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#1
As the title implies, my tone is bland. Probably not surprising as I'm playing a Squier P-bass through a guitar amp. And no, the amp isn't in any danger of exploding.

Anyway, my tone is very lacking in midrange. It's as if the tone knob is turned all the way down, even when it's not. Slapping just doesn't come through well at all, but when I try slapping at the GC on the expensive equipment, it comes through just fine. The tone in my head is very similar to Tony Stevens and John Myung

My question is what would be most cost effective in improving my tone, changing the guitar entirely, putting in new pickups, getting a dedicated bass amp or a decent bass cab for my current amp. (Valve Jr.)

I don't gig, and I don't play bass with anyone else, so a 400-watt amp would probably be overkill.
#3
valve juniors dont have EQs right? you could try getting an EQ pedal but i definately think a small bass combo would suffice
#4
yeah, get a bass amp.
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#5
Definitely get a new amp.

I'm able to get a good tone from my Squier P-Bass, simply by messing with the EQ. So a bass amp with a strong EQ is a good way to go.
The.
#7
Strings are about 6 months old, though I don't remember them being any brighter when they were new...

And what are some good combo's to look at? I'd like to avoid buying the MG of bass amps, if possible.
#9
6 month old strings through a guitar amp is obviously your problem.

Just go through the entire range of 30-50w amps at your local store and pick the best of 'em. I say 30w+ because I find the really, really small amps just don't push much bass around... and usually come combined with single 6-8" speakers, which completely fail for bass.
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#11
Are you really surprised that a cheap bass with half-year old strings through a guitar amp has a bland tone? I tell you this right now - midrange isn't what you're lacking.
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I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#13
Quote by kaptink
how old are your strings?


Some Bass players never change their strings, even people who play bass for a living. I would suggest getting a new amp before anything else. Im playing on over a year old Yamaha stock strings and I still get a decent sound out of my Peavey bass amp.
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#14
Quote by ChemicalFire
Some Bass players never change their strings, even people who play bass for a living. I would suggest getting a new amp before anything else. Im playing on over a year old Yamaha stock strings and I still get a decent sound out of my Peavey bass amp.


Please, stop talking from where the sun don't shine. Strings go dead with at least two months. They break. Different brands give different tones. I'd say strings should really be changed every other month.

But get a better amp first. It will do wonders for your tone, and give you a bit more power. Then get a pack of nice strings.
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#15
Quote by gm jack
Please, stop talking from where the sun don't shine. Strings go dead with at least two months. They break. Different brands give different tones. I'd say strings should really be changed every other month.

But get a better amp first. It will do wonders for your tone, and give you a bit more power. Then get a pack of nice strings.


James Jamerson never changed his strings.
#16
Quote by gm jack
Please, stop talking from where the sun don't shine. Strings go dead with at least two months. They break. Different brands give different tones. I'd say strings should really be changed every other month.

But get a better amp first. It will do wonders for your tone, and give you a bit more power. Then get a pack of nice strings.


Why don't you stop talking out of your ass and realize peoples' tastes differ. You might think that strings go bad at 2 months, others will think 6 months, others a year, some people might only change strings on the rare event they break. It takes, Diff'rent Strokes, it takes Diff'rent Strokes, it takes, Diff'rent Strokes to move the wooooooorld.
#19
The whole "not changing strings" thing is mostly decided on tone. New strings are usually brighter while old strings are more mellow. It also depends on how cheap you are, like numero uno here!
#20
Quote by Deliriumbassist
I do have to say, I love a bit of mud, and I really, really hate the sound of new strings.


I seem to be the total opposite. I love the sound of new strings, and love a clear, articulated tone (either that or the nasty, gritty tone that my SVT helps me get). It really depends on what I'm playing. To the threadstarter, I'd look into Gallien Krueger, Ashdown, and Ampeg for combos. The best advice is to try them for yourself. And get some Elixrs.
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#21
First get a bass amp, I reccomend the 50w Ampeg BA series one, two new strings are a must, especially if you play hard, I play with the heaviest gauge DR highbeams and I still change strings every 2 months, bc I beat the hell out of them, so new strings, new amp, and my squier P-Bass sounds great thru my Ampeg so get a new amp

w00t first post on.... second page
Quote by thefitz
Interesting. It turns out that there are people on the forum who play an upright bass. I'll make a note of that.

*makes note*

*puts note on wall*

*stares at note for a minute*

*sits back down and resumes doing what I was doing*
#22
Quote by PunkRocker33133
First get a bass amp, I reccomend the 50w Ampeg BA series one, two new strings are a must, especially if you play hard, I play with the heaviest gauge DR highbeams and I still change strings every 2 months, bc I beat the hell out of them, so new strings, new amp, and my squier P-Bass sounds great thru my Ampeg so get a new amp

w00t first post on.... second page


and how much does an Ampeg cost these days?
#23
Quote by FullMetalBass
The whole "not changing strings" thing is mostly decided on tone. New strings are usually brighter while old strings are more mellow. It also depends on how cheap you are, like numero uno here!


