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Thompson Twins Sound . . .

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by medgeking, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. medgeking

    medgeking Supporting Member

    Aug 9, 2012
    Minneapolis, MN
    OK people, I'm brand new here. Started off as a bass player when I was 14 and played all through high school, then migrated to guitar which is now my main instrument. However, I still have a couple basses and I love playing bass.

    For ages, I've loved the bass sound on recordings by The Thompson Twins. I don't really need to know how they got that sound originally, but I'd like to know your suggestions as to how I can achieve that sound now. Fretless obviously, but it's that particular focused honky upper-mids heavy sound that I've had trouble capturing in the past.

    I build Warmoth/Carvin/USACG guitars and basses for a hobby, so imagine you can give me specs on a bass that would help me achieve that sound. What body wood, neck wood, pickups, etc . . . I anxiously await your comments!
  2. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    deviated prevert

    Was playing "Love On My Side" recently, and I got that tone with an Ibanez RB855.
    Basswood body, maple neck, ebony board. Active PUs. Eq to taste.

    Totally nails that tone. YMMV.

  3. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    It's the sound of mids. Many bass amps scoop out the mids by default because that's a sound most bass players lean towards - if you want mids you have to EQ them back in yourself.

    Warwick basses are the anti-amp. They are so mid-humpy they can counter any scooped amp. Or if you are on a tight budget you could use a Squier Jazz and tweak your amp in ways it never expected to be tweaked. :)
  4. Aussie Player

    Aussie Player

    Apr 20, 2011
    Gibson EB3 into Marshall amp.
    Position 3 on selector, both volumes on 10 and both tones on 2.
    Fender Jazz into Hartke amp
    Bass volume on 7-8, Treble full open, Tone turned 3/4 off.
  5. itchy


    Jan 3, 2009
    Bay Area
    I wouldn't be surprised if they were mixing in a distorted/overdriven channel along with the clean signal (in the studio).
    Their fretless sound always had a "synthy" quality to it, and I suspect that may be the culprit.

    Listen to "We Are Detective" and "Hold Me Now".
  6. basspraiser

    basspraiser Jammin for the Lamb! Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Chicago - NW Burbs
    maybe they were playing synths and no real bass? just an idea....they were a band in the day when 90% of the non-lead was done on a synth.....
  7. The closest I could get was with my fretless with very low action, high mids (I consider that around 1 K) boosted to taste. Usually bridge pick up soloed and pluck near that pick up with a fairly aggressive right hand. Adding a little reverb can help if you have it. I was using an ADT preamp back in the day with way too many effects. Plenty of subtle sliding into notes and vibrato help as well.

    That's what I was using.
  8. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011

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