Post Number: 1375
|Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 1:47 am: |
I just have a general question about Status Basses.
Every Status model of bass I've seen live, heard on the net either on you tube or anywhere else always has a very thin sound, no meat on the bottom, no mid range punch and always with some kind of chorus or modulation effect on it.
Does the Status sound any good plugged direct to an amp with no effects in between and does it have any meat at the bottom end?
For example would it be good for reggae or holding down the bottom end on funk, rnb or jazz?
Maybe this is what everyone thinks is the "Status" sound because it's very reminiscent of that thin Mark King sound. ?
I've briefly played passive Hohner versions of status headless and steinberg stick basses on gigs in the past and from what I can recall they had a good solid bottom end for reggae.
What are the Status's like down there?
Before you ask, NO........i'm not thinking of getting one. I decided to pose the question here after I was responding to messages on youtube and one of them was from a Status Owner that had video's of him playing yet another thin sounding bass with chorus.
Post Number: 738
|Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 2:00 am: |
I think it is because of Mark King that sound is associated with Status.
I played an old Series 1 Status many years ago and it had loads of low down power, especially when you turn the bass control to max and boost the mid and cut the highs.
The pre amps are very hi fi when you go to the high end of the sound spectrum and chorus on bass always sounds more effective when the high frequencies are dialled in.
Post Number: 147
|Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 4:52 am: |
Yes, agree with Terry - I think Mark King and the legions of MK wannabes are to blame for that perception of the Status sound. I don't mean to sound dismissive, but I think it's true to say that MK spawned more than his fair share of wannabes, a fair proportion of whom are bedroom players, happy to emulate his sound in the safety of their own bedrooms and post those vids up on youtube, without ever really using their basses in real live band situations. And MK has always gone for that thin, toppy sound - I guess he could get away with it since there was always so much else going on, including sequenced bass filling out the bottom end, in most Level 42 songs. So it's that sound that the wannabes emulate and that appears in so many vids up on youtube. And as we all know, what sounds good in your bedroom doesn't necessarily work in a band situation.
In fact, Status basses are capable of a lot more. It's very easy to dial in a big thick bottom end, and roll off those razor sharp highs - the eq is very flexible. I often use a Status (alternating with my Alembic SC) for the various bands I play in, including a funk band and a reggae/ska band. No lack of bottom end. And there are numerous rock players out there who use them (Status Quo's Rhino Edwards, for one), again with a very different sound to the thin, toppy sound that MK and his wannabes tend to go for.
Only way to know for sure, though, is to try one for yourself. You may find the sound a bit too 'sterile' - while the hi-fi quality of the tone of a Status is close to an Alembic, I always prefer the warmth of the wood that comes through more in the Alembic tone.
Post Number: 20
|Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 6:17 am: |
I had a 5 string 2000 and it had tons of bottom. I love level 42, have a jaydee and wouldnt mind one bit being able to emulate his finger and slap styles. my first bass was a jetglo 4001, so i guess i am also a geddy lee, chris squire, paul mccartney and mike rutherford wannabe. i wouldnt mind being able to play like a great many players.
I wouldnt mind have a great many skills and abilities of others in many disciplines.
arent we all wannabes on some level and at some point? isnt that why we all started playing? we like a tune. we like the groove. we admire an ability. do we not all have idols to aspire to? if there were no bedroom players, fenders would cost as much as alembics. level 42 may have some sequenced bass, i am no expert, but i didnt think so. the jazz funk genre does not typically deploy a thunderous bottom. not a knowledgable jaco fan, but did he have tons of bottom? SC seems to when neccessary. i believe that is why Geddy now uses a fender. Dune tune has a lot of bottom on an series 1 jaydee. World machine and Running in the family albums have tons of bottom like the tune sleepwalkers. not sure what bass was used, i think whe was back on jaydee. the status was used/introduced on true colours i believe. that album does, in general, have a new, thinner sound for mk. hours by the window probably highlights the thin trebley sound percieved of the status. there is also a lot of finger style on that album like true believers and kansas city milkman. check out MK's solo album the essential of the same year. he covers all the styles on that album and the first tune demonstrates good bottom. not sure if it is the status or jaydee. i think there are a lot of L42 tunes that have good bottom.
Dont forget about the status buzzard bass. our hero moved on from the alembic for the status. i think it/he has bottom, no?
what is the difference between a "wannabe" who jams for fun with his chums and a professional bar band player who plays cover tunes? unless you are a master like SC, writing and playing originals, we are all wannabes imho.
even SC has his heroes i am sure.
good thing i am not a total John wannabe as I would then have to have every bass ever made. there is simply not enough room in my bedroom for all those basses, and my wife.
