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the flea bass tone?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jazzbassist, May 10, 2006.

  1. jazzbassist


    Aug 1, 2005
    its sounds perfect! nothing else comes close IMO
    anyway, how do i get it?

    i play an active fender jazz through an ashdown, get an ok tone but it lacks the punch and clarity
    Is thier a short cut to a flea-like tone without spending too much? (dont really want a new bass or amp)

    any imput would be greately apreciated, thanks
    (p.s. i know its partly due to his technique but im working on that;) )
  2. simongpaez

    simongpaez Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2005
    The Woodlands , Texas
    95% of that tone is on its hands, It has that tone with a Stingray, a Spector a Modulus or a Fender Jazz.

    The rest could be a Modulus with Aguilar OBP, Lane Poor pups and the GK, depending on what you are hearing.
  3. considering he uses a diffrent bass, known for punchy sound
    and a diffrent amp set up, again known for punch, that probly has a lot to do with it : )

    MusicMan, or Modulus, with MM style pups
    GK heads.
  4. zachbass02

    zachbass02 One Hairy....squatch.

    Jan 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    From what I understand now, he's back using a '60s jazz. That through the GK stack he uses would definitely give the added punch. The only thing I would say to change about your setup would be the amp. I've only messed around with Ashdown and some shops, but I personally didn't really care for them. Just not my cup of tea. But you could also try tweeking your EQ a little. If you boost the mids and bass and roll the treble back down to get that burpy growly sound, you'll be heading in the right direction to get that tone.
  5. bassjigga


    Aug 6, 2003
    Depends on what sound you think he has. If you're talking about what's on cds, it most likely isn't a modulus or musicman. I know he used to record with Wals and Alembics. Not sure what he's using currently but the new recording doesn't sound like a modulus to me. Might be a Jazz, who knows.
  6. gfunk 121

    gfunk 121

    Apr 16, 2004
    i saw them monday night they did a warm up show before the new cd came out.i was about 8 feet from him, he played on his jazz the whole night, he only tuned once!!!!
    i saw his rack too his modulus wasnt there.i saw 2 other bass in his rack and they all head fender headstock i could not see what bass they were excatly but they looked fender to me.i read it somewhere that its been a long time he wanted to go back to his fender may be his endorsment with modulus has ended i dont know.
  7. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    His most famous tone (from BSSM) is probably the Wal even though most people seem to think it's a Stingray because he used to play them in their videos during that period.
  8. BassBuzzRS


    Oct 18, 2005
    He is confusing us. Can't someone send him a mail and ask? :bag:
  9. basspunk2005

    basspunk2005 Guest

    Jan 31, 2005
    Maybe Name Changed can ask for us?I mean he hangs out with him and has tea and biscuits with him. Im sure flea has played through hes massive 50x100 stack that Name Changed has got. Maybe flea is using that for practices?

    And to get his tone I would say you gotta be on the right track with your jazz:)
  10. eqvolvorama

    eqvolvorama Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2000
    Arlington, Virginia
  11. eqvolvorama

    eqvolvorama Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2000
    Arlington, Virginia
    Okay, after LOOKING at the original question, not sure if I answered it at all.

    To get a cost-effective flea sound, the best approach IMO is to wait like the rest of us for the long awaited SX Stingray clone series from Rondo Music. Though he's used several basses, the Stingray sound is the one most generally associated with Flea himself (and is close enough to be confusable with the Modulus 'Flea Bass' sound)

    That will get you 20% of the way there - the rest is attitude, touch, and lots of practice.
  12. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    There is plenty of stingray 5 on that record in addition to the Wal.

    Love those tones!
  13. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    As far as I know, he only used the SR5 for three songs max, i.e. Under the Bridge, The Righteous and the Wicked, and maybe another song.
  14. aftershock


    Apr 26, 2005
    ROTFL-tea and biscuits. Good one.:D
  15. Well, this isn't really going to help you find his tone for cheap, but it is an interesting Flea's Tone realated note. On launch there is a new "Launch Exclusive Performance" of them doing Dani California, and he is using his Fender Jazz (my favorite of his basses) and NOT GK amps and cabs, rather an EDEN rig. The tone is still quite punchy, but has alot more low end than he generally gets with the GK rig. I actually prefer the tone in this video. Check it out....
  16. Fong249


    May 25, 2005
    Washington, DC
    Oh my god stadium arcadium... his tone is amazing. He goes from really warm and beefy to farty. I kinda like the farty. How does one achieve that level of fartiness?
  17. Try out something like (i'm just guessing here, I haven't actually tried it out, I'll go test it in a minute...) Mids at around 3 or 4 o'clock, treble at maybe 10 o'clock, and bass up at about 12 o'clock. All I know is mids, bass, with alot of treble rolled off, so that would be my guess. I think I'll go try that setting myself now....
  18. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    I think this is what it is, feel free to correct me:
    Self-titled: Stingray
    Freaky Styley: Stingray or Spector
    Uplift Mofo Party Plan: Stingray or Spector
    Mother's Milk: Stingray or Spector
    *Blood Sugar Sex Magik: Wal 4 string and Stingray 5 string.
    One Hot Minute: Alembic I think
    Californication: Stingray
    By The Way: Modulus
    Stadium Arcadium: JAZZ?!?!?

    *I know this one for sure
  19. From one I've read in Flea's interviews re: his bass playing, he digs his fingers into the strings with an insane amount of force, like as if it was his last night on earth playing. He's also stated that he does this for his slap tone, and that his slap technique is "horrible" compared to other slap bassists. so dig in to your Fender Jazz until your fingers bleed, and the GHS Flea strings might help a bit too.
  20. I use a Stingray through a GK700RB and a GK 1x15 cab. Obviously my playing is pretty crap compared to Fleas, but the general sound seems to be achievable with this setup. To me it actually sounds quite a lot like BSSM. I was convinced he used a ray on this album as the sound is so close to what I am heading towards. After reading a lot on this forum it appears I was wrong. Anyhoo that works for me. I just need to work on my technique now!!

    As some other people have stated in this thread, your best bet would be to ask "Name Changed". Next time flea borrows some gear off him, he could tell us exactly what it was.... ;)

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