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Recording bass guitar and which one to buy
Old 25th January 2007
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
Astrain's Avatar
Recording bass guitar and which one to buy

Hi, Im looking for a bass guitar for my studio, I will be recording mostly pop and r&b and I want to get that deep bass sound.

I will be connecting it trought a Tube Tech MEC 1A and Im planning to buy a Purple MC77 to use after the Tube tech.


What signal chain and settings do you use for this purpose?


Any bass model that you could recomend? the one that I was considering was the Fender US Vintage 62 Jazz Bass , but fender haves a lot of models so Im not pretty sure wich one would be the best.

I want to spend something like 1500, but if I need to spend more to get that sound I will be willing to spend up to 2500

Thanks!
Old 25th January 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
A440's Avatar
I have this one..the reissue USA vintage 62 Jazz with stack pots...and I have to say I love it...it's a great sounding/playing bass and truly versatile (sounds great on most tracks). Signal chain...usually Phoenix DRS-2 (DI input) > Neve Portico 5043 compressor > Metric Halo converters...works well for me.

One thing about fenders you have to bear in mind is that they vary quite a bit from instrument to instrument...so make sure you try quite a few out and buy the best one you can find. Don't buy online without seeing one!

I was lucky with mine...happened to be passing a bass guitar store and picked it up and played it through a decent amp...i just had to had to have it ...it sounded incredible!..best bass I'd tried in years!

I agree with you about trying to work out all the models!!..they make so many..and in so many different countries too! don't buy the jap or mex one by mistake!
Old 25th January 2007
  #3
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Tibbon's Avatar
I'd say that in general the Fender basses are a pretty safe way to go. R&B to country, they can do it all, and almost every player that comes in your studio will feel at home on one. I'd go with a really good 4-string, as opposed to a ****tier 5-string. It's much harder I find to get a good 5-String. The tension on the low B just goes to hell on many of them and sounds like a rubber band. Then again, I've been told to look at the scale of the bass, and that can solve that problem quickly. I'll agree that the American ones are the way to go.

However, there's some rather good (and non-esoteric) alternatives. Leo Fender went and co-founded G&L after Fender, and they have some pretty damn good guitars and basses too. Still roughly the same vibe, but just a little different (and some say better).

Also (after a session with Tony Levin ), I fell in LOVE with Musicman basses. Of course he probably had the best musicmans on the planet (although he seemed to say that they weren't anything too special, and actually seemed to care little about equipment in general).

I'd stay away from Ibanez and similar basses. If it looks like a spaceship, then it probably sounds like ****.

Some "bass players' bass players" will prefer some weird 7 stringed bass that has a neck wider than a highway. I'd stay away from those. Most bass players that you have come in the studio will hate them (but a few rare ones will love them), and if you yourself are a beginnger bass player it will be too much.

Also, a major duh is to stay away from a fretless bass for being the main studio bass. I think they are cool as hell and not hard to play at all IMHO (if you can play an upright, or a cello, etc... you can do a fretless just fine), but for some reason "most" bass players that I've had through the studio just look at them and get scared. Maybe they are just used to just holding a fret and slamming out 8th notes.
Old 25th January 2007
  #4
A G&L L-2000 is the ****! Now this is a real fender. It blows my mind that people still aren't hip to Leo's best work! The G&L guitars are also made in the original fender plant in fullerton, CA. The "G" stands for George Fullerton and the "L" stands for Leo Fender.
All of his best ideas are put into these fine instruments! Ebay is the way to go because of resale value.
Old 25th January 2007
  #5
Gear Head
 

i'd suggest the fender jazz marcus miller bass - they run about $500-$600
on ebay nowdays (i think they sell for $750-800 in GC). they are made
in japan but have that magical jazz feel to them.

if you want to go all out get a set of lindy fralin pickups
( http://www.fralinpickups.com/ ), it will transport you back to 1969...

and although i personally have 5, 6 string basses if i was to buy a bass
for my studio i'd get a 4 string fretted.

u also may want to think about getting a jazz bass with P/J pickups
in them (P by neck, J by bridge) - i played a don grosh P/J with
fralin pickups, it was awesome - P bass when you wanted, J bass
when you wanted, with all the growl you could ask for.. of course
its closer to $3k, but...

lakland/sadowsky also make great P/J basses, but again, closer to $2.5-3k.

