Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

What Would Sound Better?...


plangentmusic

Recommended Posts

...A cheap but playable bass with great pickups, or a well made bass with good wood with cheap pickups?

 

At one time I thought it was all about the pu's, but experience has proven otherwise. So much of a bass's sound is inherent in the wood of the body and the neck, and it doesn't have to be exotic wood hand carved by brain surgeons.

 

What has your experience told you?

 

 

JAZZ UN-STANDARDS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vE4FoJ4Cr4&feature=related

 

DON'T FEAR...THE REVERB! 60's Instrumentals with MORE BASS!

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 22
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Set up is a given, naturally. But if it's about pu's, why does a stock Squier sound better than a lot of fancy ass basses with $300 pu's? And why does putting expensive pu's in a cheap bass seem to do so little?

 

HAve you ever had a so so bass come alive with a pu replacement?

JAZZ UN-STANDARDS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vE4FoJ4Cr4&feature=related

 

DON'T FEAR...THE REVERB! 60's Instrumentals with MORE BASS!

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Paul.

 

HAve you ever had a so so bass come alive with a pu replacement?

Yes. An SX P/J from RondoMusic. Replaced the pickups with Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounders and improved the sound tremendously.

Push the button Frank.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree its the wood. Although good pickups can make a bass with cheap wood sound good, those same pickups on a bass with good wood make it sound exceptional.

 

A good setup is a given for any bass if you actually want to play it but doesn't really effect the sound except maybe for intonation.

Lydian mode? The only mode I know has the words "pie ala" in front of it.

http://www.myspace.com/theeldoradosband

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

HAve you ever had a so so bass come alive with a pu replacement?

 

Yes. Bass Collection (Ibanez Soundgear, bottom rung re-badge) that I put EMG's into. It's my go-to bass no matter what else I have in the tank.

 

In the store, you can't really compare expensive vrs. cheap instruments 'cause the setup is such a wild card. Expensive ones are more likely to have had a little more setup done. I never really know what I feel about an instrument until after I've lived with it for a couple months.

Things are just the way they are, and they're only going to get worse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think we have to define "wood" -- I have to agree that there is a number of basses that are, well, not "crap", but close to that classification. Fortunately, it seems that number is shrinking as there are a lot of instruments coming from the far east that are solidly made, good basses whose weak points are the electronics (pickups, not shielded properly or at all, cheesy pots and jacks) and sometimes hardware.

 

As I often say to upright bass players who want a pickup that will "add sustain" or some other characteristic--

 

A good acoustic sound is necessary to have a good amplified sound. When I pick up an electric bass, I play it acoustically for a bit- if it doesn't sound and feel good (body resonance) in my hands there is no point in plugging it in. But if it is a solid instrument that is not being well served by the electronics, that investment can result in a superior instrument - no matter whose name is on the headstock.

 

"a well made bass with good wood with cheap pickups" can be enhanced/improved

 

"A cheap but playable bass with great pickups", cannot

 

my .02

1000 Upright Bass Links, Luthier Directory, Teacher Directory - http://www.gollihurmusic.com/links.cfm

 

[highlight] - Life is too short for bad tone - [/highlight]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a Fernandes p-bass copy. I replaced the pickup with a Seymour Duncan Vintage pickup and the sound improved tremendously.

 

I've heard drastic changes in the sound of basses when Bartolini pickups were installed.

 

As far as wood, when Mike Lull built my bass for me, the first thing we did was pick out the piece of wood for the body. Maike tapped on several pieces of wood and we picked "the one."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Again, no question about the set up, it's a non issue. And I'm not talking from music store experience, but from years of playing and experimenting with different combinations. Of course, what one person seeks in a sound is not what another would.

 

I happen to think the Ibanez pu's sound good. I have one with Bartolini's and love it. Meanwhile, EMG's sound cold to me. They're loud and clear and have a a broad frequency range but just lack a pleasant "tone." To me.

 

There's a joke that you can put EMG's on a shoe box and it'll sound like a guitar with EMG's.

JAZZ UN-STANDARDS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vE4FoJ4Cr4&feature=related

 

DON'T FEAR...THE REVERB! 60's Instrumentals with MORE BASS!

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Again, no question about the set up, it's a non issue. And I'm not talking from music store experience, but from years of playing and experimenting with different combinations. Of course, what one person seeks in a sound is not what another would.

 

I happen to think the Ibanez pu's sound good. I have one with Bartolini's and love it. Meanwhile, EMG's sound cold to me. They're loud and clear and have a a broad frequency range but just lack a pleasant "tone." To me.

 

There's a joke that you can put EMG's on a shoe box and it'll sound like a guitar with EMG's.

 

I'm under the impression that's true of any active pup, really, whether it SD, Bart, EMG, or any other name. When it comes to actives, the pup has a lot more to do with the sound than the wood.

 

Our joke was you can put actives on a broomstick and it'll sound like a guitar with actives.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was an active guy for years -- in the wake of the big keyboard bass era, they seemed more "modern." Now, they seem as wrong as a Steinberger and a mullet.

 

I not only prefer passive, but single coil. Yeah, that's right, noisy, humming, gritty. nasty ass singles. They got the "bite."

 

(Though I do love my P bass too).

JAZZ UN-STANDARDS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vE4FoJ4Cr4&feature=related

 

DON'T FEAR...THE REVERB! 60's Instrumentals with MORE BASS!

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Irecently re-did the wiring in my Jazz bass and the difference was definitely surprising. Tons better.

Maybe I'll start a thread...

 

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a joke that you can put EMG's on a turd and it'll sound Really F'n good

 

Fixed. But it's not a joke. It's the god-awful truth.

 

 

Things are just the way they are, and they're only going to get worse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a joke that you can put EMG's on a turd and it'll sound Really F'n good

 

Fixed. But it's not a joke. It's the god-awful truth.

 

 

Ha! That's the point. EMG'S have such a strong characteristic, it overrides all the other characteristics. I had EMG's in my Fodera and it sounded no better than my Ibanez with EMG's.

 

Actually, that's not true. The Ibanez sounded a little better.

JAZZ UN-STANDARDS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vE4FoJ4Cr4&feature=related

 

DON'T FEAR...THE REVERB! 60's Instrumentals with MORE BASS!

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the early 80's, Kramers were made of plywood, and lots of folks loved 'em. Plywood was stable, dense, and cheap. It went along with the whole "mass=sustain" formula everyone was convinced was the right was the right way to make electric instruments.

 

Tastes change, and instruments change to fit whatever the current tastes are. No doubt, it'll happen again somewhere down the line.

 

For my money, give me a bass that's light, resonant, and well-made, and if the p/up isn't what I like, I'll put what I want in it.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a joke that you can put EMG's on a turd and it'll sound Really F'n good

 

Fixed. But it's not a joke. It's the god-awful truth.

 

 

Yeah! I've used EMGs for years and I've had no problems with them at all and sound just fine to me. I guess to each their own.

Lydian mode? The only mode I know has the words "pie ala" in front of it.

http://www.myspace.com/theeldoradosband

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...