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The BASS TRADEOFFS Thread

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by KayCee, Apr 24, 2006.


  1. KayCee

    KayCee

    Oct 4, 2004
    Shawnee, KS
    Hello TB'ers,

    I've been involved in several threads recently in which the concept of TRADEOFFS has come into play when trying to solve problems with basses, bass tone, and bass technique.

    I'm going to list a few examples, totally IMHO. I'd be interested to see if TBer's can add some, or provide opinions on some of these:

    1. The lighter that you make a bass, the easier it is to have on your shoulder through a gig...but the lighter you make it, the more low end punch you sacrifice.

    2. The longer the string length, the more improved your B string tone will be...but the longer the string length, the more the high strings suffer in tone. (edit: ...and the more difficult it will be to play in the lower positions. )

    3. The lighter gauge the strings, the better for slap playing...but the lighter gauge the strings, the less low mid punch for fingerstyle playing.

    4. The lower the string action, the easier the bass is to play...but the lower the action, the more you lose punch and add fret noise.

    5. The more effects processers that you add between the bass and amp, the more tonal choices you have...but the more effects processers that you add, the more you degrade and add noise to the bass' original signal, which also removes "punch".

    6. The more you love the bass that you're playing on a gig, the more you enjoy the sets... but the closer that you have to watch it on the stand during the breaks!

    7. The more strings you have, the more notes that you can access without changing positions...but the more strings you have, the more your fingerboard feels like a multi-lane freeway.

    You get the idea. I reserve the right to add some more as I think of them. I'll be interested to hear and discuss your ideas.
     
  2. chris h

    chris h Guest

    Jun 16, 2002
    Oxford, England
    The more instruments you own, you play each one less frequently ;o)
     
  3. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Funny, this is backwards for me. Heavy strings an low relief are best for slap for me, lots of lows and a crisp feel. Lighter/More Flexible strings with a little more relief are easier to pluck fingerstyle, and have more of the "burp" that I like.

    A classic tradeoff for me is pure, raw punch and depth vs. a transparent and natural sounding high end. Modulus Q5 being great for the former, and an MTD535 for the latter. Stingray vs. J bass.
     
  4. fookgub

    fookgub

    Jun 5, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I disagree with these.

    I think it depends on the effects.
     
  5. My contribution:
    The more you worry about equipment the less you practice, play and improve.
     
  6. ehque

    ehque

    Jan 8, 2006
    Singapore
    i wouldnt say a light bass kills low end punch. perhaps a soft wood bass?

    again, i wouldnt say long thin strings suffer from tonal effects. i WOULD say, however, that its tougher to reach the lower frets on a longer scale.
     
  7. Piedro

    Piedro

    Jan 23, 2001
    Montréal, Qc, Canada
    Endorsing Aguilar Amp product.
    i'm totally agree with you.. KayCee
     
  8. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I've experienced things that contradict nearly all of those tradeoffs. I experience some every day, actually.
     
  9. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia In Memoriam

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    the more notes i play, the less i get paid :D
     
  10. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    :D

    I need to get this printed on my business card ;) :D
     
  11. Mike McGibney

    Mike McGibney Not impossible ... Inevitable

    Apr 13, 2005
    Essex, UK.
    LOL!
     
  12. KayCee

    KayCee

    Oct 4, 2004
    Shawnee, KS
    ...or wear it on a sandwich sign:

    "Willing to play millions of notes for cheap!"
     
  13. KayCee

    KayCee

    Oct 4, 2004
    Shawnee, KS
    8. Neck-thru's tend to have more sustain and fewer deadspots...but if the neck goes bad, the bass is firewood.

    9. Bolt-on's tend to have more punch and can be replaced if they go bad...but they have less sustain and more frequently have dead spots, especially near the 7th fret on the G string.

    10. Pop-up battery compartments are convenient for quick changes...but they look sort of plastic and cheezy.

    11. Single-coil pickups sound great...but they make too much noise in some clubs and recording studios.
     
  14. 12. Reading TB makes you a more informed bass player ... while cutting into your practice time. ;)
     
  15. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    Right on!

    Marshall
     
  16. anonymous278347457

    anonymous278347457 Guest

    Feb 12, 2005

    as well as time for everything else
     
  17. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Well, he's right on the "degrade" part. It doesn't matter what pedals you use...after the signal leaves the source, the signal to noise ratio can only go down, never up.

    I mean the specifically the S/N ratio; not the level of the signal.
     
  18. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España

    Hmm did you know that changing the angle (well actually using the proper angle) of the neck in the neck pocket can do marvels to solve most of the neck related problems in a bass guitar???
     
  19. ebe9

    ebe9

    Feb 26, 2006
    South Africa
    The more time I spend on TB the less time I spend playing/practicing
     
  20. KayCee

    KayCee

    Oct 4, 2004
    Shawnee, KS
    It's my understanding that the dead spot tends to result from resonant frequencies, not set-up. Adding graphite bars seems to be helpful, as is adding mass to the neck and/or headstock.

    edit: Could you elaborate?
     

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