avatar

John Eppstein

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,177 Member Since:31/05/2015

#62 [url]

Feb 26 17 2:12 PM

weedywet wrote:
I love the sound of open strings growling. 

I rest my palm on the pickup edge generally. (Or the horseshoe cover in the Rickenbacker). On the Precision I think I rest my heel of my palm on the bridge edge.

 Not on a string. 





 

On a Precision I usually use the concave curvature of the pick guard up by the neck, but it's a little shallow. When playing somebody else's instrument (at a jam or whatever) if it has an extra string I'll use that, because it's more or less in the right place and it's better than just having the damn thing in the way. Have you noticed that 5 string pickups usually don't sound as good as 4 stringers?

Last Edited By: John Eppstein Feb 26 17 2:23 PM. Edited 2 times.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

adam brown

Gold Finger

Posts: 300 Member Since:23/02/2011

#63 [url]

Feb 26 17 5:38 PM

Growl yes but part of that is the downstream chain, best done with valve amps.

The buzz sound I like. Not fret buzz. More like a solid state amp.

The flabby fart stuff, not so much. A lot of the older stuff has that sound. Depends on the overall mix if I like it. I'm guessing a lot of it is done DI.

What I like doesn't matter of course. I know.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

weedywet

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,795 Member Since:20/01/2011

#64 [url]

Feb 26 17 5:42 PM

I remember when in my orbit I started to see DI bass guitar. 
To me it was always about living with other things. In the early 70's when drums were getting deader and drier it made some sense for the bass guitar to get closer to go with that tighter closer bass drum. 
And then with machines even more so. 

 

Quote    Reply   
avatar

seth

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,527 Member Since:26/01/2011

#65 [url]

Feb 26 17 7:20 PM

adam brown wrote:
Growl yes but part of that is the downstream chain, best done with valve amps.

The buzz sound I like. Not fret buzz. More like a solid state amp.

The flabby fart stuff, not so much. A lot of the older stuff has that sound. Depends on the overall mix if I like it. I'm guessing a lot of it is done DI.

What I like doesn't matter of course. I know.

Adam, you're allowed to like what you like. I feel strongly about what I like for me, and I have strong feelings about the role of bass in an ensemble. That doesn't mean I know everything, as my wife is kind enough to reassure me most days, and I respect different views. I noticed your comment that you had a bass with fan frets, and that's something I've been very interested to look into. Do you find it helps with tuning? I'm also a fan of solid state amps. I like the way my bass sounds, and I want an amp that just makes it louder. I've been daydreaming about building a bass amp in a one rack space box that has a wolfbox di on the input, a Daking or a Neve preamp, and a Hypex NC400 power amp all in one unit. No tone controls, just more me ;-)

Quote    Reply   
avatar

jesse decarlo

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,471 Member Since:24/03/2013

#66 [url]

Feb 26 17 11:41 PM

In my (limited) experience with fan frets, the thing they really help with is consistent tension and tone from string to string, but of course that is in fact the point. My friend has a particularly amazing Dingwall that he's used on several records I've worked on.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

gregdixon

Gold Finger

Posts: 472 Member Since:30/01/2011

#67 [url]

Feb 27 17 5:10 AM

I've had a 5 string Dingwall Z3 for a few years. The only 5 string I like (because if you ignore the B, it still sounds like a 4 string). Nice bass, but I still tend to prefer 4 strings. The fan fret design is easy to get used to. I think a lot of that is because the G is still 34", as with a Fender, so you move your had up and down the neck the same amount and then stretch your finger a little more. I was looking for consistency of tone from string to string. I get frustrated with basses that lack clarity on the low strings and then twang like a baritone guitar on the G.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

seth

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,527 Member Since:26/01/2011

#68 [url]

Feb 27 17 9:56 AM

extrememixing wrote:
I don't know exactly, but it is very light. Alder body.

Steve

To me that's the mark of a good one. The heavy ones don't sound good IMO. If you ever want to sell it, let me know! ;-)

Quote    Reply   
avatar

zmix

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,983 Member Since:20/01/2011

#70 [url]

Feb 28 17 7:38 AM

seth wrote:
extrememixing wrote:
I don't know exactly, but it is very light. Alder body.