-carl
Old 25th January 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
like any instrument, it's a matter of taste.

as a bass player, let me say i don't like so-called p-j basses at all.

but that's me.

My suggestion is to find a local bass player you like, and go shopping with him/her.

if it feels good to him, it will probably feel good to other players who come in.

The Fralin pickups are great, IF you buy a Fender and want to upgrade.

Me?
My main bass guitar is a Status Graphite.

the other thing to have is a good little AMP.
It will always sound better than DI.
Old 25th January 2007
  #7
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lord_bunny's Avatar
 

Huge fan of G&L. Get a longer scale if your going 5 string. I'm sure there are great fender basses (i own a precision myself) but the G&L sure do have that modern "60hz aplenty" vibe. The stock Precision's i've played seem to be more suited to finger-funk pokey tones than the fat sound. The guy on SNL plays a fender though it's likely a very expensive piece.

I like the G&L/Fender thing over a Warwick... they tend to have more tonal variance if that makes any sense.
Old 25th January 2007
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
mattasbob's Avatar
 

Believe it or not but most of the Yamaha line is very solid with clean tone and solid construction. I've had several basses and bounced back to it many times. I also love ricky's but they offer a fairly specific tone. I'll also give a plus one for the G&L stuff, while not a personal fave (feel not tone) they do make beautiful instruments.
Old 26th January 2007
  #9
The pickups in the G&L's L-2000 or if your into a 5 string then the L-2500 are so versatile. You can go from active to passive humbucker to single coil. Great studio bass. Tones are endless! Hand built.

I have always been a fan of Fender and when I say Fender I say LEO Fender not the huge corporation that exists today with the fender name.
Old 26th January 2007
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lord_bunny View Post
The guy on SNL plays a fender though it's likely a very expensive piece.
Hmmm... haven't watched it in a while, but last I remember the guy in the SNL band typically played Foderas... if it's still the same dude. http://www.fodera.com/friends/james_genus.html

Some good advice here, but "pop" and "R&B" these days says to me that you're looking for more of a modern tone... not really a P or J thing. Modern usually means they'll have active electronics, which the Fenders are notoriously bad at. If you're set on new Fender, I would say the previously mentioned Marcus Miller or Roscoe Beck (the most flexible fender bass IMHO).

There are tons of options out there. Most people seem to settle on Fender because that's all that most people seem to know/are comfortable with (I was one of those once). They certainly make some decent basses, but explore the options if you can... there ARE much better options than Fender. The G&L's typically do Fender better than Fender (as mentioned) as well.

If you're really looking for something more modern, take a look at Lakland in either the US (4/5) or Skyline (44/55) versions. They do a decent job of bridging the old and new tones. I have a 55-94 which is an amazing playing/sounding and rather flexible tonally 5-string. The 4/44 are 4-strings. There's plenty of other more boutique stuff (F-bass, MTD (435 or 535), Roscoe, Zon, etc, etc.) out there that will get you a more modern tone and exceptional playability... if you're willing to pay the $$$. I'd say look for used.

You might want to click around here a bit as well. Usually plenty of good stuff in the classifieds (like this)... I've scored some great stuff there. Good luck in the hunt.
---
c
Old 26th January 2007
  #11
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Riad's Avatar
 

I just bought a Fender Jaguar for the studio... so friggin sweet!
Old 26th January 2007
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
Scott R. Foster's Avatar
 

Haven't picked up a Fender since I got a Sadowsky

http://www.sadowsky.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadowsky

I went for 24 fret 5-string with the sopbars, but they are all sweet...
Old 26th January 2007
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Riad View Post
I just bought a Fender Jaguar for the studio... so friggin sweet!

I have to admit... I kind of like those too... I just wonder how long they can go before all those switches and dials get noisey
---
c
Old 26th January 2007
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
Astrain's Avatar
Thanks everyone for your help!!

I just found this video on youtube its a comparison beetween lakland, a fender jazz and a Music man Stingray.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMJ1KjkQW3M





Man Im going to second Tibbon, I really liked the Musicman stingray, very full and rich sound, I also liked the fender but I dont know I think the music man sounds closer to the sound I want, I for sure Im going to try a G&L since a lot of you are recomending it and since I still like a lot the fender tone and if the G&L its better maybe I will end with one of them.

