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Road Worn Jazz sounds harsh and dark.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by slobake, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. slobake

    slobake resident ... something

    I have had my Fender road worn jazz for about three months now. I originally bought a Squier James Johnson CV jazz and I liked so much I decided to buy a road worn.
    I loved the tone of the R.W. at the store but the set-up was awful and I didn't like the way the rounds felt. I set it up and put on some heavy D'addario half rounds. I like these string on my Precisision and I have a med gauge set on the CV Jazz that I like.
    I play in a small church through a GK MB1500 and a Zoom B3emulating a SVT and 4x10 with a little compression as well.
    The tone sounds kind of harsh and dark no matter how I EQ it. My bandmates don't like the tone either. So I am thinking a different set of strings might help.
    Maybe some DR Highbeams ?
    Could be pickup height too, but I have experimented with that and the height seems okay.
  2. slobake

    slobake resident ... something

    Forgot to add. The tone sounds even worse in some positions. For instance the G note on the A string sounds kind of dead and harsh at the same time.
  3. Jookbox

    Jookbox Registered Drummer

    Mar 16, 2006
    Maybe some steel roundwounds? The last time I had dead sounding strings was because the gauge didn't fit the nut correctly.
  4. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    I would try roundwounds on it, and the neck pick up will always be darker than the bridge pick up, and have a higher gain. To offset this, I set the bridge pick up higher than the neck. That pick up should sound bright unless your tone knob is all the way down, and even then it won't be as dark as the neck pick up can be with the same tonal setting. I guess it's difficult to pinpoint your problem when you say the sound is dark and yet harsh at the same time.
  5. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    And think of you, lownote, to be the closest to the right solution

    I mean: pickup height is essential in the measure you pointed out
    Neck pickup in an average position
    Bridge pickup as close as you can to the strings.
    Then, yes, roundwound, why not? The best solution on a Jazz bass, and steel (having you a rosewood board) instead of nickel

    The note you find out to be at the same time harsh and dark (in the sense of "undefined" I guess) "G" on the A string (10th fret) is typical. It's around the same "area" where I test compression/drive/overdrive percentage on pedalboard and low/mid/high on head eq.

    Nothing wrong with your bass, let mellower Classic Vibe pickup alone: it's just that that combo (Road Worn Jazz/MIM CS pickups/rounds) is loud and need to be tamed and focused a lil' bit


    FenderTuni likes this.
  6. matti777

    matti777 Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    Edmonton, Canada
    Try lighter round ss strings (0.100-0.045)
  7. slobake

    slobake resident ... something

    Thanks for your suggestions. Ordering some DR stainless in med gauge now. I will check the pickup height tonight.
  8. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147

    I like lots of different strings on mine, but find that humble Fender rounds, 7250 ML nickel-plated steel (.045-.100) actually sound great on these basses. If you play everyday, they will last 8 weeks or so, but then lose their focused quality.

    I also like Sadowsky strings on these basses and of course DR makes a nice light set of Hi-Beams that I am about to try.

    What is your EQ like? :cool:
  9. alembicguy

    alembicguy I operate the worlds largest heavey equipment Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    I use DR Highbeams (light gauge) on my RW Jazz and the thing just kills thru my SVT or my B15n an even thru headphones on my Cafe Walter.
  10. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Did you mean a GK MB150 or MB115? :confused:
    You may be overloading the input on your combo amp's pre with the Zoom. :cool:
  11. slobake

    slobake resident ... something

    I have the MB115. I use the same settings for my 50's Precision and it sounds great. Of course that may be part of the problem.
  12. jamersonburton


    Jul 22, 2011
    d'addario xl nickel or prosteels
    rotosound rs66
    dr hi beams are aparantley bright
  13. slobake

    slobake resident ... something


    Gain - 2 o'clock
    Contour - off
    Treble- full on
    Hi mid - 12 o'clock
    Lo mid - 3 o'clock
    Bass - 0 (off)
    Boost - 1 o'clock
    Master - typically around 9 o'clock
    Horn - off

    160 comp pedal
    thresh -45
    ratio 3.8
    gain 6
    Level 75

    Bass -3
    Mid 0
    Trebl 0
    Mid _F 350Hz
    Gain 50
    Level 150
    Ultra off
    Cab 4x10 HA
    Mix 100
  14. slobake

    slobake resident ... something

    Just put the rounds the bass came with back on. WOW! It sounds great! I don't know how old the strings are, I bought the bass new but the ship date was about 18 -24 months before I bought it.
    I still don't like the way the rounds feel or the extra finger noise they make when I move around. I know I can work on my technique to minimize the noise. The DR site says their rounds are smoother than the regular rounds. Is that true? What about the DR's that are coated?
    Now I need to take a look at the pickup height. Thanks everyone for your input so far.
  15. BrandonBass


    May 29, 2006
    dr hi beams are the smoothest feeling rounds ive played, coated drs not so much
  16. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    coated are not flatwounds for sure, yet they bear enhanced mids, so pay attention to G (A string) C (D string) again, finally
    I'd go like this


    Gain - 9 o'clock
    Contour - 9 o'clock
    Treble- 3 o'clock
    Hi mid - 12 o'clock
    Lo mid - 12 o'clock
    Bass - 9 o'clock
    Boost - 9 o'clock
    Master - 12 o'clock
    Horn - 12 o'clock

    can't tell ya more of Zoom B3 (it intrigues me but still I'm torn between it and the so called "multi stomp") and sure of SVT emulation over there...

  17. slobake

    slobake resident ... something

    After finishing a kitchen remodel I finally got to devote some time to this bass. Really dialed in a sweet tone last night. I ended up using lighter guage half rounds. I didn't like the High Beams. I guess I'm just not a rounds kind of guy. I still got that dead spot on the A string but I can work around that for now. I also ordered a Fatfinger. I hope that helps. Other than that I need to do some intonation on two of the strings and I am go to go for this weekend.
    It's a sweet bass, light and resonant. I still love my P but this gives me more tonal options. I think this bass will cut throught the mix with my band better as well. I will find out this weekend.
    Thanks again for all the suggestions. I love being part of T.B.
  18. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    And say good bye to your frets! :meh:
  19. slobake

    slobake resident ... something

    Always wanted a fretless bass. :p :bag:
  20. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    There are quicker ways to remove them, but not by much.

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