Searching for a bass with vintage sound

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ViniciusSasso, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. Hi basspeople!

    I'm searching for a bass that has a "vintage" sound, I mean, a bass that sounds like the ones popular in the 60's ans the 70's - for example, Paul McCartney's bass sound in the original "All My Lovin' " recording. Does anyone know a bass that sounds like this? If there are other equipments (bass effects, special strings or amplifiers) that help to get this sound, please post them here. Sorry about my bad english and thanks in advance.

  2. instigata


    Feb 24, 2006
    New Jersey
    HOFNER. you better get a pick though. string spacing is as tight as well... i'd rather not say...

    just really really tight.

    oh yeah, don't forget the 2000 dollar price tag.

    there are plenty of copies though. epiphone viola, a rogue, a jay turner. etc. they don't capture the sound as well in my dealings however, just the look/awful playability pick-less.
  3. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    As instigata wrote, a short scale Hofner bass. Paul uses flatwound strings and played with a pick (don't know if it was a plastic pick or a felt pick).

    I appreciate the Beatles, but I'm not a Beatles fan per se, so I can't really help you with amplification (but they were known for using Vox amps).

    The Jay Turser (not Turner) is a pretty nice copy and costs less than $300 in the US. Comes with terrible round wound strings but understand that the bass really comes alive when you replace them with flats.

    I just bought an Epiphone Allen Woody Rumblekat which is quite similar to the Hofner Cavern bass...single cutaway, semi hollow, two pickups (one at the end of the fingerboard, one midway to the bridge). I bought it used and immediately changed the strings to TI Jazz Flats. I'm sure one could get a great Sir Paul tone with that bass too.

    As for a "vintage bass sound"...stick with a passive bass, flatwound strings and no tweeters...those three elements will get you pretty close (IMO) no matter what bass you're playing.
  4. In the beginning Paul did not even have money for strings so he secretly cut strings out of pianos to put on his bass. This is probably also the reason he used a pick.
  5. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    That's also why he bought the "cheapie" Hofner bass!:bag:
  6. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    I thought he played guitar first...and would have naturally played with a pick.
  7. Alex E

    Alex E

    Mar 2, 2006
    Hello Vinicius!!!

    Ah! You like the Sir Paul sound. You are a gentlemen and a scholar.

    Like one of the first posts wrote, you can buy a Hofner 500/1 either new or used. That is basically the bass McCartney used in all recordings until some songs in Rubber Soul and the single Paperback Writer/Rain. The bass he then used mostly was the Rickenbacker 4001 that F.C. Hall gave to him.

    The Hofner is very expensive new. An acceptable substitute for far less money is the Rogue Violin bass (violin finish) and the Jay Turser violin basses (one in violin finish and the other in a black finish). Musician's Friend carries the Rogue and Music123 carries the Jay Turser. Both basses are about $300 new, and their quality is Ok to good. I've played the Rogue and it was a very decent bass. YOU HAVE TO PUT FLATWOUNDS ON THEM THOUGH, or at least get a good quality set of rounds on them because whatever the factory puts on them are notoriously bad.

    As for amps, McCartney did use Vox. You should be able to get a good small to medium sized Vox Bass amp for 250 to $500 in the catalogs. Get a bigger one if you need to play in a really large hall

    Happy Playing. Get the Hofner if you can, but the others are decent to pretty good:hyper: too, I think, especially with Flats!!!
  8. flatwoundfender


    Feb 24, 2005
    Yes flats are an integral part of the the vintage sound, and for the sound on most soul and rock and roll 60's recordings get a pbass, that's the bass Paul would have bought if he had the money.