Bass Guitars

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jayen_aitch
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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by jayen_aitch » Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:19

Welcome to bass playing - I hope you enjoy it when you've sorted out the niggles you have.

If you swap out the strings you'll notice a difference, but I don't think it's the right difference. You can expect a twangy tone, which most people would suggest is too bright. This will fade after they have been played in, which to be honest won't take too long.

I'm probably unusual in that I've never had any fender kit.

What sort of amp are you playing through, are there settings for compression or EQ? Are there any pedals in use?

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by Final Loan » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:25

Anybody in the Sheffield area want a bass player? I'm at a loose end...
I may be ugly and hate-filled but... wait, what was the third thing you said?

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by James_B » Mon Mar 01, 2010 23:04

jayen_aitch wrote:Welcome to bass playing - I hope you enjoy it when you've sorted out the niggles you have.

If you swap out the strings you'll notice a difference, but I don't think it's the right difference. You can expect a twangy tone, which most people would suggest is too bright. This will fade after they have been played in, which to be honest won't take too long.

I'm probably unusual in that I've never had any fender kit.

What sort of amp are you playing through, are there settings for compression or EQ? Are there any pedals in use?
The amp is probably the problem... I don't have one. I've got an Orange guitar amp, which only has a 10" speaker so it's not bassy enough. So mostly I'm just playing it through my laptop with an amp sim thing in Logic.

Playing bass is definitely harder than I thought, now I feel quite bad for spending literally years mocking bassists I've played with (good naturedly, I'm sure.)

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by jayen_aitch » Tue Mar 02, 2010 01:17

Heh, I'm sure. Don't worry, we get mocked enough, so we end up thick-skinned (and that's not just the calluses on our fingertips).

As I said before, I'm not a Fender expert, but having seen your previoius post I definitely think you should look at amps rather than strings to address this issue.

I know, sorry, an amp is clearly going to cost more than a set of strings, but I'm not sure the strings will fix your woes, so that might just be money down the drain.

I guess, in terms of diagnostics, the question is - do you know anyone with a bass amp you could borrow or at least play through to see how that sounds? If you're anywhere near me (Hull) you're welcome to plug into mine - not that it's a paragon of everything a bass amp should be, but it's passable.

Or if there isn't anyone who can help out there, maybe take the Jaguar along to a music shop, tell them you're saving up for an amp and want to have a play around and see what's out there.

(Possibly after asking about your price-range and attempting the hard sell) I'm sure they will let you plug the jag into an amp or two, and you can see if you get better tone out of that than you have been doing. I reckon the results could be pleasing.

Also, I don't own a guitar amp - and if anyone thinks I am speaking rubbish here, please do correct me - but my understanding is that (at higher volumes at least) you may be in danger of damaging your guitar amp playing bass through it, as you'll be demanding things of it that it was just not designed for, which is probably worth bearing in mind.

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by Final Loan » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:27

My understanding is just that at higher volumes you'll fuck up your speakers cos they're not designed for those low notes... Otherwise the technology is pretty much the same, the only real difference is that bass amps tend to have more eq.
I may be ugly and hate-filled but... wait, what was the third thing you said?

Pockets Filled With Matches are no more, but we still have copies of our e.p. 'If Time Heals You' for sale, if you'd like one

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by James_B » Wed Mar 03, 2010 02:43

Yeah, I think I'll check out a few bass amps later in the week... any particular recommendations?

Even a few plectrums is almost out of my budget right now, so I won't be buying anything for a long while, but I can dream.

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by Final Loan » Wed Mar 03, 2010 14:17

I have an Ashdown Mag 300 Evo - the head and a cab. A lot of people seem to hate the Ashdown range but I've no idea why. It's beefy around the lower levels and tight at the higher, suits me down to the ground. They're also fairly reasonably priced at a semi-pro kinda level.
I may be ugly and hate-filled but... wait, what was the third thing you said?

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by moopind » Wed Mar 03, 2010 15:18

jayen_aitch wrote:If you're anywhere near me (Hull) you're welcome to plug into mine - not that it's a paragon of everything a bass amp should be, but it's passable.
There's definitely a railway joke in there, isn't there?
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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by jayen_aitch » Wed Mar 03, 2010 18:44

moopind wrote:There's definitely a railway joke in there, isn't there?
There simply must be.

In terms of amps...

I think ideally I would have a Markbass or an Ampeg SVT, although I have the money for neither of these, and certainly not the car-space for the latter.

The only amp I have actually ever owned is my Laney RBW300. It's combo rather than a separate head unit and cab.

It has a nice enough tone with my basses and I know it well, which helps.

At 160W It's clearly not powerful enough for stadium gigs, but it's fine for the venues we play. Also, if we play anywhere larger (that's larger than the venues we tend to play, not larger than a stadium. I don't expect to play anything larger than a stadium). it does feature a DI spot, so essentially that's where my sound is going to be coming from.

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by jayen_aitch » Sun Aug 19, 2012 19:46

So, it looks like this thread has been struggling, but I am excited about playing bass again, so I thought I would post something.

