Paying attention to the bass-ics

Close-up of part of a bass guitarI’ve written before about the joy of revisiting old gear and apparently I’m still learning this lesson as I had it reinforced yet again recently…

I’m fortunate enough to have a(n almost) matching pair of five string basses, a fretted and fretless. they both have two single-coil (Jazz Bass) style pickups.

Over the last few months I’ve had a growing frustration that I was missing some ‘bass’ response in my sound – to the extent that I’ve been increasingly concerned about a perceived discrepancy between the two basses (though I realise, with the benefit of hindsight, I hadn’t actually played them side by side for a while) – in fact I was starting to research replacement pickups and active circuitry…

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I was due to play at church all day and I decided, on a whim, to dig out my own amp head and cabs and take them to church instead of using the combo owned by the church (a Trace Elliot Series VI – anyone remember those? I used to use one as my main amp for a while and loved it).

To be honest, sometimes it is a bit of pain to cart all that gear around – but, as I do every single time I make the effort and fire up my own rig, I fell in love with the sound of my basses again. The bottom end I was missing returned and, surprise surprise, the two basses sounded wonderful together (to my ears at least)!

The moral of the tale being – if you’ve spent the time and money collecting gear to get as close as you can (afford) to the sound you hear in your dreams then, for goodness sake, make the effort to use it regularly …I plan to!