Steve

To me that's the mark of a good one. The heavy ones don't sound good IMO. If you ever want to sell it, let me know! ;-)

I used to own a 1967 Jazz Bass, feather weight, incredibly lively and responsive instrument..  my College had a  1976 Jazz Bass, weighed a ton.  If the 67 was like playing soccer, the 76 was like climbing a rock wall in the desert while suffering from heat stroke.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

seth

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,527 Member Since:26/01/2011

#71 [url]

Feb 28 17 10:00 AM

There's a heat treating process that guitar makers are using now called 'torrefication' mostly on spruce tops for acoustic guitars. You can order bodies and necks from some of the companies that make solid body parts. MusiKraft seems to have taken it the farthest. As I undersand it, the controlled heating process is designed to speed up the drying of wood, the evaporation of volatile oils, and the breakdown of cell walls, all of which previously occurred only with the passage of time and lots of playing. I think it's possible it never occurs with instruments that have plastic finishes because they are, in effect, sealed. The process also makes the wood lighter. I'd love to check it out, but at the moment I have too many basses and not enough money.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,169 Member Since:04/02/2011

#72 [url]

Feb 28 17 10:08 AM

Re: plastic finishes--

Nitrocellulose is also a plastic, and is non-porous (until it chips and checks!) Same for acrylic lacquer, which is what all custom color Fenders used for the color coats.

Lacquer does tend to get applied thinner (but not necessarily!), and will continue to get thinner over time.

But after 1963, most (all?) Fenders used an epoxy sealer coat called Fullerplast (Fullerplast is not a yellow dye, as is often mis-reported, and is not named after Fullerton, as is often assumed... it was a commercial product made and sold by Fuller O'Brien which Fender purchased). This coat of Fullerplast is often very thick-- sometimes as thick as a modern polyester finish-- and is applied right underneath the acrylic or nitro lacquer on post '63 (or so) Fenders.

Oil finishes are not plastic, and French polishes are somewhere in between... if done right, the polymers within the shellac will crosslink forming a sort of 'plastic'.

brad allen williams

Quote    Reply   
avatar

seth

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,527 Member Since:26/01/2011

#73 [url]

Feb 28 17 10:28 AM

Fair enough, Brad. I didn't do well in chemistry in high school. ;-)

I thought that more recent finishes prevented the evaporation of oils in the wood more than older finishes. I don't know where I picked up that impression but if it's incorrect so be it. There seems to be a liveness to great Fender basses from the early to mid-sixties that is completely missing from seventies basses. Not all sixties basses have it, and I don't have enough experience with fifties basses to know if they do. But I've never played a seventies or later bass that does. That might just mean I haven't played it.

What do you think about the torrefaction process? https://musikraft.com/product-info.php?pid386.html

https://bourgeoisguitars.net/our-news/dana-bourgeois-on-torrefaction-for-acoustic-guitar/
 

Quote    Reply   
avatar

jesse decarlo

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,471 Member Since:24/03/2013

#74 [url]

Feb 28 17 10:47 AM

My friend has a mid-70s Precision bass that is in the boat anchor weight class - you wouldn't describe it as lively but it sounds amazing in a different way. There's an impressively solid fundamental when you play it.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

gtoledo3

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,046 Member Since:23/10/2013

#75 [url]

Feb 28 17 11:17 AM

@Seth - I have a Gibson Melody Maker, SG style, with a torrified maple fretboard. It winds up being much closer to rosewood visually, and feel wise as well. I may be wrong, but I think that the fretboard slab itself is a bit thicker than average on that guitar, which overall is not a bad thing.

On the other sub topic - I thought some newer Fenders have polyurethane or polyester based coats.

On the other other sub topic, light basses - current favorite bass is a Squier Bronco, Mustang style bass, of all things. It reminds me of something between a Precision, and a Hofner bass, but more towards the Precision. I have some other nice basses, but I just love the cheap Bronco.

Last Edited By: gtoledo3 Feb 28 17 11:24 AM. Edited 1 time.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,169 Member Since:04/02/2011

#76 [url]

Feb 28 17 4:54 PM

seth wrote:
Fair enough, Brad. I didn't do well in chemistry in high school. ;-)

I thought that more recent finishes prevented the evaporation of oils in the wood more than older finishes. I don't know where I picked up that impression but if it's incorrect so be it. There seems to be a liveness to great Fender basses from the early to mid-sixties that is completely missing from seventies basses. Not all sixties basses have it, and I don't have enough experience with fifties basses to know if they do. But I've never played a seventies or later bass that does. That might just mean I haven't played it.

