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That moment when everything you thought about a bass is proven wrong...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassAgent, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. BassAgent


    Dec 2, 2003
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Official Artist: Eich Amplification
    For my band NONA I've always been using one of my 5 Jazz Basses, mostly the vintage Fender or the Lakland. However, I've felt that there was something missing. Something...rock 'n roll. Something heavy. Something loud and brutal. Something that a Jazz Bass through a quite clean solid state amp doesn't have. At all.

    I bought a decent Precision bass, 'cause I thought that was the solution. Well, it worked, but it wasn't quite the sound I was hoping for. I still have it, though, it's a good bass after all :)

    But last week I was at a music store with a friend of mine (he had to return his recently bought acoustic guitar) and as I was checking out the bass area and having checked out an amazing Yamaha Nathan East signature, I saw it: a trans red Gretsch G5442, the short scale semi-hollow. I'd never heard or seen one up close, and was quite curious. After all, I'd only heard hollowbody basses being played with flats on them, by people who still live in 1962.

    So I took it out of the rack and plugged it into an Ashdown MAG combo that was there, started playing and I thought: well, this is promising. It sounded pretty good, played quite OK (except for the ENORMOUS neck dive) even for a short scale which aren't really my thing, and looked stunning. But it missed something. Edge.

    I looked around the shop and found some drive/fuzz pedals. The guy at the store was quite helpful and we hooked up an MXR Blowtorch, Sansamp Bass Driver DI and Sansamp VT Bass. The Blowtorch was horrible. It didn't do anything good to the bass, didn't feel its character, bwurgh. But then it was the Bass Driver's turn. This. Was. It. The sound I'd been looking for for about 4 years. I want one. Now. And that Gretsch. What a perfect combination those two things are:eek::eek:


    Now I have to find €1300 somewhere... Wanna buy a Precision bass?

    Oh, and feel free to share your own stories :)
  2. NWB


    Apr 30, 2008
    Kirkland, WA
    IMO, the right amp or pedal can make a jazz loud and brutal. I use a Tonehammer 500 with a jazz bass and it gets absolutely nasty if I want.
  3. mournblade

    mournblade Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2006
    Roanoke, TX
    Jazz through a vba>4x12/2x15 nasty.
  4. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I don't make many assumptions, that way they aren't destroyed. I play and learn.

    Good move on the Gretsch...get it! BTW, although I'm a flats player, I prefer rounds on hollowbodies.
  5. I would love to have a Gretsch. coolest looking bass IMO
  6. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    You're going to find that the Bass Driver is pretty hot with a Jazz Bass, too!

    A Jazz Bass through a dimed SVT isn't exactly horrible, either. :)

    For me, the big revelation came with my first P-bass. I was absolutely dead-set on my Jazz Basses and my late 70s Ibanez Musicians and Studios. Somehow I had convinced myself that I didn't like Precisions - based upon no real experience other than that I had played one or two P-basses that I didn't like.

    I was playing with a band leader who kept begging me to get a P-bass and I kept saying no. One day I saw a Japanese P-bass (1986) for real cheap at the local music store and said "Why not?". After plugging into my SVT IIIPro and Eden cabs for about five minutes I had to eat my words. I still use lots of other basses, but I'll never be without a P-bass in the arsenal again.
  7. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    "I'd only heard hollow bodies played with flats by people who live still live in 1962"

    What are you implying here?

    Having trouble understanding what you mean by that.
  8. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    My epiphany was the Precision bass. Got even better when I put flats on it.
  9. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Yeah... I decided to just let that one go. :scowl:
  10. starmann

    starmann Flats and Fingers Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2011
    Just a "young" punk(LOL) and doesn't understand us old guys who remember that if you had sunburst color or Rounds on a Bass or even played with a pick, you were laughed at...How old are we??? I am presuming you were born in '61???:bassist:

    To me a Bass has four strings, usually flats, although I do have a couple with rounds and also a thumbrest. Hey I've even got past that Sunburst thing with my Tony Franklin fretless. But yes, it does have flats and a thumbrest. :)

    What can I say, I'm Old School...Anyway, I'm sure he meant nothing by it, or did he????????:hyper:
  11. StrangerDanger

    StrangerDanger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    I agree with you totally.

    The Gretsch has horrendous neck dive. Like the worst ever.
  12. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    I Love Flats! :hyper: :bassist: Rounds can be pretty cool, too. I played a Jack Casady w/rounds on it at a GC and it was pretty freakin' amazing.
  13. Eric_71


    Jul 22, 2011
    Isn't it a McCartney reference? I don't imagine any ill will was intended.
  14. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    The first time I played a gig with my Precision through a cranked 70's SVT and 2 810 cabs.
    I was about 17-18 and I realized for the first time I didn't have to get buried in the mix! :D
  15. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Lol. Sounds like a variation of what ted nugent was doing with his semi hallow guitars in the 70's. O and btw put some rounds on that bass and see if that doesnt improve the sound a lot with overdrive.
  16. BassAgent


    Dec 2, 2003
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Official Artist: Eich Amplification
    Hah, I'm certainly not implying that everybody who owns a hollowbody bass is old fashioned, but I've only heard people playing hollowbodies in bands that sound like they're from the sixties. Don't get me wrong, I love sixties music :) It's just that I'd never heard the versatility of a bass like this.
  17. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    I was more concerned about the flatwound reference ;)
  18. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    Yep, the old hollowbodies can be surprisingly versitile tonally.
    Keep in mind also that in the days of those old recordings the whole idea of what constituted a "proper" bass tone was very different, so even though the basses were capable of a wider variety of sounds they were not desired or engineered into recordings of the era.
  19. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    To hear some amazing, early hi-fi hollow body sounds, seek out the tons of live recordings Phil Lesh made with the Grateful Dead on his Alembic modified Guild and Gibsons.
  20. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    Jack Cassisdy as well, though Phil was really going for a more hi-fi tone.

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