1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

what do i have to do to my highway 1 to make it sound like pino palladino?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by thesneakyjesus, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. i bought a highway one p bass while I was working at guitar center and now I want to modify it to sound as much like the pino palladino bass I can.

    Maybe a lindy fralin ( I live in richmond where he is located)
    orange drop?

    anything else?
    I'm sure you guys know so much more than I do really, so, what would you do to the electronics/pickup to make it sound great?

    Thanks dudes.

    also, the nut that came with the bass sucks. Should i buy a new one, get a luthier to make me one?

    I have a hunk of ebony lying around I was wondering if I could fashion a good nut out of it but have 0 expierence making a nut. Willing to try though =)
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Think about how much all of those upgrades will cost you. Then think about buying a P bass that doesn't need a crapload of upgrades.

    Pino sounds like Pino because of his incredible talent and skill. The rest is just a plain old bass. Even his Jaguars are, according to him, stock.
  3. +1
  4. well. okay. I get you. Practice. I'm a student of music.

    he is a studio musician. His bass tone really stands out as one I like.

    if you think that his stock P bass sounds great, then what upgrades could I do to get close to that?

    The reason I bought the bass is because I got it for about $400 when I was working for a music shop. It's a $900 bass.

    I figured I'd pick one up and could spend some $ on hooking it up. To me, it's just a slab of wood in a p bass shape with a LQ badass bridge on it and good tuners. That was worth $400 for me.

    I was just wondering really what a good stock 63 jazz bass had in it and what I could get today that is similar. I know that I've got hi beams on the bass now and that with a set of TI jazz flats it would sound much different. What gauge does he use?

    Does lindy fralin make a good replica pickup of the old 60s j basses?

    Where could I get a good replacement nut that could keep up with heavy gigging? Should I consider making myself one out of ebony?

    Are the pots in the bass any good?
    Should I think about replacing them with better compnenets? I know passive P basses have the most simple electronics in the world, so, why not splurge on some good parts?

    New pickup + new nut + new pots = more than $500? ... much more?

    I'm a little bummed with your response.
  5. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Sorry, but with players like Pino, it's more in the hands than in the gear.
    I'd bet dollars to donuts that he could pick up your bass and sound like, well, Pino.

    Practice is a bunch of it.
    But in terms of what you're looking for - there's probably a world of work you could do in EQ and amp that would get you a lot closer, first. The Highway One has, I think, pretty good pups in it. I'd work the EQ and amp parts of my chain next.
  6. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    You might try the Fender Original '62 pickup. I have one and it sounds great.
  7. jimc


    Sep 17, 2002
    New Carsmell, CA
    T.I. flats only come in one size. JF344 is the product no. They won't make you sound like Pino but they are different than any other strings I've tried so they may help.

    I have them on most of my basses and I'm a big admirer of Pino. They don't make me sound like him but they do make me sound better!
  8. Simon Langley

    Simon Langley

    Jun 19, 2007
    Chico, CA
    Nothing wrong with trying to duplicate the Pino sound. As a matter of fact I am going for the same type of sound, also using the Highway One Precision as my starting point. As I understand it from everything I've read he is trying to duplicate the Jamerson sound. The main difference is that he has a bigger budget and can do it with the real deal. For the rest of us we have to rely on a cheaper bass with s few upgrades to get as close as we can. That and a whole lot of study and practice. My recipe?

    *2007 Fender Highway One Precision bass upgrade with Badass II (I bought a Honey Blond one NOS cause they seem to not be a very popular color, probably due to the white pickguard)
    *Replace that funky looking white pickguard with a tortoise shell pickguard from Stewart McDonald (these are a direct fit replacement and even the screw holes line up)
    *Replace the Badass with a vintage style bridge (any brand will do)
    *Sell the Baddass II (these go on eBay for about $75.00 that can be used to help finance other mods)
    *Replace the OE pickup with a Nordstrand NP-4 (these are also a great 60's style pickup and from what I understand are more consistent sound-wise pickup to pickup than Fralins)
    *Use a Fralin instead (would be an excellent choice as well)
    *Sell the OE pickup (I got about $25 for mine which can also be used to finance more upgrades)
    *Precision Bass wiring harness from Bayou Audio Cables (You'll never get "that" sound with the stock Grease-Bucket tone circuit) ###
    *TI Jazz Flats strings (according to the Bass-Player article I read Pino uses heavy gauge LaBellas only on the bass he tunes down a whole step. Other than hat he uses the TI flats)
    *Even with all the extra money spent I am still a far cry from a vintage 60's Precision or even the Custom Shop Fender Pino model and I've got a bass that sounds darn close even if I don't

    ###Here is a direct quote from Butch at Bayou about the stock Mallory capacitor he uses verses the Orange Drop that is so popular.

