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beerdragon

JJ Burnel. that sound.l

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How did he get that sound from his Pbass. any mods to it? what did it go through. i know he did'nt start off on bass. he was a classical guitarist. anyone?

Edited by beerdragon

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very low action, esp. on black & white, steel roundwounds, a pick, and a hiwatt guitar head into a guitar cab with blown speakers!

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From Wikipedia:

[i]Burnel is noted for his distinctive bass guitar sound, which is particularly prominent on earlier Stranglers recordings produced by Martin Rushent, such as the hit singles "No More Heroes" and "Peaches". The aggressive and trebly sound was created using a Fender Precision Bass with RotoSound roundwound strings played with a plectrum very close to the bridge, through a Hiwatt 200w amplifier with 2 Hiwatt 4*12 speaker cabinets. Such a cabinet was intended for electric guitar, and the speaker cones on Burnel's unit were damaged. He now uses an Ashdown rig as can be seen in the picture. J J Burnel has been a RotoSound endorsee since the early 1980s, and has featured in their advertising.[/i]

Strangely enough, I found myself wondering exactly the same thing a few weeks ago ...

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How to recreate that sound, step 2 :- [url="http://www.shukerguitars.co.uk/"]http://www.shukerguitars.co.uk/[/url]



;o)

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Legend has it that the sound he got early on was due to playing through a guitar cab with a torn speaker! How true that is I don't know. I've seen him using Ampeg, Trace, and he's currently using Ashdown stuff. I don't think he uses much in the way of effects. Of course he's now using his own signature Shuker bass, which takes the best bits of his 60's and 70's P-basses and combines them in one. Don't believe any of his basses were modded, although he says his 70's P had an overwound pickup. I've read an interview somewhere where he spoke a bit about his kit, but can't put my finger on it now.

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After the gig I did last night (see thread elsewhere), one of the guys in the audience came up to me and commented how much I sounded like JJB.

I'm using a 1979 Precision, albeit with a Seymour Duncan quarter pounder, into a POD, into an effects return on an Ashdown shortstack (2x10 combo and 1x15). I use a patch on the POD that's a slight adaptation of a patch someone wrote to emulate the Les Claypole (Primus) sound. Played quietly, it's pretty close. Live I just roll up the bass and compression, output the POD at about 80% and use the master on the amp to control the volume. It overloads nicely. I also play very hard with a pick.

P

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you might notice that the pickguard on his old black maple-neck P doesn't line up perfectly with the body shape- because it's a replacement body, which he says is very heavy. probably hard ash.

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ps. just remembered ages ago on Talkbass I had a go at the Stevie Wonder "Sir Duke" break, and also for a laugh did an impression of what JJ Burnel playing it would sound like-
[url="http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/audiofiles/Strangledduke.mp3"]http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/audiof...rangledduke.mp3[/url]
:)
(my pick technique's got a bit better since then...)

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[quote name='beerdragon' post='171930' date='Apr 7 2008, 11:35 PM']Ok. what were you using on that?.[/quote]

Warmoth P (maple neck, ash body) P pickup soloed, through a Zoom 506 distortion setting, which drops out a bit of lows.

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[quote name='NancyJohnson' post='171848' date='Apr 7 2008, 10:24 PM']After the gig I did last night (see thread elsewhere), one of the guys in the audience came up to me and commented how much I sounded like JJB.[/quote]
Many years ago, a great Stranglers fan commented in a review of my then band that I sounded like JJB. Which proves how irrelevant things like the bass you're using and whether you use a pick are, as I was playing a Warwick Thumb NT with my fingers.

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I read an interview that he was pounding of his hass whilst holding a chord and punched it in half (being a mad karate guy). He said it never sounded the same after, gues thats the one with replacement body.

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I'm not so sure about the Hiwatt stack thing. I saw the Stranglers back in the day and he was definately using a Marshall cab (just the one). Not that it makes much difference really.

