Your Tone

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bachlover, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. After reading through the Precision/Jazz thread recently posted, I was surprised to find that most players who own both's go to sound lies in the P. I just bought one, put flats on it for that classic tone, and found, after years of J playing, that the predominantly low end sound is taking some getting used to. I'm interested to hear how other basser's tone have morphed over time. I started out with no treble, everyone used flats then, and the predominant bass sound was bass. To be honest, at that time I was far less confident in my playing, and found I could hide better in those low frequency reeds. :bag: After picking it up again in '96 I found that rounds were the string du jour, and that bassers were finding a more distinctive, personal tone. I found mine by turning the bridge pup up full (before only the neck) as well as the treble (before it was off). Amp pretty much 12:00 for bass/treble tones, midrange past that. What's your tonal history?
  2. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    For the record, I think a lot of people are like me in feeling like a J sounds better when playing alone, but a P sounds better in a band mix. That is why I would consider a P tone my go to tone over a J tone.
  3. Since I'm pretty new with bass compared to others here, and have a limited amount of basses, I do have specific tones I prefer.

    I keep my basses around 80% Neck 20% Bridge pickup blend.

    I tend to fingerpluck between the neck and neck-pickup for a more mid-range sound. I move my hand near the bridge whenever I want a more defined treble sound depending on each song. I rarely mess with the knobs. I also have a tendency for muting strings with my left-hand like Rocco Prestia for that more percussive funk sound.

    I prefer my 4-string for slap and whenever I use a pick, as the strings (which I don't remember what they are) have more snap to them since they're lighter than my 5-string.

    I just got a 6-string Fretless, and today plan on restringing new flatwound strings to keep a mellow sound.

    I prefer relying on technique for different tones, and keep the bass and amp settings constant close to flat, only slight increases when needed. The songs really dictate what I should do. Unfortunately, the rehearsal space for my band is small so it's difficult to really figure out the most optimal settings to cut through the mix.
  4. simenandreas


    Jan 23, 2011
    I have always been a jazz guy.. That tight punch you get from the bridge pickup combined with the neck in killer! But the p sounds great with a pick and/or playing up high. Like from the A-string and above
  5. ChopperDave

    ChopperDave Hai-ohhhhhhh!

    Nov 14, 2012
    Boston, MA
    I've played Js the vast majority of my "career," though I've toyed with the P some, especially lately. I just haven't played one that I like as much as my J. (Exceptions: a 1975 model and the newer hand-stained series ... wow).

    As for my tonal history, I used to use both pups full-blast and scoop the hell out of the mids--my amp had an 11-band EQ, and it was pretty much a smiley face. My guitarist used a Les Paul into a Big Muff Pi. So, we were apparently anti-mid-range back in the day.

    Now I scoop some of my high-mids and keep in a good bunch of lo-mids. My 700RB-ii amp settings are:

    Contour: off
    Presence: 9:00
    High: 1:00
    Hi-Mid: 11:00
    Lo-Mid: 2:30
    Low: 1:00-1:30
    Boost: 9:00

    Pre- and Post-EQ volumes are about the same.

    The main difference between me and probably most J players with that same setup, though, is that 100% of the time I solo my neck pup. I don't even really need a bridge pup (though a J would look really weird without it, no?). I have no trouble standing right in the sweet bassy part of a mix. If I want some tonal variety, more bite or sparkle or whatever, I've got it one knob away.
  6. sotua


    Sep 20, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    I think I've moved from full jazz to series-jazz (e.g. S1 switch engaged).