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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BobWestbrook, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. BobWestbrook

    BobWestbrook Mr.

    Mar 13, 2006
    Philly suburb
    What are the factors that make a bass sound punchy? (By punchy, I mean the forceful attack that one might equate to a kick drum playing in unison.)

    Is it mostly the bass itself, or pickups, head, cab, effects, compression, etc?
  2. I think all of these contribute to "punch" but in terms of how much they contribute from highest to lowest I'd say:


    Note that a lot of it really just has to do with how you set EQ on your amp, bass, etc.

    Some basses, amps, cabs, pickups, etc. just come more "colored". In other words they just naturally or have been designed to accentuate certain frequencies that give you more punch.

    I can't speak for how effects other than compression affect punch. I almost always run my bass completely clean and can't stand most bass effects.
  3. I would try either the Di'aadario Chrome Flats or the Di'addario "half-rounds".
  4. BobWestbrook

    BobWestbrook Mr.

    Mar 13, 2006
    Philly suburb
    Thanks for the responses. As far as strings, the punchiest ones I've found so far are Labella Deep Talkin Bass flats.

    Of course, without putting them on various basses, it's hard to determine how much they contribute. The punchiest combination I have at the moment is those strings on a Dean Evo XM short scale, going through my Bass V-Amp modeling a Thunderbird amp with high compression.

    How much is scale a factor? I'm wondering if short-scale basses are naturally punchier because of the physics? It seems long-scale basses are more resonant. Any thoughts?
  5. 82Daion


    Nov 14, 2006
    Adding some low mids to your EQ settings will help from that side of things.

    That band of frequencies is generally where the perceived "punch" comes from.
  6. X Wolf

    X Wolf Guest

    Strings, Pickups, Wood and to me a very important ingredient......Technique.

  7. ihateusernames


    Jun 26, 2006
    The best punches always start with the hips...or feet depending on your teacher.

    Now, bass that punches on the other hand...IMHO is a factor of instrument design and eq. I'm not trying to discount others opinions. DI to a console can provide just as much punch factor as different stage rigs so I'd say they aren't as important.
  8. Daytona955i


    Feb 17, 2005
    Albany, NY
    It can come from a lot of places. If you want a good punchy tone just about all the time, it starts with the right bass, and then the right strings. Playing with a pick will help even more.

    I'd suggest a stingray or good copy and some DR strings, they have a good snap to them that can equate to punch with the right EQ, like low mids as others have said.

    Another important thing is just the right amount of low end, too much will definitely make your sound flabby and muddy, not enough and it doesn't hit hard.

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