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 Post subject: Depth Of Bass Body.
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:19 am
Posts: 88
Location: california
I came across an article some time ago about Chris Squires' old 4001 having to be "shaved down" and refinished. Chris then stated that the bass sounded "Thinner" in the studio after that. He had in the 70's, pasted all kinds of stickers and pictures on his bass. Once he woke up from those days, he wanted to have the bass "cleaned up". So he sent it to a luthier and the only way the guy could clean off all the graffiti, was to shave down the body some and refinish it.

"My other favorite bass player is Chris Squire from Yes. His Ric was also famous, but was not standard. The export versions of the 4001s’ were called RM1999′s. During his early career he had the bass painted then refinished a number of times. Each time it was sanded, the body was made slightly smaller. This over time changed the sound of the bass. Squire attributes his signature sound to the smaller body."

http://101basses.bass-aholic.com/?p=330


This brings me to my next question.

Does less = less? I assume that if the pickups were all re-set up the same, as with the same electronics, that the only thing that would have changed, was the body mass.

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 Post subject: Re: Depth Of Bass Body.
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:33 am
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Location: Denver
The impact of body mass on the tone is highly debatable and poorly defined... however there does seem to be a trend that a higher body mass in a neck through bass will add sustain and fundamental to the tone.

Squire's tone has so many elements to it (following the whole signal path) I would be very hard-pressed to pick out the contribution of the body mass.

Maybe the best comparison would be his RM1999 versus his modern "Fish Out Of Water" Rickenbacker bass, which does indeed sound darker in a live setting, but whether that's signal processing-based I don't know. It may have different pickups as well.

Chris is still killing it live and his bass always sounds huge, especially his Rics for some reason.


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 Post subject: Re: Depth Of Bass Body.
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 1677
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, Northern California
An instrument is a sum of its parts. That includes the body. It would not surprise me at all if shaving down the body might alter the sound in some small way.

After all, Gibson Les Pauls and SG's are the same scale, and many models have the same pickups in the same positions. Many are made of the same woods. However, one model has way more mass than the other. Do they sound different? I'm not sure, I haven't done a side by side comparison, but I suspect that they might.

Other things, like pickups, and especially pickup position, may play a larger role in things sounding different. But everything else being equal, I think changing the body mass might have a small but perhaps noticeable effect.


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 Post subject: Re: Depth Of Bass Body.
 Post Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:00 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 12:54 am
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
I think the words "in the studio" may be the key to his statement... The transition from analog recording thru tube driven desks to digital hard disc recording (which all happened between the days of strange stickers and psycedelic painting and the more straight days of collectable mapleglo finishes) may have changed the sound picture in mr. Squires ears - and not a few millimetres of wood.


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