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Heartfield 6 String Bass

This has been my main bass for the last 16 years. Heartfields were made for about three years during the early 90s. They were made in Japan under the direction of D. R. Heartfield and distributed by Fender. A line of basses and guitars were available.

I guess it was not a money maker as the line was discontinued. It is hard to know why as my bass has a great sound a records very well. Most of the bass lines on the LMB CDs were played on this bass. I tune it B E A D G C in straight fourths unlike some who tune the C to a B to copy the guitar tuning. I find the fourth tuning to make the scale patterns and licks the same with out having to adjust for the third on the top string.

It has two soap bar pickups and onboard 9 volt circuitry with a single volume, and two tone pots. Also, there is a high-lo pass filter switch on the front. One thing that I feel makes this bass have such good tone is that it has neck through design which helps with great response and sustain unlike a bolt on neck. I'm sorry that Heartfield did not continue manufacturing these basses. I love mine and so do most engineers who have recorded it.

  Lakland Joe Osbourn 5 String Bass
 

This is my latest bass that I am trying out. It is lighter than the Hearfield so less fatiguing on the body during a long gig. It has a darker sound with a basic Jazz Bass design. It is copied after Joe Osbourn's Jazz Bass. Joe is the great studio bassist from the sixties who played on over 200 top 40 hits. His bass needed to be retired so he had Lakland copy this bass.

It has Jazz Bass single coil pickups. I've replaced mine with humbucking a Bartollini 5-String American Standard J Bass Pickup Set (57CBJD1). The volume and tone pots have been replaced with a J-Retro module which fits in the same cavity as the silver pot assembly and adds active circuitry. I can play with the bass in active mode or passive mode with flick of a switch and if the battery goes dead it will always play in the passive mode. I added these features to help bright up the darker sound. I like the darker sound but sometimes I need a brighter tone especially if I am slapping or soloing.

I love the feel of the neck as it is all maple with a flatter radius to accommodate the extras string span. I looked at many basses in this price range before deciding on this one. I picked it because of the basses I tried it was the one that got a good sound without too much fussing. It works great in the blues genre. Thanks Lakland and Joe. 

  Amplification
 

On stage I try not to compete with the vocals or the other instruments. I don't need to be the loudest thing on stage. I believe the bass must lock in with the drums to serve the song because, in the end, it is all about the song. If I play too loud I cannot hear the kick drum making it hard to lock in.

In that regard my rig is small. Currently I am using an Aguilar 500 watt head with a two 10" SWR speaker cabinet and Shroeder speaker cabinet. The Shroeder cab is amazing. They are made by Michael Shroeder in Whittier, CA. He uses some unique ideas to keep the size small but the sound big. In my cab there is a 10" speaker mounted in a forward position, a 12" speaker mounted at an angle in a scooped baffle which acts as a sub woofer, and a front loaded horn or tweeter. It sounds great and it keeps me from breaking my back.

Occasionally, we do a gig with backline. I always enjoy playing through an Ampeg SVT with the 8 x 10" cabinet but I keep it low. You get a classic sound without have to haul a huge rig. As long as I can hear myself the way I it like on stage, I leave it up to the sound man to do the rest.  

   



 

 
 
 
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