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Sound...you ever have one of those days?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Fawkes007, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. Fawkes007


    Sep 13, 2005
    SF Bay Area
    You've been playing the same rig for the past few years and the same bass for the past twenty. You've got decent stuff and have gotten compliments on your sound in the past. In fact, you LOVED your sound. You thought..."This is it!"

    Then...it happens...your spending some time in the shed, working out some tunes, your technique...when...that great set up you thought you had just isn't doing it for you anymore. You fiddle and twiddle all the knobs, adjust the tweeter, play loud, play soft...and you come to the realization that in spite of the time and money you've spent...your sound is "run of the mill."

    What to do? New bass? I have one on order with Roscoe, and I love my '87 StingRay. New rig? I play through an Ashdown ABM 500 and 2 2x10's. Should I consider looking at the Aguiler and EBS stuff? Should I try 12's? Multi effects pedal? Should I just shut up and play my guitar?

    Or, better yet, should I start pestering Gard about my Roscoe?
  2. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY

    I've somewhat come to that realization with my Ibanez. Sure, it can provide thump, but it sounds a bit sterile, but the aesthetics and the really fast neck make up for it. Its versitile to say the least, but still just a little too sterile sounding (first bass though, not sure if I'll ever sell)
  3. I know what you mean. I dont have the best of gear but I love my tone but somedays I dont, but why was it good a week before? I asked myself this question many times and I reallyed its all on my "mood".

    Just think of it this way when u listen to music you always dont listen to the same band/bassplayer everyday, your always looking for a new sound.

    Just diffrent eqing does it for me with out spending all my money on a bass everyweek. Just listen to the sound in your head and try to create it with the tools you have. Plus I think the roscoe with change your mind.(cant wait for pics:hyper: )
  4. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I find that getting out on a bunch of gigs can cure that feeling. Sometimes, if I have a week or two downtime and I'm woodshedding at home, I start to notice every darn subtle dead spot, every 'hole or hump' in my rig, etc., etc. It can really take you down into a spiral. I think that's what happens to these guys with these huge rack rigs... they don't play out that much (if they did, they wouldn't be carrying all that stuff with them:D ), and they are just listening to every nit and pick and trying to get the perfect sound in the living room.... it will never happen... and even if it does, it will probably sound like dog on the gig.

    So... as per above... just play through it and get on a gig quick!!!!

    Edit: No offense to what I'm sure are some amazing players with these big racks... but in general, I'll stand by my point :)
  5. +1
    I had a IBANEZgsr200 before my Cort Artisan B4 and tought it was the bass, but it's all in the mood. Of course that the "upgrade" i made gave me more possibilities with my bass.
  6. dsanders


    Jan 22, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I have a large rack and I play 5 nights a week, but I do agree with you. I'm on the road alot and everything in my rack makes my life easier. If I was always at home I would use a 3 space.
  7. I had the opposite experience last night...

    the wife was out, the kids were asleep, and I'm playing my cheapo Yamaha RBX-170 threw an even-less-impressive Peavey microbass practice amp.

    I was at low volume as not to disturb the children, and I'm tweakin' the knobs and playing around and realized that, this bass sounds DARN good!

    with the bridge pup I was getting some nice growly action. with the p-pup I was getting some great bottom end. and with the series knob pulled (I modded it), I had a P-bass on steroids sound that was rich and round and smooth.

    I then threw it through my $10 homebuilt gain-only preamp, and it brought the sound up another step.

  8. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    +1 On the Peavey Micro Bass. Small, inexpensive, surprisingly good sound @ low volume. It's amazing how little money you really need to spend for decent tone...

  9. adept_inept


    Jan 9, 2006
    i constantly find myself either on TB, or another forum, gazing at these 2k, 3k+ basses, as well as larger, much more expensive rigs, just to pick up my ibanez sr400 and say, damn, that sounds good.

    a little modding and i think i'll save myself a 1400+ dollar headache on a custom bass or other.

    bartolini pups/eq, new bridge and a separate battery compartment is all it'll take.

    not too mention, i think i have the world's best looking sr400. i have yet to find one with the figuring mine has:



    i think after a while, you just gotta realize that what you got just may be what you love, and your prolly just not gigging enough and have too much free time :smug:
  10. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    "Then...it happens...your spending some time in the shed, working out some tunes, your technique...when...that great set up you thought you had just isn't doing it for you anymore. You fiddle and twiddle all the knobs, adjust the tweeter, play loud, play soft...and you come to the realization that in spite of the time and money you've spent...your sound is "run of the mill." "

    Sounds like your buzz wore off - hahaha!!! I go through that sort of thing occasionally - it's funny how your perception can vary from day to day, sometimes...

