bass costs a lot more than a decent guitar, because there is more wood, electrics are expensive, etc,etc.
    so.. because bassplayers had to abuse their wallet a little more than guitarists, it's pretty logical that they want perfect sound.. nobody wants to pay $ 2000,- and have fart-like sound..we want the works, baby !

    With my old bands, the guitarists were terrible.. they could play very good, but the sound.. ayiee.. my ears ! :( so with my new band i wanted to change this.. i had a real good talk with both the drummer and the guitarist ( no singer yet :( ) and we made some agreements on issues like volume, tone, tuning, etc, etc. then i sat a whole evening with the guitarist, tweaking our sounds so that they mixed perfectly in both tone and volume.
    the cool part is.. the guitarist said " wow dude.. i never knew my gear could sound that good ! when i bought it, i just plugged it in and started to play.. "
     
  9. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    WHAT A BOOB I AM!!!!! I forgot to mention the clincher,

    - This guy said, "And I'm a guitarist!"

    Richard - as always, I respect your informed and educated input. But if you think I'm pulling your leg, just email me and I tell you who this guy is and how to get a hold of him toll free.

    I just don't want to identify him here in case any lurkers want to tear him a new one. He shouldn't be criticized for his honesty.
     
  10. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Oh no, rick, I don't think you're pulling my leg. I don't need any proof that the guy said what he said, and I think anybody who'd want to tear him a new one just for saying that is taking him/herself way too seriously.

    It just doesn't square with my experience, that's all. Really, man, go hang out on the Harmony Central Guitar Forum or the Fender Forum and listen to those guitarists talk about orange drop capacitors or silver vs copper wire or why some $150 Strat PU doesn't sound like some Platonic ideal of a 57 Strat that probably never existed in the material world.

    Those people are nuts. Really. Bassists are not nearly that crazy as a rule! Or at least, not in that particular way. :)
     
  11. lo-end

    lo-end

    Jun 15, 2001
    PA
    help me please!!!!! I have problems mixing good with my guitarist... how do you do it? What do your EQ curves look like? How are you supposed to sound together? How do you make your guitarist sound GOOD? Im in way over my head tone wise in my band... I should probably start a new thread but what the hell this is about tone anyway, so whatever...
     
  12. well.. it's pretty simple

    First you make an agreement on what kind of music you want to play ( d'oh ! :D )

    Next, you listen carefully to a sh#tload of cd's, and pay good attention to what kind of sound the bands have.

    pick some sounds that you like, try to obtain that sound with your gear, and show it to the other members. the other members will come up with different sounds too.

    next it is trial-and-error time :) together with the guitarist, take your time and try all combinations of the sounds the both of you came up with. there's bound to be a combination that sounds nice..
    then tweak both bass and guitar until the both of you are fully satisfied.

    i think there are 3 words in here that are very important.. Agreements, compromises and tolleration. but then again.. those 3 words are the key to a successfull band :D

    - adx -