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What's the signal chain for your core tone?


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#1 Painy

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 04:41 PM

I've been working really hard over the last couple of years to get my tone exactly how I want it. To get there though I've ended up with what I guess is a more complex than average (bass > lead > amp) signal chain and was interested to see how others get their core tone (excluding tuners and effects that only get turned on for certain passages/songs).

Mine is:-

P bass >
Palmer Deepressor compressor pedal (set to sound fairly transparent and just even things out a bit) >
MXR M80 Bass DI+ (set with a big boost in the mids to counter the very scooped "colour" pre-shape that automatically engages with the distortion. Distortion engaged but set on almost minimum gain and blended in about 30% - overall gives a very aggressive, 'tubey' tone) >
EHX Steel Leather bass expander (used very subtly just to help the bass stand out in the mix a touch more) >
TE AH350SMX head (pre-shape 1 in, fairly heavy compression of the lows, none on the highs) >
Pair of Aguilar DB112 cabs (horn on full on the top cab, off completely on the bottom cab).

So, are you a simple plug and play kind of player or do you go through a multitude of effects, pre-amps and processors to get 'your tone'?
Squier Vintage Modified Precision V, Sunburst/Tort/Maple.
Fender Modern Player Jazz V. Olly White/Black/Rosewood.
Sterling SUB Ray 5. Trans Blue/Black/Rosewood.
Harley Benton HTR-PJ5 Deluxe, Hotrod Red/White Sparkle/Rosewood.

Aguilar AG500 head and 2X Aguilar DB112 cabs in Chocolate Thunder.
Trace Elliot AH350 GP12 SMX head.

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#2 Mastodon2

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 04:56 PM

Warwick Thumb straight into the front of a Markbass Little Mark III and a Markbass 2x10.

However, something somewhere in the amp is crackling, whether it's a connection somewhere in the head or the tweeter on the cab (I think it may be both) so it may well be going back to Andertons soon. I'd like to stay with MB though, the tone is superb.

#3 Dad3353

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 04:58 PM

'More than simple' plug'n'play, here. Bass into amp; that's it. The amp (usually Hiwatt DR205 PA head...) is set to 'all knobs at 12 o'clock' (yes, I know that's not 'flat', but it doesn't matter...); the cab an HH 2 x 15 folded horn. Two p/ups on the bass (Hofner Verithin, with black nylon-coated strings...); I use one or t'other, as I think fit, and use the tone controls a bit. The rest is just the fingers, playing towards the neck or bridge, finger flesh or index nail, occasionally thumb... Simple..? Definitely.

Edited by Dad3353, 20 August 2017 - 05:00 PM.

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#4 itsmedunc

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 05:38 PM

Basic here - P bass, round wounds, volume and tone up full, into an Ashdown combo set more or less flat with a touch of drive.

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#5 dannybuoy

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 06:28 PM

Yamaha BB1025X into a low gain overdrive (I keep flipping between a Bearfoot Blueberry, Pike Vulcan, Aguilar Agro and Darkglass Alpha Omega) into Orange Terror Bass into dual Ampeg SVT210AV stack.

Pretty much always have the drive pedal on, it just sounds dull without one!

#6 project_c

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 06:33 PM

Tony Franklin PJ - Seymour Duncan compressor - Genz Shuttle combo.

For recording: same bass, same compressor, Motown DI, Focusrite Clarett, Mac

#7 Drax

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 06:46 PM

Various fretless jazz, rounds, both pups on full, tone off

Tonehammer 500, mostly flat > TKS cabs / DI

Passive bass, no pedals. Nice and simple.
I've faffed before but so many other variables outside of my control. Just keep things pretty straight for FOH.

Edited by Drax, 20 August 2017 - 06:50 PM.


#8 Woodinblack

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 06:49 PM

Whatever bass (normally ibanez) wirelessly going to a pedalboard that contains a Zoom B3, a B3K clone and a Boss OC3.
That goes into the TC450 which switches between clean and flat and a sound with some of the overdrive on.

The B3K is used for a few rocky songs, the OC3 isn't really used for anything but fills a gap next to the pedalboard, the B3 uses a flanger for one song, a chorus for another and occasionally a little overdrive. Has done more in the past (used to do all the overdrive but the amp does it better).

