Warm Tones

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bullitt, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. Bullitt


    Feb 12, 2004
    Central Indiana
    First off, I am new here and thanks for letting me be a part. I have learned alot here already. I knew all my notes and locations from 20 years ago but I am now trying to learn to play and I am studying theory. Wish I had not stopped playing years ago.
    Now, I have 4 kids so I bought some cheap gear. The tax check will be coming soon and I want to upgrade both my bass and amp. I want the warmest tone that I can get and I was wondering if the bass or the amp contributes the most to getting the warmest tone possible? What is the best bass in the $500 range that I could get? Thanks for any help
  2. warm? easy. Fender P but if you want versitility maybe check out the jazz.
  3. bluemonk


    Dec 17, 2002
    I wouldn't call the P-bass warm particularly. I'd get something with Bartolini pickups. They make a Dean Edge with Bartolonis that is very warm. :cool:
  4. The warmest bass I've played is the Epiphone Jack Casady. http://www.jackcasady.com/epiphone.htm

    It has a sound that is so warm, you really have to hear one first hand to appreciate it. At about $835 new w/case, it is out of your price range, but I've heard about them coming up on e-bay in the $500 range. While you can use any bass for any type of music, I feel the Casady bass is best suited to C&W, Bluegrass, Grateful Dead, Motown and Beach Boys type stuff.

    Yes, I own one. ;)

    Welcome back to playing, Bullitt :bassist:

  5. jammadave

    jammadave Rudderless ship Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    gonna go out on a limb here and say try to find a Gibson Thunderbird. They're 1500 bucks new, but used may yield some good options, as may even going the Epiphone route - epi's getting better by the year it seems. Either way, the passive buckers and mahogany body are sweet and rife with warmth.

    I've become a Warwick man these days because I like the crispness of active electronics combined with the thick woodiness, but the Corvette Standard comes in a passive version and sounds awesome! Plus, it's brand new at $899 most places, so that could be another possibility, especially if a used one pops up.

    (better bang for buck on used instruments, no sacrifice in quality for the dollars!)

    good luck!
  6. Davehenning


    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    What is your definition of "warm tone"? (give some musical examples, songs, players)
  7. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    I'd say a Fender Vic Bailey has to be one of the "warmest" tones I've heard.
  8. I'm going to second what jammadave said about the thunderbird, but I'd like to add that most Gibson basses I've played tend to be very warm. My suggestion would be to look for a used Gibson. I have a 1981 Gibson Victory Standard that's extremely warm, and only cost me $450.
  9. Bullitt


    Feb 12, 2004
    Central Indiana
    By warm, I am talking a soothing "warm" tone void of any of the bite or high metallic sound. Something that is sitting by the fire drinking your fave bourbon warm. Some blues or soul warm. Am I getting my point across? I can't really come up with any musician or song right now but hopefully I have given you a little more insight. I love the feel (and sound) of the low, forever sustaining notes you hear alot in ballad type music.
  10. I'd suggest a Reverend Rumblefish. You'll be able to easily find one used for $500.
  11. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    Ok, I'm more of a scotch guy, but I think I get you. My main suggestion would be to get flatwound strings.

    For me, a "warm" bass is a Rickenbacker with flatwounds (not roundwounds, which add a lot of bite.). A good passive jazz bass is another great option. As another poster mentioned Bartolini pickups (I have 9j4's) are very warm. A lot of warmth comes from the pickup configurations that include one close to the neck.

    But I think that the strings matter more than anything.
  12. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    What smperry said! IMO, the commonly defined "warm" bass tone is exemplified by a hollowbody bass with flatwound strings.
  13. Davehenning


    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    For the tone you described, I tend to think of a Fender bass(p or j) with flats or a Gibson EBO also with flats.
  14. bovinehost


    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    Who said Reverend Rumblefish? Good call! Big, thick, deliciously old school bass. My bass of choice for "warm".

    Plus they just LOOK cool.

  15. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Question of the day. Whats more attractive, a rumblefish, or a bongo? :p
  16. Well...a rumblefish looks more "retro" and dosen't resemble a toilet seat.

    The Bongo is probably a more flexible sounding bass tho.
  17. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    Which one would you rather put your ass on? I vote the bongo :p
  18. sethlow3

    sethlow3 Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Nashville, Tennessee
    LOL me too

    As far as the bass goes, get a fender jazz and throw on some flats. Preferably Dean Markley flats or ground wounds. Bartolini pickups ARE the warmest but some would say keep the fenders. Both would sound great with flats. The new fender jazzes have a button on the knobs that switch to a pbass tone.

    As far as a cheap amp, go with Trace Elliot, Ampeg, or Peavy.
  19. i like rickenbackers, they have a nice, smooth, warm tone.
  20. Oliver


    Jun 21, 2003
    Perth, Australia
    An ESP B-305 provides lots of warm tones, the thru-neck reinforces that.
    Play one if you get the chance :) :bassist: