What make a bass to stay in tune?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pedroims, Jan 23, 2014.


  1. pedroims

    pedroims

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    I have two basses:

    a) Fender P MIA 2008, Maple -rosewood, DR sunbeam strings.
    b) EBMM Stingray 2013, Maple - rosewood, Super Slinky strings.

    Both basses stay in the same rack, same room and I practice every day at the same time. Now, The Fender stays in tune for weeks, regardless of the time I play it or if it just standing in the rack for days, no matter what, when I pick up the bass it is perfectly in tune. That is not happening with the Stingray, every time I pick it up I need to re tune it because is way out of tune, sometimes sharp and other times flat.

    What makes a bass to stay in tune? The neck. the tunners, the strings, a combination of everything? What I can do to make the stingray to stay in tune like the P?
  2. Emibass

    Emibass

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    If both have good tuners, I would blame the woods. Even the same type of wood react different (for their diferences of grain maybe) on the same specs basses.
  3. 1958Bassman

    1958Bassman

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Large temperature or humidity changes? Are they sitting near a heat vent? That's a bad thing.
  4. pedroims

    pedroims

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Location:
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    Both basses are stock, whatever tunners Fender use in the MIA and EBMM in the stingrays, they suppose to be high quality.

    No changes in the temperature or humidity, both basses has been in my studio for 4 weeks, same rack , same spot within the room.

    My fear is that the Stingray will be like that forever :(
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  6. pfox14

    pfox14

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    Dec 22, 2013
    The Stingray obviously has inferior tuners that are slipping.
  7. johnson79

    johnson79

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    Jan 8, 2010
    Location:
    East Petersburg PA
    Are the strings the same?
  8. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

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    Oct 31, 2009
    The Fender has graphite rods, I'd be willing to bet that's the reason.
  9. HMZ

    HMZ Supporting Member

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    I think it's because the Stingray is new. I find it takes a while for all the mosture to leave the wood. The Fender is older and more stable. It other words your Stingray still thinks it's a tree. Give it some time and it will settle in.
  10. funnyfingers

    funnyfingers

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    How can it be the graphite rods? You can only tighten so much before it is obvious that the neck is doing something, right? My Epiphone Thunderbird Classic stays tuned forever from 70 F inside to 40 F garage...
  11. FloridaSam

    FloridaSam

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Bad strings? Improper winding/stringing technique?
  12. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    The Stingray neck is not sealed wood. It is more unacceptable to weather changes, whether they are big or little changes. IIRC, EBMM mentions this in their FAQ.

    Other factors that keep an instrument in tune such as proper stringing, properly cut nut, good hardware, tight fitting body and neck joint, etc. Of those, make sure you are stringing it up correctly. The other factors are not an issue of the Stingray at all, their hardware is top notch, as is their fit & finish.

    Really though, if you need to tune the bass each time you pick it up is it really a big deal? It's the first thing I do every time I pick up any instrument to play. If it happens to be perfectly in tune, cool. If not, I make it so.
  13. pedroims

    pedroims

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    Dec 19, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan

    It is the second set of strings, the stringing is the same in both basses: Three rounds, not overlapping and same angle.

    The only difference is the the P is strung through the bridge and the Stingray is not.
  14. georgestrings

    georgestrings Supporting Member

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    Nov 5, 2005

    +1... it's actually part of the reason why I prefer to buy used instruments atleast a few years old...


    - georgestrings
  15. georgestrings

    georgestrings Supporting Member

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    Nov 5, 2005
    I take it you missed the part about it being sharp sometimes...


    - georgestrings
  16. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Dingwall ABZ Player Supporting Member

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    Don't worry about it and retune it when it's out of tune. Is that so hard?
  17. pedroims

    pedroims

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    The issue is to tunning after every song, I am expecting any bass to stay in tune at least for the whole service ( I play at church).

    I would like to think that the neck finish may have something to do and eventually the problem will go away.
  18. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    If it's going out of tune after 5 minutes, every 5 minutes, there is a problem. In that case I'm not sure it's entirely the neck finish. It may be playing a part but I don't think it's the only culprit.

    FWIW, all of my Stingrays stay in tune pretty well for extended time periods.
  19. pedroims

    pedroims

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    Dec 19, 2007
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    That has been my experience with all my previous basses, including stingray. This is the first time I use superslinky so I am gonna ditch them and put some DR and see if something changes.
  20. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    Tuners....already covered in depth.
    Strings....new vs old
    Temp....this can be huge. I went to rehearsal last night with my Bongo. Just having it outside in its case for a couple of minutes made it go sharp equally on all strings. Took about 15-20 min for it to warm up and then I had to retune again. Usually it is a rock and totally unaffected by humidity. This might not seem like an issue for you but there is plenty of heat transferred from your body to the bass body while you play...I imagine some to the neck from your hand as well.

    The difference between the Bongo and Ray is the sealed vs unsealed neck so bassgod may be on to something. Everything else that touches the strings is identical....bridge, tuners, nut.
  21. F-Clef-Jef

    F-Clef-Jef

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Neenah, WI
    Make sure the nut is properly cut. Strings can get bound or pinched in a poorly fit nut slot, that could be the cause.

    Also, are you always tuning ^UP^? As in literally starting out flat and tuning ^UP^ to pitch? That is crucial to stable tuning. That is why they call it tuning up!

    How long have you had the strings on the bass? They will settle and stretch for a while.

    Also, like others have said, just tune it up. No big deal.

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