Spector Tone

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mark, Apr 3, 2001.

  1. mark


    Apr 7, 2000
    In reading the wack of spector threads that have been poping up here lately, I've noticed that many people have made reference to the unique "Spector Tone". I'm wondering what this Spector tone sounds like. I'm seriously thinking about getting a NS-5 but have not had the opportunity to spend alot of time playing one.
  2. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Describing tone is, to me, pretty hard. Spectors have a very distinct sound. It's the combo of the EMG's & the all maple body/neck. IMO. It's very bright. The highs are VERY prominent in the higher strings. The lows are nice punchy & have a very nice growl. I remember the first time I ever saw & played a Spector in late '94 early '95. It was a USA NS-4 in white. I was only playing bass for about 4 yrs or so. I was @ Sam Ash in NYC & I was playing around w/a couplw of hi-end basses thery had @the time. The only one I remember besides the NS-4 was a Wal Geddy Lee. I plugged it in last cause it was the hidden in the corner. The sound BLEW ME AWAY!!!! It was so comfortable ot play. It was the 1st bass I've played w/a countoured body. It was, to me, the beat bass I've played in my life. 6 yrs later. I still feel the same way. To this day, there is only one other basses sound that has done that to me. (Sadowsky 24 Fret 5 String)
  3. BassicRob


    Mar 28, 2001
    Massapequa, NY
    Well, to me, the Spector tone is not limited to description. I've gotten many sounds out of mine, some of which sounded better than what i origianlly was looking for, and others with boomy lows and snappy highs. Its fun to just play witht he knobs themselves and let it inspire you.
    I was in the same ballpark as you, having never played a NS5-CR before purchasing one, but I have played the NS4CR and my decision was made with Spector. About 2 years+ later, I was "looking" for a 5 string, and found a deal on the NS5cr so went with my impression of the 4 and hoped for the best. I Love my NS5CR!!
  4. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    The Spector tone is very unique, that's for sure! I'd describe mine as very focused, particularly in those defining mids. Playing notes on my Spector gives a certain amount of growl that I haven't heard from a lot of basses. It's subsonic, however, and although the mids growl EXTREMELY well, the lows are meaty, never muddy. And, the highs are crisp, never brittle.

    It's very electric sounding, and that's largely due to 18-volt EMG's. Bass Player Magazine said in a review that it had one of the warmest tones this side of a vintage "P", very jazzy when the bridge pickup is favored, and ultra-modern when the pickup blend is set 50/50.

    The bass is very bright sounding, and there's tons of attack coming from my playing! It might be too much attack for some, but I feel it's due to my percussive style. I actually get more punch from this bass than I do from my bolt-on Jazz bass! Some people believe that neck-throughs don't provide enough punch, relative to bolt-ons. My Spector transcends that argument!
  5. If you would like to hear the tone of a 4 string Spector I'd recommend you listen to the "Operation Mindcrime" CD from Queensryche because bassist Eddie Jackson recorded with a Spector bass and the bass is dominant in the mix. His Spectors can also be seen in the Operation Livecrime video. Even if you're not a fan of the music it will familiarize you with the Spector tone!
  6. David-Adler


    Feb 28, 2001
    Bonn, Germany
    Or Listen to Metallica`s Load / ReLoad Albums - some of them are recorded on a NS-5 (Newsted used one because he liked the sound so much).

  7. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Another variation of the Spector tone is found on Dream Theater's "Images & Words".
  8. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    Wow really?!

    I never knew he used a Spector. I'm pretty sure he's playing a Stingray on their debut album(with tons of chorus I might add), but I thought he went to the Yamaha after that.

    Then again, I never really looked into what he used on Images and Words. Interesting though...

    Sounds pretty subdued compared to how most people EQ their Spectors in the studio, doesn't it?
  9. John Myung endorsed Tung basses before Yamaha. Whether he used the Tung in the studio or not is another story but I agree that Spector is not the sound that comes across on the recording.
  10. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    When Dream And Day Unite = Music Man
    Images & Words = Spector
    Live At The Marquee = Tobias
    Awake = Tung
    A Change Of Seasons = Tung
    Falling Into Infinity = Yamaha RBX prototype & TRB
    Once In A Livetime = Yamaha signature model
    Scenes From A Memory = Yamaha signature model
  11. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001

    Oystermaaaaaaan, all over the basssss-sezzzzzz. ;)
  12. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Yeah, I know, I'm a sad person. ;)