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2 tones coming off the string when played up high.

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by WarriorJoe7, Nov 5, 2006.


  1. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Inactive

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    Hey I have this problem and I am not sure but I think it's the strings. I have taperwound strings on (all of them are taperwound labella's.) When i play way up high it sounds like 2 tones are coming off the string. The higher up I play the more pronounced it is.

    It sounds like when you have a set of jazz pickups too close to the strings, but that is not it since I lowered them way down and still have the problem.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks, Joe
     
  2. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Inactive

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    also it does this acoustically so it's not the pickups or electronics.
     
  3. Roland777

    Roland777

    Jun 1, 2006
    Sweden
    Lower the strings and play with a lighter touch on the fretting hand.
     
  4. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I have this problem on a guitar of mine when the pickups are really close to the strings. The magnets cause all sorts of overtones. You may try fiddling with that.
     
  5. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Inactive

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    the action is super low... my touch is already pretty light
     
  6. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Inactive

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    nope it does it acoustically... it is NOT the pickups or electronics
     
  7. rsautrey

    rsautrey Inactive

    Jul 27, 2000
    There are two schools of thought concerning taperwound/exposed core strings.

    1. They intonate better and are superior to "conventional" strings being that they aren't stressed at the bridge, making for a better witness point which means a more flexible, musical sounding string.

    2. They can't possibly play in tune because of the diffferent mass per unit length of the string. Particularly if the taper or exposed core length is extremely far from the bridge saddle.

    On my Fender Jazz, I've tried the following sets that were either taperwound/exposed core:

    Dean Markley SR2000
    Labella Super Steps
    Trace Elliott Stainless (now discontinued)
    GHS Contact Core Super Steels
    Rotosound RS99 Piano String Design w/ adjustable ball end

    With the exception of the Rotosound set, they all exhibited weird overtones (double tones, chorusing) from the 12th fret up on most strings and the E strings would drift from the 8th or 9th fret up. Saddle adjustments, pickup height, etc. DID NOT solve anything. They sounded bad acoustically as well.

    The Rotosound PSD set worked OK because they have an adjustable ball end where you can dial in the precise amount of taper past the bridge saddle. They are a pain to install though. The Dean Markley SR2000 sets sound really great on the low notes. I'd use them if I could intonate them properly.

    Piano strings are designed this way as well but a piano only relies on open notes where we rely on frets to divide the string. This is where IMO the taperwound/exposed core concept is wrong.
     
  8. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Sometimes you'll hear this acoustically just because both halves of the string (either side of your fretting finger) are vibrating. Try holding down the G string with multiple frets (say, 1st finger on 12th, 2nd on 13th, 3rd on 14th all at the same time) and see if you can still hear the same overtones as when you fret with just one finger on the 14th. If there's a difference, then the overtones are probably not being caused by the magnetic effect of the pickups (which is still there even when the bass isn't plugged in, BTW).

    If you can hear the overtones acoustically and they are caused by the "back half" of the fretted string (between your fretting finger and the nut), then chances are they won't be noticeable when you're amplified anyway. If it still bothers you, though, you'll need to work on your fretting technique to avoid single finger stops when playing up high as much as you can.
     
  9. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Inactive

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    Good post, however I thought of this. I would fret the highest not with my pinkie and use my other 3 fingers to mute the rest of the string. Still double-tones.
     
  10. brandonwong

    brandonwong

    Dec 16, 2003
    I have problems with labellas taper or exposed core having instability in pitch.
    It always seem to have a chorusing effect.
    This problem is completely gone after i switch to normal DR strings.

    I think it might be inherent in the design for la bellas tapers.
    try other brand's tapers if u really need it to be???
     
  11. saxnbass

    saxnbass

    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    I think it's the string vibrating between the nut and your finger. Or, it could be the string vibrating between the nut and the tuners, especially if you have a 4 in line (ie: Fender) headstock and have removed the string tree.
     
  12. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    I haven't read the thread, just the title and this post. But that's highly likely, especially with hammer-ons. Also, proximity to a neck pickup that's set especially high with a strong magnetic field can exhibit what's commonly known as "Stratitis": the magentic field when the string is played closer to it (as is the case when way up the neck) actually creates additional vibrational nodes that are not always so pleasant to hear, and may even get interpreted as intermrmodulating distortion.

    Simple fix for that once it's understood and detected. Lower the neck pup a little. Actually cool because your sustain could improve too ; }
     
  13. saxnbass

    saxnbass

    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Original Poster said it happens when not plugged in too. That's why I said what I said.
     
  14. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    You don't have to be plugged in to get "Stratitis" - the pickups' magnets pull on the strings even when unplugged (although they will pull a little bit harder when plugged in, according to a little bit of physics known as Lenz's law).
     
  15. canopener

    canopener

    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    Give it a good setup and check back in.
     
  16. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    As bassybill said, the magnets do not "turn off" when the guitar is unplugged. What I am talking about is excessive magnetic pull from the magnets IN the pickups causing bad overtones. Like I said, I have a stratocaster that does this. That many magnets on the string causes it to vibrate oddly.

    I'm not saying that's it, but you might check it.
     
  17. rsautrey

    rsautrey Inactive

    Jul 27, 2000
    I still believe that it's not possible to get correct intonation with taperwound/exposed core strings because of the different mass per unit length of the string. lowering pickups, raising the string, etc did not make any difference in the sets I tried.
     
  18. murphy

    murphy

    May 5, 2004
    Canada
    The usual problem with any taperwound strings.
    CHORUS effect!
     
  19. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Inactive

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
  20. jrfrond

    jrfrond

    Jul 11, 2006
    NYC
    Tech Director, dBm Pro Audio Services, New York
    This is EXACTLY what it is, and the higher the mass of the string, the greater the problem. This is why, on Strats, it affects mostly the low E and A. Lower your pickups. For the record, the problem is exacerbated with Alnico magnets.
     

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