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rank which has the most affect on your sound

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by wolffire99, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. wolffire99


    Feb 19, 2013
    St. Louis
    I'd love up get an idea on what you guys feel has the most affect on your tone (Not talking about technique, just pure sound). I'm assuming there will be a lot of different answers, so if you feel like elaborating I think it would be a really interesting read.

    Rank these 1-5 (1=most, 5=least)

  2. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    In my experience:
    1 - cab/speakers
    2- strings
    3- amp
    4- pickups
    5- bass

    The cab/drivers have the biggest effect, since they introduce the most distortion in the sound stream. Strings are next, since they have the most effect on the sound of the bass.

    Amps, pickups and the bass itself have the least effects in comparison. They do matter of course, just not as much as the others.

  3. ugly_bassplayer

    ugly_bassplayer Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    The player.

  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    1. Fingers.
    2. Strings.
    3. Amp.
    4. Pickups.
    5. This doesn't belong in the Technique section if technique isn't even one of your options.
  5. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    1. Instrument
    2. Fingers
    3. Manner in which you are amplified / recorded
    7 or 8. Strings
    10. Everything else
  6. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 Always overcompensating Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2010
    So any sound/tone I want I just have to believe hard enough, then i'll get it? ;)
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yep. The whole "/thread" thing really bugs me. As if your opinion is the only one worth reading and once we do we should just shut down the conversation.
  8. ugly_bassplayer

    ugly_bassplayer Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    I think you are intelligent enough to get what I was saying.

  9. 1-strings

    Pickups sort of combine with tone knobs for me I guess. Could have easily been 1 if I wasn't so anal about new or freshly cleaned strings.
  10. ugly_bassplayer

    ugly_bassplayer Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    Ok, I'm out. Sorry to have posted.

    Talk about sensitive.
  11. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    Actually I would have agreed with you if the OP had worded the question differently. As it stands the OP asked what effects "your" tone the most, so the player apparently isn't one of the variables. If they were I can assure you that I don't sound anything like Victor Wooten and he doesn't sound anything like Marcus Miller and neither of them sound anything like John Entwistle and so on.
    So for me the biggest tone variable is strings, followed very closely by cabs/speakers and then everything else is just minor tone shaping and nuance.
  12. etoncrow

    etoncrow (aka Greg Harman, the curmudgeon with a conundrum)

    I would lilke to suggest that pickup location has as much effect as some of the other variables listed.

    edit: also the OP eliminated "the player" when he said "Not talking about technique"
  13. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    A good amp & cab.
    A Fodera thru a crappy combo will sound crappy.
  14. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    For me it's 90% in the fingers. I vary my right hand attack to change my tone, Volume, Amount of growl, etc... Some players like to play lightly and let the gear do the work. There's no right or wrong but no amount of gear could change my overall sound. Therefore, I can not rank your 5 choices.
  15. worxforme

    worxforme Self Actualized Bad Speller

    Dec 10, 2009
    LAnsing MI
    It's still the player no matter how much everyone wants to say otherwise.

    I played with some guys I grew up with that have several hits in an nationally touring act Saturday in a friends basement through crappy equipment.

    The amp I played through was an old Peavey keyboard amp and I used a no name bass.

    Those guys couldn't care less about what they played through and it sounded great. The persons house it was at, now he had the best equipment and sounded the weakest.

    It's the player first.

    The rest is icing, and ya, I do like my icing!
  16. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    I think for the actual question at hand, "the sound", it is NOT always the player.

    For instance, I want to work on the sound of my open E string, plucked..say 1/4 notes.

    Someone (victor wooten) plays with a little banged up 4" SPEAKER WITH A HUGE RIP across half of it.

    Someone else (pete wentz) plays through "insert TOp of the line awesome head and also top of the line "brand whatever you like" cabinet with "x" amount of "whatever size speakers somebody loves"

    all else equal. same bass. same 1/4 notes on open E.

    Which one sounds better?

    Okay, yes, this was a dramatization..to make a point.
    Awesome expensive gear doesnt always make a bad player good. BUT, BAD gear, CAN make a good player sound crappy.
    (Im sure wootens playn wouldnt be crappy, but the tone might be less than desireable "TO most".

    JMO..ymmv..all that
  17. 1 - Bass/Pickups (I don't quite get why these are separated)
    2 - Cab/Speakers
    3 - Head
    4 - Strings

    But they're all important.
  18. etoncrow

    etoncrow (aka Greg Harman, the curmudgeon with a conundrum)

    The OP started this thread and in doing so laid down specific parameters; one of which is "Not talking about technique". What is it about this statement that seems to evade some of you? Have the courtesy to start your own thread if you wish to discuss player technique; the OP disqualified players at the top.
  19. phillybass101


    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    Keep in mind I slap.


    Why because that is the chain. IMO for what I do, all are important. If I have dead strings I can still play fingerstyle and get down but my slap efforts are dead in the water. I love brand new bright SS rounds. In reality I look at it this way. My axe has to be right and set up right with new strings. I like modern hi-fi sounding amps. Still searching for that cab though. So far I'm liking this combo USA Brubaker Bass, tecamp puma heads, and tecamp cab. I'm working my way there. To pull it all off though you have to have the hands/fingers. Every great player has amazing hands and dexterity. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
  20. seang15


    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    Would love to say fingers, technique, brain....

    But beyond that, pickups, strings, maybe Some coloration from amps, although they are rather transparent. I don't believe woods affects electronic and magnetic frequencies...Call me crazy.

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