Post Number: 739
|Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 6:17 am: |
I agree Karl, there is a guy on YouTube who has a JD Supernatural, Status and Alembic and he plays exactly like MK.
That MK sound is fine if you are in a L42 tribute band and if you use that sound with anything else it just doesn't sound right.
I have been a L42 fan for years but the later stuff was just sell out, the early albums are much better as they show the jazz funk side of the band.
And as you also say wood has much better tone than high quality plastic(which is what I regard graphite..bet I make some enemies there!)
Overall Status basses are much more than slap/pop funk tools
Post Number: 75
|Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 6:57 am: |
I have a Kingbass and an early Series II. The SII has gobs of low end and highs. It's a very well balanced bass.
The Kingbass has a nasally mid honk that is Mark King's signature sound. I find it takes some knob twisting on the bass (and amp) to get a decent low end out of it.
Post Number: 208
|Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 7:29 am: |
I've owned several Status basses and agree with the general consensus.I've never found them to overly thin sounding.You can make them sound that way with the preamp should you choose to but I never had trouble getting a big bouncing low end bump from any of them.
Post Number: 1376
|Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 7:45 am: |
Well I hope at some point I will get to hear one live and judge for myself, or maybe someone will put a clip on youtube with some bottom end on it.
Thanks for your input.
Post Number: 7743
|Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 8:40 am: |
The following includes generalized recollection.
Colin asked "arent we all wannabes on some level and at some point? isnt that why we all started playing?"
In my view, while I think I understand the point you are trying to make, I don't think it unreasonable to suggest that for me the answers to those questions can be no, no, and no.
Personally, I never tried to sound like any particular bass player; in fact, from the beginning it never occurred to me to learn the bass lines like they were on the record. Back in the late sixties playing Cream, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, I just made up my own lines. The classic example for me is the Stones' Satisfaction. It was years before I realized the bass line in the verses, unlike the guitar line, goes up to a four. And later on, whether it was Chain of Fools, Midnight Hour, Brown Eyed Girl, I just played what I thought fit. I guess I've played tons of songs for which I never even heard the record.
And never listening to the original bass lines, I never tried to get the tone that the original bass player had. It never occurred to me. And to this day, it's not something I would want to do. I probably couldn't if I wanted to; I don't think I have the ear for it.
As far as I know, I don't sound like anyone else; if I do, it wasn't intended. My tone developed over a long period of time, and constantly changes.
When I play Lopsy Lou, it sounds nothing like Stanley Clarke, the lines aren't the same, the tone isn't the same, the technique isn't the same. And trying to make it sound like Stanley isn't something I would want to do; and I couldn't. I've never learned his or anyone else's tone or technique.
And as for why I started playing. I started playing music, and bass, in 1964 when I was ten years old. And 1964 was when the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan. My dad and I learned how to play guitar at the same time. We played folk tunes together. Most of the stuff we played, I never heard the originals. He would get songbooks, "100 Favorite Folk Songs" or such, and we would learn some songs. At 10 years old, playing music was fun; I don't recall "wanting to be" anything, we just sat around playing songs.
Now I'm not saying there is anything wrong with learning the lines just like the record, or with trying to get the tone just like the record, or with trying to emulate a certain performer or performers. It's just something I didn't do.
Post Number: 2192
|Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 8:48 am: |
I'm a "wannabe".......I wannabe ME!.
Post Number: 681
|Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 12:34 am: |
Jazzy, check out Tears for Fear's "Shout" as the bassist played a Status with a nice round tone, as did the fellow from The Outfield. I actually have two Modulus VJ basses loaded with the Villex passive system which I absolutely love and have no problem getting low end out of it. It's all in how you e.q. the damn thing, and especially with a graphite neck you'll cut treble before you ever boost it. I saw a pic of MK playing his Alembic S2 and noticed his filter settings are wide open. I don't think any of us around here run them like that-it's too brittle. So, I would'nt shy away from the Status as it's another well built bass and you would'nt have to pay the duty on her!
Post Number: 148
|Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 5:27 am: |
I remember following a similar debate on the Level 42 web digest forum, where some herbert was being particularly dismissive of Alembic basses becasue he claimed they were 'too trebly, with no bass'. Again, this chap's only exposure to Alembics turned out to have been in watching and listening to a certain Mr King, who, as 2400wattman here rightly says, seems to have used them with all filters at full tilt - the Wickershams themselves are on record as saying that that's not the way to get the best out of their basses, and any of us familiar with the Alembic filter system will know that gives a very trebly sound that, for most of us, ain't gonna do the job in a band situation.