    "The Mallory 150 is exactly the same internally as the Sprague orange
    drop. The only difference is that the orange drop has a waterproof
    coating, which makes them much larger. Hopefully you won't need that!
    The Mallory 150's cost me more than the orange drops. "
  9. Simon Langley

    Simon Langley

    Jun 19, 2007
    Chico, CA
    *I almost forgot to ask. What is wrong with the nut on yours? It must be really screwed up if you feel that your first time trying to make a nut would come out better.

    *I have done a lot of mods and repairs to my own basses but cutting a new nut is something that I would leave to a pro. It shouldn't cost much and would be worth getting it done right the first time.

    *Hopefully this and the above post are more of the type of response you were hoping for. Let me know if you have any other questions.
  10. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    The two Highway One P basses I played recently (the latest models) don't really need anything in the way of modification to sound great. The pickups are pretty good. If I decided to replace them though I'd go with Seymour Duncan Antiquities. Others will recommend other pickups like Nordstrand and Lindy Fralin. They're all good pickups. You might want to replace the tone control with a conventional one. Ater that, all the bass needs is good strings. Get the Thomastic JF 344. Fantastic sounding string. Last forever (8 years plus for me on my most played P bass)

    Don't make an ebony nut. If you can't work with the one already on your bass, get someone competent to install a better one and set the action up for you. Don't set the string height too low. You'll get a far better sound with a medium action. You'll adapt quickly to the slightly higher strings. Practice a lot. Work on getting your right hand in good shape.

    Try a very slight bit of foam muting under your strings right up against the bridge saddles. Don't stuff it in there like a pillow like Bob Babbitt does. It should just slightly touch the strings and only cut a bit of the high harmonics, not dull it to a thump. For live use after a year or so when the Thomastics are well broken in, I only use the mute when recording.

    Get as good a musical training as Pino and work on your time until it's impeccable. Don't play with mediocre musicians.
  11. Evan_S._Brown


    Jan 10, 2008
    First thing I reckon is change your strings,

    TI flats will change your tone dramatically.

    Second thing is to get rid of the grease bucket tone control.

    Worry about pick ups later,
    however I use a fralin in my Lakland, and it sounds heaps vintage to me.
  12. Fretlessboy


    Nov 29, 2007
    St Augustine Florida
    Endorsing artist GENZ BENZ/HERCULES STANDS/XSonics
    I remember an interview from the late 80's with Pino that went something like this. " I walked in to a studio in L.A. with my bass over my back and the engineer asked when my racks would arrive. I asked which racks was he refering to? He said the ones that get your sound. My answer was I play... you get my sound".
  13. Fretlessboy


    Nov 29, 2007
    St Augustine Florida
    Endorsing artist GENZ BENZ/HERCULES STANDS/XSonics
    The Fralins are terrific pickups. I have them in my pair of Lakland JO5's. I had a P bass with in and when I sold the bass I should have kept the Fralins. The Lakies are the first Jazz basses I could play without hand cramps and the Fralins sound amazing. They sound so good in fact I ampondering changing over my '65 precision from the EMG's that have been in it since 1984. The ultimate answer is the hands... your hands. I think if Pino played your bass as is he would still sound like him.
  14. thanks everyone!

    I'm going to go ahead and order the TI flats tonight. Good place to purchase them online? Most shops around I've been to don't carry them.

    I think i'll get a fralin prob. He's such a nice guy and I think he could give me just what I'm looking for.

    The nut is just very poorly cut on the A string. I've never had a bass with a problem until I bought this one and just wasn't 100% happy with the nut. It causes some obnoxious buzzing issues. I play a pitch past the 7th fret on the E string or the A string the half of the neck that is between the nut and my fretted not buzzes because the nut is cut too low. If I play a D on the G string and am fretting a B on the e string (a 10th bellow, preparing to do some sort of lick with a 10th) then the e string buzzes sympathetically in the same spot! It's ******.

    Anyways. I'm excited to try these things. I'll start with the flats, move on the the pup, then to the electronics if necissary.

    I have the honey blonde bass, and I love the finished, and don't really mind the pickguard too much.
  15. +1

    The sound comes from the fingers.
  16. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Certainly a lot of it does, but you can't tell me that Pino would sound the same playing a Ric with roundwound strings that he does playing a P with flats. Instrument and strings have a lot to do with the sound too.
  17. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    This probably doesn't have much to do with how to get the Pino sound from the OP's bass, but I see that Status Graphite has a Pino Paladino model bass on their website. Although the body shape is decidedly Fender like, the pickups aren't. I don't know of any recordings where he might have used this bass. Then there is the Fender Pino Paladino bass which is a P bass modeled after his favourite P bass. He may have recorded with this one but I don't know.
  18. richnota

    richnota Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2005
    Santa Cruz

    Consider the new wiring from Bayou....even before pickups. simplest thing in world to fix...nice improvement.
  19. fenderhutz

    fenderhutz Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Harpers Ferry WV
    Don't flame me.



    Pino could make a 280.00 Squier sound like Pino with zero mods. Keep that in mind.
  20. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Simple - FedEx it to Pino Palladino.

    (I agree with the others - it's Pino, not his equipment.)

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.