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PIckup question - replace my Barts?


SteveC

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So we all know I can't get rid of my Yamaha BB605 - try as I might. I have had a Geddy Lee (my old one that I sold to a friend) at the house for a couple weeks for the hell of it. I really like the sound.

 

I tried going passive with my Yamaha when the first Bartolini preamp failed. It didn't quite do it for me. I just left the Bartolini hum canceling pups in and wired it volume, tone and pickup toggle switch.

 

Do you suppose I would get "in the ballpark" of that Geddy Lee tone if I tried different pickups and went passive? Maybe single coils or different hum canceling pups?

 

I don't really want to buy a different bass - like a Standard Jazz 5 or 4 string - especially if a couple hundred bucks could get me there on a bass I know I can play like my Yamaha.

 

Am I crazy as usual or is this a legitimate option?

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If you ask us if you are crazy, it makes it really hard to say something like this:

 

You're crazy.

 

You should not change the Yamaha in anyway, shape or form. How many basses have you gone through and you still come back to this bass.

 

What would you do if you change it, you don't like, then can't get it sounding the way you have it now? You are really up a creek then.

 

Plus, I LOVE your custom shop bass. Give me about 4-5 years to save the scratch and I will buy it.

How do you sign a computer screen?

 

 

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Well, I'd just hang on to the pups and stuff and if I didn't like what I did I could just put it back in. I'm just wondering if the Bartolini stuff is just a little more refined or smooth than I want these days. I like the aggressive tone of the Geddy Lee, but I want it in a 5 string - my 5 string.

 

I do come back to it, not so much for the tone as the feel and playability of it. I am so at home on this neck.

 

The CS has sold.

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Steve, why not buy a Mexi Jazz V and put in the Geddy Lee pups and Quan bridge? Just make sure the wood is the same and the neck board maple. I'd guess that the string spacing on the MJV is about the same as your Yamaha, too.

Ya gotta leave the BB like it is though.

Visit my band's new web site.

 

www.themojoroots.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I think I will leave the Yamaha as is. I played around with the EQ on the bass - boosted the mids at 250 - and that seemed to add something nice to the tone. Maybe more punch or attack. I'm terrible at describing sound considering I teach music.

 

I also have another friends Avalon U5 at home - just for fun. I have run it both to the front of my Shuttle and thru the effects loop. Both sound good and would be useful. I think right into the loop is best.

 

I love everything about Genz Benz, but maybe it isn't the sound I'm looking for. Avalon --> power amp --> cab might be more up my alley - especially as I tend to like my sound in the PA.

 

Maybe instead of basses I should be looking at a new/different rig? A "full range" type of cab and power amp to go with the Avalon.

 

I know the difference will probably be lost in a live setting or a crappy PA, but man, the Avalon really has some magic dust. It almost sounds like there is some compression. When I play a tune like "Peg" and get to the slapping in the chorus, I don't have to change much and the levels seem to stay the same. Makes the bass sound really full.

 

 

 

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did i miss the sale of a sadowsky?

 

i think that if you're going to keep the bartolini pickups, you may as well experiment. it's not like there's a vintage resale value you'd be hurting.

 

robb.

 

Yeah, the M5-24 was just a little to modern/edgy/bright for me. Sadowsky basses are really nice, obviously, but there's just something about the neck on my Yamaha that keeps it in the house. I don't even have to think about positions or fingering when I play that bass. It's like an extension of my hands.

 

And you're right, there isn't any resale value to the Yamaha. There are only a few people who seem to even know of them, let alone play them.

 

It has been suggested to me more than once that instead of going through basses, I should think about my rig. I'm beginning to think this makes sense. There's really no reason that my Yamaha bass (equipped with the same electronics as MANY boutique basses) can't sound great.

 

I have been playing Genz Benz stuff for a while. It is awesome gear. Great guys, etc. Maybe I need to look at something else. Like I said, the Avalon U5 into the Effects Return of my amp sounded really good. Really good. Maybe a more "full range" cab and power amp is something I should look at instead.

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BTW - I appreciate not being completely beat up by your responses. I know I don't always seem to listen to advice, but I appreciate that I can come here and ask - even if I get ribbed a little. It's no different than my colleagues at work.
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Steve, it seems like you keep trying out essentially the same stuff.