The pedalboard also contains the foot synth pedals, and a voicelive for vocals. and the switch for the TC450
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#9 ambient

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 07:00 PM

Overwater 7 string bass - Dunlop Volume XL volume pedal - Seymour Duncan studio compressor - Digitech Altered delay - Darglass Vintage Microtubes - Mr Black Eterna Gold reverb - TC Electronic T2 reverb - TC Electronic Hall of fame reverb - TC Electronic Flashback delay - TC Electronic Ditto looper - MacBook Pro running Logic Pro X - Phil Jones Bass Double 4 combo.

An Ebow gets a lot of usage.

Soon to be augmented by another Double 4 combo so I'm in stereo.

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#10 atsampson

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 07:02 PM

Up until a couple of weeks ago: bass > graphic EQ with a gentle roll-off above 500 Hz > 4:1 compressor, threshold set for a little bit of gain reduction with normal playing > muting DI box > PA. Now using an RH750 which does all of the above in one box. (Plus a speaker if we're on a big enough stage.)

#11 Skybone

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 07:23 PM

Rockinbetter RickenFaker(s) into a Line6 POD HD500X (SVT Normal with the 8x10 cab with various effects as required) into an available power amp.

#12 JapanAxe

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 07:28 PM

Precision > Demeter head > BF cabs(s)

For skinny-string I have 3 different pedalboards (only use 1 at once), but I like my bass to sound like a bass, specifically a Precision.

I also live in a cave and wear animal skins.
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#13 tony_m

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 08:51 PM

Hah, I used to be a simple "plug the bass in, set the amp flat, see what comes out and maybe tweak it a bit" kinda guy. Then I joined Basschat...... :rolleyes:

As it is, I guess I'm still trying to achieve the perfect "bassy / punchy / snarly / growly" tone I hear in my head, but at least I've settled on my arsenal (for now... ) so hopefully it just needs a bit of tweaking and we'll be there.

P bass or J bass > TE SMX Dual Band compressor pedal > TE SM7EQ pedal (pre-shape 1 set, gentle frowny EQ) > EHX Bass Soul Food >
TE AH200GP7SM head > TE BLX-110 cab + Ashdown MAG210T Deep cab

The TE cab is a recent acquisition and I've not had chance to test it in conjunction with the Ashdown cab at "war volumes" yet, but it sounds very nice on its own and I have high hopes the two will play nicely together.

Probably all a bit much for an old gits rock covers (plus a few originals) band, but hey - Mr Guitarist was very complimentary about my bass sound at rehearsal last week so I must be doing summat right! B)

Reason for editing: Got bored myself reading all that twaddle...

Edited by tony_m, 21 August 2017 - 02:19 PM.

Basses: Fender '51 Precision RI (MIJ), Fender '60s Jazz RI (CIJ) w/ Wizard 69s, Squier CV '60s Precision w/ Wizard Thumper, Fender Musicmaster (USA 1978/79) w/ Seymour Duncan Hot Rails
Amplification: Trace Elliot AH200GP7SM, Trace Elliot BLX-110, Ashdown MAG 210T Deep, Ashdown MAG300 C210 combo, Ashdown Five-Fifteen MiniRig, Ashdown Perfect Ten
Pedals: Trace Elliot SMX Dual Compressor, Trace Elliot SM7EQ, EHX Bass Soul Food, Boss NS-2, Boss TU-2
Strings: TI JF344 Jazz Flats
Cables: OBBM

#14 oldbass

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 09:20 PM

P bass straight into Ampeg 2x10 combo...surprisingly punchy.....perfect.
Squier VM P bass,
Martin 00-21

Ampeg 2x10 combo
Rumble 1x10 combo

#15 paul_5

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 09:25 PM

Jazz basses > optical compressor > Darkglass B3k clone (low end boost; dirt, mix both at around 12 o'clock) Ampeg SVTiip preamp, Laney SP300 power amp, Barefaced compact. 😊
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#16 Johnny Wishbone

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 09:59 PM

Warwick Fortress One(s) > DIY Pete Cornish signal buffer > TC Spark Mini > MXR Bass Comp > Darkglass B3K clone > Pedalboard > Aphex Bass Xciter > FDeck HPF clone > GK 700RB-II > Orange OBC410.

Edited by Johnny Wishbone, 20 August 2017 - 10:00 PM.


#17 Chris2112

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 01:57 AM

Very simple for me, a Cort Rithimic running through a TC Electronic Corona chorus pedal into a Markbass Jeff Berlin CMD151P combo. Chorus typically set to a fast speed with low depth, mid level and tone.

