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what is it that i want/need?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lucathakid, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. lucathakid


    Apr 2, 2012
    so i have a yamaha rbx 250 and im looking to upgrade my sound in some way. the bass by itself, you can only basically get two sounds out of it. tone all the way left yo get the warm extra bassy tone. tone all the way right and you get the brighter tone. cant really get a nice pop or crunch with the tone al lthe way up and im looking to upgrade this setup slightly just to keep things interesting and fun while i am learning the bass. i was thinking of either upgrading the pickups to some active p bass style emg pickups, or picking up some kind of pedal that will boost or drive that passive signal, something like the mxr m80 or an eq pedal or something. i'm using a cheap acoustic b100, 100 watt amp.any suggestions or comments would very much appreciated. even if its just to point out that im a noob and steer me in the right direction itll go a long way. thanks! :bassist:
  2. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
  3. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    IMHO I wouldn't put money into that instrument in the form of a different preamp or pickups. Those things will change the sound of the instrument, but probably not with the stellar results you'd find satisfactory. If you'd like to "keep it interesting" while you learn bass, I do think a pedal is the way to go, but I'd suggest something like a multi pedal such as the Zoom B2. Lots of very useful sounds, more of a learning tool than a single tone pedal, and will go a long way to keeping it interesting. :bassist:
  4. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    Pop and crunch are not words I associate with my bass tone.
  5. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    I can't comment on pedals. I have ZERO experience with them. However, I've had interesting experiences trying different strings. I started off with flats, then worked my way through different roundwounds, eventually settling on Ernie Ball Cobalts. Now I'm not about to start gushing about them (which I often do!). There's a "bigger picture" lesson I learned;

    I had a very nice Squier Standard Jazz which, despite putting in a Quarter Pounder pickup, was under-performing. It sounded very weak. So weak that I was considering selling it off. But before I did that, I wanted to try something out. I switched out the light flats I'd initially put on for a set of the aforementioned Cobalts. The difference was astonishing! It was an excellent illustration of how much sound relies on strings, or to quote Jonas Hellborg, "Sound starts at the string. What the string can produce the amplifier and speaker can reproduce."
  6. what is your current amp situation?
  7. very helpful.

    a LOT of people love that sansamp bass driver. Leland Sklar used one on this song http://youtu.be/eT0G4-w2ego?t=24m23s
  8. punkjazzben


    Jun 26, 2008
    Can you find an example, on YouTube or elsewhere, of the kind of sound you might be aiming for?
  9. Everything Slowgypsy said. A multi-effect is probably the best way to go given where you're currently at. The newer Zoom B3 has been getting pretty good reviews, and is about the same price (new) as a Sansamp Bass Driver. I'm pretty set with effects (currently have two boards AND stuff on the shelf) and I've even thought about getting one.

    Plus, it's got a Bass Driver model. ;)

  10. willop


    Feb 7, 2013
    beaver, pa
    digitech bp355

    It can give you a very wide range of sounds, you get a wah/effects pedal and a couple of other pedals so you can change sounds on the fly. You can customize all over the place and save them.

    Strings make a difference but I"m not noticing a ton of difference...went from whatever came on my ibanez gsr200 to fender flats - love the strings, but as for difference..I can get more difference playing with the amp than I got with new/different strings.

    That being said, I have a yamaha RBX375 and it's got an active eq and i very much change the sounds it makes compared to the all-passive basic electronics on the ibanez. I put rotosounds jazz on it and I do like them, but compared to the mixed bag of used strings that came on it...again, my amp/pedal can make changes way beyond what a change of strings has done.
  11. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA

    The RBX250 is a hundred dollar bass. I wouldn't drop a dime into it.
  12. lucathakid


    Apr 2, 2012
    It's a 150 dollar bass. And it's what I have. So...
  13. lucathakid


    Apr 2, 2012
    I don't have any specific song or exact tone that I'm trying to reproduce. I just like a lot of different types of music and the songs I'm learning the bass sounds different in pretty much all of them. I learned a couple bass lines from nas and mf doom songs that I was able to reproduce easy enough. It's the harder rock songs . Misfits rage against against the machine Marilyn Manson stuff that I'm learning that I'm like that sounds no where near as badass as it does on that record. I mean I'm just learning and I know it's more important to practice fundamental stuff than worrying about sounding like a record but just experimenting and having fun ya know.
  14. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Then perhaps it's too soon to worry about upgrading your "sound". That's not to say you should rule out getting a different bass. (note, I say "different", not "better") Maybe what you should be focusing the "feel" of your instrument. If it's comfortable to learn on, stick with it. But there's nothing wrong with going to as many music stores you can and trying out virtually everything┬ůand bring a note pad so you can keep a running tally on what you like, don't like and why. Find what feels best in your hands. If it's not a comfortable fit, wouldn't that impact your willingness to pick it up and practice?

    This also goes back to my "string theory". :bag: Another reason I've tried out so many strings is to strike a balance between "sound" and "feel". I've tried several good-to-great sounding strings, but they ended up feeling too stiff for my comfort, even after weeks of breaking in. It's why I like the ones I like so much. They feel great AND have the sound I dig.

    And don't worry about what the professionals sound like. These pros are often surrounded by untold dollars worth of sound and recording equipment. (just look at any behind-the-scenes doc on the making of an album) That's not to say "don't learn what they're doing". But perhaps, with time, experience and a gazillion hours of practice, you'll find a sound that's all your own.
  15. punkjazzben


    Jun 26, 2008
    The RBX is fine. Yamaha makes top-notch basses at all price points. I've been playing for thirteen years and my RBX270J is still one if my main basses.

    If you're just looking to experiment, see the different ways you can beef up your tone, play around with some overdrive, and mess with some different effects, your best option is probably a multieffects unit.

    I have the Zoom B2, which has a whole heap of patches and effects you can string together. It has amp simulators, too. Great little unit, but be ready to read the operating manual, otherwise you won't get the most out of it, IMO.

    If you think it's just a bit of dirt or overdrive you want, you can't go wrong with the Behringer BDI21. It sounds like a SansAmp at a tiny fraction of the cost. I picked one up for $30 new through an eBay store.
  16. ajcxnejx


    Mar 12, 2013
    Those things will change the sound of the instrument, but probably not with the stellar results you'd find satisfactory.[​IMG]
  17. jefkritz


    Oct 20, 2007
    iowa city, IA
    something to experiment with if you're looking for a variety of tones:

    you can change the tone of your bass with your fingers! for free! try plucking close to the bridge. try plucking hard, and plucking soft. in addition to the volume difference, there's a tonal difference. similarly, try the same thing plucking over the pickup, or over the fingerboard. every combination of location and intensity will give a different sound / feel.

    WHERE you pluck has a huge impact on your sound, as does HOW you pluck. these can sometimes be bigger and more noticeable than the difference between basses.

    oh, and i should also mention using your fingers vs using your thumb vs slapping vs picking all give different tones. and the location / intensity variations apply to all of them. you have so many options, literally at your fingertips!
  18. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    I'm not ragging on your bass. For that price point it's perfectly fine. But changing the pickups definitely won't get you sounding like Jerry Only. Buy an effects box like the examples listed above. It'll get you closer to where you want to be, tone wise, and you'll have something to use when you upgrade from that Yamaha.
  19. jefkritz


    Oct 20, 2007
    iowa city, IA
    also, good advice so far about strings and multi-effects. totally agree. just thought i should point out the free options that will make you a better player. (okay, a pick will cost you about 50 cents if you don't already have one :))

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