 

You've had an Avalon and a Genz Benz and switched a few times.

 

You've switched away from the Yamaha and back a few times.

 

I think you have a sound already and it works (whatever gear you use). I doubt that any of the other musicians you work with really notice much difference and the audiences certainly don't.

 

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Steve, it seems like you keep trying out essentially the same stuff.

 

You've had an Avalon and a Genz Benz and switched a few times.

 

You've switched away from the Yamaha and back a few times.

 

I think you have a sound already and it works (whatever gear you use). I doubt that any of the other musicians you work with really notice much difference and the audiences certainly don't.

 

Yeah, I do tend to try things again.

 

And yes, I suppose I do have "my sound" already, and if it was that bad I guess I wouldn't be gigging 3-4 times a month. The guys I play with seem to like my sound. The only thing I've heard lately is I could be louder, more visceral on stage. My 12" combo won't do that.

 

I like what the Avalon does for my sound, but like you say, I don't know if it'll get noticed by anyone but me.

 

I'm probably better off sticking to my original plan of getting a different head (still a Genz Benz but a differently voiced Shuttle 9.0) and slightly bigger cab - possibly the Genz Benz Uber Quad (12/8/8/tweet) or a Genz Benz Uber 410. Way overkill but sounds incredible - even at low volumes.

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Steve, I think that most of us kid you in good-natured fun about your quest for 'the tone', but I can definitely relate to what you're looking for. Maybe a new amp is the thing you need. I think you really do already have your bass.

Good luck!

Visit my band's new web site.

 

www.themojoroots.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have a SansAmp at home, too. It came with the Geddy Lee I'm toying with. I have tried to like them, everyone does, but they don't seem to do it for me. I try the Fat Tube, B15 and SVT settings and they sound like they should I guess, but I'm not sure.

 

I think maybe the Shuttle 112 cab just isn't doing anything - basses or other stuff - justice.

 

I may finally be starting to realize that the Yamaha is the bass for me.

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Steve, you may have to face the facts that you may be someone who will not be satisfied with a single bass and single rig. I realize that finances or space or other concerns might not allow you to have more than one bass and one amp/cab set-up, but perhaps what you need to think about is what will give you flexibility, and how you can move toward that.

 

Bass: Keep the Yamaha. Don't mess with it. You keep coming back to it. It gives you a 5-string (which you keep coming back to), an active preamp (which sometimes you like to have available to you), and the playability seems to work well for you). You seem to continue to say that you want a more traditional sound, too. Get a 4-string Jazz bass like the Geddy Lee, or do upgrades on a Fender Hecho in Mexico similar to how you've done in the past. Keep it passive.

 

Rig: Get a head that works for you, is lightweight, and does at least 500W into 4 ohms. That should be more than enough power for any situation you play and if it's lightweight, you won't mind bringing it to small gigs. The GB 9.0 probably fits the bill here. So would the GB 6.0 (which is what you have now, right?) Then set yourself up for having a small cab (1x12? 1x10? 2x10?) and a big cab (2x12? 2x10? 4x10?) that you can use separately or together.

 

Other: If you want an Avalon, or pedals, or compressors, or whatever...consider these things extra and not replacements for any of the things above. Wheel and deal as much as you want.

 

If you find yourself in a playing situation where you think that what you have doesn't work, strap on some cajones and make a decision about how you will make what you already have do what you need. I have no doubt that you can do that, and, as others have said, it is likely that only you will notice the kinds of things you're concerned about.

 

Peace.

--SW

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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I think maybe the Shuttle 112 cab just isn't doing anything - basses or other stuff - justice.

 

I may finally be starting to realize that the Yamaha is the bass for me.

The cab may be what's not giving you what you want. My situation is similar to yours, and like SW stated, I don't have enough resources (and/or back strength) to get the rig I want, which is at least 500W and 4x10's or two 2x10's. I'm playing through a GB 200W and 1x15. Not enough for the sound I want, but what I can afford and get by with.

Expand your cab setup and keep your bass.

Visit my band's new web site.

 

www.themojoroots.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Steve, you may have to face the facts that you may be someone who will not be satisfied with a single bass and single rig. I realize that finances or space or other concerns might not allow you to have more than one bass and one amp/cab set-up, but perhaps what you need to think about is what will give you flexibility, and how you can move toward that.