I didnt liked the Lakland it sound very modern, very clean but without that fullness that Im looking.

So what about your signal chains , do you record direct or do you find most of the time miking an amp?

Anyone using a TubeTech CL1B, any settings?

Thanks Again!
Old 26th January 2007
  #15
Gear Head
 

yeah, G&L makes good stuff. wouldn't be a bad choice at all. I agree with the earlier post too that if you're buying a bass that many other people will use, a good Fender Jazz is never a bad thing. Musicman Stingray is good too but it's not for everyone. I had one for a while and got sick of the sound and the inflexibility of only having the one pickup (never been a P bass fan for the same reason).

my two current basses are J bass derived and I love both of them!

Modulus Genesis 5 string - 35" scale, Tobias design, Bartolini electronics, natural wood fingerboard on top of a rock solid modulus graphite neck. AMAZING feel and sound. It's got a modern sheen and low end while retaining the warmth of wood. Not nearly as hi-fi and ultra modern sounding like a full graphite modulus or zon. Much more versatile.

Warwick Corvette (passive) - a great bass playing friend used it one rehearsal and called it a good J bass on steroids. where the Modulus is more high and low, this baby is more midrange oriented. it has the typical Warwick growl and presence that shows up clearly in the mix (the modulus is more transparent).

With these 2 axes, I've got my Basses covered (hack, cough, bad pun). I'd pick either of them over a Musicman. Well, actually I already did! I think either of these or a good Fender J or a G&L (with 2 pickups) would be an instrument that many visiting bass players would be more than happy to play.

If I had to pick just one of the many basses I've had I'd stick with the Modulus Genesis. If I were to recommend a Warwick I'd say go for the Corvette Pro-Line (active p/u's). If I were to recommend a Modulus in your price range I'd say take a look at the "Genesis VJ" http://www.modulusguitars.com/v2/pro...ass/index.html and add the bartolini or aguilar actives. the price and spec's are on the right side.

btw, didn't Leo Fender have something to do with Musicman too?

I'll agree with mattasbob too. I had a BB series Yamaha that played and sounded great. I sold it many many years ago to a friend so I could buy the Musicman, and honestly I think the Yamaha was a better all around bass (oh, it had been modded with bartolini electronics). my friend still uses that as his main bass and loves it.
Old 26th January 2007
  #16
Yeah leo owned musicman after he sold fender... Then he sold musicman to ernie ball then started g&l. His wife runs the company now.
Old 26th January 2007
  #17
Gear Head
 

I've got a G&L S-500 guitar... LOVE IT!

what a man, that Leo guy. he certainly left his mark before passing on. could you imagine a world without his creations?
Old 26th January 2007
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Silvertone's Avatar
For deep bass you need a Music Man Stingray or the like. An original one made when Leo Fender joined the company in the late 70's would be the best. Just my .02
Old 26th January 2007
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
Acko's Avatar
 

I have always been a die hard when it comes to miking a bass amp over going direct...until now...My bassist bought himself a sadowsky bass, after tone hunting with various mics, amps and settings, the winning recipe for us has been passive mode, flat settings, direct through a buzz ma2.2tx. It sounds bloody amazing, fast snappy, full bodied, in your face, rich textured all at once. In the past I always found the direct signal to be lacking punch and definition and it seemed to fizzle out a bit in the low end, never very inspiring...my opinion has changed with the above mentioned recipe.
Old 26th January 2007
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
Scott R. Foster's Avatar
 

Sadowsky electronics are the shizzle... his woodwork is the nizzle.
Old 26th January 2007
  #21
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nu-tra View Post
Yeah leo owned musicman after he sold fender... Then he sold musicman to ernie ball then started g&l. His wife runs the company now.
yep without Leo it would have been called ender!!!!!!!!!!!!! heh heh

Glenn
Old 26th January 2007
  #22
Gear Nut
 

i think you should definitely go play the bass that you're interested in. there's too much variation to buy blind, so get a bass playin' friend to go shopping with you if necessary.

