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Roscoe Tone

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by slap_happy, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. There are a bunch of Roscoe threads out there but none of them seem to be discussing Roscoe tone in general, just the changes in tone the different options will make. The SKB3006 is quite possibly the most beautiful bass I've ever seen. How do they sound in general? I've heard rich and defined but are they punchy, aggressive, smooth, dark, etc? Also, if you could, compare them to other basses you have experience with, especially MTD's, J-basses, and SR5s. Not trying to start another long Roscoe thread, although I suppose if that's where you want to take it..

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
  3. I read through this earlier today but while I did come away from it in the know about Bart, Demeter and Aguilar and preamps and their effect in Roscoes, I didn't really get any idea about the "Classic Roscoe Tone" everyone seems to love. Where does it all start?

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    Bartolini,Demeter and Aguilar along with Keith's talent contribute to the sound of a Roscoe.remember people who own a Roscoe like the essence of the bass but some prefer a different preamp,it's similar to a particular brand of Bass strings having that just right essence but to really get it just right on the mark you just use a different gauge from the same brand.
  5. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    First of all, my Roscoe's has the following options:
    Bartolini EQ
    Spanish cedar body with a maple top.
    Rosewood fingerboard on top of a maple and purpleheart neck.

    There's so many options available from Roscoe, I think it's important to list them. I wouldn't doubt the other Roscoe owners will list their options as well.

    It has a really strong low end, it's midrange has a bit of a horn-like quality, and it's high end is a bit compressed sounding. Overall it's tone reminds me slightly of a P-Bass but of course, it's much more refined and smooth sounding.

    I hope this helps,
  6. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    My fretless Roscoe has, "the magic" sound I've been looking for in a fretless. Lots of mwah with great cut through on the mix.

    I have an SKB-3005 with:
    Swamp ash body
    Quilted Maple top
    Bart PUPs
    Demeter preamp
    Diamondwood fingerboard

    My fretted SKB-3006 has great tone for finger style, but not as bright as I would like for the small amout of slapping I do. It has:
    Swamp ash body
    Box Elder Burl top
    Bart PUPs
    Demeter preamp (switched it from the original Bart Preamp)
    Spaulted Purpleheart fret board

    The slap is not as crisp as I would like, but like I've said, I don't do a lot of that. I love the bass though playing wise and tone wise. I switched to the Demeter for a little more clarity in the high end. I feel that it improved the sound of the bass.

    I wouldn't compare the Roscoe to the sound of a MM Sting Ray, but you can get a nice Jacoesque growl, a great P bass on steroids, or a modern sound like an MTD, Elrick or Zon. I'm sure others will also chime in. I played a few MTDs. One reason I picked the Roscoe over the MTD was that the MTDs I played were a little too crisp and clear compared to the Roscoe. I felt there was a little more meat and warmth on the Roscoe tone.

  7. Basso Gruvitas

    Basso Gruvitas Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth TX
    This is a great topic because you always hear us owners gushing over Roscoe, but not getting too much into specifics.

    DISCLAIMER: I'm painting with a broad brush here so please don't slam me saying, "Well MY Roscoe does this.....!!" Fair enough?

    If I had one or two words to describe the Roscoe tone, it would be "smooth" and "Punchy". Now, these are not opposites -- I've owned 3 Roscoes and played probably 3 or 4 more. They have an inherent smooth tone to them. I've never heard my Roscoes be all mean and snarly and growly. My Roscoe fretless has good mwah and "growl" but not the same growl as an all maple Fender played with a pick. If you could see a wave form of the Roscoe, it would have smoother edges to it than some others. Also, Roscoes are punchy! The Bart soapbars mated with 18 volt preamps just give the most articulate, punchy tone!! It's very responsive to how you attack with your right hand. Even subtle nuances from the right hand are picked up.

    And Roscoe is well-known for having a killer B string. It's not tubby, floppy, or airy. It is solid, articulate, and PHAT!!

    Finally, selecting a preamp that fits your playing style refines these inherent characteristics of the Roscoes. The Demeter will give you a more open top end with crisper upper partials, but it's still smooth and punchy.

