Hamiltone? No problem!

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Hamiltone? No problem!

Postby fatherska » Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:42 pm

From time to time, I pick a bassist whose playing I want to learn from. I choose a CD of that player's work that I find most attractive to learn, put the CD in my Tascam Bass Trainer, and set out to master the entire album.

This weekend, I began this process with my favourite Aerosmith album, Night in the Ruts. I have yet to look up what bass(es) Tom Hamilton played in the sessions for that album. Even so, it did not take much for me to nail his tone.

Night in the Ruts does not sound much different from any other Aerosmith album, specifically as bass tone is concerned. So, if anybody wants me to specify exactly how I replicate Tom Hamilton's tone on my '97 L-1500, then just ask.

As I proceed happily on my way playing along with this album, I wonder: Except for its distinct looks, why would I spend the premium price for a Tom Hamilton ASAT signature bass if it's easy for me to nail Hamilton's tone on my L-1500?

Who's done A/B testing of a Tom Hamilton ASAT signature bass vs another L-series G&L bass and can specify what about its tone escapes replication with good playing technique and smart use of EQ?

Tom: If you're here lurking, then please chip in or private-message me.
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Re: Hamiltone? No problem!

Postby fatherska » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:06 pm

A good G&L bass in experienced hands (e.g. my circuit-modded '97 L-1500 in my playing-since-'84 hands) can succeed at more than nailing Tom Hamilton's Aerosmith parts and tone.

Even with Ernie Ball nickel roundwound strings (still resonating nicely since my strapping teenage son was a little boy), I reliably succeed at nailing the parts and tone of Aston "Family Man" Barrett of Wailers fame when I play along with Bob Marley & The Wailers classics. (Barrett is known for getting that tone on a Jazz bass with old Fender flatwounds.)

A good G&L bass in experienced hands can make good music with "that's it" tone remarkably well, even when the red circle at the center of the tonal target varies from one specific coveted tone to another.
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Re: Hamiltone? No problem!

Postby TDR1138 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:44 am

I have yet to play one, or even see one in the wild, but I'm curious about them, too. Aside from the flash, what sets them apart is the pine bodies and special wind pickups. G&L promotes that they "carefully [moved] the output and resonant peak [of the pickups] until the perfect spec was nailed." I'm curious as to what exactly they did - my guess is slightly over- or underwound them. Anyone know for sure?

Given the price tag, the fact that I don't care for the neck profile on these and the fact that I'm just not cool enough to rock a sparkle finish (though that red one is pretty), I'll likely never own one. But they are nice to look at.
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Re: Hamiltone? No problem!

Postby fatherska » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:02 pm

Oh man! I save plenty of money by sticking with my L-1500 bass and using whatever expertise I've developed playing bass since 1984; particularly, maturing as a bassist with the L-1500 as my primary bass since '97.

Here's another example.

Zon (the company that used the name Legacy Bass first) makes a Billy Gould signature model - a bass that provides the Faith No More bassist's tone at the flip of a switch. Like G&L's Tom Hamilton signature ASAT bass, the Zon Billy Gould Sonus bass is made to particular specifications and sells for a premium price: currently US $3,599.

Guess who can nail Billy Gould's tone and nail his bass parts without having to buy that special edition bass.

Get yourself the right G&L bass with good strings and play it well. Let others squander what would be their retirement savings buying up multiple basses seeking a variety of tones.

I've found all I want with this one G&L and my two hands.
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