Eliminate Twangy G (for flats players)
This doesn't apply to everyone. But there are a lot of players and basses out there which complain of, or have, twangy G strings. For decades I simply used the old trick of a fingernail sized piece of the string envelope folded up between the string and the bridge saddle.
Then after a couple of years of reading on the DB side of the forum that DB players have the same concerns, especially with Spiros, I went on a string safari recently.
As those of you who have read my prior posts know, I am a convert to Fender 9050CL 45-60-80-105 flats. On my custom half-fanned P/J, they are the only strings it will wear. And on that instrument, because I have designed for the G anchor to come perpendicular down off of the saddle, it does not twang.
However, all production basses have flat bridges, and with the G saddle up towards the neck, there is less break angle over the saddle back to the anchor, and the G string typically twangs, irrespective of make, model or type or gauge of bass or string.
This is one reason that "traditional" flatwound bass sets were on the order of 50-100, so that there was more mass to equalize the G string, and less mass to retain overtones and not overbalance the volume on the E string. But I prefer the feel of the more balanced tension sets, which are by their nature prone to twang. It's physics: the lesser diameter, the less mass, and the tendency to vibrate more in partials than the fundamental.
Why now? I found myself needing a 5-er, and after going only 4 for over 35 years, I broke down a year ago and purchased an Ibby SRA305 on a closeout for $279. Great bass. I now gig regularly with it for the songs that need a 5-er. But like all other basses, the G string twanged. I drilled the plate and bought a ferrule, and went body through on the G string, increasing the break angle over the saddle for more stability. It still twanged. I considered moving the pickup closer to the neck, but that's major surgery not cost effective on an inexpensive bass. Hence the string safari.
Enter GHS Precision Flats. Now, as is the case with Fender flats, I like more overtones in my strings. So generally, after trying a variety of gauges, I do not care for the uber-fundamental that develops on the GHS Precision Flats E, A and D strings when they seat in. Good strings, yes. Just not my flavor.
BUT...being a lesser diameter, a G string will naturally vibrate with more upper partials, anyway, and continue to do so, even when seated in over time. And so I tried it with all the other famous flats: LaBella, GHS, Ernie Ball, D'Addario, and yes, Fender. To a string, the GHS Precision Flat .045 G string had more fundamental and blended better with all of the other brands' D, A and E strings.
Caveat: the GHS Precision Flats .045 has a strange tone when first installed, and it needs a couple of gigs to settle down. Wait for it. It's worth it.
Bottom line: if you play flats, and your G string twangs out, consider replacing it with a GHS Precision Flat in your preferred gauge, whether .040, .045 or .050, and rock on!
Last edited by iiipopes : 08-22-2013 at 01:37 PM.