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Hellzero

For those who pretend tone doesn't come from wood...

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4 hours ago, EBS_freak said:

There’s also a lot out there that sound like ash Fenders.

Yeah, put a set of those noiseless Fender pickups in a Squier & it will sound just as badly, LOL!

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Hellzero said:

Leland Sklar is using mandolin frets because he says he can get a sound quite close to fretless. It's him saying that, not me.

I had a few basses with mandolin frets and I never heard anything coming close to a fretless sound...

The frets are only part of it. He uses a low action, lighter strings and plays gently. Everything works in combination. That's the underlying point of comments on this thread, really. It's simplistic to say that one part of an instrument is responsible for tone or sound. Materials, construction, electronics, string type, action/setup, etc and - most important - the player all combine to produce the end result.

LS is a subtle and more cerebral player. He's pretty much diametrically opposite to someone like Steve Harris (who I also admire, but for different reasons).

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14 minutes ago, Killed_by_Death said:

Yeah, put a set of those noiseless Fender pickups in a Squier & it will sound just as badly, LOL!

This ^^ explains to a large extent just why folk put a 'Fender' logo on their 'Squier' basses. There's a lot of snobbery, whereby a good bass with 'Squier' on the headstock would be sneered at, and a duff bass with a 'Fender' label applauded. I'm not addressing those with dog's ears that can hear the difference; they are few, compared to the vast majority that aren't concerned with such stuff. A Good-sounding Bass is a Good-sounding Bass, whatever the label-snobs pretend. 

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4 minutes ago, Dan Dare said:

LS is a subtle and more cerebral player. He's pretty much diametrically opposite to someone like Steve Harris (who I also admire, but for different reasons).

Sklar could hear a difference between woods, because he's playing through transparent gear & as you mentioned he has a light touch.

Harris could probably play on a slab of granite & not notice a change, thanks to all that stuff in his signal-chain & his extra-strong attack.

 

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3 minutes ago, Dan Dare said:

The frets are only part of it. He uses a low action, lighter strings and plays gently. Everything works in combination. That's the underlying point of comments on this thread, really. It's simplistic to say that one part of an instrument is responsible for tone or sound. Materials, construction, electronics, string type, action/setup, etc and - most important - the player all combine to produce the end result.

LS is a subtle and more cerebral player. He's pretty much diametrically opposite to someone like Steve Harris (who I also admire, but for different reasons).

As a former Dingwall Leland Sklar Signature owner, I can say that they are quite different basses. Those mando frets really are something else and I think they are a large part of it for him because, as you say, he plays with a light touch, but can easily ground the string due to the mando frets. If I had bought the Mk2 three pick-up version to start off with, I wouldn't have sold it.

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3 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

As a former Dingwall Leland Sklar Signature owner, I can say that they are quite different basses. Those mando frets really are something else and I think they are a large part of it for him because, as you say, he plays with a light touch, but can easily ground the string due to the mando frets. If I had bought the Mk2 three pick-up version to start off with, I wouldn't have sold it.

Exactly. It's very easy to overpower a delicately set up instrument.

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6 hours ago, Dan Dare said:

The frets are only part of it. He uses a low action, lighter strings and plays gently. Everything works in combination. That's the underlying point of comments on this thread, really. It's simplistic to say that one part of an instrument is responsible for tone or sound. Materials, construction, electronics, string type, action/setup, etc and - most important - the player all combine to produce the end result.

LS is a subtle and more cerebral player. He's pretty much diametrically opposite to someone like Steve Harris (who I also admire, but for different reasons).

Exactly. In most cases I can hear the difference between a bolt-on neck and a neck through. This isn't true in a band setting. That would be stupid to claim, but when played in isolation with no effects. To me the notes from most bolt-ons sound more mushy. The note from a neck-though rings with more clarity. This is even true to some degree with bass with a tight fitting neck/pocket joint. 

This matters to me because I play the bass, on my own in isolation. In a band setting anything goes.

