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what makes the sound?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by steriogenesis, Feb 16, 2003.

  1. Neck

    17 vote(s)
  2. Fretboard Material

    14 vote(s)
  3. Body Wood

    31 vote(s)
  4. Pickups/Electronics

    71 vote(s)
  5. Bridge

    9 vote(s)
  6. Tuners

    7 vote(s)
  7. Strings

    29 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Out of all the above choices, what do you feel makes the biggest difference in the sound of a bass guitar?
  2. BassWizard55

    BassWizard55 Guest

    Dec 21, 2002
    Rome, Ga
    The biggest factor is the cord....definately.


    j/k, I don't know what I'm talking about.
  3. miccheck1516

    miccheck1516 Guest

    Feb 15, 2003
    my friend has all the top gear, but sorry bro, hes sh1t, honestly i believe it is the player, the instrument dosent make noise without a player
  4. pmkelly

    pmkelly Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    pretty much what I was thinking!

  5. old_skool


    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI

    You could get a Mod to change the poll.
  6. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I wanted to vote for "player".
  7. Sound is sound, musicianship is musicianship.

    We can be all 'meaningful', but give Les Claypool a rogue and see if he can get anything but awesome technique out of it. You can't play crap, Im sorry.

    If your talent is all that matters than why doesnt he play a rogue?

    Why didnt coltrane play a Selmer Bundy?

    Why doesnt Steven Tyler sing into a cheap sony microphone?

    I apologize but your equipment does matter too...
  8. pmkelly

    pmkelly Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    true.... but you asked what makes the "biggest difference in the sound of a bass guitar..."

  9. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    He doesn't play a Rogue because he can afford better. Something easier to play with an overall better quality.

    Now, I sound about the same regardless of the gear I use, so I'm pretty sure ClayPool would play on a Rogue without a problem.

    Regarding your initial question, there is no answer. Each part plays its small role in the final result, and each is important.
  10. True, but when I said 'Bass Guitar' I meant exactly that....bass guitar.

    Lets look at it this way....Take the same person and make him play the same bass but with different pickups one time, a different neck the other, then a different bridge...so on....blah, blah...

    Which item do you think makes the biggest tonal difference.....
  11. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    None to me.
    I'd say sound comes 1/3 from the strings, 1/3 from the electronics and 1/3 from everything else.
    I hardly see how anyone could go further than that.

    There is some kind of alchemy in instruments. Changing a little parameter can ruin the whole balance of it.
    Best example is Danelectro basses.
    Taken separately, elements are all kinda crappy.
    Put them together and you get a great instrument.
    Change a part on a Danelectro (put a better bridge for example) and the thing doesn't sound good anymore.anymore.
  12. I wasn't looking for the obvious answer...

    He could play on a Rogue without a problem...yeah...but it would sound like crap. Thats the point...Do you think people would listen to him (even if hes awesome) if his bass kept on going on of tune and sounding horrible...Nah.

    If his 'good' bass cost 100 do you think he would go and buy a 2000 rogue because it cost more? Hes not an idiot.
  13. Aenema


    Apr 18, 2001
    its the combination. not just one ingredient. the player definitely makes a difference. if your a noob with an 8x10 and 800 watt amp and warwick ss 2 your not gonna sound that good...
  14. But the player had nothing to do with this from the beginning, thats why we're in basses forum.

    The need for playing ability is a given.
  15. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    It's everything, put flats on a high-tech bass and you may not like the sound.
    Put those same strings on a vintage P-bass and it sings.
    Pleople try to get the sound thats in there head.
    One persons apple, is another persons orange.
  16. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    My 2¢ after 27 years or so:

    --Construction type (neck-thru, bolt-on, etc)
    --Materials (wood types/composites), of which body wood is predominant.
    --Brass control knobs increase sustain.

    (Just kidding about the last one. :D Substitute "string type: flat, round, etc" instead)

    Tuners and bridge make little if any difference IME. Same with fretboard on a fretted bass.
  17. What shoes you wear..

    Followed by:

    1st: Strings (how old or dirty they are, and what are they made of, more than brand).
    Electronics (PUps + Preamp, etc)
    Woods + construction.
    3: nut, bridge, tuners, and other not so important factors.

    That's my opinion on what affects the sound, not including hande technique and amplification.
  18. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    It's the whole enchilada. Changing one thing changes everything.
  19. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    this is an easy one and the most over looked!

    CABINET :bassist:

    never heard a bass on stage with out a cabinet :D and all brands sound different.

    But honestly out of your choices I think the pickups have the biggest affect on the tone of the instrument. Woods, the player, and all have an effect, but the first thing you will hear (with that CABINET :) is the difference in pickups. Then comes the neck, fretboard and body wood.

    Understand when talking about body's, neck-through and BO react totally different. The Neck on a neck-through has more to do with the tone then the wings verse a BO, which the neck and body both play major roles.

  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - the answer to this question as phrased, is obviously the player - so I have heard different people playing the same bass and they have made it sound very different.

    I have also heard one person get their own "sound" on several different basses - cheap and not so cheap!

    But if we are talking about just the bass them my answer is also not covered by the poll - as usual :rolleyes: - so I would say : overall quality of construction.