I just bulk buy cheap flats. Sound like what most people would consider dead rounds IMO. I hardly notice any tone difference between sets of strings, though they are far nicer to play on. Roundwounds were made to give strings more bite and treble. Soif you want to get rid of that, for a more bassy, dead sound, go for flats.

I just find that buying new strings is far more practical, as old strings strertch easier, old strings are more likely to go out of tune. Also, old strings are weaker. After an E string gives you a cut down the side of your cheek, you try to be extra careful. Also, old strings tend to go horrible and slimy, as and swea or grease on your hands gets onto the strings, and after a while makes it fairly disgusting to play on when you can scrape dirt off the strings with a nail.

I managed to get 7/8 sets for £50 on eBay, so I was sorted for over a year at my fairly frequent rate of string use,so a good look around can get a good deal.

It might justbe my obsesive nature, but I find that as strings are not made ot be permenant, they should be made so. Like living in one of those huge caravans. To me, the strings are designed to be replaced fairly often.
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Quote by elliott FTW
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#24
My strings on my Warwick and Jazz are dead dead dead. Dead. I've had them since the beginning of September on my Jazz, and my Warwick strings were previously on my Jazz since the end of June. They're so dead that tuning with harmonics is almost impossible now since everything just muds into eachother. I personally don't know how you can honestly say you like the sound of old strings - maybe your other gear isn't quite 'revealing' enough of the state of your strings.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#25
Quote by thefitz
Are you really surprised that a cheap bass with half-year old strings through a guitar amp has a bland tone? I tell you this right now - midrange isn't what you're lacking.


Not really surprised. Though I'm still uncertain what a bass amp does that a guitar amp does not, (I mean the amp itself, tone stacks and speakers aside), I can see the need for different EQ ranges and cabinet loadings for bass as opposed to guitar.

Quote by gm jack
I just find that buying new strings is far more practical, as old strings strertch easier, old strings are more likely to go out of tune. Also, old strings are weaker. After an E string gives you a cut down the side of your cheek, you try to be extra careful. Also, old strings tend to go horrible and slimy, as and swea or grease on your hands gets onto the strings, and after a while makes it fairly disgusting to play on when you can scrape dirt off the strings with a nail.


This being only the second set of strings that have been on this particular bass I can't say I have a whole lot of experience, but thus far, I have NEVER had to tune up. Every time I check, the strings are at the pitch I tuned them to last, even after a lot of hard thumping and slap/pop practice.

I find that washing my hands before practice tends to keep the strings cleaner, and a moist towelette makes for a nice string cleaner, on those days when I absolutely must guzzle the Doritos while practicing.

As for amps, I went to GC and played around a little with the same model bass as I have, and nothing in an immediately affordable range really stood out... Although I don't really have a limit on price, anything past about $250 is going to be pushed back until after my guitar rig is where I want it to be.
#26
Quote by The Atomic Ass
Not really surprised. Though I'm still uncertain what a bass amp does that a guitar amp does not, (I mean the amp itself, tone stacks and speakers aside), I can see the need for different EQ ranges and cabinet loadings for bass as opposed to guitar.


A bass amp is built to handle lower frequencies in both the electronics and the speakers. The speakers themselves need to be more durable, but I'm unsure about the electronics within the amp.
#27
Quote by The Atomic Ass
Not really surprised. Though I'm still uncertain what a bass amp does that a guitar amp does not, (I mean the amp itself, tone stacks and speakers aside), I can see the need for different EQ ranges and cabinet loadings for bass as opposed to guitar.

Bass amps are much more powerful than guitar amps at any given volume, and cabinets have to be powerful as well. Guitar cabinets don't have this sort of power, and rarely the speaker/tweeter setup. The EQ range is the most important - the bull**** 'bass knob' on a guitar amp might be anywhere from 150Hz to 250Hz, which simply is NOT acceptable for proper bass playing.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#28
i think you just have to change the strings, and get a new amp. if you're looking to get a good slap sound though i recommend dadario light gauge nickel wound strings. they have a great tone. although you might already know that.
#29
Quote by thefitz
Bass amps are much more powerful than guitar amps at any given volume, and cabinets have to be powerful as well. Guitar cabinets don't have this sort of power, and rarely the speaker/tweeter setup. The EQ range is the most important - the bull**** 'bass knob' on a guitar amp might be anywhere from 150Hz to 250Hz, which simply is NOT acceptable for proper bass playing.


I kinda figured a proper sub/tweeter setup would be beneficial. But is that all that makes a bass amp, a bass amp, is more power and a bass focused EQ? Power I have enough to spare, and since my amp has no EQ at all, well... EQ pedals can fix that, can't they?
#31
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
Except your speakers are not geared toward bass playing, and if you push them they won't push back. They'll collapse.


Hmm... Subtlety, I suppose, does not tread the Internet well.

I'm currently playing through a guitar cab, (if you can call it that, I call it combo amp-cum-1x8 cab), which is not in any danger of collapsing, as I don't push it.

