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Non ADA Gear => Basses => Topic started by: Harley Hexxe on May 07, 2021, 05:40:26 PM

Title: New Bass Day
Post by: Harley Hexxe on May 07, 2021, 05:40:26 PM
   Hey Gang,

              I just got my new bass guitar today, so I'm sharing that here.

              It's a Fender Deluxe Active Precision Bass Special, made in Mexico, and I got it for $150 below the going rate for them.

              I spent about a half hour doing a little bit of minor tweaking to it, then tried it out in the AUX input of my GK 250ML, just to get a quick idea what it sounds like. So...what is my impression of it so far?

                                                       :whoohoo!:


              Bear in mind the AUX input of the GK has no volume, tone or any kind of controls at all. It's just a fixed level input really designed to plug in a Sony Walkman, or something similar.

              This bass is a TONE MONSTER!  It's definitely a lot of bang for the buck. Just by using the volume, blend and EQ controls on the guitar, I can dial in a wide palette of bass tones, and it sounds delicious!

              I've always wanted a P-Bass, but never owned one until now. Up until about 8 years ago I did have a Gibson Victory Bass, just to use for tracking bass guitar, but the tone never really did anything for me, so I didn't regret getting rid of it. This bass gives me the classic P-Bass tones and a whole lot more, with just small adjustments to the controls.

              I'm digging it :thumb-up:

Harley 8)
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: rnolan on May 07, 2021, 10:10:47 PM
Nice one Harley  :thumb-up: :whoohoo!: .  When you get your MB-1 rig working you'll be in bass heaven.
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: Harley Hexxe on May 08, 2021, 03:27:46 AM
I'm already having fun jamming to some of my favorite classic rock tunes with it :banana-guitar:
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: Zilthy on May 08, 2021, 07:19:14 PM
I used to have an American Fender P-Bass some 30 some years ago, and that is one of the few guitars I wish I still had.   That one, and the Nuno N4 I had in the early/mid 90s.   Still kicking myself over those two.

But a good P-Bass is just a plain joy to play.
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: Harley Hexxe on May 09, 2021, 03:56:30 AM
   Hey Zilthy,

               You're absolutely correct. A good P-Bass is a joy to play. I wanted the classic P-Bass sound though, which so many other basses are lacking. It does make a difference in recording and composition. It kind of strange really, you don't really think about it until you get the right instrument in your hands and use it, then the light bulb goes on in your head and you say to yourself: "Yeah, that's what was missing!"
               If there was any downside to this bass at all, to me it would be the Pao Ferro fret board. This is the first, (and last), instrument I will ever own with a fret board made of this wood. It sounds good which is the most important thing about this bass, but the fret board feels dry, and a bit rough, with a grainy feel to it. Almost like someone made the fret board from wood taken off the side of an old abandoned barn, like the kind you see on the side of a country road that is still barely standing. Other than that, it's a killer instrument.

Harley 8)
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: Peter H. Boer on May 09, 2021, 11:00:58 PM
Nice one :D Happy bassin'

(are those flatwounds?)

Peter
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: rnolan on May 10, 2021, 12:17:27 AM
Hey Harley, interesting you don't like Pao Ferro, my Anderson has a Pao Ferro fingerboard and I love it.  It also doesn't suck tone like rosewood does.  Maybe it could use a good dressing with 1200 paper and a really good drink of FB oil.
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: Harley Hexxe on May 10, 2021, 12:55:33 AM
Nice one :D Happy bassin'

(are those flatwounds?)

Peter

Hey Peter,


               Thank you.  No, they are round wound. I am thinking of building a Jazz Bass from a kit, and putting flat wounds on that.


Harley 8)
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: Harley Hexxe on May 10, 2021, 12:57:11 AM
Hey Harley, interesting you don't like Pao Ferro, my Anderson has a Pao Ferro fingerboard and I love it.  It also doesn't suck tone like rosewood does.  Maybe it could use a good dressing with 1200 paper and a really good drink of FB oil.

