Floppy dull B string the battle lives on

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Gray36, Oct 28, 2013.


  1. Gray36

    Gray36

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2013
    Hey guys I have a question about my B string. I play a 6 string carvin LB76A and I love the bass it's always getting compliments at live shows and all my buddies love the sound but nothing can be 100% perfect. I've always had a small issue with my B string it feels a bit to floppy for my taste and playing style. I play a lot of metal mostly prog death metal and jazz and when I play on strings E through C it's amazing I get great clarity and enough grind to have a sound that I'm in love with, but the B string has always seemed to lack what the others have.

    Like most I love having a low action but that's where the problem comes in it just has to much rattle and has no pop, no life to it. I raised the action a bit and it becomes so dull that it sounds heavily palm muted and suffers from volume lost and I know that's because it's further from the pick up it seems like I can't find a happy place with this one string.

    So my question is does this problem come from

    1. my set up

    2. my string gauge

    3.scale length

    I know the last one is based on all opinion but I would like to hear everyone's thoughts. Thanks for any help that is given!!
  2. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Non Serviam Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Location:
    Scotia NY
    I play almost the same bass (LB76W) and haven't had a problem with my B. I don't play metal, and probably have a less aggressive style than you. Still, I wouldn't blame the scale length. As for setup, you may want to have a luthier look at the nut and make sure it's not cut too deeply for the B. A heavier string might help too. I use a .130. Another thing to try would be a stiffer-feeling string. For example, a .130 DR Low Rider will feel much stiffer than a .130 DR High Beam. The advantage is that the string produces less excursion (movement) when vibrating, so you can get the action lower without buzzing against your frets.

    Good luck!
  3. Gray36

    Gray36

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2013
    Thanks for your input! I have noticed that it doesn't act up a whole lot when I play with a less aggressive attack but I love to dig in deep and get that tone that's a cross between slap and finger style I was thinking I trying out a heavy gauge set of circle K strings I have read a lot of good things on the forums and I pretty sure the B is a .136 so if that doesn't solve my problem than I will look into the nut being cut to deep.
  4. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Get a heavier gauge B string. It will be less floppy that way.
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  6. unclebass

    unclebass

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Location:
    Southwest Louisiana
    +1
  7. Gray36

    Gray36

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2013
    I was pretty positive that was the issue but wanted to get the impute of TB any thanks guys!
  8. bassbenj

    bassbenj

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Actually there are a variety of factors.

    1. String gauge. Heavier strings will have more tension for the same note.

    2. String type. Some strings are far stiffer than others ask around TB for some hints. Often flats or ground wounds are stiff but not as bright.

    3. Setup. Stringing through body is said to improve B floppyness. The bend over the bridge helps the feel somehow they say.

    4. Scale length. The one inch difference from 34" 5to 35" isn't a lot but every little bit helps as they say. Ultimate unfloppy B string is Dingwall fanned fret where B is REALLY long!

    5. And lastly there is mysterious magic. These are totally unknown reasons as to why certain basses (in spite of 34" scale, wrong string type, and bridge anchor strings) will have amazing B strings (like my Ken Smith) And others that have all the right things will still have a floppy B string. I guess it's no surprise that basses are made from trees and every tree is different hence every bass is different.
  9. Grissle

    Grissle Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Also remember that string twist is not totally uncommon, and will cause the dead string effect. So loosening the string to allow the ball end to free itself up and allow the string to straighten out is the fix.
  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    This would be my first choice. Hex core strings are stiffer than their round core counterparts...same diameter, same tension. The DR's are the first to come to mind. You'll more than likely get the desired results without having to make any significant adjustments or mods to your present set-up.

    Riis
  11. 73jbass

    73jbass Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    Ellenwood,Ga.
    What gauge B are you using now? On a 34" I wouldn't use anything less than a non tapered 130 hex core. If you have a heavy touch,.135.
  12. Jensby design

    Jensby design

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Hastings, NE
    1.no
    2.what are your string gauges
    3.no
  13. David Jayne

    David Jayne

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Location:
    Brookfield, CT
    Try some different B strings. If this doesn't do it, sell the bass and try out some others until you find one that works for you. There's nothing else to be done.
  14. the explode man

    the explode man

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    Grande Prairie, Alberta
    Actually, I'd answer it:
    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. No

    As you mentioned before OP, try Circle K. You might need to order a few different gauge sets to get the ones that gel with you, but once they do, they'll... umm... well, they'll gel with you. And that's a good thing.
  15. mmbongo

    mmbongo I like turtles. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    Upstate, South Carolina
    If you like the tension of a .105 E string, keep in mind that you need at least a .140 B string to keep that same tension on a 34" scale. A tapered string would probably help as well. Hopefully your Carvin does not have the old Wilkinson bridge.

    Best thing to do is go to Bass Strings Online and order a few different B strings. Some strings just work better than others on certain basses so try a few different kinds. This is why I love Bass Strings Online!
    http://www.bassstringsonline.com/Build-your-own-string-set_c_163.html
  16. iiipopes

    iiipopes

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    I'll sell you one of my stash of GHS super steel .138 B strings if you will PM me.

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