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Serious Question about Vintage tones.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gnelly13, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. gnelly13


    Oct 21, 2013
    So I post on here a lot trying to see peoples opinions about certain basses just because I love to read new opinions. But for once in my TB life, I'm seriously asking about a bass. Sorry if something like this has been posted before, I looked and didn't see anything.

    Ok so I really like vintage tone, I'm a huge fan of the Indie/Garage Rock sounds (White Stripes, Black Keys, Raconteurs, etc.) and I'm actually in a Indie band now. I tried playing my Warwick Rockbass, and it doesn't have the tones I'm looking for with this group. What I'm trying to ask is what kind of bass would you guys/gals recommend for me? I'd prefer to stay away from Fender or Fender copies (Lakland excluded) , and I'd like a long scale instrument (34"). Passive electronics. Other than that I'm not going to be super picky. My price range is anywhere from $0-$1300. I'd like this to be THE bass for me. Sorry for the long winded post! Thanks Guys!
  2. honeyiscool


    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Anything with a P-bass style pickup will get you there. I find it easier to get rock sounds with a pick, and I prefer flatwound but rounds also work just fine.

    If you don't want Fender, the new Ibanez SR650/750 will definitely do the trick.
  3. gnelly13


    Oct 21, 2013
    I may just bite the bullet and buy a Fender. Honestly the only reason I don't want one is because it seems like everyone plays one (with good reason).
  4. russpurdy


    Apr 16, 2013
    Sounds like you want something vintagey and different. Here are a few I can think of (haven't played them all, just worth a look).

    Lakland skyline decade
    Epiphone jack casady
    Eastwood (pretty much anything they make has the vintage vibe)
    Schecter model t
    Squier 50's p bass
    Fender jaguar bass
    Fender starcaster or Coronado (short scale)
    80's fender/Squier bullet bass (the guy from Tokyo Police Club plays/played one and it had a funky old vibe)
    Gretsch electromatic bass
    Ibanez artcore hollowbody

    Keep in mind two out of the three bands you listed don't really have bass players (black keys newer stuff is on a short scale japanese bass of some kind)
  5. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    There is a customized Supro Taurus on eBay right now, but it may require a fret dressing. Vintage, and different.
  6. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

    Gibson grabber
    mistergoats and Barbaric.Eric like this.
  7. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    What model Rockbasss? Corvette, Fortress, Corvette $$?

    Anyway, have you tried a preamp EQ pedal to dial in the tone you want?
  8. gnelly13


    Oct 21, 2013

    I know its a Corvette, not sure if it's a $$ or not. Doesn't really matter as I won't be having it all that long, I'm just holding on to it while my buddy (the true owner of it) is in the Marines. Plus I really want a passive bass.
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I initially loved getting my first Precision in 1976, but there were things I didn't love about them at the time and I almost immediately started looking for other basses and went through a process of modding my Fender that continues to this day. Never bought many other basses, mainly because I was broke until my kids grew up ;) but I did buy a few non-Fenders here and there and still have most of them. Got a couple nice custom modern ones with active electronics and neck-thru-body that are comparable to Warwicks, too. And while I'm fond of all of them for different reasons, I always go back to a Precision or a PJ because they're the only basses I have that I can use on everything and it'll sound right, and I can't do that on any of my other basses. Wouldn't mind a Jazz, either, and used to have one that I loved, but I've got shoulder issues and most Jazz basses are pretty heavy, and the one I had was quite heavy indeed. So I use a PJ instead. You'll also find that a lot of bass players who are known for playing other basses and are almost never seen with a Fender will often keep a Precision and a Jazz around in case they get a call for a session where they know the person in charge wants a Fender. So that good reason you mentioned is that they always work for everything.

    But you also mentioned how everyone plays one. You're right...a ton of bass players use Fenders or basses that look an awfully lot like them. Got to admit it turned me off a bit and made me feel less than unique to use a Fender. But then you think about how James Jamerson, Cliff Williams, John Entwistle, Mike Dirnt, and Pino Palladino all use or used Precisions and none of them sound the same, and you realize that individuality comes from you and not the bass. Of course, that also means that you could probably use your Warwick and be fine, but there are certain aspects of non-Fenders that shine in certain contexts but not as much in others, and Fenders just seem to work for everything without having to fight their natural tonal inclinations. To me, it's like they become whatever you want them to be...need dark and thuddy? No problem. Need bright and slicy? No problem. Need something in between? No problem. I can't get that level of versatility out of any other style of bass, so I quit fighting it.
    sjrash, ExaltBass, f.c.geil and 16 others like this.
  10. BazzTard

    BazzTard Banned

    I think you've answered your own question. Since I got my P last year, I finally have any sound I want at my fingertips,it's amazing how much variation in tone can be had from that one tone knob !
  11. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    how about Fender Roadworn P ?
    Soonerbldr and tedsalt like this.
  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I think an Alleva-Coppolo would meet your tone goals but not your budget goals.
  13. Matthijs


    Jul 3, 2006
    Come on, there's lots and lots of choice for a vintagy tone and different looks in a indie band. Besides what's mentioned G&L comes to mind, Yamaha BB series, al those japanese p-pickup basses from the 80's like the Aria's. and then were not even talking about the really cool stuff like the Ovations. In your place I'd go on a second hand shopping spree untill I'd find 'the' bass.
    tuba_samurai and ScarfFace like this.
  14. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I really like the sound of a SG with flats.
  15. cabcreaser

    cabcreaser Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    Black Keys and Raconteurs both use a Ric
    nurnay, corinpills and Barbaric.Eric like this.
  16. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    Anything with a neck pickup should do, roll off the treble and run it into an amp with a a valve preamp section at least, drive the valves hard and you'll be there. Warwicks are built around that growl from the bridge pickup which is usually closer to the bridge than a lot of other brands, and intrinsic high end tone which is probably why it isn't working for you. It would be easy to spiel off a list of popular brands but, really, all you need is something with a pickup towards the neck and a valve preamp. Find something you find comfortable to play which meets those criteria and success will be your reward.
  17. sambass0124


    Mar 2, 2013
    Hong Kong
    You may try fender jaguar bass. This is less popular among Fender bass family.

    Or you may try Yamaha BB series.
  18. I would start with a nice Fender road worn: FENDER Road Worn 50s Precision Bass MN FR
    (dont mind the german shop, just wanted to drop the specs of that bass) you can get a cool woody vintage sound out of that bass.
    But certainly for this kind of music a rickenbacker would fit perfectly.
  19. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    For a long scale, "vintage" non-Fender bass in a gig-friendly package, I suggest you try a Thunderbird, a semi-hollow like the Jack Casady, a 34" Danelectro, a Hagström, an older Yamaha or Ibanez (for old "modern at the time" type of tone), a Music Man and a Peavey.
    Then you will be able to cover a LOT of tonal ground, from thumpy, woody, to high tech and piano like. Some of them (like the JC and Dano) are not really vintage, but still produced, but to an old style spec.
    Good luck.

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