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2 hours ago, Grangur said:

Exactly. In most cases I can hear the difference between a bolt-on neck and a neck through. This isn't true in a band setting. That would be stupid to claim, but when played in isolation with no effects. To me the notes from most bolt-ons sound more mushy. The note from a neck-though rings with more clarity. This is even true to some degree with bass with a tight fitting neck/pocket joint. 

This matters to me because I play the bass, on my own in isolation. In a band setting anything goes.

True. I find that clarity, whilst pleasing in isolation, doesn't always work in a band context. That clean tone that is so enjoyable in the showroom or living room can be a bit gutless when everything else is going on.

I learned that a long time ago, when I used to use a long lead and walk out in front of the stage whilst sound checking (pre wireless days). The sound I liked when stood close to the backline disappeared at distance. Boosting the low mids to the point that it sounded a little honky on stage helped the bass project and sit much better in the mix.

I think that's why the P bass is so popular. Sure, it lacks clarity and definition when compared with more sophisticated designs, but it just works in a live situation and has that punch in the chest sound that does the job.

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On 15/04/2021 at 18:08, Happy Jack said:

As always with these demos, they've chosen an immensely talented bass player who thinks that he's there to show how quickly he can play lots of notes. There's no actual law that says you can't demo basses by playing a simple walking bassline that allows the listener to concentrate on what the video is supposed to be about. 

This.....Iam getting so bored with 'bassists' who cant play a simple slow groove in the first five frets....and, with passing open strings.....whats going on bass peeps? Oh and the wood thing?....meh.

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Killed_by_Death said:

I'd urge anyone refinishing an instrument to consider going natural finish & just using a drying oil.

I doubt many play it while there's no finish on it, but if they did I believe it would convince them to leave it that way.

I've owned a couple of basses with such a thin finish on the neck that I could feel the wood grain while I was playing. I hated both of the them and eventually got rid. For me a thick glossy finish feels far better.

Edited by BigRedX
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Are these slight differences I tone ever going to be noticeable in the mix with a band? I've been at gigs where the bassist has put down one bass and picked up a completely different one and it wasn't noticeable in the mix

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17 minutes ago, SteveXFR said:

Are these slight differences I tone ever going to be noticeable in the mix with a band? I've been at gigs where the bassist has put down one bass and picked up a completely different one and it wasn't noticeable in the mix

They must have been made from the same wood, then. -_-

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I mean, yeah, but you just know there's an agitated bassist you will never meet at the bar who, without even turning around to look, is thinking "Maple fretboard?!?!?!? NOOOOOOOOOO! The tone is too bright now!!!"

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18 hours ago, Killed_by_Death said:

 

Pickups & controls matter, but Johnny Bravo isn't going to magically transform his Basswood Squier into an instrument that sounds just like an Ash Fender by changing the pickups.

 

 

But... the pups will make most of the tonal change.

Also... does ash sound better than basswood? Or does Ash sound better because it's associated with vintage fenders?

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I have ten basses, all different woods and they all sound and feel different but I'd be very wary of attempting to put the differences down to the body materials.

In a band setting, I take different basses to rehearsals to see what suits what best. When I was gigging regularly (back in the 90s) I'd use three different basses over a gig for different sounds.

So I can hear differences.

But not between different woods.

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Lordy, this thread still bubbling away is it?  Never thought we'd be able to drag it out again for 14 pages.  I must pop in more often. :)

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Those whose delicate ears cannot cope with inferior lumber, need the latest Line 6 Variax basses with Dial-A-ToneTM body material emulation.

image.png.482f45d7ce337cdd263d0faf0a7735c2.png

 

 

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That must be one of the earlier versions. The new firmware update allows you select how old the wood is, how it was dried and whether it's flatsawn or quartersawn.

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4 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Those whose delicate ears cannot cope with inferior lumber, need the latest Line 6 Variax basses with Dial-A-ToneTM body material emulation.

image.png.482f45d7ce337cdd263d0faf0a7735c2.png

 

 

Not for me - MDF is an essential part of my tone. 

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14 pages in and I still don’t know which wood helps you play the most number of right notes and which is the best wood type for timing? 
Can someone please do some comparison videos? 🤡

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