Tips for 1978 phil tone

Tips for 1978 phil tone

Postby thenuttyirishman » Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:11 pm

Im looking for some advice on how to achieve a tone similar to phil in 1978, like in these examples:

FOTM https://archive.org/details/gd78-05-11. ... sbeok.shnf

Loser https://archive.org/details/gd78-04-12. ... sbeok.shnf

Terrapin from red rocks

My rig is a Schecter Stiletto studio 5 (emg HZ pickups and 3 band eq) into a Peavey Nitrobass 450.

Any help would be appreciated!
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Re: Tips for 1978 phil tone

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:54 am

I'd start with flatwound strings and a nice thick pick as usual, I use Gator Grip 2.0mm for the 70s or Clayton 1.9 through 1.26 if I want a little more bite, respectively.

From there, if it were my bass and I still wanted more I'd put in a set of EMG40TWX pickups and a BQS system, other people have their preferences but I'm an EMG guy across the board. It'll be naturally a little closer to 80's/90's tone but with nice flats and a little EQing you should be right there in the ballpark and it's a great sound, should be much tighter and more dynamic than what you have now. Should be room for two batteries to wire it as 18V and I highly recommend it.

http://www.bestbassgear.com/emg-pickups-40twx.htm

http://www.bestbassgear.com/emg-bqs-system.htm

There's other ways to skin that cat of course. Bartolini is another nice option for that era, or the newer boutique passive pickup builders, Nordstrand, etc. At any rate I would probably do something about those pickups, Schecter makes a nice bass but the HZ series are EMGs in name only, not very popular and nowhere close to the real thing.
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Re: Tips for 1978 phil tone

Postby thenuttyirishman » Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:51 pm

Ive got d'addario half rounds on right now. Ive been using dunlop primetone jazz III xl picks of various thickness.

As I understand the HZ line is EMG's passive pickup offering vs their active ones, but I do have an EMG 3 way 18v eq onboard as well
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Re: Tips for 1978 phil tone

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:20 am

thenuttyirishman wrote:Ive got d'addario half rounds on right now. Ive been using dunlop primetone jazz III xl picks of various thickness.

As I understand the HZ line is EMG's passive pickup offering vs their active ones, but I do have an EMG 3 way 18v eq onboard as well


Ah, perfect!

Yep, that's their passive offering and by all accounts is not their strongpoint. I've swapped HZs for real EMGs in a few basses and it really makes them come alive, especially the newish X series.
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Re: Tips for 1978 phil tone

Postby thenuttyirishman » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:50 pm

Any suggestions on which model pickup of theirs?
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Re: Tips for 1978 phil tone

Postby GuildBass » Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:10 pm

78 should be later days of Phil's Alembic "Mission Control".
I think it was 79 when he switched briefly to the Irwin which had dual Split coil P's in it.
Your EMG HZ's should be the same size/shape as any EMG40 (measure to make sure).
I'd check out either the TWX or PX-5.
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Re: Tips for 1978 phil tone

Postby thenuttyirishman » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:11 am

Thanks Ill take a look at those!
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Re: Tips for 1978 phil tone

Postby zambiland » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:07 pm

GuildBass wrote:78 should be later days of Phil's Alembic "Mission Control".
I think it was 79 when he switched briefly to the Irwin which had dual Split coil P's in it.
Your EMG HZ's should be the same size/shape as any EMG40 (measure to make sure).
I'd check out either the TWX or PX-5.


'78 was mixed. I saw him with both Mission Control and with the Guild. Probably depending on which bass was in the shop.

EMGs are very different from Alembic pickups, especially in the upper end. If this is the tone you seek, I'd look into getting some Alembic pickups (they aren't as crazy expensive as the electronics and they can be used with standard electronics or you can build a buffer). Otherwise, I think Bartolinis are closer. They have some newer models that might even be more Alembic like. It would be a worth a call to them to see what they suggest.

After those two, he used a Fender for a bit and then a G&L, but the first time I saw him with Brent, he was still using Mission Control (that was May '79 at Billerica and then UMass). I'm not sure when the Irwin showed, but it probably wasn't until the late fall (he used it on 12/31/1979). The shows I saw at MSG 9/79 were Big Brown.
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Re: Tips for 1978 phil tone

Postby Searing75 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:29 pm

Heineken
All's well that sounds well.
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Re: Tips for 1978 phil tone

Postby GuildBass » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:28 pm

zambiland wrote:
'78 was mixed. I saw him with both Mission Control and with the Guild. Probably depending on which bass was in the shop.

After those two, he used a Fender for a bit and then a G&L, but the first time I saw him with Brent, he was still using Mission Control (that was May '79 at Billerica and then UMass). I'm not sure when the Irwin showed, but it probably wasn't until the late fall (he used it on 12/31/1979). The shows I saw at MSG 9/79 were Big Brown.


I stand corrected. 11/24/78 at the Capital theater was Mission Control & Big Brown.

And he's absolutely right. Alembic pickups by themselves aren't terribly expensive. Just send them an email asking for a price.
Also BestBassGear.com has plenty of buffer options should you decide to go that route.

The Irwin when ever it happened didn't seem to last long...
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