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John Cellario

Wishbone Ash bass sound...

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Listen to this on a good quality sound system....what a tremendous powerful bass sound that nobody seems to use nowadays. Plectrum and a Gibson Thunderbird. 

https://youtu.be/K9kNXf4Qavo

 

Edited by John Cellario
Missing video
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MT's used a few different basses over the years. The first album was recorded with a borrowed Fender Jazz that he disliked.

Pilgrimage is a Rickenbacker.

Argus and Wishbone 4 are the Thunderbird, front pickup only - despite MT's insistence that he recorded Argus with a Rick! Completely different tones.

I believe There's The Rub and New England are a Fender Precision, although There's the Rub is very distorted and could be anything. :biggrin:

 

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The bass tone on Argus is one of my favourite ever bass tones (and MT is great player to boot). My words to describe it is chewy, warm, bouncy, woody.

One of my favourite albums ever!!! I had a White Epi Tbird  Pro for few years just chasing that tone. I saw the other (Non MT) Wishbone Ash a few years ago and whilst the playing was superb there wasn't that tone!

He's clearly got a super low action on Argus -  as you hear quite a bit of neck/fret grind - which it why is might be mistaken for a Ricky.

Off to play Argus now!

Edited by stuckinthepod
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I saw Wishbone twice in the seventies...at Alexander Palace, (I remember Vinegar Joe with Robert Palmer also appearing), and at Manchester Uni.

The whole back line was a wall or Orange amps and cabs and the whole bands sound was crystal clear. The low end on Martins Thunderbird almost shook my fillings out but also every note was discernible.

I play a Jazz on the back p/up trying to get that mid finger style punch, but I love MT,s tone on this video.....maybe we’re all missing a trick!

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Just now, John Cellario said:

 

I play a Jazz on the back p/up trying to get that mid finger style punch, but I love MT,s tone on this video.....maybe we’re all missing a trick!

Try the front pickup. Worth remembering that MT splits his signal into two amps to separate the clean lows and dirty highs.

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I recall an interview he gave for the magazine 'International Musician' back around '76/'77 in which he stated he used Roto RS66 but preferred them dead! He also made a comment about rubbing fresh replacements in tomato ketchup to deaden them but I wasn't sure if he was being serious or having a laugh.

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33 minutes ago, NikNik said:

He also made a comment about rubbing fresh replacements in tomato ketchup to deaden them but I wasn't sure if he was being serious or having a laugh.

I call BS on that. He may have done that - but it would have the opposite effect of deadening them. The salt and acetic acid from the vinegar in the ketchup will actually clean the strings... (although on a brand new set of strings, I'd say the difference pre and post ketchup would be minimal, or more likely, have no impact whatsoever.

Edited by EBS_freak

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31 minutes ago, NikNik said:

I recall an interview he gave for the magazine 'International Musician' back around '76/'77 in which he stated he used Roto RS66 but preferred them dead! He also made a comment about rubbing fresh replacements in tomato ketchup to deaden them but I wasn't sure if he was being serious or having a laugh.

I also heard that Bob Marley’s bass player rubbed his strings with reggae reggae sauce 😀

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And before anybody says it.... we now all now know the secret behind how EVH got the brown sound...

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I love this tone on this tune. But funnily enough I don’t like it for my own sound. 
I remember seeing WA at Hammersmith Odeon back in 70’s.
I was appalled at MT gobbing on the stage, which had a nice carpet (no idea why, but it’s what I first think of when recalling that gig).

Argus was me and my mates “fancy a night in with some herbal augmented smokes?” go to album.

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...and now I'm gassing for a new T- Bird!!!!

 

Anyone got details of his rig on Argus and how they recorded the bass? I believe he used Orange amp but not necessarily in the studio.

Was it a DI and mic mix?

 

Found this in relation to the Ricky/T Bird stuff.

FBPO: I’m not one to tamper with history!  What gave you the idea for that trademark, up-front bass style for which you’re known? That style was pretty unique for a bass player, especially in those days.

MT: Being primarily a guitar player in the early days, I just continued to play bass with a pick.  It did take quite a while, till around the time of Argus, before I found a guitar that suited my somewhat unorthodox, whacky style. I borrowed a Gibson Thunderbird from Pete “Overend” Watts of Mott the Hoople, whom we supported on their All the Young Dudes tour, because the neck on my Rickenbacker bass got broken. I bought the bass from Pete and still play it to this day, although I do use other instruments for recording. Strangely, whatever I use, I am told that it always comes out sounding like me!

https://forbassplayersonly.com/interview-martin-turner/

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and..

