Switching from my MTD Kingston?

Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by cip 123, Sep 22, 2019.

  1. cip 123

    cip 123 SS.org Regular

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    Just looking for some input here, I'm thinking of trading my MTD Kingston KZ5 for something else.

    The KZ5 is great, but never really clicked with it I feel. The sound is okay but has that hollow Jazz sort of sound, and I find it quite hard to dial in a suitable tone, mostly for metal (I know a lot of metal tones come down to the gear too)

    The KZ5 is also just a little unforgiving feeling, which is nice sometimes as it forces me to play better but sometimes it's just a bit much to handle.

    Should I switch up, looking to keep it under £1000, for example there's a nice Warwick Corvette 5 for reasonable money on Ebay, or do I find a cheaper bass and put some great pickups/preamp in it?

    I'd like something that's a bit easier to handle in both playability and sound. Not sure if I should go down to a 34" scale since I'm tuned to drop A and don't wanna be flapping about.

    Just needing some input here,

    Cheers guys!
     
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Sounds like you want something a little more modern.

    The Warwick is pretty a "go-to" option for modern metal bass, so that's definitely an option. Especially if you can find a used German one.

    Outside of that, my other recommendations would be:

    Ibanez- SR if you want something sleek, light, and flexible. I'd stay in the 500 or 600 series. If you want something beefier and retain the 35" scale, the BTB series should suit.

    Spector- Look into used 2000 series basses. Absolutely great playing and sounding. Necks are going to be a little thicker than the Ibanez, and maybe the MTD, but still supremely playable. The 5s should be 35" too.

    Dingwall- Kind of becoming the stereotypical suggestion, and maybe out of your price range, but they're great basses. Definitely worth at least looking into a Combustion or even a D-Bird. Full Disclosure: I have two Dingwalls incoming, so I may be bias.

    Wild Card: Try out a good Jazz Bass. It might seem like the antithesis of what you're looking for, but you'd be surprised just how well they work in metal. Many 5-string variants are 35" too.
     
  3. LordIronSpatula

    LordIronSpatula A series of interconnected fortune cookies.

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    I tried a couple of KZs and liked them, but I found the sound to be a bit on the thin/trebly side. Moreso than an actual Fender Jazz. You might find a more traditional Jazz has more midrange presence despite the inherent "hollowness" of the two-pickup design. 35" would be preferable but in my opinion/experience you can usually get a decent low A at 34" with the right strings.

    What is it about the playability of the KZ that messes you up? If it's something to do with the setup, could it be something a pro could adjust for you? Or could it be that the voicing of the pickups is what makes the bass seem unforgiving?

    The reason I ask is because if the playability issue is something that can be adjusted, you could upgrade your pickups and preamp with top-notch replacements and totally change the sound of the bass for a lot less than 1000 pounds.
     
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  4. dax21

    dax21 SS.org Regular

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    I was going to say how I can't recommend the Corvette enough for metal, but then I read drop A. Sure it's doable but just do yourself a favor and go with a 35" at least, makes life so much easier in the long run.
    That being said, if you do go for a Warwick, make sure to do a bit of research. Through the years they have changed neck woods as well as neck profiles. I have a mid 90s one that has Ibanez-tier thin neck, but then around the late 90s/early 2000s they switched to baseball bats for a while. Talkbass is a good source for all this stuff. Corvettes are killer, I've had mine now for about a year and I prefer it over my BTB for literally everything that doesn't require more than two full steps of downtuning. Fantastic instruments.

    Dingwalls do nothing for me. Sure they are a great practical solution to a lot of problems but nowadays all the bass players and tones sound the same because everyone uses the same gear. It's so common that it lacks character and uniqueness to me at this point.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
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  5. cip 123

    cip 123 SS.org Regular

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    Definitely looking at some used German Warwicks, anything I should keep in mind about them? I've seen a few with singles and some with a Hum single configuration, will either work just as well?

    I'll have a play in some stores if I can of SR's and Spector etc Dingwall is a bit out of the budget.

    It is pretty treble-y and I've found it to be pretty "clanky" I've moved up in string gauges to try and keep some more tension as well as raising the action and it's always just quite unforgiving, I'm not a super serious bass player, but do work on the technique quite a bit and sometimes just don't feel "in the mood" to play the MTD because it just seems pretty unforgiving.

    I am looking at the corvette's quite a lot, they're nice looking instruments. As well as the Streamers which are the other ones that come up under a grand here used. I've used 34" for drop A before, I'll try and play a few different scales to see what I like.
     