    Hope this helps.
  8. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Ive had 3. I used to do a gig with one of my Roscoe 5's and an MTD 5. The MTD tuned normal, the Roscoe down a half step. My buddies used to tell me when I switched basses, the Roscoe sat in the mix better. I think they meant it was slightly warmer and punchier. It was a nice bass

  9. The Eristic

    The Eristic Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2005
    Cartersville, GA
  10. Basso Gruvitas

    Basso Gruvitas Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth TX
  11. The Eristic

    The Eristic Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2005
    Cartersville, GA
    Yeah, it's maple over mahogany with a slightly larger and wider than normal maple neck & board. Combine that with the 18v system, and it's pretty nasty compared to my maple on spanish cedar, rw board LG.
  12. The fingerboard can contribute a lot to the attack of the note, the body wood (back) will add to the overall character.

    If you want real nasty, maple top, ash back, maple fingerboard, they can get pretty snarly. Especially with the Aggie 2 band preamp....
  13. Mine is a LG 3005 with ash body, quilted maple top, spalted purple heart fingerboard, aguilar pre. This bass is nice and warm sounding with a huge bottom. Awesome B string. You have to be careful with the bass eq. If you use too much it'll overdrive the preamp when playing on the low B.

    I would like to try a SKB not sure if they sound that different. But the larger body looks nice.
  14. Basso Gruvitas

    Basso Gruvitas Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth TX
    Is there a big difference in "nasty" factor between the OBP-1 and OBP-3? I know the 1 is boost only, but does it really contribute to more audible growl in the overall tone?

    Help a poor bass player to understand...:)
  15. John, I definitely think that the -1 is more "aggressive" than the -3 myself, it has different EQ points as well. Does it make a HUGE difference? Not sure, hard to tell without a real-world 1-to-1 comparison (i.e. being able to switch between the two different preamps using the same exact bass and amp/cab in "real time"). But, based on experience, yes, the -1 is nastier....
  16. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    That's exactly how I would describe the two Roscoe's I've played... full, fat, a little dark.. more P Bass than J... a more mellow tone... great warm fingerstyle sound... not particularly 'slap' friendly, although a different pre might help with that.
  17. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I had a bass with the OB-3... very nice, hi fi sound.. but I found the treble center of 6.5K to be too high to get a good, grindy sound. It's a good pre if you like lots of mids in your sound, and like to roll treble out (i.e., that very high treble control is nice in that you can 'get rid of the click' without really touching the hi mids). The two mid freq's (I believe 400 and 800) are very musical and nice, and the low end isn't too wide.

    If you like a more 'J Type sound' and like a little more grind, the OB-1 with a passive tone control (similar to the Sadowsky circuit) sound great to me.
  18. poptart

    poptart Commercial User

    Sep 13, 2005
    Owner: Bass Direct
    I have recently converted over to Roscoe basses (2 x skb 3005) for several reasons including the dimensions and feel of the neck being fairly wide but shallow, the weight of the bass being light, the sound being clean and punchy with good weight to the bottom end.

    I am sure that the custom wound Bart pup's have a strong effect on the overall sound of these basses, that combined with good choices of wood through out. Interestingly I have tried several different sets of strings on these basses and that can have a big effect on the overall sound.

    My basses are spec'd as follows;
    Spanish Ceder
    Tiger Myrtle
    Spalted Purpleheart fret board
    Bart pre/pup

    Burl Maple
    Rosewood fert board
    Bart pre/pup

    They sound almost identical to each other even under studio conditions, and when played live in a band situation sound identical. I do think that this has as much to do with my technique than any thing else though. ( Funnily enough when I listen back to music I have recorded over the past twenty years with over ten different basses they all have "my" sound).

    The sound is subjective as I believe that the variety of tones available are vast and can span all styles. IMO the ROSCO tone is classic bart with a touch of magic that a good had made instrument has - and I love it:p
  19. Basso Gruvitas

    Basso Gruvitas Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth TX
    Drop in a Demeter preamp, pan just slightly to the neck pickup, boost the treble and bass both...and....:eek: :bassist: It's a killer dual coil funk slap!! Sounds great. It's not Marcus because of the duals, but it sounds great!
  20. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I'd love to try one of the Demeter's in any bass...I've heard great things about them. I really like the Roscoe's due to their build quality, playability and punch... just not my exact sound at this point. But again, the ones I played were the 'stock Bart pickup/Bart pre'.

    Edit: That's a beauty in your avatar!