Funkopation / Foam Muting - recommend me a bass!

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zero
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Funkopation / Foam Muting - recommend me a bass!

Post by zero » Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:56 pm

So I'm looking at getting a new bass (if my Ibanez sells - check classifieds!) and I'm fairly set on a Precision. I'm looking at starting a new band with one of my workmates as a Friday night wind-down, and it's probably going to be something in the dance/funk/rock/dub/reggae/trip-hop sort of avenues - lots of bass driven stuff.

Essentially I want a deep, thick sound that gets a nice groove going, without being too bright and "forward" in the mix. This is why I'm staying away from jazzes, but I could be wrong on this. I also like a slightly thicker neck (even considering a 5-string!) and I've liked every P-bass I've played.

At this stage, I've got a few ideas:

- Squier VM P-bass, and then upgrading pickup to Bartolini and gettin a new bridge
- One of the Mexi P-basses, if I can find a nice one
- Getting Ash to build a sort of Radian P-Bass type thing

Any more suggestions? Must be under $1500, cheaper the better too - I like upgrades!

Also, is a P-bass really what I'm after? I will of course be trying basses out, but it's always hard to know how they'll go in the mix. I imagine that we'll keep it to maybe a 3-piece at most, with a guitar/keys player if we can find one. I really like the look of the Deluxe Precisions but they do come at a price...as does the 5-string model.

Oh, and of course, one final thing. I don't really have any experience with flatwounds, and not many new basses come strung with 'em...worth a look? I like most of the clips I've heard of them, but I don't know how they'd go in the mix either.

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zero
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Re: Funkopation - recommend me a bass!

Post by zero » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:00 pm

I should add - my tone heroes would be Stuart Zender, Chris Wolstenholme (who doesn't love him), whoever plays bass with Massive Attack, Duck Dunn, James Jamerson...etc.

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john
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Re: Funkopation - recommend me a bass!

Post by john » Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:05 pm

Sounds to me like your on the right track , a P with flats, for the tone you are describing .

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Jazzbass
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Re: Funkopation - recommend me a bass!

Post by Jazzbass » Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:00 am

yep, I'm with John!
(not in the biblical sense, of course)
:D

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timi
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Re: Funkopation - recommend me a bass!

Post by timi » Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:39 am

Don't get fixated on anything and try to keep an open mind. Play as many P basses as you can until you find one that plays and feels right. Fenders of all prices are pretty inconsistent.

Going custom is all good if you really want something unique (and I've only heard good things about Ash), but just remember that custom means low resale value 99% of the time.

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Re: Funkopation - recommend me a bass!

Post by foal30 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:40 am

Obviously Steinberger fits the bill for the genres :D
sadly not the budget :(

and for playing to a genre tone wise 90% of it is ya playing IMO. Lot of quintessential dub and reggae is Jazz Bass or Steinberger or even Hofner which may not be our first point of call in a reference sense when we think of this.

thumb with palm mute solves many problems :D
Flats are certainly an avenue to explore because (generally) your providing a lot of 'fundamental'
with a Precision it obviously brings you closer to Dunn, Jamerson, Rainey too.
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zero
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Re: Funkopation - recommend me a bass!

Post by zero » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:27 pm

Cheers guys.

Foal - obviously the look is part of it, hence no Steinburglers thanks :P

Anybody know of any shops that have a flats-equipped bass of some kind I could try? I'd hate to waste a purchase...

Also as a general rule, which of the P-bass models should I consider or avoid?

One more question...what's the deal with foam muting the strings? I've not seen anybody I know do this, but someone mentioned it on Talkbass as being good for old funk/hip hop basslines...

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Re: Funkopation - recommend me a bass!

Post by foal30 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:53 am

the Samick you looked at has the Valley Arts electronic upgrade. which cost a bit more than $250 :D
the problem of course is 'good' electronics are IMO unable to rescue 'bad' wood. I've played a 5'er of those which was 'OK' but $ is far better spent as a part payment on something better.

this is no inferred on the Bass in question BTW, more a general comment on the nature of mass-produced instruments, ala Timi talking about Jazz Basses

Yamaha have made some 'good' P Bass copies. I know your selling an Ibby but some people really like their late '70 early '80 era. I had a Roadster with half rounds, it was OK, and a Yamaha RBX with rounds that was also OK. This was 20 years ago of course. I think it is fair to say quality standards of Bass Guitars have risen a lot since then. {insert budget $} goes further now than it did in a playability/QC sense IMO.

Foam Mutes.
used to be part of the Bass. even the original MusicMan's had them

me , I don't go for it because I far prefer being able to do the 'level' of dampening on the fly. If I was specifically asked for a certain recorded tone than obviously it would be something to investigate. I also forgot to say earlier try using folded Velcro instead of a pick... this can sound muted but less so than pick w/palm mute.
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Foam Mutes

Post by Harley » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:37 pm

zero wrote:One more question...what's the deal with foam muting the strings? .
It came out on the early Fenders ( and perhaps other brands ) which were following in the wake of upright bass in most bands.

The 'new fangled electric' sound was considered a little harsh compared to the duller thud of the upright. Foam strip was thus added under 'the ashtray' as a means of softening the harshness and mimicking the accepted sound of the upright.

IMO you should save up a bit more money and go MIA P bass, if you have your heart set on P basses. The Squiers and such-like can sometimes come close, but after a while, you'll get sick of close and want bang on. I've learned that from playing bass for over 30 years.
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zero
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Re: Funkopation - recommend me a bass!

Post by zero » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:45 pm

Cheers guys.

I had that feeling too, though my mate's MIA Precision Deluxe is starting to fall apart 'cos of crappy hardware...and I'd like a bit left over for upgrades! I'll try a few out though. I really don't like the standard Fender bridge though, and not super keen on the pickup, so I suspect I'd be making the same changes no matter the bass.


I thought so re: foam muting in terms of tone. Might be kinda cool to have an ashtray set up with the foam inside, and just take it off when I wanted...

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zero
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Re: Funkopation - recommend me a bass!

Post by zero » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:47 pm

And re: the Ibanez I'm selling, I do love it so and it is a fantastic bass, but it sounds like an Ibanez bass...my current tone desires are all Fender, baby :wink:

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zero
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Re: Funkopation - recommend me a bass!

Post by zero » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:37 pm

I played a Road Worn Precision today in the brown bursty colour.


Must have. Absolutely stunning.

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Re: Funkopation - recommend me a bass!

Post by beagle » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:15 am

foal30 wrote:Foam Mutes.
used to be part of the Bass. even the original MusicMan's had them
me , I don't go for it because I far prefer being able to do the 'level' of dampening on the fly. If I was specifically asked for a certain recorded tone than obviously it would be something to investigate. I also forgot to say earlier try using folded Velcro instead of a pick... this can sound muted but less so than pick w/palm mute.
My MM sterling has foam mutes and I can raise or lower them individually.... but it doesn't allow for quick changing so I hardly ever use them and instead use thumb w/palm.
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Re: Funkopation - recommend me a bass!

Post by john » Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:15 pm

beagle wrote:... instead use thumb w/palm.
I use my little finger to mute. Unless I am using a pick

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Re: Funkopation / Foam Muting - recommend me a bass!

Post by beagle » Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:19 pm

I haven't spent any real time palm muting with a pick. Shall have to give it a try. 8)
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