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Thought I'd ask bassists for advice...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by yanick, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. yanick


    Mar 18, 2009
    Hello dear bassists friends,

    first post here and not my first language so please bear with me...

    I'm a guitar player/songwriter/producer playing mostly alt country, 70's rock 'n roll, reggae and funk... Althought I've done a few pro recording sessions as a bassist in the past using great equipment (borrowed or rented) I'm looking for a way to improve my home studio setup for really really cheap (my gf is pregnant with our first child and spending money on gear is NOT a popular subject around here, if you know what I mean...)

    Since Im really a guitar player I have spent my money on great guitar gear in the past but my "bass" gear kinda suck therefore I cant get a satisfying sound at home...

    As it is, my "bass" rig for recording quick demos at home is a "New-York Pro" (it's a p-bass imitation probably as good or bad as a "made in mexico/china fender/squier") plugged straight into M-Box then Ik multimedia SVT Uno as a plugin its allright but i have to spent a lot of time with EQ and comp to make it sound barelly accceptable...

    Im looking for a good clean straightforward classic usable bass sound for as little money as possible using what I have as a starting point in other words if you're going to suggest "get a vintage Fender with a '70's svt" you missed the point 'cause If I could afford it, thats what I'd get...

    With "best bang for the buck" in mind, Here are a few options Im considering:

    A)Investing on better pickups and electronics but is it worth it? Will that make an entry level bass a "decent" bass, if so considering the styles mentionned earlier what pickups would you recommend?

    B)Investing on a good DI box (like sansamp or MXR)

    D)Get a better bass plugged straight into M-BOX

    E)I have read GREAT GREAT things on this forum about Sansamp VT bass, will investing on better pickups and buying the Sansamp VT bass get me there?

    I know I know Im asking for something almost impossible (great recording tone for almost no money) but I'm sure real bassist opinions and or ideas can help me get closer...
  2. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    You're on the right track. The first question to ask is: does the bass you have play well? If it does - no ungodly fret buzz, stays in tune, action is set decent and it's relatively easy to play, then for sure a pickup/preamp will give you your most bang for the buck. If it were me, I would start with the Sansamp and see how far that takes you as far as getting the sound you want.

    If it's still lacking, you might then consider a new pickup. It sounds like you are going for a vintage P bass sound, so the right pickup would be - what else - a vintage P bass pickup. You can buy a real Fender "Original 62 P Bass Pickup" brand new for $75. Other people will recommend DiMarzio, or EMG, or Seymour Duncan (my favorite), or any number of other pickups. But if you want a genuine vintage 70's rock sound, just get the Fender pickup.

    But as I said, definitely try the Sansamp first. It might give you enough tone shaping to get you where you want to be.

    All usual disclaimers - IMHO, IME, YMMV, etc.

    Good luck!

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