Finding my guitars’ voices.
When purchasing the Fender Rumble Studio 40 bass amp 4-5 months ago, my wife had questioned my choice, as I was paying a $200 premium for the Studio model over the basic 40 model. The differences being the 100 different built-in bass effects and the connected capability of the amp to join your Wi-Fi network to sink and up-date itself. In my opinion, the extra $200 was worth it!
However, at the back of my mind, I had been thinking if I had again fallen for a gimmick with functionality which I’d never use.
But I’m here to say, the Studio 40 has been fully worth it and here’s why!
For the first 2 months of Bass amp ownership, I had only used 2 effects and thought I had squandered $200. As for the first couple of months I had purely only played 2 different basses on the Rumble amp. So, the other 98 built in bass sounds remained unexplored and unused. And perhaps here was where the problem lay, when I first bought the amp I was scrolling through the various bass sounds, and the second pre-set already caught my fancy, and I stuck with this sound effect for the first 2 months.
But a few weeks back, I was determined that I was going to explore all 100 bass sounds, just to hear what they all sounded like. So, I pulled up a chair, plugged in one of the other basses whom I hadn’t found ‘their voice’ yet, and literally forced myself to go through all 100 sounds, plucking a few lines to hear what suited that guitar.
And the amazing thing is this! Each of my 6 basses has their own unique character, thus needed their own voice.
For the Fender JMJ Mustang bass, it has a powerful split-coil pickup placed in-between the bridge and the neck, and with flat wound strings, the deep 02 Basic Bassman OD was the ideal sound! As it emphasizes the almost up-right bass sound of the JMJ with its flat wound strings.
While for the Sterling by Musicman Sting ray bass, as this bass was best for slap & popping, then 29 KGB – 800 Slap was the ideal sound! This effect emphasizes the sounds coming from the string, like just sliding your fingers along the strings these sounds are captured and magnified thus perfect for some thumb slapping!
For my very first guitar, the Fender Player Mustang PJ, this guitar undoubtedly has the weakest pickup of them all. Toggling to Jazz, the sound is so muffled and barely audible that you simply can’t use it. And toggling to Precision, it’s better but still very underwhelming as an instrument. So, to give this thing a sound boost 09 Deep Rumble was perfect! This pre-set is so booming, any other guitar would cause things on the walls to vibrate. But because the Mustang Player has cheap pickups, the weakness of the guitar and the power of the amp actually gels perfectly to create an acceptable tone.
The Hofner Contemporary Club bass is a hollow body bass, so the sound effect it needed was something to emphasize its hollow body nature. 24 Basic Tube Pre does just that! I scrolled all the way to 100, trying to find the perfect sound for this guitar, and in the end I came back to 24, as it just works with a hollow body!
The G&L Tribute Series Fallout bass was the hardest to work with, as this guitar is like an untamed wild beast. The humbucker pickup is by far the strongest and I already replaced the round wounds to flats to try taming it’s natural booming voice. Literally using the previous 4 pre-sets with this guitar was ear piercingly painful, as it hits a frequency which literally hurts my eardrums. And the only way to get around this problem was to turn down the sound on both amp and guitar by half. But wanting to find its own unique voice, I ended up on 25 Basic Redhead, it’s hard to describe the end outcome, but this is the only setting which makes this guitar sound good. From being something which literally hurts the ears, with this effect the guitar actually sounds melodic and on the D and G strings, it literally sings like a bird! So, it’s funny the guitar has gone from being like a Death Metal singer, to the Vienna Boys Choir! Haaha.
And lastly, my latest purchase, a Fender Made in Japan Jazz bass! At first I was just plugging it in and leaving it on whatever setting I had the last guitar on. But I just kept thinking to myself, ‘boy, this thing sounds pretty crappy’. But that was until I started to play around with the sound effect toggle nob, and the best sound for the Jazz was 07 Fender Rumble V3 Vintage. Although I wasn’t particularly looking for a vintage sound from the J-bass, but this sound just suits it so well! And brings out that Jazz sound which I’d been chasing down ever since bass guitar number 1 with the Mustang PJ.
So, now that I’ve found the voice for each of my basses, of course my end verdict is that the Studio 40 has been a good buy! There’s no question of that. And if you want to geek out, you can literally customise each sound to your hearts content! Not to mention there’s a Fender community who create their own tones, and then shares them through the app for all to download, as you have an additional 100 empty channels to save new sounds to. So, the Rumble Studio 40 can certainly be the first and last bass amp you ever buy, as who needs another, when your existing amp keeps getting better as time goes by?
So, to check-out the Bass amp which I’ve been raving on about, click HERE to learn all about the Fender Rumble Studio 40! Boom!