.30over
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Join date: Dec 2012
324 IQ
#1
think the header says it all but have found myself wondering this. Been planning on changing pickups cause im not to overly satisfied with the stock tone in my bass. But after two basses one a passive dual coil with one tone knob and my current with dual soap-bars and active electronics and several tone adjustments yet pretty much the same sound (active simply having a bit more level) It is starting to appear to me that my amp might be the culprit and I have been blaming my bass for things that she has not done. Now I know there are very distinct differences between amp manufacturers and differences from Tube to Solid State....but is it possible that one amp whatever it may be could actually sound pretty much the same regardless of what bass you play into it (would most basses sound the same on say an Ampeg, Same basses sound different from the Ampeg but again the same on a Hartke?) Of course if this is so...then pickup advertising and hype is all malarchy that needs to be stomped out.
dark Mass
ZORK
Join date: Oct 2009
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#2
Pickups don't change your tone drastically like a new amp would. Like with any electric instrument the pickups are scalpel to fine tune in your tone.

If you're not happy with the overall tone you need to replace the amp.The same could be said if you like the amp's tone but it needs some help in getting the bass to fit in pups are the way to go.
Damn it! Disable can't use disable to disable Disable's disable because disable's disable has already been disabled by Disable's disable!
Last edited by dark Mass at Dec 18, 2012,
Ziphoblat
The Enigma
Join date: Jun 2010
390 IQ
#3
Pickups or Amp......which is major source of actual tone?


Both.

would most basses sound the same on say an Ampeg


Nope.

Of course if this is so...then pickup advertising and hype is all malarchy that needs to be stomped out.


But, of course, it isn't true. The entire hobbyist musician trade is founded upon hype. Surely your first port of call ought to be people selling gold-plated cables and other such power-of-suggestion based voodoo rather than amp manufacturers.
Spare a Cow
Eat a Vegan
.30over
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Join date: Dec 2012
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#4
Quote by Ziphoblat
Both.


Nope.


But, of course, it isn't true. The entire hobbyist musician trade is founded upon hype. Surely your first port of call ought to be people selling gold-plated cables and other such power-of-suggestion based voodoo rather than amp manufacturers.



so your saying that magnetic bracelets wont let me channel my basses vibrations directly into my soul?
Dayn
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536 IQ
#5
Quote by .30over
so your saying that magnetic bracelets wont let me channel my basses vibrations directly into my soul?
No, you'll need my specially-charged hematite necklace tuned to A432 to unlock the purest sounds. Order today!
Ibanez RG2228 w/ EMG808Xs | Line 6 POD HD500 | Mackie HD1221
anarkee
oh the horror!
Join date: Aug 2006
3,136 IQ
#6
Quote by Dayn
No, you'll need my specially-charged hematite necklace tuned to A432 to unlock the purest sounds. Order today!


Or a special bass that Ritter will be premiering next week.


Back on topic. I agree, its both, not one or the other. Ampeg (and other non-transparent) amps color your sound, but if you run a Precision and a say Ibanez SR500 through it, they will sound different.
Alucard817
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Join date: May 2010
1,443 IQ
#7
A basses tone is like a jigsaw puzzle. Most of the components play a least some role in a basses tone. How much "control" some components have over the tone is up for debate.

IMOO I think the amp has a bit more to do with tone then say pups, but not by much.
Quote by FatalGear41
In the end, the only question is: what bass would Jesus play?

I think he's a Fender Jazz guy.
chatterbox272
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#8
Definitely amp I think. You can play anything through an Ampeg SVT stack and it'll have 'that ampeg sound' whereas if you were to change to a different kind of the same type of pickup (e.g. from one J style pickup to another) then I don't think that would be as noticeable. Between different pickup types though it's pretty close, you can play a P bass through anything and it'll still sound like a P bass.
.30over
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Join date: Dec 2012
324 IQ
#9
Quote by chatterbox272
Definitely amp I think. You can play anything through an Ampeg SVT stack and it'll have 'that ampeg sound' whereas if you were to change to a different kind of the same type of pickup (e.g. from one J style pickup to another) then I don't think that would be as noticeable. Between different pickup types though it's pretty close, you can play a P bass through anything and it'll still sound like a P bass.