But I do know it's a part of the problem with my tone.
#32
Quote by The Atomic Ass
my tone is bland. Probably not surprising as I'm playing a P-bass through a guitar amp.
I don't gig,
.

your tone is bland because you are playing a bass, through a guitar amp. doh!
enough said.
#33
Quote by The Atomic Ass
And no, the amp isn't in any danger of exploding.

Anyway, my tone is very lacking in midrange. It's as if the tone knob is turned all the way down, even when it's not. Slapping just doesn't come through well at all



Hmmmm...Yes, it is in danger of exploding.
Guitar amp + Slapping = Speaker spikes
Therefore. Your amp will probablybreak sooner or later.

A 400w would be too much, but if you plan on joining a band, you may as well save yourself the trouble of having to save up later.
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#34
Quote by 83lespaulstudio
your tone is bland because you are playing a bass, through a guitar amp. doh!
enough said.


I agree, this has more to do with it than your strings. Listen to Bernard Edwards of Chic. He doesn't sound bland and the man never changed his bass strings (He was asked once what kind of strings he used. His answer was, "What kind of strings come with a MusicMan?)

But he used a bass amp.

Yes, our gear costs an arm and a leg. But you can get some decent practice amps under 100USD. I'd bet the farm that my ****ty little KBA10 bass amp sounds better than your current rig; and it only set me back about 35USD (Mind you, I wouldn't recommend this bass amp to anyone..). As far as damaging the guitar amp, its a matter of not if but when.
#35
Quote by The Atomic Ass
I kinda figured a proper sub/tweeter setup would be beneficial. But is that all that makes a bass amp, a bass amp, is more power and a bass focused EQ? Power I have enough to spare, and since my amp has no EQ at all, well... EQ pedals can fix that, can't they?

Um, no, no you don't have enough power. You don't play in a band (RIGHT NOW), but this still applies - for the same appropriate volume level, you'll need 4x the power of a guitar amp. If you think a 15W guitar amp is plenty loud, then a 60W bass amp is plenty loud. And about the EQ pedal - you're making a HUGE assumption - you're assuming that there's no low-end frequency rolloff on your guitar amp. Many guitar amps roll off thick bottom end so they don't blow up, like everyone's been saying.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#36
Quote by thefitz
Um, no, no you don't have enough power. You don't play in a band (RIGHT NOW), but this still applies - for the same appropriate volume level, you'll need 4x the power of a guitar amp. If you think a 15W guitar amp is plenty loud, then a 60W bass amp is plenty loud. And about the EQ pedal - you're making a HUGE assumption - you're assuming that there's no low-end frequency rolloff on your guitar amp. Many guitar amps roll off thick bottom end so they don't blow up, like everyone's been saying.


I can understand the power difference required to make the same volume, it's just that at my normal practice level with guitar, the output of my amp is more appropriately expressed in milliwatts. To be clearer, my idea of bedroom volume is playing at 3am, in a house with paper-thin walls, and not waking up the parents sleeping 30ft down the hall. Yes, that quiet.

And lets see, I have a car sub sitting around here somewhere, and a copy of Bass Mekanik, the roll-off properties of the amp shouldn't be hard to obtain.

Now, I'm sure things can change, but I have no immediate plans of joining a band, as a guitarist or bassist. But if I did join a band as a bassist, I'd probably go ahead and plunk down the cash for that Ampeg setup that I saw at GC. But right now I just plunk around as a way of finding riffs that I transpose to guitar.

Quote by anarkee
Yes, our gear costs an arm and a leg. But you can get some decent practice amps under 100USD. I'd bet the farm that my ****ty little KBA10 bass amp sounds better than your current rig; and it only set me back about 35USD (Mind you, I wouldn't recommend this bass amp to anyone..). As far as damaging the guitar amp, its a matter of not if but when.


It probably does sound better. And most of the amps at GC sounded better, too. Just not enough better. I don't really wanna spend money on something that's only a 'little' better.
#37
Trust me, any bass amp you buy will sound better, as you will be able to hit the low end. Though with low end amps your not gonna get a greate sound. I always thought my little practise Peavy was decent enough untill I played through a 1x15 Peavy cab with a Crate Head at the bass centre in London. The higher end practise heads and combos are the Orange Crush line, though they don't seem to stock them at GC.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#38
yeah you should change yoru strings go from there. Any yeah i'd look at gettin a new amp even tho i used to play my bass thru a guitar amp n it didnt sound too bad..then i got my 160watt laney bass amp! a bass amp does help!
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#39
Quote by Andy2k64
yeah you should change yoru strings go from there.



Look we've been over this,
he dosn't NEED to change his strings, if he likes the brighter sound of new strings then yes, but if he likes the low mellow sound he dosn't, if he WANTS to change strings for a suitable tone then, yeah, he changes strings.
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#40
quit arguing with us and get a bass amp, you will blow your guitar amp, sooner or later

you said money isn't a factor so quit bitching and buy yourself a 50 dollar practice amp, why would you ask a question, and then when someone gives you an answer, go and explain to them why they're wrong?

BUY A BASS AMP, thats the only thing besides a better bass, or new strings that could change your tone, as much as you want it to, an EQ pedal won't help very much if you're using a GUITAR AMP, so buy a BASS AMP its not that hard
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