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what is the bass and rigs of pro bassists?
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sadworld
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31st August 2005
Old 31st August 2005
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what is the bass and rigs of pro bassists?

looking for the rig and bass set up the pros use for rock.... i'm talking godsmack, 3 doors down, nickel back, sether, disturbed.... basically new hard rock. i did a little research and found that warwick to be one bass of choice and ampeg to be a choice for amplification.... is this the "mesa boogie" of the bass line? what other choices at the pro level should i consider? bass guitar and bass rig... and if your knowledgable enough to also recomend a specific model, i'd appreciate that as well... thanks. matt.

ps. this is for the studio as well as my personal live performances....
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I've heard some really nice SWR bass rigs. The small ones are nice for recording.
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31st August 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by everybody's x
P-Bass/or stingray
ampeg svt pro
ampeg 8x10 cab
sansamp bass driver DI


thats all you need
Agreed.....accept I would go w/ the SVT classic. This is basically as close to a rock bass standard as you can get. Personally I don't love warwick bass.
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31st August 2005
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stingray bass or jazz bass styled or p bass.

ampeg swr or gk thumbsup
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31st August 2005
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1st September 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sadworld
looking for the rig and bass set up the pros use for rock.... i'm talking godsmack, 3 doors down, nickel back, sether, disturbed.... basically new hard rock.

I would venture the guys from those bands all use different rigs.... there is no 1 rig thats gonna please everybody. Some guys like a clean, solid state, biamped SWR or GK type tone with tons of sub bass and high end pop, some rock guys like a tube head (Matamp, SVT, Marshall Plexi) into 4x10, which cuts off the subs and gives you growl in the low mids.

Bass players can be even more picky about their tone than guitarists.... did I just say that???

They also tend to shun flashy FX devices in favor of pure tone (unless you're Bootsy).

Quote:
Originally Posted by sadworld
ps. this is for the studio as well as my personal live performances....
If you're a performing bass player you should have some experience with various types of basses and amps.

The SWR Super Redhead is a good, clean studio bass combo, excellent tonal shaping, nice DI... It is not super loud or subby, but it will give you consistent results and you can actually track bass and drums together with minimal leakage (keep the amp at head height, use gobos). GK makes good solid state amps too but some of their combos have reliability issues).

For a fat, driven Stoner Rock type vibe (think of the band Sleep), you gotta check out Matamp. Also, I'm a huge fan of the Lou Barlowe era - Dinosaur Jr. cranked Marshall into a 4x12 tone. And of coursem, the SVT is "the" classic rock amp.

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1st September 2005
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SWR, Eden and other "california" voiced rigs = smooth Jazz and 80's/90's fusion. It takes a lot of tweaking to get a passable rock tone with these. Great for slap funk if you like that sort of thing. (I don't)

For Rock, the Ampeg tube SVT or Ashdown ABM are the standards at the moment, both delivering "the" tone. (the SVT is THE standard) Ashdown is really flexiable in that you can dial in a scooped "california" tone as well if you need to for some reason. (Ashdown used by U2, Radiohead, Paul McCartney, Roger Waters among many others...)

Another great rig is the Ampeg B-15 combo. great for rock and soul especially. great studio amp, not suited for loud rock shows. A vintage silver faced tube Fender Bassman 50 (or 100) head can also be really cool, but again is relegated to mostly studio work due to low wattage.

The Sansamp Bass Driver DI is great as well, both as a DI and an effect run in front of an inferior amp. In my experience, it can really deliver "tone" no matter what peice of crap you run it through or into.

As far as Basses go; a vintage or at least USA made passive Fender (P or J) would be the standard. Active, the Musicman stingray really is the best (Tony Levin) although G&L makes some pretty flexiable designs, both passive, active, and switchable. Not surprisingly, all of these designs are those of Leo Fender who started, and designed the instruments for, each of these companies.

In boutique land Sadowsky, Lull and Lakland are the most well liked, however their designs are custom models based again on the vintage Fenders. Aguilar is a boutique amp company that makes some amazing tube bass amps, although they are more Hi-Fi than most vintage and vintage inspired amp designs. Orange is also making some great all tube bass amps.