    - georgestrings
  11. Unless you had gear which is really not very nice (and your gear is definitely nice), you have to accept the fact that there are off days.

    I'm sure most of us have experienced rehearsing with a band and on a particular day nothing sounds good, as in the sound is hopeless, no matter how good you might be playing.

    Unless your unsatisfaction with the tone you have is a continuing one, and not merely a passing phase, I would not worry too much, spend less time twidling with the controls and practice more instead.
  12. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I find when I'm having a week that feels like this, I change my strings and my bass feels better and my gear sounds better. And usually my 'muse' comes back!
  13. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    Very good advice. Certainly cheaper than other GAS treatments. Nothing better than new strings on my bass as well.
  14. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    They really effect the feel of the bass, not to mention being on of the biggest factor on sound.

    For the past few weeks I've been feeling under inspired and thinking like I sound and play like crap...then I switched out my strings (I usually have a set soaking, so it's even cheaper) and the change was immediate.

    Strings die in little fractions, so lots of times we don't realize what's going on until its too late.
  15. Wesley R

    Wesley R Supporting Member

    after 30 yrs with the same amp (different speakers at different times) and close to 25 yrs with the same bass (and same type of strings). The feeling developed that a change was in order.
    1. Sold the amp(should have kept it)
    2. played every bass I could find in our area. Fell in love with aparticular brand and model. Decided that would be my reward if a prticular business venture worked. It didn't and I didn't get it.
    3. Bought a bass for experimenting, like tossing on different type of strings.
    4. Bought a couple of little amps just for fun. Was suprised by one that would be giggable in some sittuations.

    Please consider keeping what you have (maybe freshen things up a bit, recone speakers, new tubes ((if applicable)), new strings etc). Then buy an experimenta bass or amp and do a little bity of experimenting, different brand or style of strings, search for a bargain on some different pre-amp or pickups, change speakers and such. You might like what you find and yet it could make you love your original self all that much more.

    Best of Luck,
    Wesley R.
  16. ebladeboi123


    Jul 11, 2005
    Oberlin, Oh
    Adept: That is probably one of the nicest ibanez's i've seen. But I somewhat disagree with your statement.

    There was a period of time when I was figuring, well I put the same electronics in there, surely it will be just as good! I was wrong... The moment I picked up the flea, wow... I was on a rampage to find a used one in my price range. Certain basses do that to you. So I would definatly try out some of those 2k 3k basses and see what they sound like, and feel like it (they can be absolutly phenomial). As when you just look, you can't really get that feeling. When you look at my dinky, you'd probably think its beautiful (which it is, I don't feel like being modest, I loves me a good green dye w/ quilt top). But the neck is the worst thing my hands have ever held, (i wasn't aware a warmoth neck was the size of a bat).

    Also, for live sound... You can't get perfect tone (or so I've decided). I've been acused of to much rack gear, but I don't think I have to much (Tuner + conditioner + head). It works for what I need. But where you need to find perfect tone is in the studio, witch is alot harder to do.

    And lastly- if my unsatisfaction with my sound in the studio continues for along time (we are recording constantly, so I am able to tell thankfully), then i feel it's time to move on and try to try a new peice out.
  17. I've noticed that from time to time, my sound will vary quite a lot. Even when I use the same amp and the same bass with the same strings and pre-amp settings, I can get totally different sounds out of it from one day to the next. Sometimes it sounds better, sometimes not.
    It's all in the way you play the bass. Try something new. Give it a while before you decide "This isn't working, I need new stuff".
  18. I have an Aria Pro that I changed pickups and preamps in twice....first bartolinis, then EMGs with a four-band preamp, and I was finally happy...

    .....or so, I thought..

    I realized the sound I was after originated from Rickenbacker basses, and I finally got to play one...

    My advice is to go around, take your bass with you, and try as many basses out as possible...you may like yours better, or you may find what you want...and don't you have a Roscoe on the way???