for instance, over the years i have played a whole slew of musicmans, and didn't like any of them. then i was in nashville and stopped by Guitar Center on a whim. some dude had just traded in a relatively new Stingray, and it was amazing. now it's my main bass, hands-down. the tone is waaaay better than any others i've picked up, and the playability is just outstanding.

the same is very very true of fenders. there's so much variation between basses, even those built in the same year at the same plant. it just pays to play them all and figure out which is the best.

as a side note, for $2500, you could get two mighty fine basses. pick up a passive Fender Jazz and an active something else (Stingray, Warwick, etc.), and you should be able to get everything from wooden, fingerstyle tones to slick, modern active tones.

just a thought.
Old 26th January 2007
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
Windtaken's Avatar
 

don't forget good converters with a nice tight bass AD
Old 27th January 2007
  #24
Gear Nut
 

For a modern tone, Alembic Epic basses can be found for under $1000 on ebay. To hear what they sound like check out "One Hot Minute" by the Red hot chili peppers.
Old 27th January 2007
  #25
Lives for gear
 
DeathMonkey's Avatar
 

I have a $3k+ Modulus 5 string that sounds amazing, a $500 LTD "Les Paul" copy with 'buckers that honestly sounds really good for rock stuff, and a $150 Peavey T-40 bass that is the ultimate punk rock bass.

I have to say that the difference between the Modulus and LTD in a crowded rock mix is negligible, and there are times with the heavier stuff that the T-40 is the best bass for the job because of its growly mids. My point is, go try a bunch of basses and look for one that will do what you want it to. You may find that the rawer tone of a less expensive bass will cut through a dense pop mix better than the silky smooth tones of a 4k handmade bass.

As with everything, buy with your ears.

I'll throw Carvin into the mix here as well. I used to have one, and for the money (and they are often bargains used on the 'bay), are excellent sounding and playing instruments.
Old 27th January 2007
  #26
The Fender Jazz (I have the American Standard model) is so versatile and popuolar among bassists. I put Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups in mine (I didn't like the stock pickups that much). The DI on the Daking Mic Pre IV is the best DI I've used for bass. Otherwise, I record with an Ashdown EVOII 500 combo (which sounds a lot like an old SVT) and a Neumann TLM170>Daking, no compression. I love this signal chain. I think I'll post a sample, in fact. This isn't finished or mixed, but the bass sound is typical for the miked version:
Attached Files

JSample.mp3 (1.54 MB, 252 views)

Old 27th January 2007
  #27
For comparison, here're the same things using the Daking DI (American Fender jazz>Daking DI>STC-8). Though it should be obvious, I'm not a bass player, and this is just fooling around, so it's a worst-case-scenario, if you will.
Attached Files

JBsDakDI.mp3 (833.3 KB, 218 views)

Old 27th January 2007
  #28
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taturana's Avatar
well, fender jazz bass, music man and g&l are my favorite sounding basses... but special boutique basses like sadowsky, fodera, etc.. which are tipically more expensive have a very solid bottom end... but i just love the fender jazz bass and the music man sting ray over all... maybe it's a nostalgic thing... that special tone, i don't know...
Old 27th January 2007
  #29
D K
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D K's Avatar
Fender Geddy Lee Jazz - 700 bones - Incredible axe for the money

Don't let anybody scare you away from Ibanez basses - Been playing them for the last 12 years - From country to jazz to RnB to Rock - always sounded good

It's the player not the name on the headstock

Good advice given by many - try a TON of them - You might be surprised at what gets you moving
Old 27th January 2007
  #30
Gear Addict
 
edwonbass's Avatar
 

Well I have been a bass player way longer than I've been messing with recording so I know a little about basses. Currently I play a 6 string Tobias, a 5 string Lakland and a G&L L2000 that I bought new in 84.
Each of these basses sounds nice on it's own but in a mix the G&L always seems to sound great. I haven't used it live in years because with the music I play it is nice to have the extra range. The G&L is without a doubt my goto bass for recording. I just did a track with the L2000 into an MXR M-80 then into a Firebox and it was very nice.

So +1 on the G&L.

Also my Lakland is a 35" scale and the B string is tight and punchy so if you need a 5 string it isn't a bad way to go.
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