What am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Don Sibley, Feb 28, 2010.


  1. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley

    Jun 27, 2005
    Fort Worth, TX
    I recently got a gig with a "Top 40" band (everything from Sinatra to James Brown). So, I decided to build a P/J Frankenbass that would cover the tone on as many of those styles as possible.

    Somehow, I feel like I'm not getting what I am looking for tonewise. I made this slideshow with samples of different tone/pickup/string combinations:



    Here are the specs on the recording:

    Fender MIM P/J Alder Body
    Warmoth Maple/Maple Neck
    Seymour Duncan SPB-1 P pup
    Fender Noiseless J-pup
    Gotoh 201
    Tonestyler Tone Control
    Genz Benz 6.0
    Acme Low B-2 cab

    Any thoughts, opinions or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Oh, and I'm mostly an upright player, so sorry about the crappy playing. Just needed tone samples.
     
  2. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    THE MADDEST SCIENTIST
    What did you want from it that you aren't getting?
     
  3. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley

    Jun 27, 2005
    Fort Worth, TX
    I guess it just sounds kind of tight and not as warm as I would like. What do you think of the tone?
     
  4. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    THE MADDEST SCIENTIST
    I didn't think it was bad. I'm listening again now with good quality headphones.

    There isn't a whole lot of coloring in the tone in some of the recordings. I always hated my old Kustom rig for being too clean and hi-fi and making all of my basses sound crappy (to my ears.) They'd kick butt in a mix though. Is that what you mean by tight?

    When I think warm, I think of SVT+810. All the tones you have recorded could've come through my rig if I tweaked it. (SVT-II into 810E)

    PS- how's it sound in the mix? I've sold basses that were beautiful in a band setting but ugly on their own because I couldn't stand their solo tones.
     
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    How did you record it? I'm not hearing much bottom ... it sounds pretty thin. You may want to add a 3-band active EQ for versatility.
     
  6. ColonelZulu

    ColonelZulu Not Impressed By Those Who Flaunt “Authority” Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Pennsylvania
    Sounds maaaaayybe a little hollow, but it would fit nicely in a live mix. Have you auditioned any other amps/speakers?
     
  7. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley

    Jun 27, 2005
    Fort Worth, TX
    I'm using the Tone Styler tone control for now so no tone pot or cap. All of my tone controls on the GB 6.0 are flat. I could roll in some bottom. Might help.

    I'm taking it up to Guitar Center today to A/B it with some Fender stuff. Maybe I've just been listening to it so critically that I can't be objective anymore.
     
  8. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley

    Jun 27, 2005
    Fort Worth, TX
    I used an Edirol digital recorder (mp3 44.1/193kbs). I'm pretty sure I was peaking the mic on the J pup setting.
     
  9. Your bass sounds very good, very vintage. don't forget that when people think about vintage fat and warm tone, it's a combination of a good bass (which you have) and a tube amp, that colors the tone and give it all its fatness.

    You are playing through a very clean non-coloring amp, it is why you find your tone dry. Maybe try a VT pedal, or go to a music store and try your bass through an SVT-type setup and see if it does anything for you.

    I'm pretty sure it's the bass/amp combination, I play P-basses and I am after a fat and warm tone, my amp is an SVT and I am getting what I want out of it. Everytime I played through a cleaner amp, like a Genz-benz, a mesa or an SWR I noticed that dryness you are talking about, it doesn't sound bad, its just different, as far as personnal taste go though these types of amps are not my cup of tea.
     
  10. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley

    Jun 27, 2005
    Fort Worth, TX
    I think you might be on to something. Can you think of any vintage sounding heads that don't weigh 30 lbs?
     
  11. Yes, but they weight more like 90lbs... ;)

    I didn't try it but heard that the VT-bass pedal does wonders for that, maybe someone else can chime in?
     
  12. ggunn

    ggunn

    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    30 lbs? My SVT head weighs nearly a hundred. That's why it doesn't leave the studio any more.
     
  13. That is my impression too, but I bet it would sit great in a live mix.

    The P and J sounds sound "correct".

    For the type of stuff in the clip, a "normal" passive tone control might get closer to a vintage sound. Maybe you could add a switch to pick either the tonestyler or a standard tone control circuit?
     
  14. kcole4001

    kcole4001

    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    To me, too clean, not warm enough.

    Maybe add some low end, maybe drop the high mids a touch, and experiment with cranking the amp preamp a little.

    I think that if I had tried boosting my preamp earlier I wouldn't have had to keep searching for the right amp for so long.
    Your rig and bass should be plenty versatile, they just need a little tweaking.
     
  15. boomtisk

    boomtisk

    Nov 24, 2009
    Germany
    I think it sounds great too, with lots of sparkle in the highs which will definitely help you be heard live. If you don't want that much brightness, have you considered using less bright strings?

    Whoops, looks like you switched to flats for the second half of the video -- I take it they're still too bright-sounding for you?
     
  16. bryantandrew

    bryantandrew

    Dec 17, 2008
    The VT bass pedal would be a great solution for adding more warmth. Almost everyone who has one here uses it all the time, as one of those "never off" effects.

    It just has the unfortunate downside of making everything seem a little thinner when you're used to it, and it's off. :p
     
  17. ugly_bassplayer

    ugly_bassplayer

    Jan 21, 2009
    Québec
    I just love the way people critique tone & freqs from a youtube clip.
    Low end , on a youtube clip, yeah right.

    :eyebrow:
     
  18. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    HEY! I've got 2-inch speakers with a 3-inch sub. If the bass is there, I'm going to hear it.
     
  19. ugly_bassplayer

    ugly_bassplayer

    Jan 21, 2009
    Québec
    Sounds like a killer set up you have going.
     
  20. you need either of these:
    line6 variax bass
    or, stop worrying about it so much for you will be burried in the mix anyway :bag: :p
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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