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Whats your Jazz bass Volume/Tone settings?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by wyleeboxer, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. wyleeboxer

    wyleeboxer Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Orange County, CA
    I'm sure this gets debated all the time... but lately I’ve been trying to keep my amp (Nemesis) EQ's as flat as possible with a slight boost in bass and low mids when needed. I keep my Jazz bass neck volume rolled off about ¼ turn and bridge volume on full, and last night I started to roll off the tone any where from ¼ to ½ turn. I’m trying to get a funky tone that has a tight clean bass sound but still has enough highs that allow the high octaves notes to sing out as well! Trying to avoid a too honky or too dirty tone…

    So, what’s the common setting some of you use with your Jazz bass, and what do you avoid?
    Sound clips and EQ settings samples are vary welcomed! Thanks.
  2. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again?? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    I'm recording with my band currently and my Lull M5V has been seeing most of the work.


    Loaded with Barts (pups and 18V pre), I'm recording with the volume max (of course), the EQ set flat and the balance set at 60% neck pup / 40% bridge pup. Gives me a nice aggressive, throaty tone!!

    Have two songs up on the band's MyWaste page ( ;) ) that you can check out if you like... Just follow the link in my sig.. :bassist:
  3. Buskman


    Apr 13, 2007
    Jersey Shore, USA
    I use a few different settings on my Squier VM Jazz (strung with Chromes):

    For a more "P-ish" sound: neck volume 100%, bridge volume between 50-75%, tone 50%

    Jaco/Bernard Edwards-esque 'honk': neck volume 75%, bridge volume 100% (duh :smug:), tone between 50-100% depending on the song

    Slap (think 70's Larry Graham as opposed to Victor Wooten): neck & bridge vol %, tone between 75-100% depending on the song

    My Little Mark II's EQ is always set flat, too. :cool:
  4. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    I usually have everything dimed or I will roll the bridge volume off just a little bit, still having the neck and tone all the way up. This is on Fender Jazz basses
  5. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    All 3 on full, always.
  6. rutty24


    May 20, 2007
    i have everything up all the time. i roll one off slightly and it just don't sound right :cool:
  7. wyleeboxer

    wyleeboxer Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Orange County, CA
    Yeah Im curious about the whole "everything up 100%" thing? To me the sound never cuts through well enough, sounds great in lower volume settings, on its own, or for scooped slap etc... are guys bumpin' up the mids on your amps to be able to get out in front of the mix with this setting?
  8. I keep my both pickups on full 90% of the time (favoring the bridge pickup just a touch if I need a little more burp on occasion).

    The key to getting a jazz bass to sound like a jazz bass (IMO) is to play with a moderately hard touch relatively close to the bridge (between the bridge pickup and the bridge seems like the sweet spot). If you play up toward the neck, it will get a bit boomy and not very articulate, even if you favor the bridge pickup.

    In most cases, favoring the neck pickup will really suck the punch out of your tone. If you dig that type of sound, IMO a PBass will get you there with better mid articulation.

    Also, to all the above posting about 40% or 60% pickup volume cuts, etc. I've found that with standard volume/volume or blend controls (i.e., passive blend or vol/vol circuits), it's basically 100% on, 80/20 when cutting one of the volumes very slightly or moving the blend control just a touch, and then it quickly moves to 100/0% in the next 75% of the range of the volume or blend control.

    Are you guys really hearing the difference between, for example, the neck volume 20% cut versus 40% cut?
    Guiseppe likes this.
  9. NWB


    Apr 30, 2008
    Kirkland, WA
    I have an Ibanez SR with blend control and a Squier VM jazz that both respond pretty much as you described. Fender Jazz's seem similar too. I believe it may have something to do with taper-off rate of the pots.

    On my Lakland jazz, you can dial in subtle differences throughout the turning range. Maybe it has audio taper pots?

    Also, the Lakland does retain a fair amount of punch with a smallish neck pu bias. Maybe the Aero pu's?
  10. I think it has to do with pickup loading. It's a little over my head.

