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What is Larry Grenadier's/ Drew Gress's Set Up?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Ryan Nilson, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. Ryan Nilson

    Ryan Nilson

    Feb 10, 2006
    Kansas City
    I think these guys produce the most amazing live sound I have ever heard. I have seen them both, but have not been able to assess their gear. What amps, cabs, and pick-ups do they use?
  2. I think you need to ask first what arms and hands they use and how they got to use them that way. IMHO I don't think electronics is anywhere near as significant and even if equipment were, I'd start with the bass and strings. What sound do they have in their heads that makes them play like they do? Arnold S has posted what strings LG hs changed to using - Anima G and I think it was then olives and then something else but he still sounds like Larry.

    It is interesting to know but the same combo might not work for you or make you sound anything like these two. It might not be suited to your bass either.

    They are good aren't they - i'm seeing Larry with Brad M and Jeff Ballard on Wed. Their London gig got 5 stars. I've seen Drew and he was awsome and I think his equipment then was something ordinary like a polytone and spirocores. You see, I do always have a look despite what I said :).
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Last time I saw and talked to Drew, maybe four years ago, he was playing Spirocores jacked way the hell up. His comment in regard to my comment (why the hell you do dat?) was that most guys aren't willing to work for the sound...
  4. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I would have to agree with Mike in regards to the bass, hands, ears and strings, being the most important factors in the sound equation. The last time I saw Drew Gress, he was using a pretty minimal amp setup. He had a Shure mic plugged into his Walter Woods.

    IMHO most of the really gifted players don't really spend a lot of time fussing with amplifiers, pickups, and cabs. They find some thing that works and stay with it. When you're on the road or playing in as many different venues as these guys do, simple is more practical. They let their basses do the talking.

    Now that's not saying that they don't keep their ears to the ground and check out the new stuff occassionaly, but it if they make a switch to something new it's gotta sound good, install simply, and be very reliable.

  5. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    All well and good and no disagreement, but does anyone have the answers to Ryan's questions?
  6. A long while ago (maybe 9 years) i talked to drew at a masterclass with Tim Berne. Drew was using Spirocores. I don't remember the pickup, but believe it was a piezo. His amp was really interesting: a red Walter Woods into a Bose 802 PA speaker (or something like that). The speaker was one that had a whole bunch of little speakers (maybe 4") set up in kind of an arc to radiate the sound in multiple directions. I asked him about it and he said "It kind of makes it sound like it's coming from everywhere." It was only a trio so it was quiet enough to hear him acoustically as well, but at the time it was one of the best amplified sounds I'd heard.
  7. I know Larry used to use a Schertler Dyna b (I think) attached to the top just south of the bridge going into an Ampeg amp. Recently, when I saw him at the Vanguard with Brad Melhdau he was using a mic about two feet in front of the bridge of his bass going into some type of self powered PA speaker. His strings were D'addario Orchestral E, A, D, with a Velvet G. Once again, this was the most recent show at the Vanguard around New Years.

    I don't know what Drew Gress uses.

    Hope this helps,
  8. flatback


    May 6, 2004
    I gotta agree with the hands thing. I saw Larry last spring and he had a FC going into a GK. It was still him though...in fact It was great to hear him with such presence (even thought the sound was a little pick upy)
    I bought my bass from larry (his old bass) about 5 years ago and I took some lessons too and he had very old Weichs on there with a velvet top string. I've heard him in a lot of contexts with a bunch of different gear and he always sounds like himself...Its also in the bass too though. I am so greatful to him for selling me this bass. It may be a scared old tyrolean but man does it have a sound. He really knows how to choose his instruments.
    Last time I saw DG he had that Shure mic stuck in the tail piece, and spiros. The sound didn't thrill me but his playing was wonderful.
  9. jazzbassnerd


    Aug 26, 2002
    I believe Drew Gress uses Spiro Orch. Gauge strings with a realist and a large condenser mic pointed in between the bridge feet. At least, that was what was on his bass 2 years ago at the Monterey Jazz Festival.

    I got to talk to him for a little in between sets with Uri Caine (ridiculous piano player if you don't know) about his set up, bass playing, politics, etc. He had the very top of a mic stand taped to his tailpiece and half the mic stuck out between his A and D string after lengths. His only compaint about that set up was that it took out the A and D afterlengths for any avant garde stuff, but it was what he had settled on. He put both the Realist and Mic through the walter woods. It sounded killing.

    Recently I also saw him with Ravi Coltrane in LA. He had a borrowed bass and it also sounded ridiculous. It was a realist going into the house amp (SWR black beauty). As said before, it sounded like he sounds.

    Also, for the bass question, I remember him saying that he kinda had an english body and a french neck? Maybe visa versa. I don't really remember. It was very old.

    Anyway. Hope that helped.
  10. Reuben

    Reuben Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    Drew doesn't use the Bose speakers anymore, BTW. For a couple years now he's been using an Eden when he brings his own stuff.

    I like that big instrument he has. About 12 years ago Drew's previous bass was stolen out of his car in NYC (he was only out of the car for a minute) and it was never heard from again. Never leave a bass in the car in NYC. Never.
  11. flatback


    May 6, 2004
    Yea I knew a cat once in LA left his bass in the car while he ran into a place on Hollywood BLVD. for less then 5 minutes. Gone. You'd think if you just looked up and down the block you'd see the culprit .
    Yo Reuben...I know Tara Flandreau from way back, are you from Marin?
  12. Reuben

    Reuben Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    Nope. I'm a New Yorker. I met Tara while she was in NY doing PhD work. Small world, huh?

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