For me (a bass player) it ends there. Sure there are lots of other options but these really are the "best of the best" and what you hear on most of the best loved records ever made. (ok so Paul played a Hofner through a vox...)

Good Luck!
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1st September 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by everybody's x
stingray
ampeg svt classic
ampeg 8x10 cab


I agree with this 100% thumbsup


Mesa and Fender don't hold a candle IMO
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1st September 2005
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Look into an AMP BH-420 Head , if you can find one, grab it. The company is long out of business but these amps are quite amazing, especially seeing they sold for $600. You might be able to find one used. Works double duty in the studio and on the road. Team that up with a good cab/ampeg and a fender p-bass. Someone I've writing for years with has this combo and it rocks!

Oh yeh, this is the only link I could find on it:
http://www.harmony-central.com/Bass/...20_Head-1.html
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1st September 2005
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Nathan,

The current Fender line of bass amps are total garbage. But, a P-bass, and a 60's or 70's silver face Bassman head through an Ampeg cab is a great sound. I still like the SVT better personally, but the Fender is no "worse" objectively. try it sometime.

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1st September 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hopeless_opus
Nathan,

The current Fender line of bass amps are total garbage. But, a P-bass, and a 60's or 70's silver face Bassman head through an Ampeg cab is a great sound. I still like the SVT better personally, but the Fender is no "worse" objectively. try it sometime.

Hopeless

I meant Fender basses, Mesa amps. I think the Fenders are 'good' but they don't have the evenness of the Ernie Ball...there is something more clanky about the Fender.
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1st September 2005
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For Studio work Id suggest:

Fender Jazz or P bass. Early Nineties Japanese reissues are something to look into. Wire up a bass with flatwounds too. They may be dark but they punch like a minimoog square wave. It'll also sound way different from the bass sounds of the bands you mentioned, which may be a way to stand out from the pack.

A dedicated D.I. is a great investment for the studio bassist. Live they can make you sound huge compared to the standard $50 passive stage D.I. Any of these would be good: Evil Twin, A-Designs REDDI or Littlelabs D.I.

Ampeg B-15N Portaflex. A Super Reverb sounds great too. Guitar amps often make the best recording amps. You'll get a little teeth and it will blend well with the solid fundamental from your D.I.

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1st September 2005
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I just bought a Ampeg SVT classic head and a 6x10 ampeg cab. I tried a bunch of different amps, but for Rock n' Roll this is IT for me.
Also playing a Fender jazz or P depending on what I'm going for.

ERic
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1st September 2005
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Ampeg B12/15/18, SVT and Sunn 200 etc. are all exelent for rock.

Gertjan
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1st September 2005
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Nathan,

that's heresy...lol. I like MM stimgrays as well, but I've never heard one I'd trade my '72 P-bass for.

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1st September 2005
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A buddy of mine endorses Zon and those things are sick. More of a session guys bass though. Kind of like Suhr and Tom Andersons are to guitar players. They sound amazing. I'm not a bass player but even I sound pretty good on one of those.
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1st September 2005
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If a session guy walks in w/ a Zon im throwing it out.I have been playing bass as a pro for years, and those things are great for shows and impressing people, but I hate tracking w/ about all active basses.

EXCLUSION: Sadowskis

I think a Fender through an SVT = Gibson through Marshall.

that being said, I toured with a Mesa Boogie rig and it rocked too.

Definitley get a tech 21 sansamp, I use a fender jazz into that for studio work and thats all I need.
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1st September 2005
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I also wholeheartedly recommend Zon basses. Best I've ever heard, although I also love Music Man Stingrays. Either one will give you a very deep and solid tone with a bit of a modern high end on top. Works very well for that style of music. The Zon is much more expensive though.

As an amp I can't say enough good about Eden amps and cabs. Ampegs have a cool agressive midrange but they can be a bit too sharp and clicky, especially if the bassist plays with a pick. They're great live amps but for that kind of music in the studio an Eden will fill up the low end more nicely and have more tone. I think it's a more musical amp, but either an Eden, Ampeg, or GK would be a good choice.

