#1
I'm always wishy-washy about how I feel about my tone. I cant afford expensive professional equipment, but I've always felt that my current rig should be enough to nail a really solid tone. Maybe it's my EQ obsessiveness, or maybe I'm just too critical. I can sit down one day and play my bass and be absolutely in love with the tone coming out of my amp. Other days Ill sit down and play the exact same rig with the exact same settings in the exact same place and... nada.
Ive come to realize that Ive always been to focused on my tone. If Im playing well but my tone is slightly muddy, I hate it. Recently Ive been jamming with a couple guys and Ive been trying to focus less on my tone and just accept it. Now that Ive done that, my playing sounds a whole lot better to me. I sat down with my bass today and immediately loved the sounds I was making.

Anyone else have this happen to them or know what I mean? Do you focus more on your tone most of the time or your playing/skill?
...it was bright as the sun, but with ten times the heat
#2
I do it all the time, especially since I'm back in college and have to use my crappy little amp instead of my nice one.
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#3
I used to have a ton of EQ options, and I'd get worked up about having it just right. Now that I've simplified to 3 band EQs (usually with semi-parametric mids) on my amps and simple single tone knobs on all my basses I'm actually a lot happier. There's a lot less tweak-ability, but there's a much wider range of sounds that sound good to me.
Last edited by dullsilver_mike at Feb 6, 2012,
#4
I love having lots of adjustability, but I may be unique as once I find where I wanna be today, I stay there unless it just REALLY doesn't work with what I'm playing.

Of course, it is dependent on mood. the angrier I am, the more treble I throw on.
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#5
Knobs are always fun, but I find I always found my best tones with simple EQ's. My first real amp was a Fender BXR 200, had a ton of EQ options, but I set the band EQ to a modified frown, then kept treble and bass flat on the knobs. This left me with bright, deep and notch (mid cut), I'd go between these usually and have quick tone changes. Best moment was playing a cover of Sonic Youth's 100%, my p bass had fresh rounds tone know in the middle, amp flat as mentioned with bright and notch engaged. Didn't need a pedal or anything just the most grinding grunting tone I'd achieved ever. Kept that tone for a lot of our material then dumped the amp.

People seem to hate that amp, but it worked very well for me.
#6
Depends on what I am doing. I mean, I have a passive p bass with flats that I bust out for certain things. I start with the tone knob off and turn it up until it's got enough highs to sound balanced in the band mix. I have an active p/j soundgear that I put an audere preamp into that can cover a huge variety of toanz! That one is more of a pita to get sounding right because there are so many parameters. I may gut it again(or sell it) but I'm reluctant because it's such a sick bass to play.

I only ever adjust eq with my band playing though. I only adjust my tone pedals in the mix, mostly fuzz. Your tone always sounds different in the mix.

It isn't something I dwell on. As long as the main feel for what tone I want is there I don't get picky. So if I want that jazzy growly noise I get it on the soundgear, eq it to be heard in the mix, then go to town.
#7
My favorite tone I've ever got, was out of my Ampeg and Jazz bass.

It was an Ampeg Svt-3Pro with an Ampeg 4x10 into my Fender Am. Std. Jazz bass.
I set the knobs flat and engaged the bright and high boost switch, using fresh rounds.

It sounded so bright, growly, and crunchy, it was great. Add my Tech 21 VT bass, and I've got what sounds like a beefed up SVT sound. I would add a little drive to find a great P bass sound as well.

Its too bad that amp has been in the shop for so long. I miss that tone.
#8
I've been stoked on a certain set-up as of late, as my GKs and 10" cabs are at a practice space/recording studion...

My short-scale SX Jag (J/J), La'Bella ss Flats, 1968 Kustom200 head, and a Peavey 1x15 w/after market Eminence in it.


Vintage thump for days.
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