I think I am in a new band... I think... maybe... we'll see. We've had two practices so far and are currently writing songs at an alarming rate (in a good way). I am very happy about this. It is, of course, indiepop in sound. We even have someone interested in booking us for a gig in the autumn, which is surprising as no-one outside the 'band' has heard play us yet.

Obviously all this was exactly the push I needed to start playing more, and practicing at home.

I know this might sound like a bit of a wanky thing to want, but I asked Astrid nicely, and she bought me a pedalboard for a birthday gift. I like not having to set up my pedals every time I want to use them, and put them away again afterwards. Having them all set up already saves me about ten minutes each time I want to practice, and means an obstacle is removed, which is helpful.

Here's how it all looks at the moment.

As you can see I have picked up a Sansamp VT bass deluxe pedal (which is lovely) and a compression pedal (which I had been meaning to do for a while). I got these around the time that I was very briefly drafted in to help a friend's project do some recording before we moved. However, since then the pedals didn't get a lot of use as I was on a moving-country-related hiatus from being in bands, but now I am getting to know them a little better.

The pedalboard also features some room to grow. I might go for an EQ at some point, but I thought I would get used to what I have so far, first, then I can decide if this is needed. I popped the VT bass up on some pedal risers, as otherwise the DI spot on the side would have been blocked where I wanted to put it.

Anyway, that is quite enough bass pedal geekery for now I think.

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Mon Aug 20, 2012 13:02

I understand none of this. But I'm glad yr back in a band :-)
I am struck speechless by the nape of your neck.

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by jayen_aitch » Mon Aug 20, 2012 15:18

Thanks, I am hoping it turns out nice.

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by jayen_aitch » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:11

Paging Paul Mitten to this thread, if that's okay with you,

I just saw elsewhere that you said:
paulmitten wrote:Lief totally borrowed my bass cab, because we use the same cute mini Ampeg SVTs.
Iiiiiinteresting, but I didn't want to derail the other threat, because it's a great one too.

I was looking at one of these in a music shop the other week.

Basically I went in there hoping to play with a Markbass amp, which they unfortunately no longer stock, but the SVTMICRO caught my eye, paired with a 210AV... Is that what you are using?

How long have you had yours and what is it like?

How is it for umph? I currently have 165 watts through one ten inch speaker, so it's not that big a jump upwards in terms of power, but then again, it's more the tone I am into. (That said, I do have the svt modelling pedal mentioned above)

The shop, of course, were trying to convince me to spend three times my budget on stuff I do not need.

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by paulmitten » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:58

I actually use two 210AVs stacked on top of each other, and the SVT Micro head. Well, they're mine, but my band uses my amps. I think the sound of the Micro head is quite good. You have to know, though, that it won't put out full 200 watts until given a 4 ohm load, but the matching cab is 8 ohms, so it's more like 135 watts. When the stack is complete, though it's not the loudest setup in the world, it's very easy to hear since the drivers are closer to ear level and the coverage is excellent. The XLR out is usable as well but not a strong point or anything (overloads a bit easily). It's, at the end of the day, a $300 head.

With all that, I absolutely love the setup. I think the head has a way of just sounding good. It's hard to describe good bass tone, but you know it when you hear it. It's not that thumpy modern gritty sound. It's that classic 60s sound. I think the SVT-210AV cabinets are essential to it all. If you want that vintage Ampeg tone, you know, muted top end (no horn/HF), punchy mids, lows rolling off around 60 Hz, those cabs will definitely give it to you. You might know that the classic 810 fridge is actually internally four sets of 210s, and I think the 210AVs do a really good job of somehow capturing the fridge in a bite sized format, and they have the same frequency response. So when you consider that an SVT810 800W cabinet is $1249 and impossible to move, the SVT210-AVs 200W cab at $299 is actually more than worthwhile. The quality is pretty good too. It's really light birch ply. The tolex work is a little bit subpar (I've had to superglue it back on a couple of times), but I'll take it.

Also, it looks nice. The girls' side of the stage has two mini stacks and everyone remarks on how cute our amps are. We changed the Pathfinder 210 stack to an AC15C1 for a while but ended up back on the Pathfinder (tube isn't always better).

Image

However, you pay a lot for style and comfort. The setup as featured is $900 and you could easily get a Gallien-Krueger MB212 for that and probably have a lot more volume (500 watts) and that thing's probably just as easy to transport everywhere. But it's no cute mini stack.

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by jayen_aitch » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:24

Thanks very much for the information, certainly food for thought.

Basically, there are two ways I could go... Some sort of smaller ampeg (though the full on SVT is not an option, it's just too darn big, and I don't even have a car since we emigrated) or something very clean which has a fair amount of umph behind it, then I can plug my VT bass deluxe pedal straight into the return of the effect loop (which is why I was umming and ahhing over the markbass - small, clean, powerful)

The pedal also features a decent XLR out, so at venues which can, sending the bass straight from that to the sound desk is an option, at which point my amp becomes more of a bass monitor.

I'll have to look into that Gallien-Krueger you mentioned, and maybe see if there is a shop somewhere near me that stocks that, and the ampeg, so I can go along and try them out side by side.

