Early Geezer bass tone

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Early Geezer bass tone

Postby Damocles74 on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:10 pm

This guy really figured out that early (n.i.b.) Geezer tone! This is what I've been trying to achieve and I just can't figure it out???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kAUhl7tYso


I've got a mim P-bass with high action flats, SD 1/4 pups, badass 3 bridge (I know that's not vintage). I use a coiled cord to an ampeg SVT blue-line tube amp..I haven't figured out a proper cab yet.
I play like Glenn Cornick and Geezer -- up by the 15th fret, thumb at the ridge of board at the body cutaway.
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Re: Early Geezer bass tone

Postby brycebites on Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:42 am

The easiest way is to play exactly like Geezer. :wink: No facetiousness intended, it's just that a huge amount of a players sound comes from how the player actually plays the instrument, not what equipment is used (excluding effects, extreme EQing, etc).

Having said that, the tone in the video isn't bad. Slight fuzzy overdrive and lack of high end definition. Of course how NIB sounds recorded and tweaked during the mixing/mastering process is different to how it sounds live. :D
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Re: Early Geezer bass tone

Postby Clanger on Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:45 am

I love the way geezer plays, really fits the music. And the first album had a totally unique sound. Why don't things have such original overall 'sounds' today?
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Re: Early Geezer bass tone

Postby brycebites on Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:01 pm

...because it's all recorded by people on different continents, processed by computers and made to sound clean for the digital age we're in?

There's nowt like a group of musicians recorded in the same room, all playing the same thing at the same time, and then listening to the results on vinyl. :D
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Re: Early Geezer bass tone

Postby Damocles74 on Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:25 pm

brycebites wrote:The easiest way is to play exactly like Geezer. :wink: No facetiousness intended, it's just that a huge amount of a players sound comes from how the player actually plays the instrument, not what equipment is used (excluding effects, extreme EQing, etc).

Having said that, the tone in the video isn't bad. Slight fuzzy overdrive and lack of high end definition. Of course how NIB sounds recorded and tweaked during the mixing/mastering process is different to how it sounds live. :D



My technique is there: door-hinge-wristed, tree frog fingered splat the flats up at the fretboard/body cutaway while goonie shoulder hunched over the instrument (like Geezer), I usually end up sounding more like JPJ than anything else.

This is what I was afraid of -- this is what the dude used to achieve that Geezer tone in that vid I posted:
Vintage AV$ bass - Ashdown bass Drive Plus pedal into a bass EQ pedal then straight into my laptop. I recorded the audio as mono on audacity then boosted the 200hz bass on one channel and added a slight room ambience on the other channel to try and get that tone Geezer had on the first couple of albums. The pedal is solid state. I would recommend you get the Tech 21 VST pedal personally.

....No amp/cab at all!! Is there no way 'get there' authentically? I'm beginning to think you need the actual period instruments endemic to that era...the vintage re-issue stuff (which I own) just isn't the same. :cry:
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Re: Early Geezer bass tone

Postby Damocles74 on Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:34 pm

...just isn't the same

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Re: Early Geezer bass tone

Postby Psycho Bass Guy on Wed Sep 22, 2010 5:50 pm

Lose the Quarter Pounders (good pickups but they're way too upper-mid punchy for Geezer tone) for a more round-toned pickup, get a set of flatwounds and a 4x12 bass cab or two with no horn, and set your SVT's mid switch to position 1 and goose the mids to about 1 o'clock. If you can't cop Geezer's early tone with that, it's your playing. As for early 70's mixing and mastering, we're fortunate to be able to hear him at all. It's only because Sabbath was such a young and unknown band that they weren't mixed more 'professionally' which would have rendered a very different sound, and Sabbath would have remained a footnote in English rock.
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Re: Early Geezer bass tone

Postby gypsy moth on Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:52 pm

"goose the mids"

that is it in a nutshell, how much you goose it depends on what you are using, but therein lies the key, no matter what you use.
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Re: Early Geezer bass tone

Postby Psycho Bass Guy on Fri Sep 24, 2010 8:33 am

It's oversimplyfying to say "just goose the mids;" midrange is widest band we can hear and aything from 200 Hz on up to 6 kHz can be considered midrange. Position 1 on the first channel of an SVT sets the midrange frequency to 220 Hz, and it's specifically this area where bass gets most of its punch without being boomy, especially for Geezer's sound. That same switch can also be set 800 Hz and 3 kHz, which would give a sound more like John Entwistle and Chris Squire respectively when boosted. The SD Quarter Pounders have a very strong midrange peak around 1 kHz which is why they're too bright, but again, that's smack in the middle of the midrange. The key is to have a low-mid punch, not just a blanket wash of mids.
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Re: Early Geezer bass tone

Postby Damocles74 on Sat Sep 25, 2010 4:36 pm

What pups do you suggest? I also have a J pup at the bottom near the bridge (mim deluxe p/j configuration), but that's stock.
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Re: Early Geezer bass tone

Postby Psycho Bass Guy on Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:55 am

Any vintage-themed pickup should do the trick. The Fender vintage series is great. It's not so much that there's just one type of pickup to get that tone; it's just that I know the QP won't get it. What you're looking for is a pickup with the classic 'scooped' midrange. Your Jazz pickp at the bridge is pretty much inconsequential. You could dial it in to get a little better bite if you need it, but for the most part you should just leave it turned off.
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Re: Early Geezer bass tone

Postby Damocles74 on Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:04 pm

Yeah, I think I understand now. Those SD 1/4 lbs are more for (roundwound) modern bass brightness.

The Vintage fender pups are the way to go, but they have a choice between a '62 and '57 vintage split coil. What's the difference? I don't want that 50's - mid 60's straight up 'mud' tone.

2 more questions:
Do they make vintage caps?

Does the gel-coat (on modern basses) kill the tone?
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Re: Early Geezer bass tone

Postby Psycho Bass Guy on Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:47 am

Damocles74 wrote: The Vintage fender pups are the way to go, but they have a choice between a '62 and '57 vintage split coil. What's the difference? I don't want that 50's - mid 60's straight up 'mud' tone.


I would imagine the '57 is a little brighter. Actual vintage Fender basses from the 50's are surprisingly articulate. The rep for being muddy came from the production techniques of the day and amps more suited to guitar. Either one ought to be fine.

Do they make vintage caps?


RS Guitarworks sells 'vintage-toned' electrolytic caps, but you're not going to hear much of a difference between them and a mica cap of the same value. Value is far more important than type. One place where you DO want to upgrade is your pots and output jack. Make sure you have 250k audio taper. The higher the pot value, the more highs it passes. I'd also ditch the curly cable. Their high capacitance does roll off more treble, but it also acts as a current limiter for the lows, killing your extreme low end. Also, use a very heavy gauge speaker cable. This link should explain how and why: http://ampworkshop.yuku.com/reply/30738 ... eply-30738

Does the gel-coat (on modern basses) kill the tone?


Are you talking about strings or the hard polyester finish?
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Re: Early Geezer bass tone

Postby Damocles74 on Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:36 pm

I like the coiled cable :thumbsup: When you lightly flick the string, it has this 'bwip-bwip' tone that wasn't there before.

The polyester finish doesn't seem to chip-wear-fade like the old P's...
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Re: Early Geezer bass tone

Postby worldoftone on Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:49 am

SVT ain't gonna work for vintage Geezer. Laney Supergroups or metal panel super basses will get you into that zone. Add some 4 x 12s with 55hz Celestions.

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