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Tone settings on a Fender J-Bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Fret Boiler, Apr 21, 2004.


  1. Fret Boiler

    Fret Boiler Pity World

    Apr 12, 2004
    Purdue University
    I have been playing for a few weeks now with a MIJ Jazz and I am having a heck of a time keeping string noise down. I basically have to reduce the tone setting substantially in order to eliminate the noise. I am new to the bass and I expect as my technique improves this will help, but as a noobie, I would like to know what tone setting on a J-bass a decent bassist can use and still sound clean (i.e., with minimal noise)?

    I adjust my bridge and neck pots equally if that is relevant.

    Thanks
     
  2. tkarter

    tkarter

    Jan 1, 2003
    kansas
    I typically play my Jazz with the tone rolled about all the way off and the neck pup full while using around a 3/4 setting on the bridge pup. Always sounded good there with the rounds. I now use flats on it Fender 9050 and generally solo the neck pup with the tone rolled all of the way off for most things. I guess I am liking the thumpy stuff.

    tk
     
  3. sheepdog

    sheepdog

    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    if you are referring to the sqeak you here from your fingers when you fret, that is something that I struggle with. I think my technique has cut down on the problem some. If that doesn't, flatwounds will probably sqeak less. Also, I use a spray on string/fretboard cleaner that seems to help also.
     
  4. Fret Boiler

    Fret Boiler Pity World

    Apr 12, 2004
    Purdue University
    Yeah, I usually go neck and bridge full, but I often back off a little on the neck pup. I also start with the tone rolled back, and then turn it up to the point that I start getting some noise (the noise I get is when I release a fret and hit a new note, or when my fingers slide up or down the strings).

    My question is, is this normal or should there be very little noise like this even when the tone is turned way up? I see from various posts that a lot of J-bass players play with the tone full out. I guess I'm wondering if I will eventually eliminate this noise as my technique improves or is noise like this expected with those settings?
     
  5. I play my Jazz-style basses with all the controls dimed. I now use flats but when I used roundwounds and got excessive string noise, I cut the highs at the amp rather than at the bass. I think passive basses sound best with the volume and tone wide open. YMMV
     
  6. Fret Boiler

    Fret Boiler Pity World

    Apr 12, 2004
    Purdue University
    Thanks, I'll try cutting back on the high range on the amp. I like the sound when the tone is cranked too.
     
  7. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    When playing a Jazz with round wounds, I usually have everything on full.

    Reducing fret and finger noise with these settings requires a bit of attention to everything including set up, strings, bass guitar & amp volume and tone settings, and both right and left hand technique. Where you place your right hand for fingerstyle playing also factors in. For example, I usually play between the two pickups, sometimes closer to the bridge pickup and other times closer to the neck pickup.

    Keep playing with your eyes and ears wide open and you'll find what works best for you. It's really an individualistic thing, so you may find something else that works better for you than my suggestions.
     
  8. Fret Boiler

    Fret Boiler Pity World

    Apr 12, 2004
    Purdue University
    Good idea, but I'd also like to wire a series/parallel switch in my J-bass. Would the wiring configuration get too complicated to wire both switches I wonder?

    BTW, I found that cutting the highs and some of the mids on my amp works best for eliminating excess string noise. Then I can play with the tone up high and get a pretty descent sound.
    So thanks, Ionote!
     
  9. i honestly believe that your problem is going to get fixed with experience and practice.

    you are dealing with an area that is all about "touch" and that comes with practice.

    i suggest the following:

    turn your controls all of the way up to where you always hear those sounds. no practice like this and FORCE YOURSELF to make the sound go away at those volume/tone levels. that way you can't hide behind your potentiometers. it will be annoying to you and won't sound as good at first but once you learn the control you will be a MUCH better bassist and also have given yourself free-reign to play with the broadest range of tone available to you.


    as a general rule for me and my practicing i tend to find my weaknesses and put myself in a position where i can't escape it with equipment and then work at it until i master it.
     
  10. tkarter

    tkarter

    Jan 1, 2003
    kansas
    After rereading all of this I suggest making sure you are fretting right at or on the fret. In my experience it isn't hard for even the best of us to make the thing click when it hits the frets.

    Playing time will fix more of your problems than any mod will. That and a good setup.

    tk
     
  11. Fret Boiler

    Fret Boiler Pity World

    Apr 12, 2004
    Purdue University
    Yep. I'm seeing that already. I'm becoming much better at muting strings and avoiding clicking noises (e.g., when string hits the fret). Thanks everyone for your comments.