 

Your distinctive sound comes in part from a Gibson Thunderbird, which you’ve played for decades.
When Wishbone Ash was first in the studio, I had a Harmony I bought for £5. The producer took one look and said, “No, we need a fresh, new guitar.” They rented a Fender Jazz Bass, which was completely wrong for me because it’s quite clippy if you play with a pick.

Is that when you found the Thunderbird?
First, I discovered Rickenbacker basses. I had one sent over from the States in ’71 – it was one of the few made with 21 frets and its neck broke when we were flying to Europe for a festival. I was really upset and rang up Overend Watts, the bass player in Mott the Hoople, asking if I could borrow one of his Thunderbirds. I ended up buying it and used it since.

What did you like about it?
I call it a cricket bat with wings. It’s one piece of wood from the headstock through the body, and that design is shared by Rickenbacker. I played with a pick, so I needed a guitar that had quite a bit of low-end to it. I’ve played a lot of instruments over the years, particularly for recording, and strangely, it always sounds the same. Maybe it’s more to do with me than the instrument.

Do you play with your fingers?
Yes, but I prefer my leather plectrum to fingers. It was made for me by an African guy and I have two or three with slightly different thicknesses.

What kind of strings do you use?
Rotosound. They’ve got a trashy edge to them; I use a .105 on the bottom.

 

https://www.vintageguitar.com/27229/martin-turner/

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2 hours ago, NikNik said:

I recall an interview he gave for the magazine 'International Musician' back around '76/'77 in which he stated he used Roto RS66 but preferred them dead! He also made a comment about rubbing fresh replacements in tomato ketchup to deaden them but I wasn't sure if he was being serious or having a laugh.

I remember reading the exact same article, though IIRR it was '79....

Think he was using the black Hamer Explorer bass by then.

I saw WA locally a few years back - the hair much less abundant, but a good gig!

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4 hours ago, stuckinthepod said:

The bass tone on Argus is one of my favourite ever bass tones (and MT is great player to boot). My words to describe it is chewy, warm, bouncy, woody.

One of my favourite albums ever!!! I had a White Epi Tbird  Pro for few years just chasing that tone. I saw the other (Non MT) Wishbone Ash a few years ago and whilst the playing was superb there wasn't that tone!

He's clearly got a super low action on Argus -  as you hear quite a bit of neck/fret grind - which it why is might be mistaken for a Ricky.

Off to play Argus now!

We played immediately before Martin at the Acoustic Festival of Britain last year. I got to talk to him at length and had a good look at his current Ric, a ‘72 Burgundyglo 4001. The action was literally about 3 times as high as mine. It was the opposite of low! Can’t speak for his TBird as he didn’t have it with him.  He was using a Hartke head and an Ashdown Mag 2x10; I helped him carry his rig onstage. I think his full rig includes an ABM head as well as the Hartke; not sure about the cabs. 

Have to say he was an absolute gent, extremely warm and generous and extremely funny. In fact the whole experience of chatting to him, playing, then getting to watch his (blinding) set, - Argus heavy, obviously - then chatting to him some more, was my most memorable gigging experience ever. I just wish I hadn’t been quite so embarrassing a fanboy! Got him to sign my Warwick Alien, which I used for the gig. Watching him made me feel a lot better about my style too, which is very similar. 

 

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Our band played support to Wishbone Ash a few years ago, had a good chat with Andy Powell, he also obliged and signed my original Pilgrimage album.

 

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I saw WA way back several times in the 70s and later when Martin was playing with them. I have seen Martin's band a couple of times recently.

He was probably the player that influenced me to start playing bass originally. I chatted with him at one of the bass guitar shows and he was interested that I played a Fender Jazz with a pick. He said he played that on the first WA album but it sounded very "clicky" apparently.

 

Edited by alant

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I was carrying out a fret levelling job at the weekend and had Argus playing on the Ipod. Still one of my fave albums and even having listened to it countless times, I had to keep taking a break from the fret filing to enjoy the bass playing and his tone.:friends:

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Wishbone lover here !

Apart from the classic CD's , which i have, i also got into some later WA from the late 80's

Got Nouveau Calls and Here to Hear.  The production is wonderful. Perhaps more commercial than the early classic stuff. Argus still remains THE  album for me

Here's Johhny Left Home Without It from the Nouveau Calls discette

 

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I have a massive soft spot for New England. Unfortunately WA, in whatever guise, will always live in the shadow of Argus. The curse of the great 3rd album.

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