don't get mad but lets do it one more time for this dummie

Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by Gary Mitchell, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. Gary Mitchell

    Gary Mitchell Former Member

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    My Fender Okoume Jazz bass has Noiseless pickups. I have played it for a while and they just don't do much for me. I am retired you have heard this before don't have lots of money. The pickups are passive with a active preamp. I am either going to change pickups are preamps, right now I can't afford both. If you were going to change pickups and use the same preamp, what pickups would you use that are a decent price. If you were going to change preamps and use the same pickups what preamp would you use. I would like to stay with the 3 band eq if I could.
     
  2. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Before you join the pickup lottery, do, do, do try adjusting the pickups.

    They will get louder as you raise them but also more attack and relatively shorter decay, as you lower less max volume, less attack and relatively longer decay. Relatively because it is with respect to the maximum volume.
    There will be a sweet spot to find.

    On board pre amps are buffers, not a lot of gain but you'll get less line loss down the stage lead. They usually have active tone controls, more extreme cut and lift.

    From what you say, you seem to like the pre's BMT tone controls but you don't say what you don't like about the bass's sound. What is wrong with it?
     
  3. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    What kind of bass character do you want? I have a Squier with both P Bass and Jazz Bass pickups. I swapped the cheap stock pickups for Fender USA pickups and I've found I much prefer the character of the P Bass by far. Maybe you're just not into the Jazz pickups. From my perspective, the Jazz pickup sounds twangier with more pop, the P Bass much more deep and full.
     
  4. SamClemons

    SamClemons Poster Extraordinaire

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    Could be your amp you are not happy with. You might take your bass to a large music store and try some different amps. Strings make a huge difference too as to tone.
     
  5. Gary Mitchell

    Gary Mitchell Former Member

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    Okay this is hard for me to tell you, I wish my ears could talk. When I turn up the treble it gets nasty to me. A raspy want to be guitar, when your turn up the lows it seems it wants to get muddy dull. I get more if I crank both the high and bass sometimes and more volume. I get more control out of the mid control. As far as sound I want I can't afford on my retirement a lot of bass's. I bought this one with the 3 band active eq, hoping I could nail different sounds. I play contemporary worship on Sunday, R&B and some vintage country not much country but a little. I have own 3 P bass guitars and one PV T-40, but sold them to get my Fender American Special Tele, and this bass. At church I use a SWR 350 head and SWR 410 cab. My amp is a MarkBass Jeff Berlin combo and soon I hope I will add a MB 210. I don't want a super down in the cave low, just a nice smooth jazz sound. The pickups are set like they came from the factory, which are close to Fender specs. I hope this helps thanks guys for trying to help me and help me save money.
     
  6. SamClemons

    SamClemons Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would go bass shopping. There are all kind of nice basses to be had for very little money. Sell the one you have. Peavey T-40 is a great Bass. Trying to swap out pickups would be a lottery. I would start with plain old standard jazz bass pickups. Many a hit record has been made on those. A lot of folks like to buy on the internet, but I never buy a personal instrument without a test drive.
     
  7. Gary Mitchell

    Gary Mitchell Former Member

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    I have been looking I do like the passive thing, but for the money I make. It might be cheaper for me to change over to EMG's complete with wiring harness. And I could do the work no soldering. But I don't want to compromise sound. I played EMGs in my Christian metal days in the 90s, but that was guitars. I used a SA/SA/81 set up in a USA Soloist Jackson with Floydrose, long time ago. So I don't know much about Bass EMGs, like closet to a vintage sound, but we have quite a worship band. We play very contemporary worship 80% and maybe 20% hymns for older folks. On the side I play R&B and some vintage country make a little money. But right now I can only afford one bass. I like the advantage I think of active 3 band, I can dial in more sounds I think, but most of you have been playing a lot longer and know a lot more then me.
     
  8. srinivassa

    srinivassa Tele-Meister

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    It sounds like you are getting too much heat out of the pickups and preamp. What happens if you just scale down the volume knob? It should sound a little more like passive pups. You could consider lowering the pups, if the lower volume sound suits you. I have found with bass rigs that the amp/modeler expects a certain input range, and if you drive it beyond that, it really sounds terrible. I wouldn't discourage you from buying something new, but see what you can do with your current rig to get the best sound possible. That will give you a better idea of what you need to change when you go shopping.
     
