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SteveXFR

Told to buy new basses

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5 minutes ago, SteveXFR said:

 

Guitarist has a LOT of kit. Loads of amps, effects, drums, studio and recording kit.

..but no (high end) bass?- haha.

Sorry to ask again - how does the Ibanez SR300 sound unamplified???

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20 hours ago, SteveXFR said:

The amp and cabs are no problem. There's a 12 band eq on the amp.

My SR300 has been properly set up with 130, 105, 85, 65 string and a suitably altered nut and truss rod adjustment. 

 

Ok, so you agree that there's something about the sound of your SR300 that is not quite what you want. That's ok, check other basses around, but I'm positive you don't need £2000/2500 to get something that will sound the way you're after. No need to go 5-string either if you don't need a G string.

 

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42 minutes ago, Supernaut said:

If you don't coordinate outfits then why bother with guitars?  

 

In my old RHCP tribute band we coordinated socks...

 

 

 

 

😛

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I once got chatting to the bassist/singer from Limehouse Lizzy (who are incidentally very very good), and asked him why he used a black and maple Stingray rather than a P. 'I just like Stingrays' he said, and he's a big bloke, so I smiled and left it at that... 

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4 minutes ago, Muzz said:

I once got chatting to the bassist/singer from Limehouse Lizzy (who are incidentally very very good), and asked him why he used a black and maple Stingray rather than a P. 'I just like Stingrays' he said, and he's a big bloke, so I smiled and left it at that... 

Seems a reasonable reason. 99.9% of the audience would have no clue there was a difference. And maybe he couldn't find an Ibanez Roadster or a Roland G88 to be authentic? :D

 

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Certainly could be a bass issue - but having played in downtuned bands on and off for 25+ years I'd say it certainly doesn't warrant a £2k outlay! Last downtuned band I played in (drop A) I used a Sire V7 mostly with stock strings, but swapped the B string for the heaviest gauge D'addario single string I could find. Worked REALLY well, although I couldn't intonate the string particularly well due to the "high-mass" bridge design... Having said that I don't thing I played that string above the 7th fret so not a massive issue.

Having said that I have a Dingwall D-roc 5 Standard on order from Bassdirect... Just because!

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1 hour ago, bagsieblue said:

..but no (high end) bass?- haha.

Sorry to ask again - how does the Ibanez SR300 sound unamplified???

It sounds OK I guess. I've never really liked the pickups, even when it was in relatively normal tunings. My Thunderbird and Peavey Zephyr sound much better but both kill my back so they're for home use only.

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Yep - this is a genuinely useful thread and not just a rehash of stuff that has been covered many times before.

I realise I'm ploughing a lone furrow on questioning the current bass.  I've had an SR300 and it was fine.   I have a £100 Yamaha stung BEAD and downtuned and that copes fine too.

There are lots of threads these days on how great lower cost instruments are too - and rightly so.   It's good and interesting to see some negative comments on a bass having had a good set up but sounding like 2 different basses.

Cross referencing  comments in this thread with many of the comments in the "For those who pretend tone doesn't come from wood" thread would be interesting - now there is a thread that has been rehashed many, many times.

Getting new gear and a 'better' bass is great - so if it was me I'd want to be 100% sure the bass - as its currently set up etc is the problem, and whichever new bass replaced it solved the problem.

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I was 'told' by a bandleader that I had to play a Precision in a three-piece punk/new-wave/indie outfit. Irony was that my usual bass was a Precision, but the Ric I was using in that band just worked better for me, the Precision just didn't fill the room the way the Ric did. But he had his mind set on it, and I suspect the reason he'd set up the band in the first place was that he liked getting his own way. Last I heard they were looking for a new bass player.   

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Posted (edited)

Steve, something worth considering might be a longer scale 4 string. The likes of the older Japanese Yamaha TRB are 35" scale and can be picked up for very reasonable money. The build quality is superb and, tonally, they're very flexible. There is enough fun in the preamp to get a modern metal tone your bandmates seem to be pushing you towards. You'll get a very solid low A and consistent tone across the neck no problem (speakng from first-hand experience with this one 😉). Unless you prefer the feel of a five string bass and will be using that high G enough to make it worthwhile, I'd be sticking to a four string.

 

Edited by Doctor J
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You've mentioned that you don't like the sound of your bass and that's it's not "cutting it", but how does it sound in the context of the band? Drop A#... does that mean you're potentially getting drowned out by one or more guitarists with baritones/7-strings, who may be getting a little enthusiastic with their amp's "Bass" control? High-passing the guitars would be a lot cheaper than buying a new bass 😉

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5 minutes ago, MartinB said:

You've mentioned that you don't like the sound of your bass and that's it's not "cutting it", but how does it sound in the context of the band? Drop A#... does that mean you're potentially getting drowned out by one or more guitarists with baritones/7-strings, who may be getting a little enthusiastic with their amp's "Bass" control? High-passing the guitars would be a lot cheaper than buying a new bass 😉

Good points  - EQ'ing downtuned guitars and bass in a mix can be tricky.