This is what Ive been thinking. The few amps I have actually played thru are really low end amps...All three basses I have had pretty much sounded the same thru the amps I own.
1. flea market Crate 15 watt bass amp for 15 bucks.
2. 10 watt Acoustic practice amp.
3. B200h Acoustic amp with 4x10

Crate sounds the same as the Acoustics at low volume but overdrives to easily

Hoping Ill go to GC this weekend and try out a Markbass, Ampeg Portaflex if they one, or a GK I could try and bells will go off....then I will be able to quit listening to myself everytime we play and wondering what the hell is missing
Sliide90027
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#10
Ziph and Dark Mass made great points about the strength of components within the signal chain and how they can dominate.

Truth be known, Wood>String>Pickup>Amp>Cabinet>Speaker.

The string cannot give what the wood does not have, even on it's best day. The Sound Wave must have an Origin, and Heavy or Light woods make an impact on the wave.

The Pickup cannot give nor add what the string does not give.

The Amplifier cannot, by its nature create something that it is not already there in some form.

The Cabinet, design and material, well that is another encyclopedia within itself, and shape and substance are significant to the sound much like the Instrument itself.

Speaker is the final thing of course, and is part and parcel to the subject of the Cabinet.

While these things accentuate or amplify frequencies present (not originate), they also by design can be a choke point that colors frequencies.

There is so much to learn along your particular signal path and this world of so many things that can be brought into your mix.

Like you, I am not a Pickup guy. I have 4 of one Instrument with 2 typs of Pickups, and I am fine with either of them, because most of all, they "work", they impress.

My preamps are where I do my work, since the Pickups are doing theirs already.

If you want your Bass to sound different but do not want to spend money, do something radical with the tone knobs should go without saying, but you have to, before you invest in anything else. Discover its choke points. Discover how to work within them or move on.

From the descrition of the amps in this case, they do not appear to offer much of a departure from each other and share solid state design. Very colored designs of the past.

So take your Bass Shopping. Test many different Amps and see what flexibility the Bass really has to offer overall from all Amps. Then you will know if pehaps it is time for different Pickups like Dimarzios, or Bartolini's, or SD's. You have to love that Bass and you will have to should you fee the Pups are choking the Instrument. You have to have an idea of where you are going to do a Pickup switch. (Or find a seasoned Luthier of Basses who can interview you and reach into yor mind and discover what youare looking for.)

While it costs more to do, it is easier and less hassle to change amps, and shop them, without changing the feel of the instrument by buying a new one, or risking an unsatisfactory choice in Pickups.

I reccomend finding an amp that offers a mixable tube and solid state preamp section, just to try out. You can see quickly what you like or do not as well as what more your Bass can give you in what will probably be a modern colorless (save for the tube) amp.

Ibought my amp with a ual Preamp section because I was not sure what I wanted. I really had a bad timewith tubes in the past. Now I run 3 of them in the path. Go figure!

As for Pups and Active Electronics. Just think of them as two more levels of defintion, like HD and then Blue Ray. They do make a difference to some players, not all.

Good luck on the quest. Remember, if there is doubt about something, move on, you have not found what you are looking for, it does not matter who endorses it.
CJ Noble
WAHAHA~!
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#11
amps outweigh pickups slightly but the biggest impact on tone is technique
1978 Peavey T-40 -> Ampeg Micro-VR - > Ampeg SVT210AV + Ampeg SVT-15E
.30over
Registered User
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324 IQ
#12
I would of quoted that thesis you wrote Sliide90027...not sure the servers could handle two of them.

Have been looking into some amps....the ampeg portaflex series has my eye for the moment.

Been considering starting my own little rack system. Beginning with a tech 21 RBI and RPM another GX3 for power. And a power conditioner. Small Enough I can fit it anywhere and plenty powerful......but would be nice if I could actually try it somewhere....wouldnt it be nice if the music stores who know you need to try different stuff, actually had stuff out to try intentionally instead of just walking in hoping what you want is out on the floor that day.
John Swift
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Join date: May 2004
899 IQ
#13
Pickups are there to reproduce the tone of the instrument the preamp stage of the amp is designed to shape the tone.
It's even more interesting with an active instrument.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
Sliide90027
Registered User
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368 IQ
#14
Quote by .30over
I would of quoted that thesis you wrote Sliide90027...not sure the servers could handle two of them.

Have been looking into some amps....the ampeg portaflex series has my eye for the moment.

Been considering starting my own little rack system. Beginning with a tech 21 RBI and RPM another GX3 for power. And a power conditioner. Small Enough I can fit it anywhere and plenty powerful......but would be nice if I could actually try it somewhere....wouldnt it be nice if the music stores who know you need to try different stuff, actually had stuff out to try intentionally instead of just walking in hoping what you want is out on the floor that day.