What do you think about the torrefaction process? https://musikraft.com/product-info.php?pid386.html

https://bourgeoisguitars.net/our-news/dana-bourgeois-on-torrefaction-for-acoustic-guitar/

 

Ha! Chemistry was my third-favorite subject in school, after music and art.

You certainly didn't imagine the notion that nitrocellulose finishes "breathe"... that is the most common conventional wisdom among communities of guitarists. It's just that (like so much conventional wisdom!) it unfortunately happens to be incorrect, at least to my knowledge. Thanks again, internet!

I think there's some psychology at play-- for one, because nitrocellulose is a relatively OLD kind of plastic (and therefore used on lots of old instruments), and also because it happens to be made from organic material (traditionally, cotton... dissolved in nitric acid and sulfuric acid... makes nitrocellulose). I think because it's made of cellulose fibers a lot of people credit it with sounding "woodier" but that's not borne out by the science.

One thing's for sure, the nitro lacquer applied by Fender in the 50s and 60s was typically quite thinly applied, whereas the catalyzed finishes they used in the 70s were slathered on... almost like the guitars were encased in amber. But I think a lot of what we perceive about those finishes in terms of how they behave is due more to film thickness than chemical composition. Oh, also, nitro lacquer unquestionably FEELS different in the hand (way better, to most), and I think there can be a bit of synesthesia there... there is NOTHING to me like the feel of a Fender neck finished in the 1950s or 1960s. Even Gibson necks finished in lacquer from that same era don't come close. It's enough to bias our ears into thinking it 'sounds better', I think (I really do).

So much changed at Fender in the 1970s it's hard to precisely attribute the "ruination". Cast zinc bridges and inertia blocks? Green wood that wasn't properly seasoned? Extra-heavy wood that was poorly-sourced? Different magnet wire on the pickups? Different methods of winding those pickups? Awful tuners? Poor tolerance and fit/finish (hugely over-wide neck pockets)? Changes in design like the 3-bolt micro-tilt? Poor-quality components like the dreaded "F" tuners? etc etc etc. 

I think most of us just look at all of it and say it's ALL bad. 

But I wonder if everything had remained the same except they went to a nice, thin film of poly instead of lacquer, if poly finishes would be as much of an anathema to us today... 





 

brad allen williams

Quote    Reply   
avatar

zmix

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,983 Member Since:20/01/2011

#77 [url]

Feb 28 17 6:40 PM

soapfoot wrote:
Re: plastic finishes--

Nitrocellulose is also a plastic, and is non-porous (until it chips and checks!) Same for acrylic lacquer, which is what all custom color Fenders used for the color coats.

Lacquer does tend to get applied thinner (but not necessarily!), and will continue to get thinner over time.

But after 1963, most (all?) Fenders used an epoxy sealer coat called Fullerplast (Fullerplast is not a yellow dye, as is often mis-reported, and is not named after Fullerton, as is often assumed... it was a commercial product made and sold by Fuller O'Brien which Fender purchased). This coat of Fullerplast is often very thick-- sometimes as thick as a modern polyester finish-- and is applied right underneath the acrylic or nitro lacquer on post '63 (or so) Fenders.

Oil finishes are not plastic, and French polishes are somewhere in between... if done right, the polymers within the shellac will crosslink forming a sort of 'plastic'.
And just to confuse things further, Fender also applied Nitrocellulose lacquer over the paint, as on my1974 Strat, which has given the "Olympic White" finish a buttery hue (similar to the Jaguar in the article below)...

5293b0444af6b1.09999581_r.jpg


1965 Jaguar, Olympic White
with clear coat, pickguard removed.

jagw65cp.jpg

The Clear Choice.

  • Back to the issue of Fender using only nitrocellulose paint. What Fender really did was use the colors as available from DuPont, be it acrylic or nitrocellulose. But they always used clear lacquer that was nitrocellulose based. Unfortunately for us trying to replicate these old colors, the clear nitrocellulose lacquer yellowed significantly. This distorts the shade of many colors, especially blue, silver, green and white (remember from your high school art class that blue and yellow make green). On the positive side, the nitrocellulose clear coat "softens" the color, making it look warmer and less sharp. This is why most people like wood products finished in nitrocellulose lacquer.

