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John Entwhistle's Sound

freddy bloggs

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Yeah, bumpcity, you always mention that beautous piece ; } ...And I can't blame you, because Ashdown has actually come up with a rig with some personality and yet is quite flexible too. The Entwhistle sig model is mainly just a cosmetic enhancemnt of their top preamp design, and I know Bass Northwest got some more of them awhile back, after thinking that they all had been sold.


Now that I'm almost done laughing about the irony of the P Bass being a meaningful contributor to E's sonic personality, I'll just say you don't need the same gear - you just need gear that can be tweaked and played to make that sound. If the spirit of that sound is in YOU and your gear isn't totally locked into something opposite, you can do it.


Think some tubey front-end and roundwounds and a faily bright bass, at the very least. Listen, tweak, listen more, and find a distortion strategy that either works with what you already have or consider augmenting what you already have.


A thing I've notice with LOTS of cover bands is that people will be convinced that you have a song or artist nailed if you really understand that player's vibe and can sell the music - even if your rig sounds somewhat different.


Heck, these guys went through lots of gear anyway, and through the PA didn't even sound sonically the same from night to night, the main constant being they themselves.




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Forgot to add my obligatory comment that what one sees on the stage often isn't what was used in the studio - and even if it was, by the time it ran through DI and/or mic of various descriptions, and put through rack gear and board, and hit TAPE, it's likely to be quite different.


This is another reason to understand a player's philosophy and sonic personality. I've heard guys that had supposedly all the right gear and yet they were getting smoked by some dude with a pawnshop monstrosity plugged into a 20+ year old Peavey with 250,000 miles on it. Why is that? ; }

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In his early days, John manually split his cord going from his bass in to a 'Y' so it went into a guitar rig and a bass rig. He said it separated and defined the highs/lows better. It sure suited his style. However, today, you can get amps to do that for you by a push of a button without the spark of genius John foresaw.
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There have been numerous articles in Bass Player about Entwistle's sound. No "h" in his name, he didn't whistle.


Most recenty in the September 2002 issue. There's a link to an older article on the Bass Player website, but every time I go to it, my computer crashes.


Get a Gibson Thunderbird and replace the neck with a Fender neck. Or buy a Status Buzzard bass.


The Ox did play a precision on Tommy and Live at Leeds.


And of course you need Rotosound strings


As far as amplification, if you use the same gear as he did, you won't be able to play anywhere, you'll be way too loud. The Who was one of the loudest bands that ever existed. At one point he was using two 4x12's, two 3x12's, two 1x15's and two 1x18's.


If you learn all the songs and your bandmates do the same, it doesn't really matter if you get the exact sound...you'll get your point across.

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If you want to see what gear Entwistle was using recently, why not go to john entwistle.com ?


I haven't been able to find a link yet, but I have seen in many sources that the Ox put a Fender neck on a Gibson Thunderbird and called it a Fenderbird.


Maybe he did use a saw.


What's this in the picture?



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Not a bizarre Fender, a Thunderbird with P-bass neck. According to the Sept 2002 BP mag:


"...before recording Who's Next, [Entwistle] switched to a Gibson Thunderbird IV. After finding the necks too thin, he had a maple P-bass neck installed on a number of his Thunderbirds for wider spacing."


Page 56 of the aforementioned issue, a tribute to the Ox following his death, is all about the gear he used at different points in his career. But, GB's point should not be lost -- you can have exactly the same gear and never ever sound like Entwistle, while someone else can capture aspects of his sound using a completely different rig.



Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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