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that Geddy Lee sound

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by zycro, Aug 9, 2004.

  1. zycro


    Jul 28, 2004
    I love the sound of Geddy Lee's bass. I am looking to buy new pickups, maybe even bass, but i just purchased a Behringer BX1200 so i will not be spending $ on an amp for a while. Aside from amp rig what kind of bass/pickups should i aquire to try to come close to his sound? :eyebrow:

  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Theres much that goes into Geddys sound beyond the bass, but id still suggest a jazz bass, geddy lee sig perhaps if you want.

    (4,000th post :hyper: )
  3. quallabone


    Aug 2, 2003
    I just bought a set of Steve Vai "Robot fingers" and while I was there I saw some Geddy Lee hands on sale.

    Joking asside I 2nd the jazz bass suggestion.

    This is not my 4000'th post.
  4. TRU


    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    Which Geddy Lee sound are you after? He's been using quite a bit of distortion lately, have you considered getting a Sansamp RBI?
  5. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    It is a very good preamp, and you can get zillions of great and usable tones. However, it sucks if you have noisy single coil basses (like a ric.. a la moi). It sounds a lot better with my wic.
  6. motorhall


    Jul 1, 2004
    Have your roadie put a fresh set of roundwounds on your bass every day. That will help a lot. ;)
  7. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
  8. Jazz bass+new rotosounds+sansamp=Geddy's tone in a nutshell.
  9. bass_man86


    Apr 29, 2002
    Virginia Beach
    I hate to burst bubbles here but, Geddy used to be primarily a Rickenbacker player. I am old enough to remember the early days of Rush (God I hate to say that) and my impression at the time was that they were a budget version of Yes with Geddy as a diet Chris Squire. To be fair Geddy turned out to be a much better bassist than I originally gave him credit for although I still don't care for his voice. But (to make long story short) a big reason why that impression was created was because Geddy used to use a Rick extensively. :D
    blackandwhite likes this.
  10. 7thbass


    Nov 21, 2003
    Houston, Tx
    I think that a lot of the studio work was done with his '72 Jazz bass. The Rick is all over the live "all the world's a stage" album.
  11. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Pretty much goes like this:

    1973-74: Precision
    1975-79: mostly Rickenbackers, very occasionally the Precision (a couple songs on Caress of Steel come to mind.)
    1980-81: part Rick, part Jazz on Permanent Waves, all Jazz on Moving Pictures. Mostly Ricks live.
    1982: Ricks again in the studio for Signals, Jazz on one song (Digital Man)
    1983-84: Steinbergers.
    1985-92: Wals.
    1993-present: back to the Jazz.
  12. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Thanks for the breakdown, keb.
  13. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
  14. Walbassman


    Nov 27, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    so get a Rick!!! That is really the defining tone that most people think of when they get to Rush. Ask any player who knows a little about Rush and they will say that Geddy played Ricks.....
  15. cetera


    Apr 29, 2004
    Surrey, England
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses & Cort Basses
    ....and get a SanSamp RBI or BDDI.... :bassist:
  16. GrooveSlave


    Mar 20, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    Another part of the Geddy tone - especially on Moving Pictures - is the MAPLE fingerboard Jazz. Maybe it's just wishfull thinking on my part, but I can clearly hear the grind from the maple board that I've never heard from my rosewood board Jazz.

    Another point is that on the studio albums you are hearing many bass tracks (clean, grind, direct) mixed into one overall sound. You will obviously never achieve this live. Even Geddy can't - but who cares? He still rocks the house.

  17. Yeah...I remember the first time I saw Geddy live in Hollywood, FL '81 - I was dissappointed in the overall tone of the bass.
    I would like to know how the compilation of gear that appears on the offsite that KEB listed was gathered. Just wondering how accurate it is. 'Cause I'm pretty sure the Steinberger was around for the making and tour of Signals. (IMHO, the last GREAT album of the boys from the north.)
  18. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Yeah I think a little of that info is suspect (the year of Geddy's old black Jazz keeps shifting around for one :ninja: ) but for the most part it seems pretty accurate.

    Basses aside, I wish to someday score some of those classic synths. Especially the Taurus pedals, those things are just killer (Marillion made effective use of them too.)
  19. C'mon. Everyone knows that Wal is the defining Rush tone. :bag:
  20. Oh no!!! Not again! I DISTAIN you...no I mean disdain you! [LOL]

    Strangely enough, I disagree. Ha! I'd have to go with Moving Pictures as the pinnacle culmination of Geddy's tone. However, I think he could've coaxed more out of his Wals if he had been using bass strings of a little thicker guage. I think he was using .030-.090.