The cause of the yellowing clear nitrocellulose lacquer is largely, but not entirely, environmental. Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or fluorescent lights will accelerate the process. Air quality problems (smoking, smog) can also contribute significantly. But the nature of the lacquer beast is that nitrocellulose clear will yellow, to some degree, no matter how the instrument is stored. A case in point is the 1965 Olympic White Jaguar to the left. This picture was taken with the pickguard removed. Notice the yellowing of the exposed finish. But also notice the area under the pickguard is also still slightly yellow. And this area hasn't seen daylight since 1965 when the guitar was assembled by Fender.

 

 



Last Edited By: zmix Feb 28 17 7:21 PM. Edited 1 time.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

zmix

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,983 Member Since:20/01/2011

#78 [url]

Feb 28 17 7:18 PM

Interesting sidebar about Fender's use of Automobile paint:

http://www.guitarhq.com/fenderc.html

PARTIAL EXCERPT:

Fender custom colors as used on Fender vintage guitars until 1970. Complete analysis of the colors used and how they were applied.
Fender Custom Colors: Color Confusion.
09/01/2012, Copyright 1998-2012.
Return to the Feature Index.
  • Few things in the vintage guitar market are as confusing as Fender and Gibson custom color guitars. The number of colors offered and lack of good, clean, documented specimens today makes identifying the original colors difficult. Many authors of some excellent guitar books have shed light on Fender and Gibson custom colors. Though I greatly appreciate this current research on custom colors, I feel they may have created some general confusion as to what color is what. Also, as a guitar refinisher, being able to duplicate the original custom colors accurately is important to me. And the information I've seen to date isn't complete or accurate enough to allow this. So I've done my own research and have found quite a few things that differ from the accepted custom color knowledge base. For example, takes these quotes from several popular vintage guitar books:

"1958 Strat in Shoreline Gold with gold parts". (this caption is actually describing a "true" one-off custom color, not Shoreline Gold. Shoreline Gold is very bronze in color and wasn't even available till 1959). "1961 non-tremolo model in Coral Pink, a subtle variant of the world famous Fiesta Red finish". (Fender never had a color in its pallet called "Coral Pink" or "Salmon Pink". This color is mostly likely Fiesta Red, which has a very pink hue). "Some colors changed in 1963, but the total stayed at 14. Some, such as Shoreline Gold and Inca Silver, changed in name only." (Shoreline Gold and Inca Silver were dropped in 1965 and replaced by Firemist Gold and Silver, completely different colors). "Foam Green is related to Surf Green but is a bit lighter". (actually Surf Green is lighter in color than Foam Green). "Enamel lacquers were marketed by DuPont under the Duco brand; acrylic lacquers bore the Lucite brand". (Duco is DuPont's brand name for nitrocellulose lacquer. There’s no such animal as an "enamel lacquer").

As you can see, custom colors may be one of the most mis-understood aspect of the vintage guitar market. The following research can provide more accurate information on the custom color paints and finishing techniques used. This may help you better identify a true factory custom color, and should clear up the many fallacies about them.

Cars, Cars, Cars.

  • To understand Fender custom colors you have to know what the colors are based on. The answer, of course, is automobiles. Cars in the United States had more social influence than just about anything at the time (even more than Elvis). Fender's only in-house paint mixes during the 50's and 60's were Sunburst and Blond (and Candy Apple Red to a point: more on this color later). All other colors originated directly from the cars of the time, and most of these colors were from General Motor's cars.

Let me back up and tell you exactly how I researched this. I've been doing car and guitar finishes since I was in high school. And I constantly get guitar clients asking for the wide array of Fender colors that were offered during the 1960's. But I always turned them away from doing all colors except those I could accurately reproduce: white, black, and blond. After all, white is white and black is black, and everyone has seen a million blond Teles. It's pretty hard to screw up those colors. Finally I decided to do some research on the other colors.

The first step was to look at the original Fender custom color charts. If you don't have originals to examine, use "the Fender Stratocaster" book (new edition) by A.R. Duchossoir, page 31. Thanks to the 1960 color chart, Fender provided us with the manufacturer, type and paint code for every color on this chart (though it's not obvious).

