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On-board Bass tone. Curious


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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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