So in summary, a Zon, an Eden WT800B head and one of their high-end cabs with 10" speakers is in my opinion the best modern rock bass rig period.
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I've never played played an SVT that was "sharp and clicky" at all. I'd have actually used that to describe the sound of Eden and SWR amps (I owned and eden traveler 300 at one point so I know) These were hip amps in the mid nighties, but hardly the standard rock sound. they can sound good with flat wound strings though as they mellow the tone of the amp.

Zon Basses = expesive garbage... c'mon graphite? again if you really love mid-ninties frat crap and smooth jazz then go for it, it's that sound, but again not for rock.

A passive Fender through a tube SVT is THE tone.

Good Luck!
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1st September 2005
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I once thought SVT's were good for bass. Then I tried a few things out. The SVT power amp is pretty good as long as you take a DVM to the gigs with you to do a bias check. The preamp sucks. No low end. Boxy mids with inductors that ring.

SVT owner's; try this. Plug a decent preamp into the power amp input of the SVT.
Here all that depth in the bass? This is why the SVT was designed as a guitar amp. The preamp rolls off everything below 90 hz creating a very loud but mid rangy bass amp.

If you like the 8x10 speaker cabs, check out the 2000 watt Basson Sound cabs used by Niki Six of Motley Crue. Now there's some low end. It will also hurt your ears while re-arranging your internal organs.

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1st September 2005
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I played bass in a studio recently where the house rig was an Aguilar DB680 preamp, a Lab.Gruppen power amp, and a pair of Epifani T-410 cabinets. Struck me as being overkill; definitely not typical bass gear for a studio house rig, very exotic/boutique-y. I suspected someone had read too many issues of Bass Player magazine & got a mad case of Gear Lust.

Then I plugged in & started playing.

(Insert sound of jaw hitting floor) The absolute best sound I've ever gotten out of an amp, period. Forget SVT's, forget B-15's (...and I've already put my SWR/Eden rig up for sale; see my post in Second Hand Classified's). Fat, clean, articulate, with huge balls, monsterous headroom, enough punch to collapse your chest cavity even at low volumes (!), enough "dirt" and "warmth" to make my graphite basses *rock* but enough clarity & detail to make my Jazz Bass *sing*, enough of everything to make me write a hyperbole-ladden review chock-full of scare quotes... this rig kicked my ass so hard I couldn't sit down for a week.

And the drummer wanted to marry me.
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1st September 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hopeless_opus
I've never played played an SVT that was "sharp and clicky" at all. I'd have actually used that to describe the sound of Eden and SWR amps (I owned and eden traveler 300 at one point so I know) These were hip amps in the mid nighties, but hardly the standard rock sound. they can sound good with flat wound strings though as they mellow the tone of the amp.

Zon Basses = expesive garbage... c'mon graphite? again if you really love mid-ninties frat crap and smooth jazz then go for it, it's that sound, but again not for rock.

A passive Fender through a tube SVT is THE tone.

Good Luck!
I don't think SWR and Eden amps sound remotely alike, personally. The Traveller 300 doesn't have a lot of headroom. It's their bottom of the line amp. Try the World Tour and you won't be disappointed.

Zon's graphite necks are incredibly stable and won't bow as easily. I consider that a good thing. I'm not positive if the neck contributes to the sound that I like but my bassist's gone through sooo many nice basses (Pedulla, Warwick, Lackland, etc) and the Zon kills them all. I've played a lot of Fenders that were cool but not what the starter of this thread was looking for. Personally I consider "3 doors down, nickel back, sether, disturbed" to be "frat crap" and for a late 90s to today modern bass tone I stand by my recommendation.
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I'm not trying to get into an arguement, If you like the Zon's and Edens that is cool, but the guy asked for the Standard for Rock, and a passive Fender and the SVT (or other tube amp options I listed) is THE sound he is asking for. This is the most predominately used rig yesterday and today, no matter what new instrument or amp fad may have come along.

