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the honk-free sweetspot between 2 J pups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by allredtillblue, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. allredtillblue

    allredtillblue Banned

    Mar 27, 2015
    The current bass: '04 Warwick Corvette std 5 w/MEC's

    I was messing around and figuring if I liked better the neck full or both even and noticed that each one has a bit of a midrange honk. Each one is different and there is a spot about fifteen to twenty degrees CW from middle click that is completely honk-free. In my jam room this sounds nice, just a clean uncluttered fundamental. But I have to ask you experienced paid bassists if the honk is actually something that I should be trying to utilize when trying to get into the covers/weddings scene or if my gut is right in shooting for the clear tone?

    I am planning on building a shortscale and was going to do a Leland type double p, but now I'm thinking that I should just stick a mmbucker in the trad p spot and wire a variable tap a'la peavey t45 for 99.9% of performing to be able to go honk-free and a quarter pounder right near the bridge for full-honk when I'm noodling away with fuzzstortion and reverb at home. Thoughts/comments?
  2. strat players call it quack with single coils and some prefer it either for certain songs or styles. Granted, they also associate the quack with the trem since teles don't quack unless they're set up to do so (according to guys who know strats and teles better than me).
  3. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    I have the same bass, but I don't hear any honking unless someone is in my driveway. Maybe try it through a different amp?
    handofseven likes this.
  4. LoveThatBass


    Jun 28, 2004
  5. handofseven

    handofseven Soaking up the cathode rays...

    Mar 23, 2010
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Not to derail, but could someone explain what exactly does "honk" mean, as it pertains to the sound a bass might produce?
  6. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    If we're talking about the same thing, a little "honk" is necessary for note definition and tonal clarity in a live mix, regardless if it's a bridge or neck pickup. As the old observation goes, you can easily dial in a tone that sounds great to you in your bedroom, den, or practice room by yourself. Oftentimes if you use that same tone with the same settings in the context of a live band, the magic tone you thought was so great can't even be heard.

    This can be illustrated easily with a P-Bass isolated by itself. Compared to other basses with custom appointments and hi-tech electronics, a P doesn't sound very "pretty" or smooth and "polite" played solo. Put that P in a mix and it's easy to understand why it's a standard.
    Coolhandjjl likes this.
  7. dincz


    Sep 25, 2010
    Czech Republic
    It's when your bass sounds like a goose.
  8. I've played in those covers/weddings/corporate bands for over 20 years, and without wanting to sound like a smart-arse, the subtleties of your bass tone are far less important than your musicianship, professionalism, and easy-going personality, if you want to make a living at it.

    That said, I think you are right to be concerned with too much mid-range. I'd say the tone to aim for is like goldilocks. Not too bright, not too muddy, not too mid-rangey. Also in general, avoid a tonne of effect pedals, especially in a band with keys, or a horn section, or backing tracks. Those things are fun but IME, also tended to muddy up the bottom end, especially in those boxy function rooms.

    Most musos won't tell you to your face that they don't like your tone, but if you hang out with your bandmates, you'll hear what they like or dislike about the tone of other bass players they've worked with. And yeah, other musos (and sound guys also), really just want a good clear foundation. Especially in pickup bands where half the guys are subbing and are reading or don't really know the tunes as well as they probably should.
    allredtillblue likes this.
  9. allredtillblue

    allredtillblue Banned

    Mar 27, 2015
    thanks @RobbieK this is what I needed to hear. re:pedals ...I like them for messing around at home, way back when I was gigging I only used them with trios and key-less quartets. From my hazy memory, when there's keys there's less need to fill space outside of the bass zone.

    re: the honk ...it sounds like a crybaby in it's toe-up sweetspot "rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr" and what worries me is that it will translate in the mix to "one note bass", but I suppose I won't know till I get out there and in it with some bands.

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