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suggestions on thick-toned passives under $1000 (besides fender)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bino, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. bino


    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    I'm shopping for a new bass. I love that thick, warm p-bass tone but would like something with a bit more immense/aggresive in the lows. I saw Stanley Clarke recently and the low end stuff his bassist (Armand Sabal-Lecco) was playing on his MM Sabre kicked! Growly and huge. Anybody got any ideas for a passive that has the low-end and growl of a Stingray, but with the warmth of a precision?

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I know you requested information on basses other than Fender, but you should take a look at the American Deluxe Precision. It has a humbucking dual J pickup in the bridge position which gives you a lot more growl. Check it out!
  3. bino


    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    Not opposed to Fender. Just looking for other options. But I'm not too hip on active electronics (i'm just not smart and versatile enough). Does anyone have any experience with the MIM P-special or the discontinued hot-rod precisions? They have that single coil at bridge.
  4. Aenema


    Apr 18, 2001
    my biggest regret was trading my american fender standard jazz bass... thru my tube amp the lows were just thunder. have you at least tried one yet before writing it off? if you dont want a fender than get a peavey millenium. very punchy and aggresive with all the low end you will ever need. not to mention you can dial in a thousand more tones for almost any style. the onboard eq rocks. happy hunting. :bassist:
  5. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    Find yourself a used G&L L1000 (passive only) or a G&L L2000 and play it in passive mode. Tonally, they'll destroy any Fender on the market...of course, Leo designed them to do just that.

    The SB-2 rocks also.
  6. Deano Destructo

    Deano Destructo Fender & Upton addict. Hasn't slept since 1979. Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA.
  7. XxBassmanxX


    Nov 21, 2001
    Rosman NC
    Ok i dont usually plug my own sales, but you should really check out the Benavente I have in the for sale forum. The neck pickup is a EMG35P and it gets a good PBass tone. The neckthrough and the electronics really make this thing sound fine to. As far as passive basses go its one of the only ones ive really liked in a while. Check out the older Benavente with the passive preamp and you wont be dissappointed.

  8. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Warwick corvette standard?
  9. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    Thick tone, passive, under a grand?

    Sounds like a Reverend Rumblefish to me. Hell, for that, you can almost buy two used ones.
  10. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    :) :)
  11. Mike A

    Mike A

    Oct 3, 2002
    One more time, fer kicks ;)
  12. christle


    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    Godin Freeway. Growl and more growl. Nice players too. :cool:

  13. I have to throw in another vote for Reverend.
  14. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    You've had some good suggestions so far, but here's another angle. If you want a punchy, low-mid presence, and good sustain (which you might not, considering the P-bass tone that you seem to like), you may be able to score a used Gibson Thunderbird for under a grand. The T-Bird has a far different feel and tone from a P-Bass, but when I think about great passive basses, it comes to mind. However, I'd call the tone more "full" and "punchy" than "thick", if that makes any sense.

  15. bino


    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    Thanks for the replies so far. The G&L's seem to be getting a lot of praise both here and in the press. Could anyone describe the differences between the SB-2 and L2000 in passive mode? I have heard that they're real heavy, though. Anyone have trouble with the weight?
  16. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    Weight - most of my G&Ls have been mid-90s or later and weight has not been a problem at all. From what I've heard it's the older ash and mahogany ones that are super-heavy. If you go for alder (my body wood preference anyway) then it won't be too heavy.

    My 2c on the sounds:

    Both the SB-2 and the L2K have the same basic character - vintage-ey, growly and aggressive. Both have very high signal output. They do differ in nuances.

    The SB-2 has no tone control, only 2 volumes. It has more clarity/purity in the tone, a touch less growl and is more balanced (low-to-high). It has a throaty/edgy quality to it. Compared to a P-bass it has more highs and lows, more clarity and more growl (and maybe less "warmth").

    The L2K in series mode has massive lows, more growl than the SB-2 and less clarity/purity (side by side it sounds a touch "woolier"). In parallel it has less lows (still as much or more than the SB-2), less growl and more top end/clank. In passive it's much more "vintage-ey" and warmer than when active is kicked in.

    My biggest gripe with the L2K is the massive lows can be difficult to control, particularly if you are dealing with a boomy PA/amp/room. My biggest gripe with the SB-2 is that the lack of a tone control can leave it sounding harsh/clanky through a hi-fi/transparent amp/PA.

    I'm back favoring the SB-2 after being the L2K camp for a while after getting a new one a few weeks ago (look for the L2K in the for-sale section soon).
  17. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    I second the Thunderbird. I just got this Blackbird and it's way louder and thicker than the Cort Curbow which has an active preamp!
  18. monkfill


    Jan 1, 2003
    Kansas City
    Lakland Skyline Series Glaub or Osborn sig models.
  19. bino


    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    How about a Jack Casady? Jack sounds thick and nasty (a good nasty) on his, but can you get funky with one of those?
  20. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    I think the MTD Kingston has some great low end for the money. Very playable with a taut B string too. The best part is, I believe you can score a new one for less than $500. It doesn't really cop the P-bass tone you mentioned though. Much more akin to the J-bass sound bias.

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