Thanks, I think

Some Stores on line have a return policy for 30 days on things. So that might help you in some respects.

The fact that you have some prospective items means you have a course of action.

It goes without saying then, read everything that you can on these prospective components and the artists who use them. Sometimes people like the Bass Whisperer have videos of use of the component.

Since lack of availability has the process stopped, find reviews and people who will talk about the items and your ideas.

I find few who want to talk about my ideas, but I will try to hang around if you want another brain on the project, not that you have to agree with my thoughts.
.30over
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2012
324 IQ
#16
theres alot of people saying that technique has alot to do with tone. Which is true...tone into the pickup...after that it is entirely up to electronics. These are what im trying to define here...

techniques come with practice...no amount of practice will make a crap pre amp do more than it is capable of. Or make base price speakers put anything out that they cant handle.

Really just sucks that there are literally a million options to shape tone. I have been looking into electronics lately, but one of our guitarists just the other day bought a new guitar from Dean. Same exact model as another one he has except his new one has a fixed bridge with string thru body....I have heard alot of people say that string thru doesn't make a difference and to those people I now say....."you need to take a second listen and put the beer down when you do."
His new guitar has a clear tonal difference from his other guitar. Much better sounding low end (his acoustic is almost haunting now where before it was simply acoustic) Even the distorted sound comes thru much more leveled and clear. And now has me reconsidering just upgrading my bass before looking into amps.
Sliide90027
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Join date: Oct 2012
368 IQ
#17
30

String through was good for the players who were not going to go for Tapered or Bare Core strings.

On REg Guitars, string through will always be different from a Tremelo Bridge, because there is more wood remaining in the instrument.

What you are going to find is that there are many schools of thought on things.

So, concluding that what you want to do is work on you bass there are many people here and on the Web who have altered/customized their basses, and there might be one that has had your particular instrument or similar wood composition and gone down this road.

If your feel for this instrument is perfect to a slightly lesser opinion, alteration might be the way to go. But if there is a physical disatisfaction with it in any way, it might be time to pump the $300 in pickups and a preamp into a more satisfying instrument.

If your bass is a beginner entry level instrument, it is probably time to move on as opposed to upgrade the existing instrument. Additional improvements will not prove to increase its value, except to you.
If it is an intermediate instrument, there might be some very specific changes that will net the best result, heavier Bridge, Active Preamp, Pickups are the three general areas.
.30over
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2012
324 IQ
#18
Quote by Sliide90027
30

String through was good for the players who were not going to go for Tapered or Bare Core strings.

On REg Guitars, string through will always be different from a Tremelo Bridge, because there is more wood remaining in the instrument.

What you are going to find is that there are many schools of thought on things.

So, concluding that what you want to do is work on you bass there are many people here and on the Web who have altered/customized their basses, and there might be one that has had your particular instrument or similar wood composition and gone down this road.

If your feel for this instrument is perfect to a slightly lesser opinion, alteration might be the way to go. But if there is a physical disatisfaction with it in any way, it might be time to pump the $300 in pickups and a preamp into a more satisfying instrument.

If your bass is a beginner entry level instrument, it is probably time to move on as opposed to upgrade the existing instrument. Additional improvements will not prove to increase its value, except to you.
If it is an intermediate instrument, there might be some very specific changes that will net the best result, heavier Bridge, Active Preamp, Pickups are the three general areas.


and therein lies my conundrum.....how do you determine what is beginner, intermediate, semi pro, and professional? I have noticed that using cost as a deciding factor is flawed cause many basses that go for say 300 are reviewed as great instruments while some that go for twice as much are clearly labelled as beginner basses. Hell I have the Schecter Omen Extreme 5 string, yet the Schecter Stiletto 5 has all the same woods, hardware and electronics yet somehow gets reviewed as a better instrument and costs more??? Bringing me back to just going around trying everything under the sun that I can happen across in a left handed model and hoping something clicks...(I hate you right handed people and your endless supply of choices)

Here all I do know about my bass in particular.
I do not like the bridge...it doesn't fit larger gauge strings as neatly as it probably should which I am sure is effecting tone. And probably the reason that I cannot get intonation exact on either my E or B string.
From what I have read and noticed myself, Actives have a tendency to exaggerate highs, which is a PIMA

think these two alone would lead me to change bridge and at least switch to passive controls....but by the time im done with that I would be very close to just buying a new bass.