I agree that the bands you listed are definately frat crap. I was thinking of DMB, Hootie, Sister Hazel, Frat Mcgee... I don't know, it was a blanket generalization, not gospol. (sorry if I offended anyone)

True Edens and SWR amps are a little different. I liked the Eden until I had a chance to record extensively through a vintage SVT, and then bought an SVT Classic. The Eden just didn't have that tone, and mine was fom 1995 when the traveler was the World Tour 300, exact same amp as the other ones and it actually had lot's of headroom. Similarly I have owned a Pedulla, and a Modulus (with a graphite neck) and they never did the job. A thin tone that sounded great solo'd and then quickly disapeared once in the mix. Everytime I went back to the Fender, and I've never regretted it.

The SVT with a passive Fender P or J sounds like Zepplin, Pink Floyd, U2 etc... why? because it's what they all used. (the Ashdown really delivers the tone too)

It's like going from the Vintech 1272 to a real Neve 1073. Sure the Vintech will sound pretty good, but the 1073 IS the real deal.

to the guy who started this thread, best of luck!
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werd to hopeless.
all I'm sayin is of the several major bands that I have been involved with (on the recording side sometimes merely as a JAFO. 3 had multi-million sales, some had grammy's , they had the budget to use ANYTHING they wanted to and they all had that sound and that sound came from a P Bass an SVT head/8x10 and a sansamp

is there better stuff out there? sure. There's always ten ways to do something

It is ,IMO, the easiest, most cost-effective way for the originator of this thread to nail that particular sound
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1st September 2005
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Yeah, just a matter of opinion. I do think the SVT is a great amp, just not my favorite. I like Gallien-Kruger a lot for that style as well. Personally in the more affordable range I still prefer a Stingray over a P-Bass (I've always considered the Stingray > SVT to be the PRS > Dual Rectifier of the bass world) but that's just me.
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your right, it is. Case in point, I am not a PRS into a Mesa guy, (in fact that's got to be my least favorite guitar rig of all time) but give me a Tele/Strat into an AC30 or Twinn, or a Les Paul/ES-335 into a Plexi and I am a very happy man.

to each his own. thumbsup




P.S. - Ok, so I just realized that the list of bands Ted gave were from the original poster. I still stand by everything I said, and I would advise finding better Standards or Benchmarks (meaning bands) to model your instrument tones after. Best of Luck to you all.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred
I meant Fender basses, Mesa amps. I think the Fenders are 'good' but they don't have the evenness of the Ernie Ball...there is something more clanky about the Fender.
Which I totally dig! The Ernie Ball is a 'superior' instrument in many ways, but I still reach for a maple board P Bass with flatwounds every time. I used to go for rosewood, but I like the extra 'klank' from the maple.
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Along with Music Man, I can also highly recommend the Highway 1 series by Fender.

They have an extremely light finish and sound very "alive."

They are also super cheap. I guess they haven't caught on yet.

Was it Dave Martin that recommended it to me? Someone here on GS when I was looking for a jazz bass for around a grand. I went to GC, tried one out and picked it up on the spot.

Fender definitely got a bad rap deservedly for some of the crap they were producing in the 90s.... but my recent experiences with new model Fenders (guitars, basses - the new amps are still shit) tells me they have increased their quality control and consistency (the money ain't going into R&D thats for sure). I got a USA Strat last year after looking around, trying out some custom make knockoffs, and determining they were not worth an extra $2K. New Gibsons vs. Brian Moore is a different story....

Here's a pic of the amazingly cheap Highway 1. It sounds so much brighter than my Music Man Stingray, a very clear, articulate tone, not as beefy low mids .... I guess thats why they called it the Jazz Bass.... through a Matamp its
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Bass is a lot easier to re-amp effectively than guitar.

In fact, some of my best results have been from DI-ing the bass, doing timing edits to make the bass line super-tight (with notes typically falling slightly behind the beat, of course!), then re-amping and micing.

Bass is probably THE most difficult thing to edit because slight timing move + crossfade = phase interaction/dropout. Re-amping after editing smooths it out a bit.

My favorite re-amp setup is PT --> Distressor (unbalanced out) --> guitar cable --> amp. Compression can then be added as needed (or not).

Also I recommend Auto-Tuning the bass while re-amping. A lot of rock players pull notes sharp, especially on the E-string. Tuning issues here are a time bomb because they won't necessarily be apparent by themselves; they tend to make IN TUNE guitars sound OUT OF TUNE.
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