The all inclusive... "Who has the best bass tone?"

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by jcadmus, Feb 5, 2001.

  1. jcadmus


    Apr 2, 2000
    Who do you consider to be a Tone Monster -- a guy who just has THE sound?

    For me, it's Tom Hamilton of Aerosmith -- I just love the way that guy sounds. Heavy lows, strong mids, clear (but not too much) highs, slightly grindy tone. It's the sound I try to go for. And it amazes how consistent his sound has been over the years, through multiple gear changes.

    A couple others for me are:

    John Entwistle -- it ain't MY sound, but I love it, and it's so distinctive. You always know it's him;

    Chris Squire -- same deal.

    How about you?
  2. Dave Siff

    Dave Siff Supporting Member

    Good topic!
    The ones that spring to mind immediately for me are Geddy Lee, Doug Pinnick, and Mike Watt.
  3. I always dug Ged's tone, killer rock sound. Dave LaRue gets an amazing tone, no matter what he's playing or what it's being played through...proof to me that it's all in the hands :). And Roscoe Beck, particularly I like the tone he gets on the Robben Ford and the Blue Line stuff when he's doing the 2 handed "organ" stuff behind the guitar solos. Man I wish I could do THAT! :eek:
  4. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i've always thought that geddy lee's tone on moving pictures(jazz bass) is the perfect recorded bass tone, the best ever, but lately i've been leaning towards his tone on permanent waves (rickenbacker).
  5. FunkmastaJ


    Feb 1, 2001
    Seattle WA
    Duck Dunn has such a FAT sound, its amazing, not always what I'm going for.
    And Marcus Miller has a great slap tone
    Geddy has a cool tone for the type of music he does
  6. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Marcus is great; he has the slap tone to which everyone aspires.

    Some of my other tone faves:

    Mark Egan (Best Use of Chorus)
    Jimmy Haslip (Best Acoustic/Electric Hybrid Tone)
    Steve Swallow/Anthony Jackson (Best Use of a Pick)

  7. soundofphysics


    Jul 17, 2000
    jimmy haslip doesn't always get teh credit he deserves on this board, i mean he gets soem, but a lot of peopel overlook him. listen to his slap tone on blacktop off of yellowjackets- dreamland
    to stay on topic i woudl say stanley clark has sick tone, i woudl agree entwhisle does to, and i woudl jamerson has that sweet phat round gut rumbling sensory overload tone.
    for chorussy tone i have to be cliche and say jaco
  8. Jaco; of course!
    Lee Sklar;
    Will Lee;
    Anthony Jackson:
    Pino Palladino:
    Mike Brignadello:
    Emory Gordy Jnr:
    George Porter:
    These are guys I admire for their tone and articulation.
    Here are some I dont like much (I'm gonna get flak for these!) John Entwhistle, Chris Squire, Stanley Clarke, Les Claypool, Percy Jones, myself.
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I tend to agree with Marty - I always admired Chris Squire for the lines he played and his impact on the music, but really hated that tone. Never been a fan of John Entwistle either.

    Leland Sklar's tone on Billy Cobham's "Stratus" album is huge - that's what I'd call a tone monster - all tone and very simple but effective lines. I would have to add Paul Jackson - Headhunter's tone.

    My favourite tone is from a UK bass player most of you won't have heard, but I've mentioned a few times before - Franc 'O Shea. Close second for me is Stefan Rademacher, who curremtly plays with Billy Cobham's band - he must have a great ear for bassists!!
  10. jcadmus


    Apr 2, 2000
    I have to agree on Lee Sklar -- can't believe I left him off my original list. I've always loved his tone and his playing.

    Same with Marcus Miller -- again, not my sound, but gorgeous slap and funk tone.

    Lot's of great ones posted up here. Gimme more!
  11. Dave Siff

    Dave Siff Supporting Member

    Man, I was listening to some Brand New Heavies late last night and I had forgotten how much Andrew Levy's tone knocks me out.. not to mention his superb time, taste and feel.
  12. NJXT


    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    Good thead.
    In very different ways :
    -Steve Harris
    -Pino Palladino
    -Marcus Miller
    -the guy on Paul Simon's Graceland album (don't know his name)
    - John Entwhistle
    - Lemmy
    - Niktus (from the french band FFF which I'm sure no one has ever heard of in here ;)
    - Janik Top (another french bassist)
    and so many more ...

  13. Dave Siff

    Dave Siff Supporting Member

    His name is Bakithi Kumalo.. he's from South Africa. He has a couple of solo albums out.

    Actually, I have heard of FFF.. if I'm not mistaken, I remember reading an interview with Bill Laswell where he talked about happening upon them in Paris, and eventually producing an album for them.
  14. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    paul mccartney
    ian kilmister
    geezer butler
    mr. pappalardi
    jack bruce
  15. IMO Mo Foster has the best all around tone for slap, fretted and fretless, no matter what the setting his bass blends but still has it's own character.

    Jimmy 'Flim' Johnson also has an Alembic tone that's filling but not too much.
  16. for me it's always p-nut.
  17. berklee46

    berklee46 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2000
    While I think Dave Larue has one of the best overall tones, especially on his solo album, to me the *ultimate* bass tone is Leland Sklar on James Taylors' "You're Smiling Face."
    That dirty (but use-able) tone is perfect to my ears
  18. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Billy Sheehan. I didn't like him so much at first, but the Niacin stuff convinced me.

    Felix Pappalardi. OK, he's kind of at the other end of the spectrum from Billy, but pretty doggone cool.

    John Paul Jones on LZ II.
  19. I would have to say I agree with flatwound if we are talking rock John Paul Jones always had a really good rock sound and he was always solid. Geezer Butler although not a great Sabbath fan always had a nice tone for metal. And the guy from TOOL has a nice tone especially when he uses that reverb type sound. I think most of the well known bass players have good tones which fit their music well and since I don't listen to much jazz I'm not ad lib to say much about them except I think the DB sound is awesome nice and thick sounding.
  20. FunkmastaJ


    Feb 1, 2001
    Seattle WA
    I have to agree w/ ur sklar, that guy gets an incredible tone (must be the beard). I shoulda added him to my origional
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