I may get a compressor one day, they're very useful for ensemble playing.
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#18 Geek99

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 07:00 AM

Precision bass into whatever amp there is it's that simple
I'm probably reading on an iPhone and so cant see signatures and locations as I'm likely using the lo-fi version..Please be understanding if I ask for this information for the usual reasons.

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#19 BigRedX

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 10:08 AM

BassPod XT

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#20 FuNkShUi

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 10:59 AM

Bass > Little Mark 2 > 2 X TKS S112s

#21 lojo

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 11:57 AM

Whatever bass though A/B switch if also using keys bass, into multi amp with whatever head setting I need (little mark / Big Bang or trace or ampeg emulator)

2x210 markbass cabs , DI to desk

Edited by lojo, 21 August 2017 - 12:00 PM.


#22 Nicko

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 12:33 PM

P Bass, roundwounds. Volume backed off just a tad, tone full up. MXR graphic with a sad face. Littlemark blackline. 102P traveller. Fingers or pick depending on song, but I don't change any settings when I switch..
Taking amateurism to a whole new level
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#23 EliasMooseblaster

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 01:03 PM

Very much bass -> amp for my "core" sound.

I have complicated things a bit by adding an overdrive and a fuzz, but they're only used on a few songs, and after a hiccup in packing up the van I reassured myself that I could still do a whole set without either!
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#24 Rich

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 02:00 PM

Bass -> Line 6 G55 wireless -> Line 6 Bass Pod XT Live -> Behringer MDX2600 compressor -> Genz-Benz Shuttle 6.0 -> EBS Neo-212 cab

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#25 Monkey Steve

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 02:16 PM

I have loads of pedals on my board, but other than the tuner they're all "just in case I need them" rather than core to my sound. The most commonly used ones are those that make any amp sound (pretty much) like an SVT, for the days when I'm not using my SVT (most days then)

Edited by Monkey Steve, 21 August 2017 - 02:16 PM.


#26 SimonEdward

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 05:50 PM

View PostPainy, on 20 August 2017 - 04:41 PM, said:


So, are you a simple plug and play kind of player or do you go through a multitude of effects, pre-amps and processors to get 'your tone'?

I'll play. My core tone is, fairly straight forward: -

Bass > TE Valve preamp > [FX loop send] BOSS OC-2 with -1 and/or -2 at 9 o'clock > TC Nova Dynamics > [FX loop return] > Beyer DT-100 headphones;

OR Bass > Eden WT-550 (set flat) or TE GP11 AH250 with pre shape > various pedals/effects in FX loop > TE 1048...
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#27 CamdenRob

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 06:27 PM

Bass - Amp (set flat)

In fact 9 times out of 10 I DI straight from the bass and don't even bother with the amp.
Bass Guitars :
Wal MK3 6 String Fretless (2017 - Figured Maple)
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#28 ern500evo

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 08:17 PM

Yamaha Attitude Ltd 2, pedaltrain board containing a Korg Pitchblack tuner, EBS Billy Sheehan drive pedal (purple one), Ashdown James Lomenzo Hyperdrive and an Arachnid audio channel switching pedal, into GK MB Fusion and Barefaced Big Twin 2. If using the Yamaha, I'll use the EBS pedal, if I switch to my Bongo then I'll use the Lomenzo instead
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#29 51m0n

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 09:57 PM

Roscoe Century Standard 5 with elixir long scale strings.

100% neck pickup most of the time slight bass boost and tiny mid cut on the bass.

Into Markbass sa 450, tone controls are slight bass boost again, low mid swept to the sweet spot for cutting a bit of mud, high mid just boosted a touch in the sweet spot for a touch of growl.

Through the focusrite compounder with gentle always on compression about 1.5 to 1 ratio, threshold set to get absolute max of 3dB of compression on the peaks on the open E when I really dig in. Bass expansion on just a touch so the low B doesn't get robbed of fundamental byou the compression. Limiter set to catch the biggest peaks on the low B just. You really can't hear it woring except in the mix where it just makes it a tad easy to remain present in the mix without overpowering anyone.

Then an assortment of funky flavours on the board but they aren't always on so they're not really core tone....


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#30 Lozz196

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 07:09 AM

P-bass, Rotosound Steel Rounds, Sansamp Para Driver into whatever amp/cab set-up I`m using on the gig.
Fender, Rotosound, Ashdown, Tech21, OBBM/Rock-Wire

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