  9. SamClemons

    SamClemons Poster Extraordinaire

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    You say the pickups are passive. Can you run them in passive mode and bypass the EQ? How does that sound? I have 5 basses, but they are all very different from what you have. My favorite is my G&L L2000, USA (not tribute). It is passive, but gets a monster quiet smooth sound. I have a 70's Jazz Japanese Jazz copy that I have had for years with very hot pickups. Gets a hot twangy sound the G&L cannot do. I have a P bass also. EMG's run from smooth jazz to heavy metal. They are good, but not my favorite for any particular purpose. Lot of good advice fiddling with the tone controls and the height and even string types. Unless you are looking for really bright and funky, I like the D'addario half rounds. For a really smooth jazzy style, you could even go with flat wounds.
     
  10. Gary Mitchell

    Gary Mitchell Former Member

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    I lowered the pickups a lot, and they are starting to sound better. I left the pickups at first the way I got it from Fender. I didn't measure them but turn them about 6 full turns down. And they are sounding better, I didn't have time but I am going to re EQ my amp. I will let you guys know Plus I am going to re EQ the amp at church. It has know switch for passive, know battery know sound. I due have flats on it Fender mediums, I always use flats. And Thanks guys for helping.
     
  11. SamClemons

    SamClemons Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you are playing flats, you might want to try something like some d'addario half rounds. (my favorite strings).
     
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  12. Gary Mitchell

    Gary Mitchell Former Member

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    I am really thinking about ditching the Fender Noiseless. I got on line I guess they made several kind, according to spec my pickups have the ceramic mags in them. I am really leaning toward the EMGs JVX set, I've used EMGs in guitars back in my Christian Metal days. Plus there is know soldering. Which if I had to I could find someone to solder for me. What do you all think of the EMGs JVX set anyone in here use them. And again as always thanks. I did not see the specs on those pickups, it looks like the bridge pickup is a little bigger on my bass.
     
  13. Gary Mitchell

    Gary Mitchell Former Member

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    I went to a friends house today, who is a master of bass and guitar drums keyboards and teaches. He was telling me about compressors, I don't use them don't know a lot about them. He said it could help control my sound a lot on my bass. And maybe be for I change anything I should get one and try it, every bass player should own one. So maybe I should may right.
     
  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It sounds like you're saying you turn up the active eq on the bass trying to get a better sound, I'm wondering if you need to turn down the active eq on the bass instead?
    Like set all three bands at zero and then turn each up as little as possible to get a sound? Active eq on a bass can certainly make the lows muddy and the highs harsh if turned up too much.
     
  15. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    It sounds to me like you are screwing around too much with the active preamp. I'm not a big onboard preamp fan, partly because it's really easy to make it sound crappy. Whereas with the traditional passive fender bass setup, it's really HARD to make it sound crappy. Try turning the treble way down, and the bass down, and see if that works.

    The traditional passive fender bass sound has a lot of low midrange action and not all that much treble.

    I would dump that onboard preamp--you have an amp with a preamp, why do you need two preamps? Twice the likelihood of overdoing it, twice the likelihood of messing up the gain structure. I doubt very much that the noiseless pickups are the problem. If you can bypass the preamp, try that. Otherwise, try cutting the highs and the lows and get yourself some Barky midrange. It will sound great inthe mix
     
  16. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    Compressors are used all the time on basses in recording, and yes they even out the volume variations. Live I've found them to be more trouble than they are worth.

    What you are describing is an eq issue, not a compression issue. Meaning no offense at ll, I thnk the problem here is you, not the bass. If turning up the treble sounds bad, don't turn up the treble!
     
  17. Gary Mitchell

    Gary Mitchell Former Member

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    Your not offending me at all, I came here to learn. I know a lot about guitar stuff but very little about bass equipment. When I started playing bass a few years ago out of need for a bass player. I just amp and bass,the way I did when I played guitar mostly for 50 years. Once in a while I would use a delay and chorus. But playing bass well thats why I come here, and a couple other places is to learn. I got to say I am glad I started playing bass I love it. They have ask me to play guitar also if I want, but honest I rather play bass. I do play my Tele with some guys here at home , we play a little blues.
     
