Muting The Jazz

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by The Golden Boy, Jan 6, 2008.


  1. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    You *may* remember the thread I did regarding putting a mute on my Thunderbird. It gives me a great 1960s type tone- it dampens the sustain and changes the attack and tone. For what I'm looking for in my main project- it's PERFECT.

    Due to certain considerations, I wasn't able to use my T-Bird today- so last night I pulled out my Jazz and cut out a section of neoprene foam to create a mute. I got this weird metallic plink to it that I didn't like at all... After a bit of playing with it, I replaced the Badass bridge with the stock bent piece of metal bridge, it's been a year or so since I've run that bridge anyway... I cut a thinner slice of foam, stuck it under the saddle length adjustment screws and dicked with it that way.

    I realize the Jazz is going to have more "plink" than a mahogany bodied bass- but I can't dial it out-

    Any ideas?
     
  2. gdcx

    gdcx Silver Supporting Member

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    Well...I have not had much luck either getting a desireable muted tone from my jazz bass - i much prefer the muted sound of my P-bass.

    That said, I may respectfully offer the following suggestions. I realize that they may seem obvious to an experienced player like yourself, but i offer them anyway just to share my experience:

    1) strings: best result for me was with La Bella heavy-guage flats (blue windings).

    2) position of the mute - I have attached a photo of my 1962 jazz bass. This bass was originally designed with string mutes on the body - see the position of the holes. I find that I get the "best" result when I position the mute/foam right over these holes and alter my attack position.

    Hope that this helps a bit.

    I will also be watching this thread for suggestions.

    Cheers,

    Greg

    [​IMG]
     
  3. tkozal

    tkozal Supporting Member

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    Yea, there's a shot of Rick Grech's jazz bass in that new Blind Faith DVD, where he has a big old honking piece of foam on his jazz....
     
  4. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    Hey Greg,

    Thanks!!

    The problem with thinking I know everything is that I have a tendency to say "yeah, that's the best solution... BUT..." You're right, my best bet is to go with some flats and run from there- my problem from there is once it's got flats on it, it will only do that- for me it's a "special" sound, and pretty far removed from what I would normally want my bass to sound like.

    Truth be told, I think my best solution for what I'm trying to achieve is probably to get a Mustang Bass, throw some flats on it and a mute if necessary.

    Why do you feel you're not getting a good muted tone out of your Jazz?

    I've seen the remants of the mute system on many older Jazzes, but haven't actually putzed with any working units. It's interesting that it is so far forward of the saddles.

    Here's mine- it needs to be cleaned up- the piece floating around there was just to raise up the mute under the E string.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. gdcx

    gdcx Silver Supporting Member

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    You are certainly welcome.

    "Why do you feel you're not getting a good muted tone out of your Jazz?"

    Let me clarify - I think that the muted tone that I can get from my Jazz is good - but it just does not sound as good to me as the muted tone that I get from my P-bass. To that end, I really don't use flats or muted tones much. Only for experimentation or a specific recording from time to time. I really like to use steel strings on my jazz and roll down the high-end as needed. In my opinion, a jazz bass without the "growl" is like a chocolate chip cookie without the chips :cool:

    Nice bass - i am such a sucker for J-basses.

    Greg
     
  6. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    You know, with my Jazz, it doesn't "mellow out" too much with the tone control- if you'll notice my tone control is backed pretty far off- that's about how I was running the controls- with "10" being pointing at the jack- and the bridge volume at (or near) "0."

    I'm so used to letting the bass be as aggressive as it can, getting it to be mellow and thuddy is more of a chore... I guess with the Jazz and G&L, they were designed to be more bright- whereas the T-Bird and EB-0 are designed to be more mellow and dark and thuddy.
     
  7. pete kanaras

    pete kanaras Member

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    Truth be told, I think my best solution for what I'm trying to achieve is probably to get a Mustang Bass, throw some flats on it and a mute if necessary.

    finding short scale flats can be quite the journey at times....
    i need a set for a mustang bass that i'm refinishing. anybody?
     
  8. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    I'm leaning more and more towards that conclusion.

    I love the T-Bird in this context- but it is big and unwieldy (but looks cool as all ****). The EB-0 is nice as well (and oh so fun to play), but the headstock has been broken off at least 5x in the past 27 or so years. The case I have just doesn't have the clearance for the tuners sticking out to the rear.

    Somewhere around 10 years ago I had a 1969 LPB Mustang bass, with the competition stripe. I had it for about a week- it was cool, but the Jazz just sounded so much better. What sucks is that I don't think I'm ever going to find another 69 LPB Mustang Bass for $400 again.
     

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