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Quest for Tone

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by eno50, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. eno50


    Jan 31, 2009
    North of Memphis
    Ah!!! the Quest for tone....Is it the muscians OCD...
    I have been reading alot on TB fourms and I'am greatful for all the info one can gather here,everyone trying to find the right combo of bass guitar and bass amp,I'am guilty as hell over the years buying and selling gear to get that tone and spent a ton of money doing it.
    Why do I have 10 basses? why have I gone thru amps like paper cups..... Do I need Help? well my wife thinks so (LOL)
    Is it because our ears grow tired of a tone and then we are not satisfied anymore and then we must crave a new tone?
    Or some of us just spoiled and we have to have different tools for different tones and become gearaholics..
    I have been around muscians all my life and everyone I know including myself are not satisfied with there tone even if someone tells you you sound good..
    I think it the reseptors in the brain that need new stimulation all the time so we can grow and not get bored,it's what I tell my wife ,I don't think she buys it but she still lets me go on my never ending quest for tone.

    Do I need to see a therapist....

  2. christle


    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    No therapist....that is a bad road when it comes to the tone quest ;)

    Over time tastes change and how you hear music changes. Sometimes it is how you need to express yourself that changes and that necessitates a change of gear. Look at a lot of our heroes. Many play the same gear for years and then, seemingly overnight, change gear and rave about how it changed their world. Really it is just that they need something different in order to express themselves.

    Other times it is just rampant consumerism. We get addicted to having new things and that excites us and we want to keep that feeling. Great for the economy, not so much for us :)

    Only you can decide which it is...either way you are blessed with an understanding wife.
  3. dbd1963


    May 18, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    I don't know, I was on the "tone quest" for years and was never happy. Now that I have given up, I'm often happy with my tone.

    But it helps to have good equipment.
  4. christle


    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    Practice is a great cure for this type of issue....
  5. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Guys, if we do this right it will become a great thread to let the wives read so we can keep on acquiring new gear. Hee, hee.

  6. This. Most pro's master ONE bass. Some use 2-3 basses tops... having 4-5 is a bit excessive and nothing more then being a gearhead.

    Nothing wrong with it - I own 5... but I certaily don't need all I have.
  7. jlepre


    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
  8. PJSim


    Jan 16, 2011
    I guess he won then
    I got 8 basses now and I cant really justify it .
    I'm happy with my tone but still keep trying new pups , rewiring my basses and buing new pedals .
    Not being drunk and on ebay helps...
  9. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    Eno, the answer to question is really pretty easy. Unfortunately, it is not probably a very popular answer because most of the time people ignore it and continue to talk about gear but in the spirit of standing up for the truth, here goes...

    Great tone is all about the player, regardless of equipment.

    If you practice 2 hours a day for the next six months, maybe get a teacher, because that will make what you work on much more efficient to your progress, record yourself every week, at the end of the six months,listen back to how far you tone has come, you will sound like a different player with the exact same gear.
  10. phillybass101


    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    You can buy the best gear, practice your rear end off and it will all change the minute you jam or play live wih other players. That tone, or that bass, or that riff, or the stamina you thought you built up all goes out the window within a few secs.
    Want to find out about tone, your chops, your gear and you....play out more, practice out more and then you will find out about what tones and equipment works. Basses all by themselves in an isolated practice environment give off false realities. Once you see a guitar just seemingly sap the tone and might out your rig and bass with one chord you understand what I mean. Tone is an acquired thing that can only come from playing with others. You can sound great all day by yourself. Playing with others is the acid test for bass. And there's nothing wrong with being a gear head.
  11. pineapplerobot


    Jul 23, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    I had about 7 basses at once at one point in time. Sold all but two. Now I have 2 jazz basses, one active, one passive. I normally have to sell something to offset costs when I buy new toys though.
  12. dead on accurate.
  13. portlandguy


    Feb 15, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I am on that quest -
  14. Drewski9


    Sep 10, 2010
    The quest for tone can become an existentialistic goal that easily overtakes the ultimate goal which is to create something. To achive ultimate tone you have to perform and analize at the same time. On a technical level the variations in rooms, weather, strings etc. remove consistancy, add to that your personal perception variations and your baseline for analisis is shot to hell.
    Performance becomes a different issue, after many years of trying , I have to admit that I cannot multi-task. Neither can you, at best you can switch your focus very rapidly but in reality you can only do one thing at a time. My alternative get everything to "feel" good. Does the bass feel right? Is the amp responding to what I'm playing?
    Perfection never exist. Analization destroys creativity. In fact creativity really only happens with limitations. You have alot more power in your hands than in your pocketbook.
    The search for the Holy Grail is fun but it is a distraction from your ultimate goal. "making music". You make music not the bass.
  15. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I'm pleased with my sound. Sadowsky basses and Bergantino cabs plus 30 years of experience. Mix it together and it's an awesome sound.

    Find a brand of bass that sits well in the pocket. Many good brands. Learn to twist some knobs on your amp and dial in a great tone that supports the band. We are bassists. Realize your role and embrace it

  16. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    it was easier for me in the beginning when i was learning to play.
    i had cheap affordable gear and an average bass.
    couldn`t afford better and didn`t care to upgrade.
    but i did learn to play; for the longest time that was all that mattered to me.
    i knew that if i could play at a decent level, then gear wouldn`t matter much.
    now that i can afford to buy what i want, (and i have), it has come full circle back to no matter what i play through, i will sound like me. i guess it is true-most of your sound is in your hands.
    i have many friends who `chase tone`. buying the latest this or that. that is fine if trying out tons of gear is like a hobby to you, but if you do it to find the holy grail, i think it is kind of futile...
    it can also be really expensive.
    i think once you get to a certain level of acquiring equipment, that you are chasing something you will never catch.
    just my two bits.

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