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what direction should I go? (anyone answer)

Discussion in 'Ask Mike Watt [Archived]' started by far-lessbass, Mar 30, 2002.

  1. far-lessbass


    Mar 30, 2002
    ok...here's the deal. I am in a heavy melodic rock band. Tone is the issue...mine needs work. I am currently using an Ibanez 590 series, with active p-and j-pickups, and a hartke 4 by 10, with the Hartke 3500 series head. I am going for a mid-range, gritty (not flabby), almost pick type tone. I want note distinction, but blending as well. I don't want to invest so much; my band jumps around alot, something that will travel well, and have the tone I want. Right now, I have tried everything, and seem to get too puncy a tone. Punchy is good, just not for our style of music. I played an American Deluxe p-bass, a Warwick Thumb, an MTD, and several others....the Fender coming the closest to producing what I want. I want a new guitar...not amp, but is the amp the problem with punchiness? anyone answer...as much feedback as possible please,
    joseph (far-less)
  2. Well, I have had the same setup as you (Hartke 4x10 and 3500 head) up until recently ( I added a 1x15) and I have the Low pass set at +3 and the high pass set at 0. I set the eq the same , basically, regardless of what bass I'm playing. I essentially boost the 64hz and the 2khz (kind of the sweet spot) just a smidge and cut the 250 hz, the 500hz (a lot here, right around the 2nd from the bottom), and the 5 khz. Everything else is at zero. It boils down to fiddling with the 2Khz and the 500hz, really, for me. You also are playing through speakers that are known for their punchiness. Maybe before you buy a different bass, try playing through a different 410 cabinet, still boosting the high mids and cutting the low mids, I think that might do the trick. Also you might try adding a 1x15 cabinet to your gear (not a Hartke), something with a paper cone for a little warmth - worked for me!!!
  3. Ack, so what I'm sayin' is I believe that 70% of your tone is gonna come from your fingers (or pick), 20% from your setup, and 10% from your bass itself. Just wanted to add that...
  4. far-lessbass


    Mar 30, 2002
    thanks a bunch Jason
  5. Marsh


    Mar 15, 2002
    Hayward, CA
    Try a bass with a pickup set near the bridge; a StingRay type bass, or a two-pickup bass like a Jazz Bass with the front pick up backed off... Then dig in over by the bridge pick up.

    Also, try any of the wonderful Sunn Amps or the Ampeg line of bass amplifier products. Their midranginess is voiced really well to begin with, and they have really great EQ sections...

    I mean, I could go on and on and on, but I won't...
  6. It sounds like the perfect bass for your needs would be a Rickenbacker 4003, but that would cost you 1.5 grand. Well worth it IMHO. Cliff Burton, Geddy Lee... Rick users and masters of the midrange blended bass sound.

    If you're thinking more of a 3-digit investment, I just bought a Standard Fender Jazz V (made in Mexico, regretably) which I play through my Hartke 2000 and Sunn 4x10. It sounds decent for now -- warm and growling. The Hartke isn't as efficient as I'd like, and I wind up overdriving the amp when I can't keep my guitarists in check (I play in a metal band). I'm planning to switch to an Eden preamp and biamping poweramps with my 4x10 and a bigger speaker... if I can just hit that damn lottery.

    In case you're interested, I run my Hartke at about a %50 solid state, %50 tube preamp ratio, my EQ is in a mildly sloping "V" shape, my low pass and high pass are at about 5, and I use slight compression. I don't notice an extravagant difference between the tube and solid state pre's... after all, it's a solid state amp. I just run them half and half to get enough volume to compete with my guitarist's Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier.

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