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by paulmitten » Wed Nov 14, 2012 18:04

Speaking of Tech 21 pedals, I have the Oxford, as well as the Para Driver, and I have to say, there's something crazy awesome about playing a bass through an Oxford. Check out some clips online. They're great.

As for OP...
kingofpartick wrote:Whats your favourite Bass? Why do you play the Bass you have? Whats your dream Bass? What strings?
I have three basses. All are pretty heavily modified.


My first and favorite and forever love is my Squier Badtz Maru Bronco Bass:
Image

There's something about this bass I just really, really love. In my household where guitars rarely last two years, this one has made every cut. It's really the sound for me. It always sounds right. It's far from stock, though. It was sorta sucky when I got it so I stuck a spare Fender Lace Red Sensor I had at the time and that made it come to life (Bronco Basses, like Musicmaster Basses, take guitar-sized pickups). Then, I put on some Schaller M4 tuners to improve tuning, and then I decided to put on a Hipshot 4-saddle bridge. The upgrades probably cost 2.5x the bass did. But absolutely worth it. I use it on all kinds of recordings and if I were bassist in a band, it'd be the one I play.

I almost always use GHS Pressurewounds on this bass. They have this smooth yet bright sound that I love, and no finger noise.


My ugly bass that I keep around is the MIJ Aria Pro II Cardinal Series Bass. I don't have a picture but it looks like this:
Image

I got this because I'm a huge Pixies fan. This is the bass that was used on Come on Pilgrim and Surfer Rosa (I also have a Peavey Bandit 65 because Joey played one). I also got it because at the time, it was one of the only reasonably priced 32" scale basses available (things have changed now, with the availability of Squier VM Tele Basses). However, the pickups were too muddy and hot for me, so I actually modified it by ninja-ing a Lace Red Sensor inside the plastic pickup cover. However, the tone is nothing like my Bronco Bass due to the different construction and scale. Here, it's very bright, almost too bright for playing with a pick. So this is my fingerstyle bass. I use slightly heavier GHS Pressurewounds here. One of the other quirks of this bass is that it takes standard 34" scale strings. Normal 32" scale strings don't work.


My arguably most desirable bass, though I rarely play it, is my Fender CIJ Mustang Bass RI:
Image

I got this because I wanted a somewhat conservative bass with "Fender" on the headstock to take to auditions and shows (because some people, incl. me, care sometimes), and the 70s Fender Musicmaster Bass I got on a whim just did not cut it. I also love how it looks and it matches well with my white Mustang 6-stringer. I put Hipshot Ultralight tuners to help balance the bass better, and then I added handwound Aero Mustang Bass pickups (hotter than stock, w/ 1/4" AlNiCo magnets) to the mix. The result is that the bass sounds like a nice P-Bass. I use La Bella 760FL Mustang strings here, and holy crap, those strings really shine here. Makes the picked sound truly hollow and in your face.

This bass lives with my bandmate (pictured), though. And honestly, it was never something I play around the house because I do prefer my Squier in terms of tone. That's why it lives outside my house. As with any P style bass, it's best in an ensemble setting anyway.

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by jayen_aitch » Thu Nov 15, 2012 07:14

What a lovely post and what lovely basses.

What about your dream bass? Is it one of those already in your possession, or is there another one you are hoping to acquire in the future?

Have I even done a post like this? If not, maybe I should do.

I shall have a listen to the Oxford, although I think for me the VT Bass is the way to go.

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by paulmitten » Thu Nov 15, 2012 08:13

My dream bass doesn't altogether exist, so it would have to be built. So I have this Mustang 6-stringer, right?

Image

It's an MIJ '73 Reissue, Vintage White with blue competition stripes and a matching headstock. It's my favorite guitar, ever. I think I want a bass JUST like it. I don't think Fender ever made one, and even if they did, I would need a custom one since I want it with the forearm and rear contours. And instead of a Mustang Bass pickup, I'd want a Strat pickup route so I can stuff my beloved Lace Red Sensor in there. Or maybe a humbucker route so I can stuff a Lace Dually in there. And a Hipshot bridge instead of the string-through bridge, which can be a little annoying when it comes to string choices. And of course, the matching white headstock. I'll build it some day. Unfortunately, I don't play bass enough to warrant it.

So, in the mean time, I'll take a Fireglo Ric 4003. :) Or maybe a nice blue one. Or Jetglo. I'm not picky. I'll take any 4003, thanks.

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by jayen_aitch » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:57

Wow, that sounds like quite the project, could me a lot of fun.

I know I couldn't do anything like that myself, I'd end up with bits of bass everywhere and nothing playable.
paulmitten wrote:So, in the mean time, I'll take a Fireglo Ric 4003. :) Or maybe a nice blue one. Or Jetglo. I'm not picky. I'll take any 4003, thanks.
Fireglo 4003, mmmm, good call. Keep your hands of mine though.

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Re: Bass Guitars

Post by paulmitten » Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:59

Haha. I assume that anybody with a Fireglo 4003 has no problems in their lives. Is that true?

If I could ask Rickenbacker to make me a custom bass, though, it'd be a black 350 shaped solid body, with checkerboard bindings.

I dream about a lot of things.

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