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Tone Sculpting

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Gibraltaar, Jul 12, 2016.


  1. Gibraltaar

    Gibraltaar

    Jan 31, 2016
    Colorado
    I'm looking for a little tone sculpting/tweaking advice.

    Right now I have a rig consisting of Ampeg SVT-CL through a Peavy VB-810 and a newer American standard P with Seymour Duncan quarter pounders in it. For the most part it rocks, however, at times I wish my tone was a bit more focused, punchy, and tight, without being overly treble heavy or metallic sounding.

    I play around with a range of different settings, but cant quite seem to dial in something quite as punchy and focused as I'd like. I feel like my tone is a touch dark, and just a hint muddy. If I go wide open with the tone knob on the P, or too much treble on the SVT I feel like things get a little to harsh/clanky/metallic. I usually roll somewhere in between, and I feel close to my preferred tone, but am not quite there.

    Any suggestions on how to attain a tight, focused, punchy sound (while retaining a little rasp/grit/grind) with this rig or otherwise? Compression pedals? Tone settings? Other gear entirely? I'm open to whatever. This is honestly my first post on TB, and I apologize if this has been covered before or is the wrong place, just looking for a solid tone discussion. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Commercial User

    Sep 1, 2015
    Writer/Ambassador/Artist/Resident Bass Expert for Seymour Duncan
    As someone who likes Quarter Pounders (they do the muddy and dark thing really well), it could actually be the pickups. You might need a pickup that is a little scoopier, without so many mids. What kind of music are you playing?

     
  3. Gibraltaar

    Gibraltaar

    Jan 31, 2016
    Colorado
    Thanks for the reply, it definitely could be the quarter pounders. I play mostly heavy psychedelic blues/rock and the tone is pretty fitting for the genre. I guess I just hanker for a slightly funkier punchier sound sometimes, might be more of a jazz bass bridge pick up thing?
     
  4. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Welcome to TB! :)

    I find that the low-mids are usually the culprit here.

    A compressor will help with this.
     
    pacojas likes this.
  5. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    On an SVT, make sure you're not using the "ultra low" switch. Then turn the low knob down a little. Turn the treble up, and adjust mids to taste. "Flat" on an SVT usually involves a little bit of low cut, with some mid and high boost.

    Also maybe replace the pickup with something a bit more balanced sounding, like the Dimarzio Model P.
     
  6. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Commercial User

    Sep 1, 2015
    Writer/Ambassador/Artist/Resident Bass Expert for Seymour Duncan
    Yeah, that kind of sound falls quite a bit outside what the QPs do (and are not really that possible on a P pickup), but all is not lost. Some EQ (lows,low mids) and either a compressor or limiter will help. An SVT is generally pretty huge and bassy, and not a very modern sound, so that plays a role, too.
     

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