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Tried a couple of road worns and a VT Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ten Four One, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. Ten Four One

    Ten Four One

    Dec 5, 2006
    A P and a J.

    The J was very nice. Lightweight easy to play and oozing with tone. I'd put it about 8.5/10 on the tone-o-meter with 10 being John Paul Jones in The Song Remains The Same. Not a "I have to own this bass" tone, but for the price if they can put out consistently good tone (which so few basses seem to nowadays) they're well worth it, especially for gigging musicians. That seems to be what I'm hearing around the nets - gigging musicians are replacing their precious 60s stuff with road worn. My Warmoth Neck / Mighty Mite body / Antiquities pickups bass does pretty well - maybe 7/10 & the two basses probably sound similar unplugged. A bit of extra magic happens when you plug in the road worn that doesn't happen (or happens to a lesser extent) with my Warmoth neck jazz.

    The P was also very nice. Also lightweight easy to play but not as tone filled. It felt a bit thin, like bright new strings and without that classic thump. A little thump, but not as much as Id expect from something based on a 50's P. Maybe with flats & a foam filled ashtray it'll get closer. I'd put it about a 7.5 on the tone-o-meter with 10 being with 10 being anything by Jamerson or Duck Dunn. I'd pass on the P at that price point (especially since my '73 p nails that tone exactly - 10/10). FWIW nearly every other P bass I've ever played - yes that's right every other P bass I've ever played would get a 6/10 on the tone-o-meter - a failing grade, so I guess if I was really looking for a P, then this is the one I'd get.

    I've always wondered what was responsible for that tone & why it's missing from so many modern basses - well now at least I know that it's possible to get in the ballpark consistently. I'm not a luthier by any means, but I like to put together basses & I'd like to see if I can get in the ballpark of a road worn.

    Also tried a VT bass pedal & bought it. Paired with the J I could dial in fairly convincing classic ampeg (etc.) tones - about 8/10 on the tone-o-meter with that Acoustic 360 I tried at guitar center the other day being 10/10 (or the Ampeg Micro stuff) and the BDDI being a 6/10. The "Character" knob seems to be some sort of tone knob - turn it to the right you get more bright, turn it to the left & it cuts highs. I found a decent pick tone with bass, character & mid at about 1 to 2:00, drive at around 10:00 and high at around noon. The "Drive" seems to be a preamp gain stage - as you turn drive up overall volume increases, unlike other pedals where as you turn drive up, overall volume remains the same.

    Tried the VT with a Music Man HH and it sucked the MM tone right out of it & turned it into VT tone. Weird. That low mid bump the modern MM basses have just disappeared the moment I turned the VT on. Since the MM is my main bass nowadays, I figure I'll use it as a decent "b" tone for a few songs that require a little more classic crunch, or whenever I'm going straight in with my P or my J.

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