  6. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I'm a fan of bright bass sounds - I tend to make the distinction between a "clank" and a "zing". There's so many elements that can take a nice sounding bass and turn all of its zing into clank - strings are too old, preamp just isn't what you want, pickups aren't quite doing it, etc. But when you land on the right thing, I think it's a great sound. IMO the combination of Fender J + singles + Ampeg stuff does the trick for me. I've always found those big ol' actives you find on stuff like LTD basses are really bad for clank sounds.

    IMO if you want a really bright sound, but don't want it to just be clicky noises, you gatta get pretty picky about your pickups and preamps.
     
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  7. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    RE: Warwick

    Speaking broadly, older German basses with wenge necks are the thinner, and those with ovankol are the thicker. The reason being Warwick/Framus had a fire at their facility and they lost just about all of their wenge.

    There are exceptions, but that's the general rule.

    Pickup wise, again speaking broadly, J-style will be warmer, darker, and smoother. The MM will be louder, brighter, and a little scooped.

    Electronics wise, I find the MEC 3-band preamps to be dull, ineffective, and a little noisy. The passive and 2-band seem much better. That's mostly my opinion though.

    My absolute favorite Warwicks were a Corvette Standard 5 (bolt-on, JJ) and a fretless 4-string version. Really growly, mean, forward sounding basses. Solid as rocks too.
     
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  8. cip 123

    cip 123 SS.org Regular

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    I'm not really looking for a Brighter tone tbh.

    I use a lot of double thump and slap stuff which is inherently pretty aggressive and treble-y imo anyway, so it can kinda get a little overkill.

    Just slapped some new strings on the other day which is adding the nice sort of brightness.


    I'll keep my eye out, there is a Corvette Standard on Ebay/Reverb right now which is really tempting me just to pick up and try it for a while. 07 model Ovangkol neck, JJ, with thar passive JJ and active 2 band.
     
  9. dax21

    dax21 SS.org Regular

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    The MM humbucker warwicks can be split so that they can sound just like the dual J pickup ones and are typically a bit more expensive. That being said, twin jazz pickup Corvettes sound absolutely thick and full as well and have absolutely nothing in common with the way jazz basses typically sound. It's honestly impossible to get a bad tone with it. I have a 1996 passive bubinga 4 and it sounds pretty damn awesome.
    +1 for the wenge neck models being more desirable.

    Note that bubinga body warwicks are goddamn heavy but to me they sound a bit thicker than ash ones. Ash models still sound great, they have more high mids than low mids naturally but are super light and comfy to play.
     
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  10. cip 123

    cip 123 SS.org Regular

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  11. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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  12. atracksler

    atracksler SS.org Regular

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    I have a sterling by music man ray35 and the amount of tone I can coax out of it is mind bottling.

    I know it’s not a 1k bass, but with that and a tone hammer, I can’t imagine needing much more.
     
  13. cip 123

    cip 123 SS.org Regular

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    I'm staying very far away from those sorry.

    My friend has one and it is awful imo. Maybe a bad one compared to yours but enough to steer me well clear.
     
  14. atracksler

    atracksler SS.org Regular

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    Mine is a killer. Although if I were getting a new one I’d go Stambaugh all the way.
     
  15. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    Regarding the Corvette, the typical one uses J-type pickups in the same places as they'd be on a Jazz bass. I don't personally think that tone wood really makes a difference and have found that the Corvette essentially sounds like a Jazz with particular electronics (and nifty hardware).

    If you're considering a Corvette, definitely at least check out a Jazz bass. I really love them. Favoring the neck pickup gives a smooth and punchy sound. Favoring the bridge pickup gives a growling tone that almost seems overdriven even when clean. A think for a lot of folks who don't like the Jazz bass, they play them with both pickups on full volume, but that's not really where the instrument shines.

    But I do like Warwicks a lot. As long as it's not trashed, everyone I've had plays and sounds great. I'm just a traditionalist so go for the Jazz shape and passive electronics instead.
     
  16. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    This mirrors my experience 100%.

    I loved my Warwicks because I'm an old Jazz Bass nerd.
     
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  17. Beheroth

    Beheroth SS.org Regular

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  18. cip 123

    cip 123 SS.org Regular

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    Yea those one's are usually about £1200.

    Corvettes are easy as the hover around 800
     
  19. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    It's worth mentioning that the "thick" neck Warwicks aren't super chunky "C" but a heavily shouldered, flat "D". So flat/thick not fat/thick.
     
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  20. cip 123

    cip 123 SS.org Regular

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    The MTD's is an okay shape, it's nice but maybe a little chunky. It's asymmetric and starts off as a C and moves in to this wide offset D at the higher register, flatter on the treble side. Nice but I don't have much to compare it to.
     

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