Tone on Jazz bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SuperSluggard, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. SuperSluggard


    Jan 2, 2004
    What setting do you usually have it on? I'm not sure which to set mine at. I had it around 8 for a while and now its at 2. :confused: Which sounds better?
  2. Which do YOU thinks sounds better. On my bass I roll the Tone all the way off cause I hate bright sound. Highs are too harsh with it up. I was like you at first, and couldnt tell the difference whether it was on full or not on at all, but then my ear got trained and now I can tell a huge difference. If I'm not mistaken the Tone knob adds highs, so set it to what you like.
  3. i couldnt tell if the tone was on or off when i started now i can also tell a huge differnece, i put my tone at around 0 and maybe 2 sometinmes. i dont like a lot of treble
  4. SuperSluggard


    Jan 2, 2004
    No, I can tell. It makes a big difference. Just not sure which I like better.
  5. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    The great thing about the tone knob is that you don't need to leave it in just one place--you can change it to suit the song, or your mood of the moment. ;)

  6. MascisMan


    Nov 21, 2003
    Dallas, Tx
    I have my Jazz dimed with model J pups
  7. bassturtle


    Apr 9, 2004
    I usually have my tone knob either all the way up or all the way off. I've never found much use for anything in between.
  8. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Of course, once you start to figure in the two volume knobs, the options become really mind-boggling. :bag:

  9. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    If you are playing live these days, I would suggest that you find someone to play your bass for you for a couple of songs, go out front and listen. Every bassist should do that. Focus not so much on the tone of the bass, but how well it fit's in the mix. I'mnot saying to ignore your tone, just to get an idea of what tones work best.

    I run my rig with the hi's and high mids rolled back and the tone control wide open on my passive J. I use a full 'rounded' sound, crisp and defined but not bright and not boomy. I roll the tone off and solo the back pup as a tone for solo'ing. I roll the tone off and use both or solo the front pup for a more dubby / thuddy kind of thing.

    Having your rig and string choice dialed in is really important when doing this...
  10. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I find that the tone knob is also very dependent on the strings. A fresh set of rounds are often too bright for me.
  11. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    the passive tone on a j bass cuts highs btw
    i always miss that passive tone knob on active basses as it has a totally different sound than cutting active treble
    i'm really lucky in that i have an old tobias with a passive tone knob in addition to the active tone controls - this works in both the active and passive settings
  12. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    some songs, ill keep it all the way up. other songs, ill keep it all the way down.
  13. Joey3313


    Nov 28, 2003
    Just get the Hoppus bass and you won't have to worry about tone...

    But you may have to worry about being beaten up.
  14. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I have the jazz pickups with a V/V/T config on a fretless. My favourite sounds are with the settings at 10/7-8/4-5 (playing with a group or in a duet), 6/10/6 (general purpose solo fingerstyle), and 7/10/10 (playing fingerstyle with heavy use of harmonics).

    It's best to think of the volume knobs not so much controlling the volume of the bass, but as controlling the character of the sound. The tone controls the brightness and darkness of the sound, but the real differences in tone between smooth and growl, etc., come from changing the blend between the pickups.

    The bass in question is a Yamaha BB404F and it came with knobs like something you'd see on a Gibson guitar (those black speedknobs with the numbers on them). At first I found them aesthetically stupid and was planning on changing them, but the numbers and the sheer girth of the knobs make changing the sound on the fly very quick, very easy, and it makes it a breeze to get to the exact same sound time and time again -- something that I find very difficult on my active bass with chrome pbass knobs.
  15. spc


    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
    Ever try your passive bass with a tone bypass? Or the tone knob cut completely? IMO it seems to open the bass up, makes it a little warmer sounding. I have a parts jazz with a maple body, maple neck with a fretless ebony board and Jason Lollar single coils, and I use just two vol. knobs. I really dig it like that. I have a modified marcus miller (strings thru bridge, Lollar single coils, no preamp, tone bypass knob) and the tone bypass really opens the bass up. Any thoughts?
  16. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    I'm an advocate of the Tuck Andress school of passive electronics: dime all the controls on the bass, and adjust tone with the amp. It's a lot harder to add back high end at the far end of the signal chain than to cut it out.
  17. I'm in the early stages of developing a tone ear, but it seems as though the jazz growl is defined in the mids. Therefore, I set volume on both pickups to full on and roll the tone about half way over. Then, at the amp, I set the treble flat, bass flat or sligtly boosted, and then boost the mids until they start to hack out, and roll back about two clicks from that point.
  18. I keep the controls dimed and adjust tone at the amp with my Jazz-style basses. On my P-clone I roll off some of the highs with its tone control.
  19. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    FWIW, what SPC said about bypassing the tone control is true
    the less "stuff" in your signal chain the purer the sound
    one notable luthier who eschews the use of tone controls is rick turner - i seem to remember that he also offered a tone control that was bypassable so there was no sonic penalty for having it in the circuit
    that said, its always useful to have that passive tone there for those times when the band unexpectedly starts playing a blues # and you can roll off the highs in a jiffy