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Tested 3 basses. What am I hearing?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by AaronS, Jun 7, 2001.


  1. I am newly interested in bass after 47 years of guitar. I live in a remote area with few stores. On a trip to the city, I stopped in a store and tried 3 Fenders, a MIA P-Bass, a MIM Jazz V, a MIM P Bass Special. The P Bass Special has nylon tape wound strings and the other two have round wound nickel. The amp was a Fender Bassman 60. I put the tone controls on 5, the volume low and dimed the bass controls. The MIA P-Bass went thunk. That's was it, essentially a -0-. It had NO tonal quality. The MIM Jazz V sounded good and I could enjoy learning on it. The neck was wide, but easy to play. And I really liked the low B string. The MIM P-Bass sounded real warm and well rounded, and the neck was great. I had a very positive reaction to it.

    So, was it the nylon tapewound strings, the pickup combination on the P Bass Special, was something wrong with the MIA P Bass? Should I have done something else with the amp? Does one of these basses particularly react well or poorly to tjos amp? I can't get to stores to play a lot, about an hour every couple months. So that means I don't have time to really learn the amps. I figure I will get a bass and a used amp and then practice for a year before making changes.
     
  2. I'd guess it was probably the tapewound strings, they have a thuddy quality. Personally, I like that thuddy quality, but it isn't for everybody. The P Bass is also known for having a thumpy sound, but if it had different strings, it would sound different, as you experienced with the MIM P Bass.
     
  3. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    I'd say that all things being equal, the most likely culprit in the tonal difference was the tapewound strings. They don't have much in the way of "sparkle" when compared to a roundwound or even a flatwound without the tape. They're SUPPOSED to be real "thuddy".

    There is one thing you've left out though, and that was how you set the controls on the basses themselves. I'm assuming (and taking that chance: ass/u/me ;) ) that you had all the controls on the basses wide open? If that's the case, then the only possible difference of any great effect would be the strings.
     
  4. Actually, the MIA P-Bass was the -0- tone bass and it had the round wound strings. The MIM P-Bass Special with the jazz pickup at the bridge and the precision pickup in the middle was the one with the tape wound strings. That's why I was wondering if it was the strings or the pickups. I had the volume and tone controls wide open on all three basses.