Bass equipment thoughts and ideas

dedpool1052

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I like one pickup basses, I like two pickup basses.

For 1 pickup, I love the L-1000 and Kiloton.

For 2 pickup, I love the L-2000, Ric, and my Fenderbird.

I also love the simplicity of a 1 pickup bass.
The Wunkay and Kilo cover different territories.
Each one does what the other can't.

If I were to have a bass made, I'd have an MFD sit in between the Wunkay and Kilo positions.
It would accomplish two things.
It would be tighter than a Wunkay, but fuller than a Kilo.
I'd absolutely take advantage of the possibilities, and have a switch for front coil (SC on Wunkay), back coil (SC on Kilo), and both, along with a series/parallel switch. And, the PTB/Tritone preamp setup.
I get the best of both worlds, and a unique placement when using both coils, likely similar to my old Aria bass, in my estimation.
 

soulman

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Looks like I've got a bad volume pot on that new JBass. So.....in addition to some fret work that was needed I guess I might as well just rewire the whole deal with CTS pots and Switchcraft jack like I did my last one when it's pots finally started to go south. I don't typically replace electronics that are working, even the crummy import dime size pots, but sooner or later they will fail and need replacing. In this case it was sooner, much sooner. That's OK though. The bass itself was so cheap that spending more now I know will never have to be done later is worth it.

I just wonder how many who bought these basses and found they needed some work did the work themselves, took it to a tech, or simply sent it back to Fender? If it came from a dealer I might have been tempted to just have them ship me another but I'm not sure how Fender themselves handles that and I actually wanted a project to work on anyway so I got my wish. I may just order a harness w/plate like I did before then just replace the pots in it when I have time and sell it like I did the other one and make $25-$30 doing it.
 

bonin in the boneyard

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That's interesting.

On the one hand, I wouldn't contradict Mr. Dingwall in his area of expertise. On the other hand, he got people to pay $2,500 for an imported bass, so I expect salesmanship in anything he says. If he has demoed his little saddle-tapping experiment in a controlled environment, I couldn't find it quickly. Randall Wyn dropped pieces of wood on his shop floor to demonstrate the different sounds they made, but the pieces were all different shapes/sizes.

I'm interested less in what's observable, and more in what's predictable. It's cool that some people can discern differences in two different basses. But can you extend that to reliably select materials for achieving a tonal goal? Will the differences even be meaningful after EQ or a mic'ed cabinet?
 

bonin in the boneyard

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As for my own worthless thoughts and observations, I would expect to hear the difference mainly in how held notes decay as the strings impart vibrations into the rest of the bass. Like, maybe different materials would cause the fundamental to decay faster/slower relative to harmonics. It's harder to imagine a difference in the first few tenths of a second.

My SB-1 is unique among my basses in that upper horn vibrates against my sternum when I play. The bass is beat to shit and has a neck that's difficult to play. But there's something about the tone that, when I play it, quashes any thought I have of selling it. Maybe something about that vibration causes notes to swell and decay in some pleasing way. Or maybe it's the vibrations in my chest that makes the tone feel different. I've played two other SB-1s and both had much nicer necks and sounded fine, but they lacked that extra something.
 

dedpool1052

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Randall Wyn dropped pieces of wood on his shop floor to demonstrate the different sounds they made,
I remember hearing about PRS (the man, not the company in general) back in the "pre-factory" days, hanging body blanks on a coat hanger, and hitting it with a marimba mallet, and listening for it's response, before choosing a body.
 

dedpool1052

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Curious where you guys are on this thread about Dingwall basses.
I've never played a Dingwall but am curious as to what you guys believe about basses made from identical materials sounding the same.

The whole half this/half that thing has me skeptical.
Just like Fodera and their "tone-block", and how it's a relatively small piece, no wider than the end of the neck, using a differing body wood than the "wings"
 

soulman

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That's interesting.

On the one hand, I wouldn't contradict Mr. Dingwall in his area of expertise. On the other hand, he got people to pay $2,500 for an imported bass, so I expect salesmanship in anything he says. If he has demoed his little saddle-tapping experiment in a controlled environment, I couldn't find it quickly. Randall Wyn dropped pieces of wood on his shop floor to demonstrate the different sounds they made, but the pieces were all different shapes/sizes.

I'm interested less in what's observable, and more in what's predictable. It's cool that some people can discern differences in two different basses. But can you extend that to reliably select materials for achieving a tonal goal? Will the differences even be meaningful after EQ or a mic'ed cabinet?
Reliably? Probably not. One guy who addresses this often on guitar sites like TDPRI and Strat-Talk is Ron Kirn, a master builder of solid body T-type and S-type guitars. In his experience how an inert piece of wood may sound all on it's own as a body or neck blank bares very little comparison to what happens when it becomes part of the overall tonal system that is the finished product. There are just too many variable involved to predict it reliably.

Some blanks may be very dead sounding and while certain builder may reject them out of hand others may see a benefit with what they plan to build. In Ron Kirn's mind the precision in which all of the wood and hardware are fitted together has far more impact than the components themselves and in the end it's still the pickups that are the primary voice of the instrument. Their interaction with the rest is what we hear through our amps.

My take is that what's most essential is quality components fused together by the builder create that platform for the pickups and electronics to do their jobs. That's what combines to produce the final result the builder is after. Obviously master builder have far more control over this than a line worker in any guitar manufacturing plant in the world which is why we expect more from custom or one off builds. But do we always get what we expect?
 
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