What’s your favourite bass for overdriven tones?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Inconnu, Feb 7, 2023.

  1. I think the title says it.
    From my experience, the overdriven tone is pretty much influenced by the sound of the bass you’re using.
    What’s your go to bass when you play with an overdrive? And why, if it’s possible to explain.
    Ellery and DJ Bebop like this.
  2. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    Lots of variables to consider. The bass is only one. Amp? Cab? Specific OD used? Overall tone you’re aiming for?

    If I had to pick one combo, it would be an OG SVT/810 driven hard into OD with a basic P-bass.
  3. I know… the amp and pedal are important variables… I’m just curious about people’s favourite bass in the equation (hence posting this on the bass forum).
  4. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    Anything with an old Gibson Humbucker in it through a tube amp. For ex. Mel Schacher- Grand Funk (EB-0 pickup in Fender Jazz through 200 watt West amp), Felix Pappalardi- EB, EB-1 through Sunn 200S amps. Jack Bruce EB-3 through Marshalls, etc. They all used flat wounds too, I'm pretty sure, I know Jack Bruce used light gauge La Bella flats.. P bass's can sound really good through B-15's too.
    J R Knots, gcb, Aqualung60 and 8 others like this.
  5. JFlo

    JFlo Supporting Member

    Jun 23, 2019
    Pickups and strings matter the most. I'm a fan of bright roundwounds and a P pickup with a little mid scoop, the Seymour Duncan quarter pounder being my favorite. Active EMG Ps sound good too.
    Smurf-o-Deth likes this.
  6. Yep, serious pickups are key to the strong input needed to overdrive your amp.
    Mudbuckers can sure do it but strong ceramic magnet pickups can do it, as well.
    I have an SD Curlee with patent pending DiMarzio pickups and RS66 strings that I like to use to drive an early GK 400RB when I want to get rowdy. :thumbsup:
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  7. Seth DuSith

    Seth DuSith

    Jan 21, 2023
    I really like the punchy sound of my Jackson JS2 Spectra bass with its precision bass style pick up engaged, but I can't beat my Cort Action V 5 with its active pre amp. It's easy to get clarity with that additional treble boost
  8. LiptonJigglers


    Oct 21, 2022
    Maton JB4 reissue with DiMarzio PJ pickups.
    More growl than a constipated tiger with a tooth ache... then add the distortion..... who Nelly!!
    smo likes this.
  9. Seth DuSith

    Seth DuSith

    Jan 21, 2023
    Man I been considering getting those exact pick up's. People, especially in modern metal, really under estimate how much growl a precision style pick up has with overdrive
    jamro217 likes this.
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    All of them. Not even joking. As long as I can cut the treble higher than 5k and sometimes lower, I think they all have certain cool vibes with dirt.
  11. Wood and Wire

    Wood and Wire

    Jul 15, 2017
    Funnily enough, the humble Fender Precision has been used to great effect, on thousands of recordings requiring a distorted / overdriven bass tone.

    Likewise the Fender Jazz.

    Rickenbacker 4001 as well.

    Gibson Grabber G3 / Gibson Ripper sound great overdriven.

    StingRays can be a bit of a headache, but if you want something really brutal, and crystal clear distortion, they can be just the ticket.
  12. I think a Ric 4001 or 4003 would shine in that application. Bright enough for definition yet growly enough to sound mean. The dual pickup configuration allows you to dial in just enough bark or growl. That isn't even mentioning the secret weapon of stereo capability. Remember, the whole rig is part of the equation. The bass is a large part, but how you set the amp and which type of amp is used along with the type of strings and whether or not you use a pick (or a plectrum, to our UK friends :thumbsup:) and which kind. The overall sound is a result of all of those factors combined in the correct ratio.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2023
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  13. Stylee Mousse

    Stylee Mousse

    Jan 12, 2023
    G&L L-1000 passive bass with active level output. Drives things in a special way that can be very good or quite horrible
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  14. My double split coil.
  15. Smurf-o-Deth

    Smurf-o-Deth Nothing to fret over. Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2007
    The state of denial.
    Some sort of P, for sure.
    _Obra_ and Datsgor like this.
  16. Dependes on the type of overdrive you want. Subjectively speaking;
    • For a woolly, mid-heavy, Vintage Microtubes kind of vibe; I'd pick a bass with a good front pick up; such as a P bass. Alder + rosewood comes to mind.
    • For an articulate, sharp, B7K kind of vibe; I'd pick a bass with a good back pick up and fresh round wound strings; such as a J bass. Ash + maple comes to mind.
    booch29 and Levent like this.
  17. PhR75


    Oct 20, 2021
    '68-'72 Telecaster with a single coil P-pickup. Or similar.
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  18. rufus.K


    Oct 18, 2015
    No favourite.
    I mean, mudbucker w/tube amp given you Jack Bruce, Rickenbacker w/ Marshall is Motorhead. RIC fuzz tones ala Chris Squier are another. I LOVE THE jazz with a Traynor for that Jesus Lizard thing.
    xJasonSmithx, BOOG and Bruiser Stone like this.
  19. 58kites

    58kites Save a life....adopt a Pitbull Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2014
    Austin Texas
    A good old Thunderbird pickup, or the new Epiphone ProBucker 760 pickups in their Thunderbird and Embassy basses.
  20. Michael Stanley 2112

    Michael Stanley 2112 Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2020
    This is a bit of an "open" question, but I think I might have a general turd to throw into the punch bowl:

    I only use my passive basses for OD. I haven't been able to find an active bass whose over-driven sound is sweet to my ear.

    So, for a slightly more specific answer: my P-bass and my Epiphones (P-Bass and Jazz Bass clones)
    Hank Scorpio likes this.