the sound of a live bass

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by CaptainWally, Apr 23, 2001.

  1. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    i was watching U2 friday and i had a thought. adam
    clayton was playing a lakland joe osborn and i was
    thinking he could probably play anything from a
    mexican j bass to a fodera butterfly thing, and i don't think
    i would have heard the difference (and if i didn't,
    almost no one else would have either).

    you folks ever think that we spend alot of time and
    money on gear that no one notices?

    is GAS just an expensive (but fun) hobby?
    i think it is. do they have recovery programs by the way?

    p.s. would a blindfold sound test by talkbass gurus be
  2. Jake15


    Jan 17, 2001
    USA, PA
    It only matters if you can tell the difference.
  3. I've found you need to compare things by playing them together to tell a significant difference.
  4. The cold hard truth is that at the volume levels that most bands play at, a bass player is lucky to be able to hear what they are playing without overpowering the rest of the band. Now as to whether anyone can make value comparisons between a good workhorse setup or some hi-dollar, hi-fi designer brand is another matter all together. In the opinion of someone who has been there it's mostly "kings new clothes".......
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    If we bought gear blindfolded there'd be even more Peavey owners :D
  6. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I buy the good stuff for the same reason people collect art. I just like having bitchen gear, having been dirt poor as a kid. The down side is that I can't blame my gear if and when I suck.

    I bought my first bass in 1977 from a guy in college for $350. It was a 1965 (pre-CBS) P-bass and a Fender Bassman 50 head and 212 enclosure. I thought it had a comparatively crappy sound, and I heavily coveted all the Rickies other people were playing. That rig got stolen in 1981 or so, and insurance paid $1100 for it even then. Sure wish I still had that sucky sounding rig, eh?
    Weirdest thing ... the guy I bought it from, a fellow geology major, ended up murdering his wife years later, and buried her in his back yard. The law eventually caught up with him, and he's still in jail to this day. Ish.

    OK, so what? I'd just say save up your money and buy it cash. Used is probably best. As for me, I borrowed $350 at 126% interest from AVCO, and paid $15 a month for ... lessee ... no, I've still got seven more payments to go. Don't do this, OK? Also, keep your first bass, even if it's a POS. It'll give you something to reminisce over.
  7. air_leech


    Sep 1, 2000
    "Jailhouse Rock"! (heavy dude...)

    does this guy still plays bass? :D

    cool rig btw.
  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Some people don't notice, but THE OWNER does. Driving a Mercedes doesn't get you much attention in most neighborhoods, but it sure makes a difference to the person driving it.

    Clayton is one of the last celebrity bassists whose sound I would give a rip about, because U2's music and mediocre musicianship never tests the potential of the gear. Their strength, IMO, is their songwriting and the songs are written AROUND their technical limitations, which is smart.

    When the day arrives that that the club scene is over for me and I can keep my stuff underfoot and secure 24/7, I fully intend to experience the luxury of boutique/custom ownership.

    The only ones who will notice are people like most of you guys...educated ears.
  9. I agree with rickbass1, that the audience is hearing the house PA. However, how I sound to myself affects my play. If the rig sounds right, I feel more comfortable and confident to play and enjoy myself. If I cannot here my rig and the sounds I want, I end up fighting the rig all night.

  10. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    Man my first bass was a bently from the 70s! It was baaaaaadd! I played through a old peavey head! Horrible! Then for years after that i just played fenders! I still have my old 67 fender p-bass! But i played fender gear and fender basses and i thought that it sounded great untilll---- I got my new rig set up! I now play a hartke 3500 head through a swr 4-10 cab with a warwick custom corvette pro-line and yes i can tell a huge diff!
  11. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    Ohh ya its a swr goliath not the working man crap!
  12. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    That's me. I played crap for 15 years.

    Now that I have an IT job, my own home and a 401K, I feel like I deserve to spend a little on nice gear.

    I still enjoy playing my old basses, but it's not as satisfying as playing my Zon or Pedulla.
  13. AssMan


    Dec 2, 2000
    Minnesota, USA
    Clayton seems to have a pretty uniform standard duller type tone, that fits his music just right. Now, his bass and rig I'm sure can make lot's of other great tones that you could hear a difference in, but for what he's doing, you won't hear much of a difference. If you do hear a difference, than your in the 1% of the audience that has a trained bass ear. He plays lakland because he can (afford one that is). I totally agree with amebassplaya that if you don't like the sound your getting, it affects your playing. For me if my tone is off, I become too preoccupied with my sound so get pulled out of my "playing mode" and I start missing stuff and screwing up. If my bass sounds great, It makes me happier and keeps my head clearer so I can do what I gotta do: kick-ass.
  14. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    my tone is always crap live .. even when i jam out with the jazz guys at school i come off sounding too growly or too trebly, which really doesn't fit the music and has the horn players in fits :(

    but c'mon, admit it .. you all love being able to complain about such things :) bass rox !!! WOOO!!
  15. ColdYinTiger


    Jul 15, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    Most people wont know the difference in a bass sound unless its a drastic difference like say a dub style sound compared to lets say funk. Most people hear something deep and just say "OOoooo Bass...I wonder what the singers doing now." My sound live tends to be average on bass and treble and mid cranked to the max. It helps me push the sound through the guitar and key's. Now I'm rambling again....Damn it! But anywho. In the long run the only people who notice the sound difference are the ones who know the difference between a treble and a bass clef. Its late I'm gonna disapear for now..

  16. Well isnt it like the old rule says "crap in=crap out" What Im trying to say here is that if you got good sounding gear it is more probable that you will be able to get that through to the audience.. provided a good sound guy. If it sounds good onstage then it is not your fault if the sound guy is crap.. well ok according to the rule.... but that is beside the point or am I wrong here.

    So good gear matters whether it is sound playability or maybe looks? I mean the playability is probably better in more expensive stuff, beside the better quality. Did I make myself clear?

    Hope so :)