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On-board Bass tone. Curious


dmccombe7

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All my tone shaping is done with my programmable multi-effects, so the controls on my basses are pretty much ignored. On the passive basses everything is set to full on and on, and the one active bass volume is at max and all the other controls are at their centre dent position. This is so if any of them get moved I can return them to a know position. The only controls I use are the pickup selector (if there is one) and the series parallel switch (again if there is one) which are set to the sound I like the best and left there.

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I tend to set them so I’ve got a bit of movement each way for easy stage tweaks.


 

P - tone at about 60%. Then I can tweak for the song. Then I can have Jamerson at one end and Duff at the other.

 

Active 2 band - bass at the detente and treble a little bit down.

 

Active 3 with mid sweep. Bass at detente, treble a bit down. Often the Q on the treble for a 3 band is quite narrow so I move the mid freq as high as it will go and reduce that a bit as well.

 

I’ve got a 10 band EQ on my mini board too, but mainly for solving dodgy room issues. 

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On my main bass, which is a Fender Jazz with a J-Retro fitted, I have the bass at zero (it's add bass only on the pre amp) and the mid frequency set at it's lowest frequency (which I believe is 150hz), which I usually turn up to full on the knob. The high frequency knob I don't alter from it's mid setting.

 

This gives a deep and defined sound.

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My default (on a passive bass with J pickups) is 100% on the tone, and usually neck 100% with bridge rolled down a tad. On certain songs I like to favour the bridge pickup and roll the tone off for a tight, midrangey fingerstyle tone, or roll it back when favouring the neck pickup for a mellower thing. I think I go down to about 4/10 in both instances.

Edited by Beer of the Bass
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On a Precision, I have volume and tone wide open- on a PJ, I'll add the J pickup if I'm slapping. On a Jazz I have bridge pickup and tone wide open, with the neck pickup rolled back to 50-75%.

With active instruments, I generally have both pickups on full and the EQ either flat or with a slight mid scoop. I really only use EQ for minor tweaks.

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  • 2 months later...

My very dull answer to this thread back in November shamed me into having a good think about this. I then picked a cap value that I hoped would give my tone knob options that would I would find more appealing, and suddenly I have a knob that I'm using throughout its range 🙂 

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Since buying my MarloweDK i use the tone quite a lot depending on songs. Volume at either 95% or 100%. I usually start a gig at 95% and well.............you know how it goes with levels in a band. Balance is always mid point. The tone pot on the Marlowe is more a treble cut apparently or i'm sure i read that somewhere but it does give a great variation in tones.

Dave 

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Active three band Stingray varies from treble just a bit up from centre, mid cut 25% Ish, bass boosted 50% or more. I sometimes boost the mids way up, treble cut a smidge and bass only boosted a tiny amount.

 

Any passive bass is usually everything on full unless I need a more traditional sound then the tone might go halfway back or more.

 

At the moment I try to have two "go to" sounds for each bass that I think of as modern or traditional. Then I got a Jack Casady and there's just so much the three way switch and the tone knob do I'm still experimenting months after buying it.

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I'd say first out that all my pickups are set at the optimal height to facilitate this.

 

Passive basses (VVT or VT) volume(s) and tone knob fully open.  Active basses, volume on full for each pickup, tones at the midpoint, adjust to suit...generally I'd roll the bass up a little to phatten it up.

 

 

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Musicman Cutlass:

volume up full

tone rolled off a touch about 20%

Musicman stingray:

volume up full

treble up full

mids flat

bass full

Modulus:

volume full

treble rolled off around 1/4

bass rolled off 1/4

Wal:

volume up full pick attack off

B: 0 pulled 

T: 8 down 

BT: 1.5-2 toward B

 

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Passive, then tone rolled off to 7. If using flatwounds then sometimes 10. 

 

Active 2 band, bass boosted to 7 and treble around the same or slightly below.

 

3 band, bass boosted to 7 mids left at 5 or assuming flat. Treble slightly boosted.

 

I find I'm not keen on mids being boosted. Although I don't mind boosting lower mids on an amp. 

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If we assume that active controls go from +10 to -10, then my main basses are as follows

Shuker: bass +2, mids 0, treble 0

Sire V7: bass +3, mids 0, treble +1

Ska bass: bass +4, treble -3

Thunder 1A: bass +2, treble +1, pickup in series mode

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Passive basses: all controls wide open.

