#1
Hey This is kinda mostly about amps ---but basically I was wondering where the tone comes from...would you say mostly from the pickups or the bass amp?

I kinda want a modern rock tone and i like to play hard rock and metal and RHCP...
I plan to either get a GK 112 Backline or an Ashdown 15" Electric Blue 180...

I heard Ashdown is mostly for jazz and reggae but can play rock as wel right..so what do you guys think?
#2
Everything. Playing style, woods in the bass, strings, cables (very farfetched but crap cables can affect it), any Effect pedals, and finally the amp.

As for the amps, i've played the 12" of the ashdown and it wasn't too shabby, especially for a "metal" band
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#3
The tone comes mostly from the amp. Pickups, wood, playing style, all that goes in there, but it makes up a far smaller percentage than the actual amp.
#4
mostly the amp, and the EQ on the amp plays a role too.

u'll hear alot of ppl say things like their bass can play any genre, thats cause the bass guitar isnt that big a diff in the tone. i'd have the say theres 3 or 4 things that makes a bigger differnece than the guitar itself.
#5
^ Well, i know personally, when i say a bass "can play any genre" (i'd use the word "versatile"), i'd say it for reasons like: The pickups, if it's a P/J/H combo, you KNOW thats versatility, a 3 band active Preamp is also good for versatility, etc.

Tone comes from (ill list MORE OR LESS in order of impact on tone, starting from biggest impact):

Amp, EQ, Pickups, Fingers, Tonewoods. A lot of little things affect tone too, but very little compared to those 4 (even tonewoods dosnt affect THAT much, unless you compare drastically diff woods)
#6
Quote by mangablade
Amp, EQ, Pickups, Fingers, Tonewoods. A lot of little things affect tone too, but very little compared to those 4 (even tonewoods dosnt affect THAT much, unless you compare drastically diff woods)


I'm going to have to dissagree with that.

Its all in the fingers. Your technique is what gives you an original sound, not a certain amp or really expensive bass. Any two people can play the same bass through the same amp with the same EQ and settings on it, and they will sound different. Why? Because each one of us is different. We all digg in at different levels, fret differently, use different parts of our fingers, etc. Besides your technique and fingers, the wood and fingerboard wood are what are going to give you the rest of your tone.

Amp settings and EQ only highlight what is already there. If you want the treble in your tone to stand out, you boost those highs. The amp isn't creating a tone, it is just adjusting your current tone. Same goes for bass EQ. I can play on a really ****ty bass, and get pretty much the same tone as on my Ibby. Same goes for most of us.


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#7
Hmmm, i agree for the most part, but everything combines to create what you hear. crap strings? tone suffers. cheap speaker? tone suffers. So yes, while i agree the wood and your fingers do most of the work, there is without doubt many other contributing factors from that to when it hits your ears..
#8
Quote by Applehead
Hmmm, i agree for the most part, but everything combines to create what you hear. crap strings? tone suffers. cheap speaker? tone suffers. So yes, while i agree the wood and your fingers do most of the work, there is without doubt many other contributing factors from that to when it hits your ears..

Well, he asked what mostly affected, so I answered fingers... I totally agree with this as well though


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#9
Quote by Applehead
Hmmm, i agree for the most part, but everything combines to create what you hear. crap strings? tone suffers. cheap speaker? tone suffers. So yes, while i agree the wood and your fingers do most of the work, there is without doubt many other contributing factors from that to when it hits your ears..

Like Inky (NOT Dan) said, the fingers are the base of your tone. Things like strings highlight what are already there.

Of course, it works both ways- things like dead strings can also detract from what is there, which causes tone to suffer.
Last edited by Scourge441 at Sep 29, 2006,
#10
I'm not Dan lol... Dan's the other guy with a green name who hangs out in this forum


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#11
Quote by Incubus_SCIENCE
I'm not Dan lol... Dan's the other guy with a green name who hangs out in this forum

Whoops. I saw green and immediately thought Dan.

Damn laziness.
#12
Quote by Incubus_SCIENCE
I'm going to have to dissagree with that.

