what effects the final tone more; Amp or bass?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by PunkerTrav, Dec 20, 2001.

  1. Bass

    15 vote(s)
  2. Amp

    14 vote(s)
  3. The same

    8 vote(s)
  1. PunkerTrav


    Jul 18, 2001
    Canada & USA
    I was just wonderibng what you all thought made the biggest difference on the finshed tone.

    I have a pretty cheap bass. Yamaha RBX260, and and even cheaper amp, crate BX-15.:( When I first got into bass, it sounded pretty good to me. My ear has developt, and i think it souunds pretty bad. I ran my bass through some other amps at school and I love the wab it sounds.

  2. Subjective question really.

    I tend to say the bass more'n the amp, but there are amps out there that, regardless of what you play, color the sound totally (Trace-Elliot or GK for example). But you can plug something into some "non/lower-coloration" amps, such as an Eden, and definitely hear the differences between basses.

    Nothing wrong with Yamaha basses at all (including their tone). Your Crate will be losing the tone that the bass can offer. IMO, you never hear the true tone of a bass through 15W of raw power. 50-100w at least.
  3. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
  4. ChenNuts44


    Nov 18, 2001
    Davenport, IA
    Both affect sound, but the amp is more likely to crapify the tone in your case. On Edens- they're awesome, but I was just thinking to myself that because they don't color the tone like other amps, they seem to have their own unique sound, so in a way, they're just another different tone color. Or I could be crazy... Just a thought. Later
  5. tdogg


    Jan 17, 2001
    Brooklyn Park, MN
    i'd say it's about 60% amp and 40% bass. with guitar i'd say about 90% amp and 10% guitar
  6. O.K. As for quality of tone, I'd say it's 75% amp. A really good amp can make a so-so bass sound a lot better than a so-so amp.


    As far as a signature type sound, I'd say it's 100% bass. Why? To me, a Musicman Stingray sounds like a Stingray no matter which amp you plug it into. Granted, it will sound a lot better through a great amp as oppossed to a crappy amp, but, you can still tell it's a Stingray, Jazz, Ric, et cetera.

    Mike J.

    Merry tone to all :D
  7. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    I can only speak for myself, but it'd be like this (for me):

    10% amp
    20% bass
    70% my hands
  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    It's the driver, not the car nor the road. I'm with McChildree.

    Surely, the instrument and the amplification let the player realize the sound in their head. But if the initial signal isn't there, the machines can't do much to help.

    I'll take a groove doctor with a Samick and a Crate over some stumblebum with an Alembic and a Glockenklang anyday.
  9. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    I agree with rickbass1 and mchildree - most of it comes from the player. After that, I'd say amp and then bass though.

    PBFACTOR Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2001
    Boise, ID
    all three effect overall sound. as i get older and get better equipment and more "feeling" and more "tone" out of myself it all comes together. i would say the "feeling" and "tone" you can get out of your body and mind would out weigh the others. it doesn't hurt to have an incredible amp(aguilar) and basses.
  11. Hey there, PBFACTOR. I just wanted to welcome you to Talkbass. There's an unofficial contest we have here to see which one of the existing members can be the first to welcome a newbie.

    You'll like it here.

    Mike J.
  12. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    i always sound like myself on whatever bass and whatever amp i play on...

    but i think in terms of my 100% for real warwick+swr tone...man it's hard. i think the IOD does a LOT...but warwicks are pretty distinctive.

    so maybe 50% me, 30% bass, 20% amp.

  13. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    I really agree with this.
    Of cause the player is even more important, but I think this was not the original question.
    If you want to know if you should rather buy a better bass or a better amp, you should definitely get a better amp first in your situation - 15W is simply too weak for bass.

    I also believe that the difference between a cheap and an expensive amp is far more audible than the difference between a cheap and an expensive bass.
    (think of 15W Crate vs. 400W Eden and 'no-name' Fender copy vs. Pedulla or something like that)

    Just my 2 cents,
  14. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Silly question.

    answer 1: the player - switch from fingerstyle to slap

    answer 2: the bass - switch from a fretless Jazz, bridge pickup, to a P, to a Stingray with the treble cranked

    answer 3: the amp - switch from a B15 to an SWR stack to a 10w Crate 8" practice amp

    To narrow it down at *all*, you have to start making some assumptions or narrowing the field.
  15. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    P.S. PunkerTrav - if you love the way your bass sounds through a different amp, don't you already have your answer? It's always possible that a different bass would sound "better" through your amp, but in this case that's doubtful. Then again, try it out!
  16. Freakapotamus9


    Jun 20, 2001
    ill have to agree with both.

    if you have your amp set flat your bass is going to be the main factor, if you set your bass flat ..... you get the picture.

    for me its pretty even 40% amp 30% bass 30% fingers.
  17. I've played my high quality basses into very mediocre amps and I've had others play their very mediocre basses into my high quality amplification. My experience tells me every time that if I had to spend more money on a bass or an amp that I would suggest the bass every time. All a high quality bass amp is supposed to do is bring out the qualities of your bass tone as well as amplifying it, not make a so/so bass sound like God. I would have to plug into a very cruddy amp for my bass tone to sound bad!
  18. Bass18

    Bass18 Guest

    Jul 21, 2001
    When I upgraded my amp rig to an Ampeg rig, I was expecting alot of quality tone. I was a bit disappointed. It made it sound better, but the stenchy tone of a bad bass was still evident. I realised it was because my bass was still a piece of crap (Ashton). Basically, if your bass sounds bad, a good amp isnt going to make it sound good, all it will do is 'colourise' a bad sound.
    I have had no experience plugging a good bass into a bad amp however.

    So that's why I am saving up for Fender to bring me the quality tone that I crave.
  19. I don't think that you can slap percents on it. Music is beyond numbers. Your senses will be the final judge on what is the most important to you. Personally I would rather have a good bass and not so good amp opposed to a bad bass and a good amp. I feel more confident and have a stronger groove on a better
    sounding/playing bass. If the bass doesn't feel right then the whole groove is murdered.