 

Yeah, this may be true. I know that many people use more than one bass and/or rig. Maybe my "one bass and rig for every gig" mentality has clouded my judgment. But it seems there are many people who, if push came to shove, could pick one bass and one rig and be happy and cover all their gigs.

 

Bass: Keep the Yamaha. Don't mess with it. You keep coming back to it. It gives you a 5-string (which you keep coming back to), an active preamp (which sometimes you like to have available to you), and the playability seems to work well for you). You seem to continue to say that you want a more traditional sound, too. Get a 4-string Jazz bass like the Geddy Lee, or do upgrades on a Fender Hecho in Mexico similar to how you've done in the past. Keep it passive.

 

I will keep the Yamaha. I will leave it Active with the bypass option. I wouldn't get anything for it if I sold it anyway. There are times where I feel I want something different from the very polite and refined sound that I get from the Barts and Yamaha. That's why I keep coming back to a simple, passive jazz. My old Geddy is as good an option there as any. The reason I can't seem to keep a 4 is that I always go back to the "a 5 can do anything a 4 can so why not just use a 5" logic.

 

Rig: Get a head that works for you, is lightweight, and does at least 500W into 4 ohms. That should be more than enough power for any situation you play and if it's lightweight, you won't mind bringing it to small gigs. The GB 9.0 probably fits the bill here. So would the GB 6.0 (which is what you have now, right?) Then set yourself up for having a small cab (1x12? 1x10? 2x10?) and a big cab (2x12? 2x10? 4x10?) that you can use separately or together.

 

This is where I am having the biggest dilemma right now. Yes, I currently have a GB Shuttle 6.0-12T combo. I am debating trading it in locally for a 9.0 head and buying a cab - maybe the Uber Quad. Another option might be to keep the combo and just get another cab - like the Uber Quad - and pull the 6.0 out of the combo and use with the Uber Quad for gigs where a little more is called for.

 

Other: If you want an Avalon, or pedals, or compressors, or whatever...consider these things extra and not replacements for any of the things above. Wheel and deal as much as you want.

 

I would really like to not have any extras. I am not an effects user, nor compression, and for my gigs, as has been noted, the DI and stuff in the GB gear is more than fine.

 

If you find yourself in a playing situation where you think that what you have doesn't work, strap on some cajones and make a decision about how you will make what you already have do what you need. I have no doubt that you can do that, and, as others have said, it is likely that only you will notice the kinds of things you're concerned about.

 

Peace.

--SW

 

The only comment I've heard from band mates is that for some gigs, they would like a little more stage volume from me. They think they want/need to feel the bass more to drive the band. Not sure how I feel about this. We have tried pretty hard in the past to keep stage volume down. Everyone is DI but me and drums. This comes from the keyboard player/leader of the horn band mostly. He has done some fill in work in Fargo with a very successful group. He said their bass player (and drummer) are loud. Not grossly loud, but louder than we play. He thought it made a difference. I'm not convinced that volume = great band, but maybe I'm wrong. Of course, me getting more visceral is easy enough to do, but I end up buying gear, hauling it, etc. and they just reap the rewards(?) of me being louder.

 

I will admit that I would like to hear/feel more deep bottom on the smooth jazz gigs - that's a part of that tone - IMO anyway. I have been experimenting with more EQ options on my combo. I have a gig next weekend where I can try them out.

 

I don't know if that made sense or shed any light at all or not. I think you all know me better than I know myself most days.

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The Shuttle 9.0/Uber Quad is a NICE rig. The mids are nice, not boxy. The lows rumble nicely, and the tweeter is clear, not brite or harsh. When you roll the tweeter off, you get a nice "old school" kind of tone. It's not a small cab, but it's not too big. It is pretty big for my gigs, though. Small venues, small stages mostly.

 

I am going to keep experimenting with EQ, maybe try some compression, a BDDI (seems to be noisy though), whatever, to get all I can from my current rig. I have made headway, I think, with my combo by doing this the last week or so. I have a gig this weekend so I can try it out and see. Would love to make what I have work instead of getting new stuff - which isn't cheap.

 

 

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