I've had it in the past where the mix has been great in one part of a song in the verse - bass sounding fantastic.  Get to the chorus and the bass disappeared, complete loss of bottom end in the whole mix - I didnt change anything but the guitarists each stepped on whichever pedal it was for them at that part of the song and destroyed the overall mix.

The more I read this the less I think the bass is the problem.

12 Band EQ on the Amp - Trace Elliot by any chance? - you dont happen to have the shape button engaged  do you?, sounds glorious played solo, but disappears in a band.

Or on the Orange Terror Head - flat settings are mids up full, bass and treble all the way down

 

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3 minutes ago, bagsieblue said:

I've had it in the past where the mix has been great in one part of a song in the verse - bass sounding fantastic.  Get to the chorus and the bass disappeared, complete loss of bottom end in the whole mix - I didnt change anything but the guitarists each stepped on whichever pedal it was for them at that part of the song and destroyed the overall mix.

Yup this is super common, especially I have found in Drop D tuning. 

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2 hours ago, SteveXFR said:

 

Guitarist has a LOT of kit. Loads of amps, effects, drums, studio and recording kit.

Sounds like he might as well get himself a Dingwall, then you can try it out and see if it fits or not.

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36 minutes ago, bagsieblue said:

 

12 Band EQ on the Amp - Trace Elliot by any chance? - you dont happen to have the shape button engaged  do you?, sounds glorious played solo, but disappears in a band.

That's the badger. An early 90's 4001 head with the GP12SMX preamp built in. Shape button is definitely off.

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Years ago I was offered an audition in a normal pub rock band. Chatting to the guitarist, I was told I would have to have a US P bass, a Sansamp neither of which I had and would have to play with a pick, which I don`t. End of conversation!

If I was in a band, I would hope that they could leave me to pick the type of bass required for the gig unless there is a need for a certain look, ie in a tribute band. 

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I think that you have to work out how committed you are to this band and more to the point, how committed you are to this genre of music?

If you are going to commit to tuning down to Ab, then you have to say that a multi-scale bass (or at least a bass with a 35” scale) isn’t a bad idea. Whether it has to be a £2k Dingwall is another matter, but if they are all using quality gear and you have noticed that your bass isn’t cutting it, then you can bet that they have as well, even if they haven’t said anything before.

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I'm certainly committed to the music and band. I think there's a lot of potential to make great noises. I will be upgrading my bass, whether it's a Dingwall is another matter.

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14 minutes ago, Downunderwonder said:

Scooping all the mids out will do that.

Yes, that's why I asked how the bass sounded unamplified.

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How much money is your band making?

If the answer was anything less than enough to quit my day job, I'd tell em to fosters off, and buy summat much cheaper which will do the job just as well.

Especially if you're downtuning to buggery, cuz even with a five string multi-scale, you're probably still gonna have to invest in a specialised setup, and mess with the nut and stuff, and I wouldn't want that much money tied up in a bass dedicated to one thing.

Also, imagine your band really takes off so you're touring and stinky poo. Do you really want to watch your £2000 Dingleberry get shot-putted onto a conveyor belt by Glaswegian baggage handlers at the airport? And you'll need redundancy, so are you gonna invest in a spare £2000 Dungwall, also down tuned to buggery?

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We're making no money but it's early days. For me, it'll be fun above money with the ambition to play some good support gigs and some festivals. If I could give up the day job that'd be amazing but I'm not counting on it.

I'm thinking a grand is a good budget. I'm going to see if I can try out an Ibanez EHB1005MS multiscale 5 string

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Just now, SteveXFR said:

We're making no money but it's early days. For me, it'll be fun above money with the ambition to play some good support gigs and some festivals. If I could give up the day job that'd be amazing but I'm not counting on it.

I'm thinking a grand is a good budget. I'm going to see if I can try out an Ibanez EHB1005MS multiscale 5 string

Agree that a grand sounds like a very sensible budget for an instrument upgrade at that stage, if you feel that an upgrade is needed.

Don't let gear snobs pressure you into spending more than you want to.

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43 minutes ago, Vin Venal said:

Especially if you're downtuning to buggery, cuz even with a five string multi-scale, you're probably still gonna have to invest in a specialised setup, and mess with the nut and stuff, and I wouldn't want that much money tied up in a bass dedicated to one thing.

 

But that's the point, if you are going to commit to playing this type of music then you need a dedicated bass that can handle it.

You might think think that a standard 34" Jazz bass would handle most gigs, but not this one. I joined a band that recorded an album then told me that they were going to tune down a whole step to play live . As good as the bass that I used on the album sounded, it wasn't going to work live with this tuning, so I went and bought a s/h 35" scale five string. I won't use this new bass for any other gigs that I do, so when that band finishes then I will sell it on.

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