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Signature tones from particular brands

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Alvaro Martín Gómez A., Mar 27, 2009.


  1. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Hi everybody.

    The Sadowsky and Ken Smith tones' threads made me think about this topic. Do you think there are respectable brands WITHOUT a signature tone? I mean, people talk about the Fender P and J tones, the Music Man tone, Rickenbacker, Sadowsky, Ken Smith, and Kubicki tones (just to name the ones that come to my mind first), but haven't heard about the Yamaha, Ibanez, Peavey or G&L tone (again, just to name a few. Any others?). What happens there? Do I have to read/search more about them or is it a true fact that adds/substracts value to a specific brand? Thank you in advance for your input! :)
     
  2. PSPookie

    PSPookie

    Aug 13, 2006
    Lubbock, TX
    I would say that G&L has a distinctive tone, but there are definitely other brands that I wouldn't identify with a particular sound.

    To my ear some basses just fall into broad sonic categories like "vintage" or "modern". I don't think that this detracts in any way from the appeal of a brand. For example: my Benavente just sounds "modern" to me and not necessarily like a Benavente. That doesn't mean that I like it, or value it any less.
     
  3. I might say that some of the custom brands don't necessarily have a signature sound because they allow for any pre-amp and pickup configuration that anyone can get the sound that they want.
     
  4. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I dont think Ibanez has a signature tone. Maybe each of their series has a signature tone. Like soundgears sound like crap. Jk. Maybe.
     
  5. Buskman

    Buskman

    Apr 13, 2007
    Jersey Shore, USA
    The 'Spector sound' comes to mind...

    EDIT: Oops, I read the OP wrong - we're talking about a LACK of signature sound instead. Sorry!
     
  6. Yeah, and Gibson was overlooked there too. EB/SG basses and thunderbirds in particular. You have to consider that a good many manufacturers tone is there and distinctive, but not acheived the same status due to either brand descrimination or the ability of the non musicians to indentify a certain instrument. Those distinctive tones you speak of for the most part are from distinctive basses, recognizable to the non playing crowd. I'm sure Peavy fans would go nuts to hear that their Cirrus ir what have you has no distinct sound. Also, some instruments probably are without a distinctive sound by design. Many of Ibanez's models come to mind, as does the Lakland Skyline -01 series. These are meant to fill a lot of roles and be used by many different types of musicians and being too specific in sound would be a negative.
     
  7. Gothic

    Gothic

    Apr 13, 2008
    Greece
    Signature tones come from brands of basses that usually have something standard within all or most of their models. For me, signature tones are the P and J (you think of Fender whether you like it or not), Rickenbacker and perhaps Warwick and Spector, although the latter has a number of different aspects in their instruments. You can't expect "signature" sounds anymore, IMO, since there are so many different choices, so many different configurations, so many pickups, preamps, knobs, woods, etc. to choose from, that "signature", or "distinct" is just lost in the mix. You can get different, but certainly not signature.
     
  8. Wal, Rickenbacker, Fender
     
  9. IT'S ABOUT BRANDS THAT DON'T HAVE A SIGNATURE TONE THAT ARE RESPECTABLE
    read guys, please....

    Anyway, most of the very custom luthiers (like Elrick and such) don't really have a signature tone but I guess yamaha and ibanez don't have on either. Maybe I could add ESP, Jackson (and Charvel), BC Rich and Dean.
     
  10. I would add EB's stingrays and sterlings and to an extent also the Bongo. I think they have very distinct sounds. Most of us even refer to that pick up combination as the MM pickup (for musicman).
     
  11. PSPookie

    PSPookie

    Aug 13, 2006
    Lubbock, TX
    Dude, no one actually reads the OP :rollno:

    That would lead to on-topic, relevant posts and we just can't have that :oops:
     
  12. wwittman

    wwittman

    Apr 21, 2004
    Westchester, NY
    I don't find that my Status Graphite has a signature tone... it can do just about anything convincingly.
     
  13. I would say that Dingwalls do not have a signature tone, though they do have a tremendous amount of power in the low notes, and good clarity in the high notes.

    And I think the BONGO does have a signature tone, Wadge. It's got some serious balls, which, to me, makes it almost instantly identifiable from most other basses.
     
  14. OK I'm going to say it....

    I don't think Sadowsky has a distinctive tone. It's a great Jazz tone but not 'distinctive' IMO.

    (Now where did I put my flame proof bunny suit.)
     
  15. the one reason I love my Ibanez K5 is that it can get a myriad of tones,... I mean onboard pre amp that has Bass, Treble, Mid and Mid Q controls with boost and cut and output volume and pickup blend,...

    in comparison I have the fretless squier modified jazz which I hate all the tone controls and only really get three 'jazz tones' out of,...

    that said, alot of the Ibanez line has different sounds for different purposes,... my K5 can get heavy but don't think would ever get as 'punchy' as an ATK could,... though even the ATK has a variety of sounds in it :) I love ibanez for that reason!
     

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