Its all in the fingers. Your technique is what gives you an original sound, not a certain amp or really expensive bass. Any two people can play the same bass through the same amp with the same EQ and settings on it, and they will sound different. Why? Because each one of us is different. We all digg in at different levels, fret differently, use different parts of our fingers, etc. Besides your technique and fingers, the wood and fingerboard wood are what are going to give you the rest of your tone.

Amp settings and EQ only highlight what is already there. If you want the treble in your tone to stand out, you boost those highs. The amp isn't creating a tone, it is just adjusting your current tone. Same goes for bass EQ. I can play on a really ****ty bass, and get pretty much the same tone as on my Ibby. Same goes for most of us.


Unplugged, yeah youre fingers are going to make the biggest difference.

But plugged, altho fingers obviously play a big role, i STILL think that the amp and EQ will do more for the tone than the fingers themselves. Wether you're playing really soft, plucking hard, using a pick, etc., if you have bass at 10, mids and treb at 0, you're not going to hear that big of a difference.

To me: Fingers are the paintbrush, EQ is the paint, and the Amp is the thing you're painting on. The paintbrush can make a difference, OBVIOUSLY, but i still refuse to believe it impacts more than the EQ and the Amp.

And please dont say "well dropping the treble from 10 to 5 dosnt make as much of a difference as plucking soft or plucking hard" (or anything similair), because then, we cant measure, but its two different things, if working with a 3 band EQ, lets say thats "30 points" of tone (0-10 of bass,mid , treble), and working with your fingers, i'd say, is 20 points of tone. Going from plucking hard (like PRETTY FRIGGIN hard), to plucking nice and soft (virtually no "harshness"), is like 12 points of tone difference, so obviously 5 points of difference in the EQ (treble from 10 to 5) isnt going to be as much of a difference.

Anyway thats how i see it, and i respect your opinion, but choose to stick with mine.
#13
^Does your tone change when you take the same bass and plug it into two amps, both amps having a flat EQ?


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#14
A little, depending on how the amps differ (besides the speaker size, SS/tube, Features, all that jazz, amps can have the same everything and still sound different from brand to brand).

For example, going from a fender Rumble 60 (i think.. dont think it was 100) and a traynor older bass amp (looked 50-100W), both with relatively the same EQ, the rumble had a much more "Bass/treble" sound where the traynor had a lot of Mids (mostly high mids)
#15
You can't make set-in-stone rules about tone. It can vary from bass-to-bass, amp-to-amp, and even pickup-to-pickup. Some basses sound the exact same through any amp and some, like my cheap-ass SX J-bass, sound incredibly different on different amps. Even pickups can have a varying impact on sound. All the jazz pickups i've ever heard sound pretty much the same, but the difference between the Ernie Ball Stingray humbucker and pretty much any other humbucker is unbelievable.

But here's a somewhat-related question. Does the height (as in further or closer to the string) of your pickups do anything?
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#16
^ Yes.

Higher pickups will give you: More volume, more treble, "hotter" pickups a bit (afaik) (not in the heat sense lol)

lower pickups: less treble, unwanted noises, and less chance of hitting your strings

Note that string hitting pickups, crap like that, is different if you include Pickup covers in the picture.
#17
that's what i figure. but i read this article about some bassists gear where the writer said that he "screwed the pickups into the bass as far as they would go, for more volume" and that just didn't make sense.
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#18
just wanted to throw this bit in:

i use the same technique with my fingers all the time. i was tweaking around with my LMB-3 pedal. at first it was set on "finger picking" which is low enhance high threshold high ratio, in other words lots of compression. i then switched everything to 6 o'clock, except ratio, and i got a much different tone, a slappy clicking kind of tone.

so although fingers may play a big role in tone, everything will dictate how much of ur fingers really show.
#19
There's a difference between sound and tone IMO. Sound is what your gear gives you, and what your EQ does for you.


Tone is what you yourself and the music you play in does. That's why I think your playing style affects your tone the most, along with the music your playing too. There's also the argument of a pro being able to make any rig sound good.
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