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Christ, Musky, don't you know better than to challenge an urban myth?

:)

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[quote name='Musky' post='172181' date='Apr 8 2008, 01:02 PM']I'm not so sure about the Hiwatt stack thing. I saw the Stranglers back in the day and he was definately using a Marshall cab (just the one). Not that it makes much difference really.[/quote]

I saw them back in the day (1980ish) and he had what looked like 10kW of bass bins, mids and highs with lenses and all the 80s 'big PA' trimmings.

Good riot, too :-)

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That was the PA you were looking at. :) I've seen them loads of times in the eighties and only remember Trace stuff. According to an interview in Strangled fan mag the first two albums were recorded using bust Carlsboro speakers. Try emailing Martin"Pontious"Rushent for the full S.P.

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[quote name='steve-soar' post='172218' date='Apr 8 2008, 01:50 PM']That was the PA you were looking at. :) I've seen them loads of times in the eighties and only remember Trace stuff. According to an interview in Strangled fan mag the first two albums were recorded using bust Carlsboro speakers. Try emailing Martin"Pontious"Rushent for the full S.P.[/quote]

Anyway.

All goes to prove that the sound is in his hands. There was a thread here talking about Robbie Shakespeare, how he'd been spotted using everything from violin bass to Steinberg and whatever instrument he used he sounded like Robbie Shakespeare. Same applies to JJ.

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[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEui2pouQWk"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEui2pouQWk[/url]

Hiwatt head into Marshall cabs?

(see at 1.22, beside cheery Jet Black)

Edited by SJA

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whoever said about the torn speakers could be right. the bass amp where i go for my bass lessons has a torn speaker, the sound out of it reminds me of JJ burnell, peaches in particular, especially when im using my precision with a pick. sounds crap finger style though - so i wouldn't reccomend tearing your speaker to get the sound lol.

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[quote name='SJA' post='172304' date='Apr 8 2008, 03:11 PM'][url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEui2pouQWk"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEui2pouQWk[/url]

Hiwatt head into Marshall cabs?

(see at 1.22, beside cheery Jet Black)[/quote]

Definately.

In fact looking at a few other you tube clips from around the period he seems to be using a variety of cabs, including a salt and pepper Marshall topped with a slightly smaller 4 speaker (12's?) cab in the Straighten Out video.

But looking at the 'second coming' download on the strangled website and there's pictures of him in front of a large PA type rig with white speakers between mid 80 and 81.

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in one of his old interviews in Bassist he said he started using Trace in the 80's when the shop that sold him a Steinberger (he was looking for a bass that wouldn't break) recommended it.

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SOS interview with Martin Rushent with lots on recording the Stranglers-
[url="http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb07/articles/martinrushent.htm"]http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb07/arti...rtinrushent.htm[/url]

...although the "flat-wound strings" comment must be a mistake.
definitely rounds!

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When I was getting my Shuker built Jon had one of JJ's basses in for a re-fret. He'd only used it for one "tour" and the frets were extremely worn. He must play really hard. I think Jon's put stainless steel frets on his basses now because they last longer. :)

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I bought a weird 70s Fender head off him a couple of months ago. Wunjo were selling it on commission.

I'm not really familiar with him or his playing but I haven't managed to find any pictures or videos with him using the amp. (Fender 400PS, in case anyone was wondering.)

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For bass it was a mic on the amp plus a DI, but the sound is down to him. He was originally a guitarist, so he played in that style using a pick and heavy-gauge, flat-wound strings, which give a lot of twang. Then he'd drive the amp really hard and wang on loads of middle and top. I remember we had almost all the knobs up full! I also recall that it used to be a little thin out of the amp — not desperately so, but it didn't have real sub, so we picked that up from the DI and EQ'd the signal. Then we'd blend the two together. Oh, and I'd compress the bollocks out of it using a fast attack and release. The distortion it caused on the back end didn't matter because there was loads of distortion coming in."


He managed to get that sound live though.

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