Mark King has a lot to answer for! He may have helped Status and Alembic sell a heckuvalot of instruments to fanboys and wannabes, but he may also have created a misconception of a stereotypical 'Status' or 'Alembic' sound which really doesn't work for most players, unless you happen to be in a L42 tribute band. The thing to remember is that lots of other players, in lots of other styles of music, have successfully used Status and Alembic basses. It's just rather unfortunate that MK's visibility and popularity eclipses that of so many of those other players.
Post Number: 626
|Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 7:24 am: |
In my experience Status basses have a nice tight bottom end (no pun intended) when the controls are dialled in as such. They do have a distinct tone "coloration" that is hard to define but very obvious on the ear.
The pre-amp is very good on the high end models make no mistake about that. The sound is pretty much what you want to make it really.
I think they are great basses personally ....but they are not for me. The old series 2 wood wing/graphite neck thru was really the model to own if you had to have one.
I much preffered the low end on the old Steinberger xl2 - that had a really superb tone but the highs werent quite as good....perfect for reggae jazzy!
(Message edited by white cloud on March 18, 2009)
Post Number: 478
|Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 8:56 am: |
"I probably couldn't if I wanted to; I don't think I have the ear for it."
I hear what you are saying Dave. Unlike you, I spent years trying to sound just like some players. One day I just said "F#&% it!," its not going to happen, and I need to work on sounding like myself. I almost never learn the "correct" notes for songs, and I probably never play them the same way twice, especially if they are songs I wrote. In some ways I find this limiting, and in other ways incredibly liberating.
Post Number: 2145
|Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 9:14 am: |
Karl - if you've followed JJ's recent postings here, you will have noticed that he mentioned leaving the filters wide open, perhaps adding a bit of Q (Series II) on the filter for the bridge pup. I don't think he sounds all that trebly.
IMHE, it's only very trebly if you play aggressively, have aggressive sounding tweeters, and/or forget to boost some lows.
Post Number: 149
|Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 12:11 pm: |
Adriaan - no, I hadn't seen that, and you're right, JJ's tone has never seemed overly trebly - I much prefer the tone he gets out of his Alembic to that Mark King used to get, even though it sounds like their eq settings are pretty similar. It just goes to show how much of the tone of an instrument is down to other factors, such as playing style and amplification.
Post Number: 252
|Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 11:49 pm: |
Hello Friends ,
Intersting thread ! ...well , i have an alembic series 2 and now a status MK2 , the new model !
I always found status basses really thiny, cold and not my taste at all ...until i listen to this new model . Gentelmen , let's be honnest : this bass is a perfect groove machine with huge sound !!! I'm so happy with it !!! ...and please , graphite is not " cold " , it's really warm , and the feeling of the fingerboard is smooth and breathtaking !
In one word : Magic !!!
On the other hand , i listened to other status models , i also played on them...and i don't like them...it's just a matter of taste , no critics on other models.
So , the best advice i could give : try this particular model by yourself , you'll tell me about it ! :-))))))))))))))
Post Number: 253
|Posted on Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 1:39 am: |
...i forgot to say : i mostly play rock ( acdc , queen , bon jovi...etc...) style...and it fits perfectly !
This bass really has a growl that is so warm , not aggressive at all . It also has splendid lows and highs... Compared to the King Bass standard or artist version , i do agree with what has been said , the standard model has a nasally sound that i personally don't really like .
When i don't play rock covers with my band , home i mostly play jazz and funk ...needless to say it does the job so nicely...in fact , all this is just and only a matter of taste of course , there are so many high end basses that might be found great by some and awful by others , and regarding status , i think there's an evolution in their bass sound : looking back in the past , my feeling is that they sounded thiny , more into the highs and mediums...and this is the first status bass that's not like the others...great for me ! :-)
Of course , the slappers will be delighted as well with this axe , it's absolutely round and punchy , not harshly bright at all like i already heard from Status .
I must also say i'm NOT endorsed by Status !!! lololol...i'm just really and totally happy with this bass !
Whatever bass you play , the main thing is to have " your " sound , the sound you like ! ...and have fun !
Best regards from Belgium
Post Number: 627
|Posted on Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 5:59 am: |
Hey Alain - that is a nice bass!
I agree with you totally about your philosophy, it is about having fun!
I saw Mark King up close in concert last October and he played two of his new Status basses just like yours. The sound quality was bad where I was sitting but the basses looked very nice!
Post Number: 741
|Posted on Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 7:04 am: |
Wannabees..really there is nothing wrong with it especially if you want to be a multi wannabee.(King,Clarke,Jaco, Wooten, Miller, Flea, Lee, Squire etc) because you can combine all those chops you stole from them into your sound.
Let's face it unless you read the notes that has been exactly played we never play the song as the original and even then I bet we all add another note or phrase.
Classical players are all wannabees as they have to play what has been composed.