Active basses: volume wide open, EQ controls all at the center detent and ocassionally changed to taste when the song asks for a subtle boost or cut. Exception: my Status S2 Classics. They have a filter-based mid control that's finnicky, with a variable frequency sweep and fixed boost and cut. I don't touch it much as it can be a bit overwhelming, but I try to leave the filter knob in one position that just "works" for a solid low mid boost, and leave the switch in the center (off) position until I need said boost. I never use the cut setting because it comes with a significant volume drop. 

 

It's mostly a set-and-forget affair for me.

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With active basses my settings change greatly depending on the bass and type of preamp and the amp or external preamp (if any) I am using.

 

With my Sadowsky basses generally a tiny bit of bass and treble boost, probably less than a quarter turn. I never touch the VTC so it is on full. If I wanted a more vintage tone then I would use a passive bass.

 

Vigier Excess, treble cut by a lot maybe only a quarter turn from zero, bass cut by a little bit too, otherwise the signal into the amp is too hot and treble is incredibly piercing and metallic.


Vigier Arpege, each pick up has its own three band preamp. Generally I boost the bass and treble in the bridge pick up and set the pickup pan slightly towards the bridge pickup. Front pick up set flat as things can get confusing very quickly on a gig if I mess around with controls on the fly.
 

1979ish Fender Precision, plug it in and hope it works. Maybe pull the tone back a touch if I am looking for that soupy devoid of treble 1960s tone.

 

1974 Gibson EB3. Plug it in, realise that it still sounds the same no matter what tone settings or pick up combinations are used, unplug and fetch the Fender…

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G&L SB1 - Vol 80%, Tone around 50% (this bass sounds very different depending where you put the vol control)

 

Stingray 2 band - Vol 80%, Treble 40%, Bass 60%

 

Celinder J-update - Both pickups 10%, Treble 80% with boost dip switch off, bass 10% boost with dip switch to wide.

 

Vigier Passion - Everything centred and flat

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25 minutes ago, thodrik said:

With active basses my settings change greatly depending on the bass and type of preamp and the amp or external preamp (if any) I am using.

 

With my Sadowsky basses generally a tiny bit of bass and treble boost, probably less than a quarter turn. I never touch the VTC so it is on full. If I wanted a more vintage tone then I would use a passive bass.

 

Vigier Excess, treble cut by a lot maybe only a quarter turn from zero, bass cut by a little bit too, otherwise the signal into the amp is too hot and treble is incredibly piercing and metallic.


Vigier Arpege, each pick up has its own three band preamp. Generally I boost the bass and treble in the bridge pick up and set the pickup pan slightly towards the bridge pickup. Front pick up set flat as things can get confusing very quickly on a gig if I mess around with controls on the fly.
 

1979ish Fender Precision, plug it in and hope it works. Maybe pull the tone back a touch if I am looking for that soupy devoid of treble 1960s tone.

 

1974 Gibson EB3. Plug it in, realise that it still sounds the same no matter what tone settings or pick up combinations are used, unplug and fetch the Fender…

i wasn't aware the Vigier Aperge pick ups had their own EQ. that must be quite a busy bass. I'm off to google a pic of that one LOL

Just googled it and its not busy at all. So how does it work for each pick up. Very curious now.

Dave

Edited by dmccombe7
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1 minute ago, dmccombe7 said:

i wasn't aware the Vigier Aperge pick ups had their own EQ. that must be quite a busy bass. I'm off to google a pic of that one LOL

Dave

My one is one of the post 2009 bolt on designs. I'm not sure whether the earlier models had this. 

It is very clever. The tone controls are stacked so you can use them as a standard three band EQ. This means you don't want to start messing around different settings for each pick up then you don't have to. However you can get an absolutely insane amount of different tones once you start using different settings for each pick up, however there is a bit of learning curve to get the most out of it and even then the options can be overwhelming. I hate 'control twiddling' at a gig so I pretty much stick to the same few settings.

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17 minutes ago, dmccombe7 said:

i wasn't aware the Vigier Aperge pick ups had their own EQ. that must be quite a busy bass. I'm off to google a pic of that one LOL

Just googled it and its not busy at all. So how does it work for each pick up. Very curious now.

Dave

I didn't know that either and I owned one! 😮

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