     Hey Richard,

                  FB oil?

Harley 8)
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: rnolan on May 10, 2021, 04:46:42 AM
Hey Harley, finger board oil (conditioner).  I've been using the Jim Dunlop one on my guitars (there was a better one but you can't get it anymore, forget what it was called, the guy who made it stopped many moons ago  :facepalm: ).  Alembic say use lemon oil, so I do on the Alembic (ebony board) but you need to be careful which one you get.  I've been using the Jim Dunlop 65 lemon oil and it seems pretty good. Some lemon oils leave a white coating, not good...  Prior to the Alembic I only used lemon oil (small dab on a cloth) to clean the guitar(s).  I give the board a good couple of drinks and then a final drink, go for a smoke (and a pancake) then wipe it off.  I get what you mean about the grains in Pao Ferro, they do seem larger than rosewood, and ebony is downright slippery and even finer grained.  I like that it resist me a bit and doesn't get slippery when you are sweating under lights etc.
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: Harley Hexxe on May 10, 2021, 01:20:45 PM
Hey Richard,

            I have a lemon oil that my local Luthier recommended a long time ago. Homer Formby's. But that's good for re-hydrating wood that has lost it's moisture content, and is splitting. I used that on my 1967 Vox guitar fretboard because it had developed a 4 inch split from the end of the fretboard. After a week of applying that, it closed up and you couldn't tell it had ever split.

           I suppose it can't hurt to treat it with that.

Harley 8)
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: Harley Hexxe on May 11, 2021, 06:09:55 PM
Hey Peter,

        You got me thinking now....

         Do you have a bass with flatwounds on it? If so, is it active?  I'm wondering what an active bass would sound like with flat wound strings, or how that would change it's personality from round wound strings?

         Maybe you can shed a little light on that subject?

          Thanks,

Harley 8)
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: rnolan on May 12, 2021, 12:37:38 AM
Hey Harley, the lemon oil you have will be fine.  You should oil all your unfinished finger boards at least every 6 months and more often in really dry climates, I generally do it whenever I change strings.
A friend of mine bought a nice jazz bass which sounded great, (IIRC it was a made in Mexico one).  He got me to put flat wounds on it for him for finger comfort.  Totally ruined the sound, he maintained he could just turn up the treble on his amp, didn't help much.  If you want it to sound lifeless, put on flat wounds....  You could try Alembic strings, the have some with elliptical windings so easier on the fingers and frets but keeping the lovely resonances.
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: Harley Hexxe on May 12, 2021, 01:26:04 PM
Hey Harley, the lemon oil you have will be fine.  You should oil all your unfinished finger boards at least every 6 months and more often in really dry climates, I generally do it whenever I change strings.
A friend of mine bought a nice jazz bass which sounded great, (IIRC it was a made in Mexico one).  He got me to put flat wounds on it for him for finger comfort.  Totally ruined the sound, he maintained he could just turn up the treble on his amp, didn't help much.  If you want it to sound lifeless, put on flat wounds....  You could try Alembic strings, the have some with elliptical windings so easier on the fingers and frets but keeping the lovely resonances.

Hey Richard,

          Okay,...let me expound a little bit on where that notion came from.
                As a guitar player, like many over the years, I was profoundly influenced by the sound and stylings of Jimi Hendrix. I'm sure Jimi must have left some sort of impression with you too.

           Well then, much in the same way Jimi affected and influenced so many guitarists around the world, I was also affected and influenced a couple of years later by a bass guitar player in the same way. His name was Gary Mervyn Thain.

           Gary always used a Jazz Bass with flat wound strings on it, and he always played with his fingers, never a pick. He said this is the way you get a "true bass" tone. If you ever listened to Uriah Heep's classic line up, or even The Keef Hartley Band, there's no way I could ever call the tone of that bass guitar lifeless.

