String tension & neck warpage/ twisting

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by lovethegrowl, Dec 24, 2013.


  1. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Location:
    Landers, Ca
    My guitar tech tells me that bass guitars tend to warp with the low string end twisting, because of their "higher tension".

    I've seem tension charts by TI & D'adario that indicate that even on balanced sets the higher strings, d, g & c tend to have higher tension. Should this raise a red flag about my tech's qualifications? He did do a good job leveling the frets of my Ibanez (which has two truss rods).

    I am modding my Squire DAVJ to accommodate another string (a c string) & I want to prevent this warpage/twisting phenomenon to occur. I had planned on using the following gauge DR Fatbeams: .130, .105, .85, .65. .45, .30.
    Now I am thinking that I should replace the
    .130 & .105 gauge Fat beams with .135 &
    .110 Hibeams to even out the tension. The .110 Hibeam sounds darn close to the .105 Fat beam. My .130 fat beam's dull, & lacks growly overtones anyway. Doesn't integrate well with the other strings. If the .135 Hi beam is too light I can EQ it. (Hi beam low b's do tend to emphasize overtones & growl @ the expense of the lowest 55HZ harmonic--all fundamentals are silent on bass guitars.)

    Am I on the right track, is this a good prophylactic measure to prevent twisting/warpage of my Squire neck that has only one truss rod. Or is my tech blowing smoke up my butt?
  2. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle
    Disclosures:
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    Your tech is mistaken about low strings being of higher tension. To match tension with a .105 wound you'll need a .145 or so. A .100 matches up well with a .135. The set you list is tight in the middle. To get more definition out of your B you should find a tapered string and up the tension a bit.

    A single truss rod is generally more than satisfactory even with unbalanced string sets, but balancing out the set a bit won't hurt. Twisting of a neck is more a byproduct of lousy wood choice or poor atmospheric conditions.

    Oh, and all fundamentals are not silent on bass. Actual fundamental is roughly 15% of the total sound no matter the pitch. Whether your rig gives it back to you is another matter.
  3. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
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    Landers, Ca
    Really! I have a Stereophile ( now defunct) test disc. One of the writers
  4. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head

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    Jul 30, 2002
    Location:
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    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    Somewhere on TalkBass there are images of waterfall plots that show the harmonic structure of a bass note on pluck and sustain - the note doesn't matter. The frequency structure is amazingly consistent no matter what fundamental you choose.

    Edit; Found 'em;
    The thread is a good read.
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  6. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Landers, Ca
    .....(Stereophile) writer, using his own personal Fender Precision, did a left--right, in phase--out of phase sound check on the free Stereophile test CD from 1993. The reading material had a spectral analysis of every note playable on his bass, & my recollection is that all the fundamentals were absent, & the writer emphasized that fact. (I will have to dig out that CD.) I am gonna have to go to the recording section of this website & get a good recommendation for a spectral analysis program for my Windows XP laptop.

    However, I have always found the no fundamental notion incongruous. That is because when I make small EQ adjustments (at 22.5HZ & 31.5) to my home audio system's subwoofer it makes an audible difference on well recorded basses using b strings. ( For Example J.Patatucci, Tori Amos DVD "It Always Rains in Florida" with some guy named Evans, nice sound & set up.)

    While on the subject I am an audiophile &amateur speaker builder with a smokin' audio system. As you implied, pro audio speakers are built to be efficient, & the trade off is that they don't go nearly as low as drivers used as home subwoofers. I did a bit of research & found one of the only cabinets that can do justice to a low b is an SWR Goliath III -3 at 40 HZ. I found one at a pawn shop used for $400 out the door. It had proprietary designed 10" Pro Audio Sound drivers that simply can't be replaced. The perfect complement to the Goliath would be a Big Ben w/ another Eminence proprietary design. It goes to 35 cycles at -3 db. You can't buy raw drivers like that at Parts Express & stick em in a box and go that deep. Other commercial brands, Ampeg, Carvin, EBS, you're lucky to get 70 cycles flat.
  7. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

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    Oct 30, 2013
    Location:
    Landers, Ca
    Thanx that is helpful.
  8. FourBanger

    FourBanger

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Location:
    SE Como
    Your tech is wrong. The diameter of the core contributes the most to the tension, which is why we can have sets where wee little .45s pull nearly as hard on the neck as big honkin' .110s.
  9. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle
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    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    I have been after full program reproduction for a very long while - I invested in a Bag End ELF system some years back - and had Bag End lend me gear for NAMM - that took me down into the 18Hz range. I didn't know enough then to get flat response, though that is indeed possible with the Infra gear. Truly remarkable to get to hear it all.
  10. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle
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    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    I know this has become tangential, but . . . .

    The point to it being that it doesn't matter which note you're playing - if your instrument has a consistent voice the frequencies are immaterial.

    I cannot tell you what programs were used to generate the plots, but there are many available. You want to seek out one that will analyze on duration - those are a little trickier to come by.

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