  18. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    Great! In my experience a common mistake people make is always boosting eq to be heard. They crank up the treble thinking it will "cut" or they boost the bass thinking it doesn't sound bassy enough. You want to think about the bass occupying sonic real estate that's open. The guitar will sit mostly in the high midrange; the drums will be in the very high end (cymbals) and the low end (kick). The bass lives in the low midrange, like 100-400 Hz. People will hear that well and they will hear it as bass, and most of the time nobody else is in that range. So you don't need to be louder or brighter or any of that.

    On a passive fender bass, all you can really do is roll off treble. That's so you can get out of the guitar players way. 99% of the time that's all you need. If i'm going to use an active onboard preamp I'm gonna use it lightly, very lightly
     
  19. Gary Mitchell

    Gary Mitchell Former Member

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    As soon as my wife goes to work I am retired, I am going to try that and work with my eq. I have a 3 band eq as you know active. I have been running it in the middle all 3 mids, bass and treble. The only time I've used active pickups was back in my Christian metal days. But I was playing lead guitar then, and that was a Jackson USA soloist with EMGs SA/SA/81. And I forgot I had a Ibanez Sr700 PJ with EMGs for about a week. I got it on a trade, but had another bass. I didn't care for the neck on it for some reason. So I gave it to a friend a good brother. Well got to make coffee and something to eat for the wife, before she goes to work she's a good woman she is.
     
  20. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    If you look at a frequency plot of a bass you;ll see most of the energy is in the range from 20-500 Hz. I just plugged my passive J bass with roundwounds in and playing below the fifth fret the frequency plot looks like a hill--peaking in the 20-500 range and sloping down rapidly after that. All the important action takes place from about 100-500

    your low E string is 41 HZ. That's the fundamental frequency

    That's really low. If you listen to a pure sine wave at 41 Hz, you will be very surprised how hard it is to hear. Your amp probably doesn't even reproduce it well. You can find tne generators on the web--try it. Play a 41 hz tone and you will hardly hear it. Lots of great bass amps, in fact, could not actually produce the 41 Hz tone that is your low E at all. Instead, they mostly produced the overtones

    Your second E, on the D string at the second fret, is 82 Hz, which is the low E on a guitar.

    If you play a low E on your bass, there is going to be a lot of 81Hz in it. If I play a low E on my j bass, I see a spike at 41, a spike at about 82, and a spike at 122. After that the frequency plot drops off pretty rapidly. There's a bit of a spike at 300, and at 500, and those matter, see below

    plot.jpg



    So this is an open low E, played on a jbass with roundwounds with both pickups on full. It's not the moment of the pluck, put a bit after. You can see what I mean--there is a peak just below 50, and a peak at 80, and about 120, and a dip at 200 and a peak at 300 and then at 500, but look how much it's falling off

    If I'm recording my bass, the first thing I do--pretty much the first thing everybody does--is roll off the low frequencies. You put what's called a hi-pass filter on it, which passes highs but rolls off lows. This is absolutely routine--usually you are rolling off below 100. Those frequencies are hard to hear, and they muddy everything up, and they take a lot of energy to produce. Think about Motown records. You could listen to them on a transistor radio with a 2 inch speaker that could not produce any frequencies below 100, and you'd hear james jamerson's bass! and it would sound like bass! and he was playing a Pbass with flatwounds and a foam mute at the bridge--no treble at all. You were hearing the low midrange, which the small speaker COULD reproduce and which was open space in the mix.


    below is the same note with a hi-pass filter engaged. I virtually guarantee you that all the records you like have a hi-pass filter on the bass.

    plot2.jpg

    The high pass filter shifts things a little--there's more going on at 600 now. But still, all the action is in the low midrange, 100-500

    All that energy below 100 is dangerous--muddy, hard to produce. If you were in a dance club with a big wide-range PA, ok, maybe you would want those frequencies to rumble the floor. But in a bar? in a church? they just muddy it up. And your bass "naturally" does not do much above 500 Hz. There is stuff going on there, but it's low energy, there's not much of it. If you boost the treble, you are making an "un-natural" sound--you are exaggerating the weakest past of your bass's basic signal. You're pumping up the part where it's barely present. That's why it sounds bad.

    maybe think about working on the low mids, rather than thinking like a guitar player. Guitar lives between 500 and 3000. A fender guitar amp, in fact, doesn't produce anything much outside of that range. He should get out of your way, you should get out of his
     
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