    And +1 to the DJ. That is such a punchy, mid aggressive version of a J (at least the original models with those gindy Aero's) that it's almost impossible to NOT make those wonderful J's punch, regardless of pickup blend.
  11. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    I am usually dissapointed with passive Jazz basses. But when I do play them I open it up all to 10 and roll off the bridge pickup to 6-8 range. That gives me a tone similar to a Rickenbacker. But my jazz now sports a j-retro preamp. I set the bass and treble flat and use the sweepable mid function to boost low mids. I set the balance either even or I go 60/40 favoring the neck pickup. The jazz bass also has a maple fretboard and sd 1/4 pounder pickups.

    I am currently building another jazz which will have a rosewood fretboard and an audere 4 band preamp.

    Both basses have 5 strings.
  12. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    The pickup mixing ability is why I use a Jazz 99% of the time when playing with my band using my rig (including pedal board).

    My basic setting is with the neck wide open and both the bridge pickup and tone rolled back just a touch.

    Rarely with both all the way on; kinda anemic sounding to me, but works for some old school R&B stuff.

    And favoring the bridge when using my pedals to comp some keyboard riffs ... pedals include a Voodoo Lab Micro Vibe, EBS Multicomp, EBS Octabass, and Roger Mayer VooDoo Bass OD/FUZZ.

    All of the above using only passive Jazz Basses ...

    When playing "barefoot" with no pedals it's either a 70s RI Jazz with Nordstrands or a 76 Jazz equipped with Dark Stars both with active Audere VVT pre-amps installed ... I rarely if ever favor the bridge pickup playing with no effects but do use the Hi-Z mode on the Audere to add some bright attack when needed.

    :smug: ... I find the full on neck and slightly rolled off bridge my usual setting for a Jazz in most instances
  13. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Both volumes at full, treble at 75%
  14. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    On my Fretless :

    Neck : 0% (In fact, I don't even have a pickup in there anymore)

    Bridge : 100%

    Tone : 85-90%
  15. OXploiter


    Aug 1, 2006
    Neck: 100%
    Bridge: 100%
    Tone: 100%

    I alter my fingers between both pickups (or to neck) to achieve any differences in tone.
  16. i have a warmoth/squier fretless jazz bass.

    i never liked the tone of a jazz bass neck pickup, so i removed the pickup and covered it with a custom pickguard.
    (but i plan on having a P-J configuration when i order the warmoth body)

    i have the bridge pickup hooked up to a 500K volume and a bypassable 500K tone with a 0.047uF cap (i tried both 47 and 22, and i liked the 47 better)

    i keep the volume at 8, because the bass is too loud and bright at 10.
    when i want a brighter tone, i bypass the tone control.
    when i am looking for a mellower "Jaco-ish" tone, i set the tone knob at 7.

    i have really started to take a liking to playing my fretless direct rather than thru amp simulation.
    the tone comes out so much purer that way.
  17. wyleeboxer

    wyleeboxer Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Orange County, CA
    Certainly playing over the Bridge pup with a semi-hard touch is the best way to evoke a punchy burp Jaco tone, which is pretty much what I’m going after – the fretless muwahhh of course. I do try to cut the neck pup just to the point where all the over tones start to diminish which is different for every bass. Cutting the tone knob is bit new for me lately, but it seems to be helping me get to the tone I’m really looking for. Thanks for your input guys.

    Now what about your best amp settings that best accommodate this type bass setting? :eyebrow:
  18. Aragorn35016


    Jul 3, 2004
    Arab, Al.
    Im all over the place on mine, I never can settle and really I spend too much time messing around with the knobs, though I favor the neck PU because of the somewhat similar P tone. I guess Im more a P bass guy where tonal changes seem to happen more physically and with the single tone knob! Maybe Im a simpleton when it comes to tone, my fav amp that I have is my B15, and its pretty much volume treble and bass. I keep fighting the urge to trade my 62 reissue J for a 62 or 57 reissue P but keep telling myself I need it for versatility for some reason.
  19. BassMan250


    Jan 26, 2007
    Denver, CO
    All 3 knobs dimed, which used to give me problems cutting through in a live mix but once I switched to SS Lo-Riders and cranked up the mids on my amp I no longer had any problems.
  20. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    what was the question...Can't focus as I am absorbed in your avatar pic.

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