Which bass has this 60's thumby tone?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Cornelius Dawse, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. Hey, guys!

    So, I've been playing A LOT of guitar in the past few months, and the money I wanted to invest in a new bass and amp was invested in guitar and guitar accessories.
    Now with a satisfying guitar rig, I just realized how much of a traitor I was to the low-end, and this summer, I'd love to invest in a satisfying bass rig, upgrading from my anonymous little amp and from my Jay Turser precision!

    Now, the bass tones I love the most seem to come from the 60's. I'm thinking of Paul McCartney and his Hofner, and of Jack Bruce and his Gibson EB-3.

    So, obviously, I'm thinking of getting an Hofner Ignition, but I'm also looking at Epiphones, like the Viola, the EB-3 and the EB-0, even the Allen Woody one!

    I'm also thinking of Fenders such as the Musicmaster (if I can find one), something like a Mustang, perhaps?

    I'm aware that a lot of this tone comes from flatwounds, too!

    In short, any suggestions would be appreciated! :) Thanks!
  2. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    IMHO, the Mustang has a great dark sound, but why not just get a new amp first? You could throw some new strings on your P-bass, get it well set-up, and have a lot more thump if you have a substantial amp.
  3. Oh, I already know what amp to get, so that's far from being a problem!

    I just discovered that I don't like how P-basses look nor do I love the neck :/

    So, I'm willing to try something new! I think I particularily love the sound of basses with a shorter scale!
  4. Wellp? *Face full of anticipation*
  5. Can I allow myself to bump this thread? I'd love to hear what you guys have to say! :D
  6. Do you have some specific tracks you could post that you like the sound? There's a whole lot of 60s stuff out there! :)
  7. I'm really thinking of McCartney's tone in tracks such as Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds, y'know, a very deep, boomy sound that seems to be only obtained via a semi-hollow!

    I could go for a good inexpensive Beatle Bass, but I'm to scared that they wouln't be versatile enough...

    ...So, I'm asking for you guys' opinion regarding that matter!

    I feel like a short-scale bass could also have a sound I'd love, so I've also been thinking of a Fender Mustang, although they're a bit over my budget, which would be of between 400 and 600$!

    Of course, the purchase will only be this summer, but I love thinking ahead regarding that!
  8. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    IMHO, looks are of lesser importance, though one needs to feel inspired by one's instrument. What about the neck of your bass is bothering you?

    IMHO, of the short scale instruments, the Mustang is one of the better sounding. Honestly, most any good instrument can get that tone, especially if you have a good amp. Which one are you planning on?
  9. cabcreaser

    cabcreaser Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    I believe Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (as well as all of Revolver, Sgt Pepper, and Magical Mystery Tour) was recorded on a Rickenbacker 4001 with flats.
  10. I dont think he really used the hofner a lot in their later stuff. I think he even used a jazz bass on a couple of abbey road songs.

    I think a lot of it though especially the tracks you mentioned were on a rickenbacker (as was already mentioned) :p
  11. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Yep agreed LSD is the Ricky
  12. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Vintage prices are down you could find a nice 60's Gibson EBO for as low as $500 bucks. The Musicmaster is a nice little bass same for the Mustang. Epi EB3s are not bad for the price, there is even a limited number of short scale ones out there. The Allen woody is a nice bass in it's own right. A 60's EB3 would be cool but you can expect to pay at least $1,500, 70's versions can be had for much less at the moment. Hofners are very nice if your not spending big bucks on a German made one I would go with the CT they are excellent basses and very well built. 400-600 to spend I'd look for a 60's EBO, a 70's EB3(might be a bit more than 600 but you might find a deal) or a Hofner CT. Oh I just thought of this ! Gibsons worn finish SG bass can be had for your budget I got mine new for $525 with case. 2013SGbass001.
  13. booke23


    Jan 20, 2014
    United Kingdom
    On nearly all Beatles tracks recorded from 1966 onwards Paul Mccartney plays a Rickenbacker 4001 with flatwound strings.

    You can get a vintage tone with any bass if you put flats on it, but there is something very unique about the tone from a Rickenbacker with flats.......you can't really replicate that tone with any other bass.
  14. My suggestion, with flats. Lots cheaper than a Ric, too.
  15. Peacefrog35


    Dec 26, 2009
    True to a degree, but the ol Hofner popped back out a lot on the Let it Be Album and some of Abbey Road.
  16. Wow! I never actually expected so many replies! This forum brought me so many good surprises!

    So, first, allow me to thank very single one of you from the bottom of my heart!

    Jim: Apart from the looks (I do believe look has its importance, that's what attracts you to an instrument in the first place, and like you said, it also inspires you to play), I really, but really hate the big, chunky neck that it has. I love how it sounds, and I am probably gonna keep it for whenever I need the sound of a P-bass, and would also keep it with rounds. But I had fun with a few short-scales and a Jazz, and it made me realize how much I don't like my bass's neck. So, that's mostly it.

    Regarding the amp, I remember playing with an Ampeg Micro CL stack, and I really loved how it sounded. I'm not looking for anything louder than 100 watts, and ideally, an head and a cab, so this just seems to be the perfect one.

    It's also great to know that most of what I'm looking can be had with flats! And thank you very much for all these suggestions!

    I see a lot of Epiphone EB's for sale, and I think I know why : The EBO, while having a short scale thus eliminating the incomfort of the EB3, but it has only the neck pickup, so it might sound too muddy to most. The EB3 might have a better tone than the EB0, but the full-scale neck makes it a nightmare to play. That might be why I see them for sale all the time, but no Gibson! Also, they just released these Special ones that are around 800 new! Let's hope one pops up used this summer!

    I have another question, though. I'm still very interested in a Beatle Bass, because there's this sound that I love that seems to be coming from a semi-acoustic.

    Here's an example: http://vimeo.com/53520224

    What do you guys think? Could I still be satisfied with, let's say, an Epiphone Viola?
  17. AMAZING, because the tone from ''Come Together'' and ''I Want You (She's So Heavy)'' are both better examples of what I was looking for than LSD!

    Could that be an Hofner that I'm hearing?
  18. Steve61689


    Oct 24, 2012
    I am a beginner, and have never played with or in front of anyone, so take this for what it's worth, but I did some research on short-scale bases, and bought a used Gretsch 2202 online from Guitar Center for only $160. I put some D'Addario Nylon Tapewounds on it, and it sounds yummy to my inexperienced ears.

    Just throwing that out there if you are looking to go short-scale.
  19. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    Is this the band? Looks like a Hofner.

  20. offhand35

    offhand35 Supporting Member

    Jul 11, 2012
    Western Connecticut
    I had a Viola for a while, and wound up wishing that I still had it later. That was after two P-type basses , a Gibson SG Standard bass and two Epi EBO's! The Viola had LOTS of thump and 60's style low end especially when I balanced the pickups to give most of the weight to the neck pup. Playing with the volume controls for each pup to change the balance definitely changes its character for different music. The SG was"ok", but I did not like the way the pups in mine were difficult to balance the way I wanted. For the one EB0 that I still have and play out at church every week, I got the tone I wanted by installing a DiMarzio Number One pick up. The 2nd EB0 that I just traded off was great in original configuration, showing that I probably had a bad pickup in the 1st one.

    Back to the Viola, if you did not like the P-bass neck because it is too chunky, I wager that you will love a Viola neck! Very narrow, and short scale without looking like it is a short scale bass! It actually uses medium scale strings because of the tailpiece/bridge arrangement.