           What sort of rig did this friend of yours play his bass through? Gary played through Ampeg V-4B's and SVT cabs, but his tone came from his fingers, and his heart. I loved the tone he had with Uriah Heep. It Rawked   :headbanger:

            I'm not bothered by the finger comfort aspect of it, the round wounds on my P-Bass don't bother me in the least, and I am fascinated with the range of tones I can get from this simple little bass guitar. It's really worth more than I paid for it IMHO. I'll admit though, I've tried to mimic Gary's tone with it, and I can't seem to dial the EQ back enough to quite get there. So, I've come to believe that if I want to get that tone, I need to start with the instrument that made that tone in the first place. My fingers will find the way.

Harley 8)
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: rnolan on May 13, 2021, 12:32:11 AM
Hey Harley, ahh, I totally get where you are coming from now  :thumb-up: .  Yes I was very influenced by Hendrix, particularly when I was first learning to play.  I used to play the star spangled banner thing and bash my guitar into wall and stuff to try to emulate his version (didn't have a whammy bar on that guitar).  Gary Thain (RIP) was one of my favourite ever bass players, I love Uriah Heap, particularly the Live album... Friday Night in Birmingham....  I didn't realise he played flat wounds but that makes sense now I think of his tone (a little bit flat for my taste but he made up for that with shear brilliance).  I've always wondered what Mick Box's guitar would have sounded like through an ADA MP-1 /2, I like his sound, but it could be better... as in I like my '73 Marshall 50 but the MP1/2 sound way better IMHO.
My mates amp is a Behriger but my problem with it all was it lost all those lovely piano style rings and harmonics you get from round wounds.  He wanted flat wounds for comfort and couldn't really hear the difference  :facepalm: and he can't play anything like Gary Thain.
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: Dante on May 13, 2021, 09:00:34 AM
Not sure how I missed this thread but, NICE BASS! I love P-Basses, I had one that was way more valuable than I knew & I traded it for a mountain bike  :facepalm:

FFWD a few years later, I rebuilt a Squire with P-bass parts and refinished the body by hand. I have my P-Bass now. Thank God, because the bass I had before that was a BC Rich Warlock (haha)
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: Harley Hexxe on May 13, 2021, 01:09:05 PM
Hey Harley, ahh, I totally get where you are coming from now  :thumb-up: .  Yes I was very influenced by Hendrix, particularly when I was first learning to play.  I used to play the star spangled banner thing and bash my guitar into wall and stuff to try to emulate his version (didn't have a whammy bar on that guitar).  Gary Thain (RIP) was one of my favourite ever bass players, I love Uriah Heap, particularly the Live album... Friday Night in Birmingham....  I didn't realise he played flat wounds but that makes sense now I think of his tone (a little bit flat for my taste but he made up for that with shear brilliance).  I've always wondered what Mick Box's guitar would have sounded like through an ADA MP-1 /2, I like his sound, but it could be better... as in I like my '73 Marshall 50 but the MP1/2 sound way better IMHO.
My mates amp is a Behriger but my problem with it all was it lost all those lovely piano style rings and harmonics you get from round wounds.  He wanted flat wounds for comfort and couldn't really hear the difference  :facepalm: and he can't play anything like Gary Thain.

Hey Richard,

                I'll bet that wasn't a name you expected to hear coming from a guitar player :lol:  Yes, Gary was a brilliant player, as well as a writer. His tone was more subdued in The Keef Hartley Band, but he would occasionally riff in his signature style, and you knew it was him. In Uriah Heep, he gave his bass a bit more overdrive with his amps and you could tell he felt a lot more free to express himself on his instrument. When he first accepted the offer to go with Heep, He and Mick sat down and wrote Spider Woman and Sweet Lorraine in the first day they got together. Gary was definitely an under rated bass player who left us at too early an age.

