How to get this tone?

Listen to the bass in the video. How does the bass player get that unique sound?

(I have a feeling the answer is going to involve spending money)


Yeah, probably :grin:

Let’s start with the bass: it looks like a Rickenbacker, but I am not a Rick expert, so can’t say much more… But, those are the basses that Chris Squire also played. They probably set you back at least 2000 bucks.

Then, there are the amps and the sound shaping gear in the signal path… those will also contribute to the sound… and the price tag!

BUT… a big part of his sound might be the way he plays. To me it looks like he’s really leaning into those strings, not holding back! I mean the guy has forearms the size of my thighs, so there is that :smile:


Rickenbacker basses have a very unique sound . . . :slight_smile:

And yes, a new one will set you back a good $2300 USD

Cheers, Joe


The roundness of the bass sound is classic Ampeg. Which makes sense as he is playing through a pair of Ampeg SVTs and 8x10 stacks :slight_smile:


So, you’re saying that what amp you use can make that much of a difference in the tone?


Absolutely. Which makes sense; it’s kind of like how active basses can get a broad tonal range with their preamps. Except in this case it’s both the settings on his preamp in the amps, and the tone coloring of the amp itself.

Ampegs are famous for that round, punchy sound, you can kind of hear it here:

(edit, linked the wrong vid :slight_smile:


Great! Now I’m shopping for new amp. I knew this question was going to end up costing me money LOL.


Make sure to try them out and find one you like, ideally with your bass :slight_smile:

There’s also other ways to get that kind of sound with other amps. Many effects boxes have amp and cabinet simulators to mimic that tone. Some preamp pedals also do the Ampeg tone. I have this one:


Well, if you do, and depending on your wattage needs, you might want to test-drive the Fender Rumble Studio 40, which is a modeling amp, i.e., it models different of the classic amp models including the SVT (and several others).

Most GuitarCenters etc have the Studio 40 standing around for testing, and it is not the most expensive amp there is. A very good amp for home and small venues, really!


That’s another good option, basically the same as having an effects pedal built in to the amp.

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This topic made me experiment with my Rumble 25. There are two buttons that I’ve never messed with: “Overdrive” and “Countour”. When I pushed those buttons and played a few bass lines, the sound was completely different, but I’m not sure why. Can anyone explain the use of those two buttons? Thanks much! I’m a whiz at a lot of things, but musical contraptions is not one of them.

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Contour is a “mid scoop”. Basically you can get the same effect by slightly turning up the bass and treble, and drastically turning down the midrange. Try it :slight_smile:

This is a good sound for slap and pick playing.

Overdrive is a nice distorted sound from overdriving the preamp.


Me neither, @PamPurrs - just see my question on compression in the other thread…

But, I know this and just to make clear: the Rumble 25 is NOT a modeling amp!


What is a “Modeling amp”? (See how little I know about this stuff)

I’m thinking for my next amp, the Rumble 100. Your thoughts?


The amp can change drastically the sound of an instrument. The bassline of the video uses overdrive, you can try to have this kind of saturated tone from your amp and there is another way to get an overdriven sound : to use an overdrive or preamp pedal ! Pedals are a huge rabbit hole but they are a nice way to shape our tones !


So, a modeling amp is a (modern) amp that uses advanced software (and probably sound chips) to model (mimic) the sounds of famous (vintage) amp models (as well as of many effects pedals). I find it pretty cool, while other people would rather have the real thing (but that means you potentially need several different amps and lots of effects).

The Rumble 100 is, as far as I know, a very good amp, but NOT a modeling amp either (or, if, very limited - there is some “vintage” setting on them).

I would really recommend you to go to the nearest GuitarCenter and look at what they have standing there and test drive a few of the options.


@PamPurrs, I went from the Rumble 25 to the 100 and have NO regrets . . . :slight_smile:

Neither one is a modeling amp, though. In the Rumble series they have a “Studio 40” model which has 40+ effects built into it and octave, looper, reverb, etc.

HTH and all best, Joe


The modeling amps are cool. That said I would personally instead want to get my effects in boxes that were not part of the amp, so that you don’t lose them when you upgrade amps :slight_smile:


Here is the “official” Fender video on the Studio 40:

Note: I don’t get anything from them for doing this :sleepy:


modeling amps and preamps are great recording tools, and that’s a good choice if you don’t know the tones you want : you have plenty of different tones to play with and experiment.

also, note that a modeling amp tends to sound like a recorded amp more than a live amp, there is a small difference. (but it’s not necessarily a bad thing … just a bit different)

I myself prefer a “real” amp but I use modelisation for recording, it’s so much easier than recording a real amp, and it sounds good !