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Your experience: weight affect on tone

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by birminghambass, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    Hey TB. I've owned over 100 basses in the last 20 years, in that time I've learned a lot about what makes a bass great (for me) and crappy (again, IMO). One thing that intrigues me is the tone of lighter basses, sub 8.5 lbs to be specific. Every light bass I've owned or played was very resonant, lively, and had a significant reduction of the typical bolt-on dead spots. The few anchors (11lbs+) I've had were dead and soulless.
    Anyone else have these findings?
  2. GG7


    Mar 14, 2013
    Not so much tone, but sustain. A denser body will give you more sustain than a more porous body wood will.
  3. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    As I recall, I've had dead spots in both light basses and heavier basses, but the lightweight ones seemed more prone to pronounced dead spots.

    I like lighter basses to play when out, but I love my heavier basses to record with, they're sort of more "compressed" and even.
  4. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    Not so much the weight, but for me it's the sound when unplugged like you talk about. In my case, the more dead and soulless it sounds acoustically the better it sounds to me when plugged in.

    The best examples are my Carvins, especially the 6 string. They're neck-through with maple/walnut 5-piece necks; they're utterly dead dead dead, placky placky placky sounding unplugged. But of course, when you plug them in they sound absolutely fantastic. The 6 string in particular has a really hot attack and piano-like jazzy tone that's just gold to my ears.
    Being a 6 string, it also happens to weigh about 2.5 tons also.

    I've always found basses with a more lively sound acoustically to be harder to deal with when plugged in - eg. my L2K and especially my Rick 4003. They both have a definite acoustic sound to them, but plugged in I have to work with them a fair bit to get an even sound out of them.

    No idea why that is.

    One exception was a Rob Allen semi-acoustic that I played in NYC a couple years ago. It sounded really really nice through an amp....

    Go figure :).

  5. Steveaux

    Steveaux Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2008
    The Wilds of NW Pa.
    Yup. My lightweights usually have a more lively, burpy voice. The anchors are more even in response, with better sustain.

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