              Gary was very influenced by James Jamerson and Chuck Rainey, and you could hear that in his playing, but then he'd go off the beaten path with his weaving bass lines and wander out of the melody, only to noodle his way back to it and land in the pocket right on the click! That's what got my attention. It was more than straight 4/4 interaction with the guitar, and the combination, (to me) was very powerful.

              I don't play anything like Gary either, but I do try to use his style when I riff on a bass.

Harley 8)
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: Harley Hexxe on May 13, 2021, 01:15:08 PM
Not sure how I missed this thread but, NICE BASS! I love P-Basses, I had one that was way more valuable than I knew & I traded it for a mountain bike  :facepalm:

FFWD a few years later, I rebuilt a Squire with P-bass parts and refinished the body by hand. I have my P-Bass now. Thank God, because the bass I had before that was a BC Rich Warlock (haha)

    Hey Dante,

                 As long as it gets you the P-Bass tone, that's what matters!  (I'm visualising you with a Warlock Bass. Hmm....Spinal TAP!)
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: rnolan on May 14, 2021, 12:03:56 AM
Hey Harley, when I bought the Alembic and started to get into bass playing Gary Thain was very much on my mind as to how I'd like to play.  He seems to have had lots of latitude in UH and I still enjoy listening to it, July Morning is probably my fav.  Interestingly, I sent Jur a copy of UH live thinking he'd also like the bass playing, when I asked him later what he thought he said he didn't like it  :dunno: .  Very unfortunate that Gary fell foul of the US propensity to not use earth connections in the power, my understanding is he got zapped by a mic at sound check getting ready for a US show  :facepalm: .
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: Harley Hexxe on May 14, 2021, 01:02:32 PM
Hey Richard,

           I can understand Jurrie not liking UH. It's one of those things that you either love it or hate it, there's no middle ground.
           Realistically, their commercial success was a bit of a fluke. They were so much more popular as an underground band than a commercial one. I remember all the pirate radio stations in Greece played stuff like that all the time, ( Electronics hobbyists who build their own transmitters, and broadcast whatever they felt like ). I heard a lot of great music on those stations that I never heard on the commercial radio. But the truth is, they were really not a band that fans could connect with as far as their material. They were more about fantasy and wizardry, unlike their contemporaries, ( Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath ), who wrote about things that people could relate to in the real world. So listening to UH was kind of like a temporary vacation from reality.
           Plus, the most prominent sound in UH was the organ and synthesizers, and not the guitar. Jurrie probably found Mick Box to be a bit boring and uninspiring as a guitar player. He certainly didn't interact with the keyboards the way Blackmore did. If it weren't for songs like Easy Living, and Sweet Lorraine, I think UH would have remained under the commercial radar. Their follow-up album after The Magician's Birthday, Wonderworld, barely got any mention at all except as a footnote in the trade publications at the time.

          It's a popular misconception about Gary's electrocution. Yes, he did get a severe shock at a show they were going to do in Texas, and was taken away in an ambulance, but that didn't kill him. Gary was unable to perform after that happened, but whether it was because of physical or psychological reasons, was never explained. At least I never could find out anything specific about it. Gary died almost a year later from respiratory complications due to an overdose of heroin. That seems to be all that's available about it.

Harley 8)
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: rnolan on May 14, 2021, 10:18:41 PM
Hey Harley, I thought he'd like the bass like I did.  Just amazing playing.  Another underrated bass player from that era was the guy in Slade (Jim Lea).  When I listen to Slade Alive (great live rock album) these days I appreciate the bass playing much more than I did at the time.
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: Harley Hexxe on May 15, 2021, 01:57:10 AM
Hey Richard,

              I didn't get into Slade very much. I vaguely remember hearing something from them in the 70's, but it never really did anything for me.
              From what I understand, either they couldn't sing and play at the same time, or they couldn't keep it together live. They lip-sync'd to recorded tracks for "live" shows. They got busted for that in the early 80's  :lol:

              The next bass player who got my attention was Peter "Mars" Cowling. There's a great example of a bass guitar working hard with a lead guitar.