As a feeler I sent out Emails to quite a few manufacturers recently asking specifically what they offer us left handed mongrels. Hoping at least a few will reply.

Besides...got the O.K from my master to purchase another bass (without trading in)....should this be questioned???
John Swift
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Join date: May 2004
899 IQ
#19
Quote by .30over
and therein lies my conundrum.....how do you determine what is beginner, intermediate, semi pro, and professional????


90+% of those who call themselves professional in reality haven't got a daytime job so call themselves 'professionals'

I am one of the very few I know who have at one time correctly refered themselves as professional.
For some years I was a military musician in the British Army where I played bass guitar and Saxophone and attended 'Knellar Hall' The Royal Military School of Music in London England.
The job was 24/7 in the military band, dance band and rock band.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
chatterbox272
Registered User
Join date: May 2011
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#20
Quote by .30over
Hell I have the Schecter Omen Extreme 5 string, yet the Schecter Stiletto 5 has all the same woods, hardware and electronics yet somehow gets reviewed as a better instrument and costs more???

I would imagine that there are quality differences in the wood, they use lower quality wood of the same type for the Omen than they do for the Stiletto. Otherwise it doesn't make any sense at all.
.30over
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2012
324 IQ
#21
Quote by chatterbox272
I would imagine that there are quality differences in the wood, they use lower quality wood of the same type for the Omen than they do for the Stiletto. Otherwise it doesn't make any sense at all.


must have magic tuners that never need to be adjusted and know instantly what tuning you wish to play in and adjust accordingly!
.30over
Registered User
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324 IQ
#22
Just spent some time at GC going over almost every bass amp they had in stock.

Ampeg SVT classic was enough to make me want to do nasty, nasty things right there in the store!

Markbass combo with 2x8 had a good sound with alot of punch but a bit too much fart for me.

TC Electronics 250 watt combo had alot of options and some built in effects, didnt sound bad at all.

GK 700rb didnt seem to have much range in the settings...or maybe I didn't have the time needed to go thru the wide array of adjustments that it offered.

Gallien Krueger 200w combo was IMO the best sounding for my purposes (outside of the Ampeg of course.) They only had the 1x15 combo....gonna be looking into the 500 watt 2x12 or maybe even the 4x10 combos.!!!! Did have kind of a sterile sound...but my sansamp will clear that right up.
Sliide90027
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Join date: Oct 2012
368 IQ
#23
30

My interpretation on Beg. inter. and Pro is purely on price point which will commonly dictate build quality and resale value.

Probases are usually very well thought out and do not commonly wind up in the hands of beginners, In all reality, it does not pay well to make alterations to such Boutique instruments because of their point of origin and the planning that was put into their make up.

Beginner Basses are in my book new $300 and lower. Making alterations to these instruments one may find the electronics out pacing the stability of the build. One will never get any money out of their alterations.

Intermediate -$300 to $850 (well below the Boutique instruments) In this range you could have the attention of a second owner regarding the alterations that you make. It is a competetive market, and most of these instruments will come out of the factory ready to compete. Some will go for a Modulous Neck, change the Pickups, or the Preamp, even the Bridge. They are enough base value that the owner can jusify the modification.

So, we are talking purely price.
Sliide90027
Registered User
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368 IQ
#24
Quote by .30over
Just spent some time at GC going over almost every bass amp they had in stock.

Ampeg SVT classic was enough to make me want to do nasty, nasty things right there in the store!

Markbass combo with 2x8 had a good sound with alot of punch but a bit too much fart for me.

TC Electronics 250 watt combo had alot of options and some built in effects, didnt sound bad at all.

GK 700rb didnt seem to have much range in the settings...or maybe I didn't have the time needed to go thru the wide array of adjustments that it offered.

Gallien Krueger 200w combo was IMO the best sounding for my purposes (outside of the Ampeg of course.) They only had the 1x15 combo....gonna be looking into the 500 watt 2x12 or maybe even the 4x10 combos.!!!! Did have kind of a sterile sound...but my sansamp will clear that right up.



Was that with your Bass?

Interesting how your taste is between a Solid State amp and a Tube amp.

I prefer the 2x12. Play before you pay.

So you can see then how much a different animal any one of these Amps is to your present amp.

Good to hear you are making progress.


