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Question about tone

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by the walrus, May 29, 2012.


  1. the walrus

    the walrus

    May 21, 2011
    What is they key factor of what type of sound comes out of the amp, the bass or the amp?
     
  2. Amp
     
  3. Actually both
     
  4. darkstorm

    darkstorm

    Oct 13, 2009
    Tone starts with the pups imo and is modified some by the isntruments wood, build and strings. Better bass amps dont color sound very much, they are more hifi. Lower qaulity amps color the sound a lot more. Ideal signal path to me is bass to processor of choice for ready for recording tone, to mixer then house PA. Add 2nd line to mixer out for personal monitor amp if desired.
     
  5. the walrus

    the walrus

    May 21, 2011
    For some reason there is a faint fuzz in my amp but it only sounds when I touch the strings
     
  6. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Are you using an active bass? When was the last time you changed the battery?
     
  7. the walrus

    the walrus

    May 21, 2011
    No it's passive. It's a Yamaha rbx 170. It only costs like $150 so it's probably a piece of crap.
     
  8. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast.

    Aug 15, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Those used to be great basses. I sold those over everything else in its price range, back when I sold guitars. If you want to change the tone, get a new set of pick ups...
     
  9. The buzzing sound could be a grounding issue?
     
  10. the walrus

    the walrus

    May 21, 2011
    What's a grounding issue?
     
  11. nah, tone starts with the strings. It is what you are changing the length of to change pitch. What you are banging, plucking or picking to create notes.
    Changing type of string from nickel to stainless or round to flat makes a huge difference. Changing gauge has a huge affect on tone as well.
    From there everything has an impact on the tone in some fashion. Some things you might not be aware of make a huge difference. Someof my older basses sound very farty and annoying into lower impedance inputs that you find on certain preamps. Same basses sound great through high impedance preamp front ends.
    Until you have heard the same bass through multiple front ends (or some that have switchable impedance like Summit and UA), it is hard to describe this.
     
  12. grendle

    grendle

    Mar 4, 2011
    Central FL
    Hey someone got it right!
     
  13. grendle

    grendle

    Mar 4, 2011
    Central FL
    To the original question, its everything. The amp will add it's own color to the input signal as well. So 10 different basses into the same amp will sound different. Just as the same bass into 10 different amps will sound different.
     
  14. BassWaffle

    BassWaffle

    Apr 10, 2011
    DC/Maryland
    bad bass + good amp = usually good tone
    good bass + bad amp= usually worse tone
     
  15. speaking as someone who spent about 10 years on borrowed gear, this doesnt fly.
    A bad bass will have poor intonation and middling low end.
    A good amp will faithfully reproduce all the crud of it.
    Conversely a good bass can still sound good even if you have to cut all the lows to get loud without farting out.
     
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Hands.
     
  17. As above. Hands. Before I knew anything about overdrive and aggressive tones I was achieving them on my passive basses by using a sharper attack with my fingers.
     
  18. BillMason

    BillMason

    Mar 6, 2007
    People like to debate tone here more than they like to read messages I think, but I'm pretty sure the buzzing sound isn't coming from your hands or anything that's wrong with your strings.

    Someone else suggested a grounding issue and you asked what is a grounding issue. It's an electrical issue - you should probably take both in for service, as it sounds like a wire may not be connected properly in either your bass or your amp.

    However it could also be your house - before you do anything else, try plugging your amp into different outlets. Sometimes if the light switch in the room is on the same circuit as the outlet you're using, and if the light has a fluorescent bulb, you can get a buzz.

    But it's more likely the ground in your bass has come unsoldered, or possibly your amp. If you're adventurous, you can expose the guts of your bass and have a look, but if you're asking a question like "what's a grounding issue" please do NOT take your amp apart.
     
  19. Nothing effects tone more than the player. A phenomenal player can make mediocre gear sound good, and good gear sound great. As far as your issue, sounds like 60 cycle hum from your single coil pups. U have 3 options: 1) always maje sure the bridge/neck pup blend is even 2) get your bass sheilded (about $40-$50). 3) replace your pups with split coil 'noiseless' pups. I recommend option 2.
     
  20. BillMason

    BillMason

    Mar 6, 2007
    The buzz only happens when he touches the strings, so it's not single coil 60 Hz buzz.

    Then again, with a grounding issue, the buzz usually disappears when you touch the strings...
     

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