Take the first color, Lake Placid Blue, for example. The paint type is "Lucite", which is DuPont's brand name for acrylic lacquer. The number, 2876L next to "Lucite", is the DuPont paint code identifying the paint formula for Lake Placid Blue (note some colors are "Duco", which is DuPont's brand name for their nitrocellulose lacquer).

If you bring the paint code 2876L to your local DuPont automotive paint dealer, you can identify which car originally used this color. In Lake Placid Blue's case, that would be a 1958 Cadillac color available in acrylic lacquer (Lucite).

But you say, "acrylic lacquer? I thought Fender used nitrocellulose lacquer?". Fender used both acrylic and nitrocellulose lacquer in the color coat. To understand why, we have to understand what the difference is between acrylic and nitrocellulose lacquer.

What is Lacquer?

  • Paint is made of three major components: pigment, binder (also known as resin), and solvent. Pigment is the what makes the color. Pigments can be organic or inorganic. Organic pigments, though more expensive, offer a wider range of shades. Inorganic pigments are derived from various metallic ores. For example, white is made from titanium dioxide, black is carbon, zinc is yellow, orange is molybdate, and red is made from iron oxides.

Pigments are dispersed in binders, often called resins, which provide the protective and mechanical properties of the paint film. As paint dries, the binder forms a film that allows the paint to adhere to the surface. Early binders were made from natural materials such as linseed and soybean oil. These are still used in many oil-based house paints today. But natural binders quickly gave way to synthetic binders, which comprise 90% of the market today. These synthetic binders include alkyd (made from acids), celluloid, acrylic, epoxy, and urethane to name a few.

The pigment and binder dispersion is dissolved in a solvent, which controls the consistency of the paint and evaporates after the paint is applied. Without the solvent, the pigment-binder mixture would be too thick to spread easily and uniformly.

Nitrocellulose lacquer uses a celluloid-based binder. Acrylic lacquer uses a acrylic-based binder. Both use acetone as their solvent, which is what defines these products as lacquer. Acetone is an extremely fast evaporating solvent. That's why lacquer became so popular. It dries very fast and gives excellent gloss. Quick drying time is important for production environments such as car and guitar manufacturing because time is money.

Since nitrocellulose lacquer uses celluloid as its binder, there are some problems. Celluloid is the same material used for tortoise shell pickguards on D'Angelicos, Gibsons, Epiphones, Gretsches and other guitars from 1900 to present. And we all know what happens to those old pickguards made of celluloid - they turn to dust with time.

The Automotive Paint Industry in the mid 1950's

  • Nineteen fifty six was a big year for the automotive paint industry. Prior to 1956, all General Motors (GM) cars were painted with nitrocellulose lacquer (all other car manufacturers used enamels except GM). GM liked lacquer. It dried fast, looked great, could be rubbed-out to remove minor scratches and dullness, and it spot repaired easily. Enamels looked dull in about the same time as lacquers, but you couldn't easily rub them out to get the shine back. And the dealers and body shops loved lacquer for the ease of application and drying time.


  • MORE HERE: http://www.guitarhq.com/fenderc.html




Quote    Reply   
avatar

silvertone

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,671 Member Since:26/01/2011

#80 [url]

gregdixon wrote:
Just saw this.

And that's why you gotta love Tony.

Funny as we were emailing back and forth today.  Seems his front of house engineer is jealous of my new Presto three track.  Made me laugh.  I told Tony to tell him he is welcome to come up and record on it anytime he wants.

Hoping to get together with him to go see Belew at the Egg next month. 

Also I was wrong in this thread earlier, Tony pretty much plays the 5 string Music Mans these days. Ever since his old MM 4 strings burned up in "the great fire" he switched over to the Ernie Ball 5 string basses.  Although he did get the 4 string back that he used on Gabriel's Security tour from as mutual friend of ours. John was bummed when he asked for it back.

Also in that video he says the sound comes from the bass but I will tell you that Tony plays my MM when he comes up here and it sounds like him, he hands it back to me and it sounds like me.  I'm calling him out on that one. Ha ha. He is such a great guy... and not a bad bass player either :  )

Silvertone Mastering, celebrating 28 years in business.

www.silvertonemastering.com

Quote    Reply   
Add Reply

Quick Reply

bbcode help