P.S. Million options to shape tone:
Yep, 3 band on Bass, 11 Band 9 Programs in the EQ20, 4 band on the First BP8, another 4 band on the Second BP8, 3 Band tone Shaper on Amp, 5 Band EQ on AMp, Tweeter attenuators on 2 cabinets, S/S Pre on Amp. Tube Pre on Amp, Tube Pre on First BP8, Tube Pre on Second BP8.

GEEEEZE!!!!!!! So even if I relegate one BP8 as a distortion Wah Pedal set up, I only dropped one preamp and one EQ.

Madness. Oh the Humanity
Last edited by Sliide90027 at Dec 27, 2012,
.30over
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2012
324 IQ
#25
yes with my bass...Svt alone was enough.....but who can afford that.....Thinking the GK along with my sans amp will be plenty....tone achieved!

But since they only have the 1x15 in stock i will have to bu the 2 x 10 sight unseen


crap!
.30over
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2012
324 IQ
#26
Quote by Sliide90027
30

My interpretation on Beg. inter. and Pro is purely on price point which will commonly dictate build quality and resale value.

Probases are usually very well thought out and do not commonly wind up in the hands of beginners, In all reality, it does not pay well to make alterations to such Boutique instruments because of their point of origin and the planning that was put into their make up.

Beginner Basses are in my book new $300 and lower. Making alterations to these instruments one may find the electronics out pacing the stability of the build. One will never get any money out of their alterations.

Intermediate -$300 to $850 (well below the Boutique instruments) In this range you could have the attention of a second owner regarding the alterations that you make. It is a competetive market, and most of these instruments will come out of the factory ready to compete. Some will go for a Modulous Neck, change the Pickups, or the Preamp, even the Bridge. They are enough base value that the owner can jusify the modification.

So, we are talking purely price.


and I think that that is where I fall.....I could either change my bridge, or change electronics..or both and have a much better sounding bass. But could also take that money trade the bass in and get something with what I think Im looking for. So it works out bout the same. I end up with the same bass either way. Now my search for a better "sounding" bass might come down simply to which paint job I like better. Sounds stupid I know.
John Swift
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Join date: May 2004
899 IQ
#27
Quote by .30over
yes with my bass...Svt alone was enough.....but who can afford that.....Thinking the GK along with my sans amp will be plenty....tone achieved!

But since they only have the 1x15 in stock i will have to bu the 2 x 10 sight unseen


crap!

If it's for full backline work I'd go for the 15.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
John Swift
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Join date: May 2004
899 IQ
#29
Quote by Sliide90027
Get the 2x12. Really.


Are you a regular gigger and have you compared on stage 15 to 2x12?
The same with a 2x10 combo which is only usable as backline when augmented through the PA
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
.30over
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2012
324 IQ
#30
I have not myself compared the GK 15 to the 2x10 or 2x12...wish I had that kind of cash though! I do own a 200w Acoustic Head with a 4x10 and 1x15 And I have noticed that I would much rather play through the 4x10 than the 1x15 in that instance. The 4x10 comes out clear and solid while I have to fight the EQ and gain structures to get anything but muddled low end nonsense out of the 1x15. Just going off of that example I have gained a distast for 1x15s. I like being able to plug in and already being close to where I want to be instead of screwing around with the amp-cab all night.
.30over
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324 IQ
#31
For that reason Im really considering the GK mb410 and trading in my active Schecter for the Schecter Diamond Pbass 5 string along with my Sansamp pedal. And still have enough left for a bottle of JIm Beam Devils Cut Bourbon to break it all in.

Just havent seen much for reviews on the mb410!
Last edited by .30over at Dec 31, 2012,
Sliide90027
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#32
Quote by John Swift
Are you a regular gigger and have you compared on stage 15 to 2x12?
The same with a 2x10 combo which is only usable as backline when augmented through the PA



I beat out 3 Stacks, that is 24 speakers, and the guitarist fired me for being too loud. That is with 425x, so 500 would be no problem as the OP said was possible if he waits.

People gravitate to my sound, and the musicians I have worked with are in awe. Even when I am down to 1 12.

I have had a 15" 2255 JBL running under a Crown MicroTech 1000 and 2 5" 8110's. I am extremely satisfied and shocked by this liitle 2x12 rig. Ieven over the Eden 410xlt under a Crown CE 2000. I prefer the clarity of the 12's.

I have absolutely no hesitations in recommending this direction.

I am sorry you doubt me.

Like you, I would not have chosen this direction from sight, only spec of cabinet freq. response and baltic birch cosntruction.