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What effects for the "Yes" tone?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by punchybass, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. I'm trying to emulate the typical Chris Squire tone without getting too crazy. (i.e. Go buy a Rick)

    I currently own a 1980 Fender P bass, Roundwounds, Avatar 2x10 w/ an Ashdown Mag. The only effects I own are the Sansamp BDDI and an old Ibanez Digital Stereo Chorus.

    I feel like what I need is a good delay pedal. What are your suggestions? I've also attached a sound clip that depicts the tone I'm going nuts about!

    Thanks guys!! ;)

    Attached Files:

    • Yes.mp3
      File size:
      139.2 KB
  2. uly_


    Jul 4, 2005
    Speaking up only hearing this soundclip, don't know who the artist is.

    To me it sounds pretty simple, tone-wise. A good preamp (your sansamp should do the trick?), a pick and a distortion / overdrive with just a tad dist. / od.

    Can't really hear any delay on this clip, but that's just me :)

    Have you tried playing around with the drive knop on your sansamp to get this sound?
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I would say that there are two elements that go to make up the distinctive Yes bass sound :

    Chris Squire's phenomenal technique...
    & the Rickenbacker sound!

    I've never heard any other bass sound like that and effects will probably only hinder getting close - a P bass is never going to sound like a Rick no matter what effects you put it through!!

    There is a distinctive 'clank' that only Ricks get - as opposed to the P Bass "thud" !! ;)
  4. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    It also sounds like pretty fresh strings which have still got their zing. Also, I've got a vague recollection that Chris Squire sometimes used a bi-amp type setup (perhaps via the dual output on his Ric), which would allow him to get a gritty distortion at the same time as a deeper bass tone to anchor it down.

  5. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Sadly, like mentioned above, you pretty much need a Rick. What I do is play my Jazz Bass with a pick very aggresively near the bridge. Turn your neck pickup down a little bit, and then add some very trebly overdrive on it. I use my Vintage Guv'nor with the gain at about 1-2 o'clock and the treble cranked and bass cranked. Mids about 2 o'clock.
  6. bassisten


    Sep 15, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    Hi boys!

    I read, in a cover from Yes, that everybody tried to copy Chris' sound during the years but nobody could do it.

    Back then he actually threw his bass so much around that it broke, he had it sanded down and the luthier had to saw some of the body off to make it live again!

    So, now you've got a Rick with only 2/3 of the original body left! There's no doubt about the fact that this treatment would have altered the sound a lot.

    - Peter,
  7. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Can you explain a bit more? Whenever I see him, his bass always looks like it has the full body... :eyebrow:

  8. Rick and a pick.
  9. you could try stainless steel strings, but I must agree that a P-bass probably will never get that tone. You need a bridge PU. You could try a P-bass special.
    I can get a tone like that with my Ibanez roadster. Its a '79 and has the P/J config with active electronics. I can only get a Rick style tone with the bridge PU in active mode.
    I got this bass on ebay for $300. Look around and you may get lucky.
  10. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

  11. As strange as it may sound - the POD XT live has a pretty good approximation of Squire's sound as a patch. It's called "The Fish".
  12. The clip doesn't sound at all like CS's tone to me.

    CS lists his gear on his web site. Marshall head 4x12, SVT 2Pro 8x10. Rick bass. This will get you in the ball park I guess.
  13. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    You can get close with another bass by playing with EQ and such, but a Rick bass' sound has a lot to do with its mostly-maple, neck-through construction and where its pickups are located (which emphasize and de-emphasize certain harmonic overtones in each note.)
  14. Thanks for all your suggestions/opinions! As always, it's greatly appreciated! If anything, I might end up grabbing a Fender Jazz...Holiday season is coming! It's hard for me to part from the Fender family.

    Again, thanks guys!
  15. Prahainspring


    Oct 22, 2002
    New Jersey
    Slight hijack here: The Black Cat bass octave fuzz is essentially a Maestro Bass Brassmaster clone, correct? (if not, Inform me with which one). I really dig his tone from the early records (Yes to The Yes Album) and he said he used the Brassmaster a lot to get that tone. Has anyone had expirience as to whether the Black Cat truely does sound like the Brassmaster? I already have the Ric, the pick, and the fresh strings but I need that Squire fix!
  16. endlessbassic


    Dec 23, 2004
    You can't get around it: there's nothing comparable to a wound-up Marshall Super Lead through a slant 4x12 w/Celestions (and the Rick certainly helps!).. it's a wholly unique tone, and a huge factor in his sound. Those speakers are really articulate with a beautiful high end, but break up quickly due to the fact that they're rated at about 30w each (if i recall correctly). No effect i've heard will approximate that rig.
  17. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Just curious--anyone know what Chris used for tremolo on "Schindleria Praematurus" and "Starship Trooper"?
  18. endlessbassic


    Dec 23, 2004
    Pretty sure it was the trem on a Marshall Super Tremelo head.. sounds very similar, and i don't even know if anyone was making trem pedals back then.. but i'm sure somebody will correct me on that one!
  19. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    That's right - I recently bought a Bass PodXT and that was one of the patches that sold it to me. It's not quite the same as playing a Ric but then playing a genuine Ric through the wrong type of amp set up wouldn't give you the right tone either. It certainly helps me capture some of the Squire vibe with my Sei bass - I'm still a beginner with the unit but, so far, my core setting is a slightly adapted version of that 'Fish' patch.

  20. It has a planed-down body that is thinner than a production-line Rick, but it still has the standard body shape. Apparently he was into flower-power bands and had to get a tech to remove some groovy psychedelic wallpaper he had put on his bass. That's the story of how Chris Squire ended up with a smaller Rick that sounds pretty distinctive.