Harley 8)
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: rnolan on May 15, 2021, 09:21:13 PM
Hey Harley, the reason I got into playing guitar was Slade, a really early track "Take Me Back Home" came on the radio and I just had to turn it up, the rest is (my) history...  Slade Alive is a great album and they certainly played that.  They had some other songs I didn't like as much like Mama We're all Crazy Now.
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: Harley Hexxe on May 16, 2021, 05:40:47 AM
    Hey Richard,

               I'll have to go give that track a listen. It's been so long since I heard and music from Slade that I can't remember it even if I did hear it back then.

               I know what you mean about Mam We're All Crazy Now, I didn't much care for it even when Quiet Riot covered it :lol:

Harley 8)
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: rnolan on May 17, 2021, 12:27:17 AM
Hey Harley, Take me Back Home was only ever a single which I found again more recently on a best off CD (I seem to have lost the single along the way  :facepalm: ).  Mama We're all crazy now was the next single in Australia, I still don't like it much.  When Take me back home came on the radio, it was so different to everything else they were playing, like "The Ball Bearing Bird" etc.  Slade Alive was one of the first 4 albums I bought (they were $5 each back then, big money for a 12-13 year old), the other 3 - DP Machine Head, Status Quo Piledriver, Black Sabbath Vol 4.
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: Harley Hexxe on May 17, 2021, 01:06:09 PM
Hey Richard,

           Ah hah! I gotcha now. The first records we buy always seems to make a much bigger impact on our psyche than we care to admit. I remember when I went shopping for records for the first time, I knew what I wanted. I wanted Jimi Hendrix, Atomic Rooster, and Steppenwolf. Hendrix was completely sold out, so I ended up getting Steppenwolf Monster, Atomic Rooster, Death Walks Behind You, Led Zeppelin II, Iron Butterfly, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, and Johnny Winter And, Live.
            I remember Johnny Winter's live versions of Jumpin' Jack Flash, and Johnny B Good, blew me away. In fact, Johnny Winter's version of Jumpin' Jack Flash was the first version I learned to play, and the Stones version seemed lethargic to me after that  :lol: I loved the energy, and since I was noticing a lot of improvement in my guitar playing at that point in time, I wanted to catch up to those guys.
            I didn't hear of Slade until a couple of years later.

Harley 8)
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: Peter H. Boer on June 05, 2021, 01:47:43 AM
Hey Peter,

        You got me thinking now....

         Do you have a bass with flatwounds on it? If so, is it active?  I'm wondering what an active bass would sound like with flat wound strings, or how that would change it's personality from round wound strings?

         Maybe you can shed a little light on that subject?

          Thanks,

Harley 8)
Hey Harley,

All my bass guitars (all 9) have round wounds on them, I'm always going for the raspy grind thing.
All my basses have passive pups, only some have active electronics.
In the studio I only use passive.

My upright and my EUB have flatwounds and active electronics.

Bass on  8)

Peter
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: Harley Hexxe on June 05, 2021, 04:27:38 AM
Hey Peter,

       So you do lose all that mid-range growl with flat wound strings then, bummer.

       Okay, so I'll build the Jazz Bass with passive pups, but I'll try some experimentation with different pups, and tone stacks.
       
       From the conversations posted here with Richard, you can see one of the bass tones I'm looking for. It's nice to have that flexibility.
       I can almost get it with the Precision, but not quite. I'll experiment more with the EQ and blend controls.

       Thanks for the advice, it helps a lot. I haven't really focused on the bass tone as much as I should have before now, but this bass guitar is changing all that.

Harley 8)
Title: Re: New Bass Day
Post by: Peter H. Boer on June 05, 2021, 06:46:56 AM
Hey Peter,

       So you do lose all that mid-range growl with flat wound strings then, bummer.

       

Some of it, but Steve Harris has plenty of clatter (though that's mostly highs) and he plays flatwounds exclusively (has done always)