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Tool/Justin Chancellors tone.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sevoflurane, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. sevoflurane


    Nov 5, 2010
    Hey folks, first timer here.

    I've been a guitar player all my life (25+ years). And now, I'm in search for a decent bass guitar so I can do some solo recording at home.

    I'm a big TOOL fan and I really enjoy Justin Chancellors tone. I know his rig is one of the most complicated ones out there, but I figured I'd first start with a decent bass guitar. He uses a Wal, and those are both expensive and very hard to find.

    Any suggestions on a bass that may posses similar qualities? I like the deep tonal sound without rattle... I like a clean sounding bass with good midrange. My fingers are on the smaller side of things and I'd like a thin neck. My understanding is that if you go for a 30-33 scale you may loose a bit of that clean deep bass because you have a shorter scale. Any info is much appreciated. :help:


  2. I'm not really a Tool fan, but i was actually messing around with one of their songs JUST last night...

    For some reason, i had the urge to play 'Schism', so i looked up the tab and played along with the songs a few times...

    BUT... i'm a sucker for good tone, and i tried a few of my basses. The closest one for me was my Franken-bass :D

    But, since that can't really be reproduced... the closest thing TO my franken bass is a Peavey T40.

    Google image:

    I'd TOTALLY reccomend one to you, i'm sure it'll get nice and close to the tone you want. They are spectacular basses, made in the USA... and while they are becoming pretty saught after, you can still get a nice one for under $400.

    Good luck!

    For more Tool tone stuff... check the effects forum!

    Both the T40 and Justin's tones will have TONS of results, if you use the search bar.
  3. cassius987

    cassius987 Banned

    Apr 20, 2007
    Denver, CO
    Justin Chancellor's tone is best thought of in my opinion as a Rickenbacker through a Wal filter. His tone changed a lot when he joined Tool because his Stingray just wasn't matching up with what previous bassist, Ric-wielding Paul d'Amour, had been able to do. He got the Wal, and has since constructed a huge effects rig to process two or three signals from it simultaneously.

    The funny thing is I can pretty much nail the majority of his tones with my Ric's clean signal. But I spent ages 14-18 basically trying to be him so maybe that's why.
  4. BlackElan


    Feb 26, 2009
    I actually have a Wal and I just got a Ric, I was just about to suggest the Ric then I saw your post so I have nothing more to add you are correct sir the Ric can do a lot of Wal tones but not all and vice versa.:bassist:
  5. ExurKun


    Sep 29, 2009
    I think an american fender jazz would really suit you well, thin neck and i get great JC tones out of mine.
    Bottom line though and what youll hear most TB'ers say is you gotta visit your local GC and find what bass is comfortable to you. ik they wont stock everything, but generally they will cary fenders, stingrays, ibanez and schecters who all make good basses
  6. cassius987

    cassius987 Banned

    Apr 20, 2007
    Denver, CO
    I have to disagree about the American Jazz. Versatile bass sure but it doesn't do an authentic Tool tone as well. Its natural voicing is fatter than Chancellor's.
  7. True, but it does comes close imo. No one will ever achieve his tone unless they are Justin Chancellor or a friend of his who happens to know every setting he uses on his bass, amps, and pedals for all of his songs. :)
  8. I recall a guy in a tool tribute band on here a while back saying he copped a real decent JC with a schecter (studio elite I think) and tons of different effects. Probably was more the effects to be honest.
  9. jpTron


    Apr 19, 2010
    Ibanez GSR 200. Everything wide open
  10. PJMiDi


    Feb 27, 2009
    Columbus, OH
    funny enough i can get a pretty good tone for playing tool with my gsr200. of course I'd agree with previous post that effects can get you close... just not close enough:crying: need a ric or wal pretty much.
  11. hotrodjohn

    hotrodjohn Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2009
    I have been using an EBMM Sterling/Boss GT-10B/Mesa rig in a Tool tribute band. You can check out some of our vids on youtube if you search Toology Houston, and judge for yourself if you think the tone is coming close.
  12. sevoflurane


    Nov 5, 2010
    Thanks for all the responses. Tool tribute band must be tons of fun. Nice vids. :bassist:

    Def. gonna check out the Peavey T40 and the Sterling.
  13. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I've done very well getting a JC like tone with my Modulus Q5. It's loaded with Barts and it's got a very clear tone with the carbon fiber neck. I think getting a tone like his has a lot to do with using a pick and how you hit the strings.

    As mentioned, a Sterling does a good job too...and so does a Stingray considering he used one on 46&2.
  14. A G&L L2000 will get a Wal like tone as well and they can be had cheap. Get a L2000 tribute and then Get an ACG/John East preamp and dump it in the L2000 and viola an instant Wal.
  15. T40Chump


    Jul 12, 2008
    Plano, TX
    Caution: The T40 is a heavy bass; built only for the manliest of men. However, I think it's got one of the nicest sounds out of all passive basses (but that's me) and the price/quality ratio is among the best.

  16. headstump


    Oct 27, 2010
    What he said. Those G&L L2000's are extremely versatile. Can't vouch for the pre-amp but you cant go wrong with those basses. There are a bunch of youtube of the bass whisperer demo-ing the L2000's and ASAT basses.
  17. Chancellor's Wal tone is actually quite similar to some Rickenbacker tones. Unfortunately, 4003's are also expensive basses, though much easier to find than Wals.

    For amplification, I think he uses a GK?
  18. pukeorama


    Aug 27, 2007
    Cool post here actually. Probably the best place to ask regarding what bass to choose. Looking at your picture it seems as though money probably poses no bounds to you. But I dont think anyone has asks how much you want to spend for on a bass rig for tool tone anyways. Either way I recomend a good mid range bass. Jazz basses were mentioned and Rickenbackers too all great meat and potates basses. Go buy a Wal bass if you want his tone tho cause you will be searching high and low for effects strings pedals forever when really it starts with the bass player himself. 80% of any bass players tone is their fingers/pick, strings and the bass. The amps and effects are 20% of that. Thats my personal opinion which can be argued of course.

    Justins tone come from his picking technique the bass he uses and his gargantuane rig. Now in his case his rig does play a larger role in tone than my previous statement. I have seen them live in 2007 but i still have no official idea of whats in his rig is but I can imagine there are multiple rack mounted processor units that are for compression, flange, chorus, distortion, delay and a whammy pedal and a partridge and a pear tree. There are some bass player back catalog magzines of him about his rig try and look there too. It has some solid info about bass in general.

    What I would do is try as many basses you can find in the stores near you and without any effects or special amps try and find the core sound that makes the tool bass thats desired. Then you will know you have the sound you want. You wont find much advice on what bass to actually use here until you actually get out there and start digging you teeth into basses and just try everything. For all you know you could end up with Gibson Grabber for all you know (rad bass BTW). Oh and you use rotosound wing 66' son.

    Hope that helps and enjoy the hunt its better than the final product.
  19. Zitch


    May 12, 2010
    Akron, Oh
    I have found Bartolini Pickups and Bart 3 way eq to be an excellent reproducer of Justins tone, mine are loaded in an Gibson made Tobias Renegade.

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