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Acoustic Bass B-strings? (Kinal Kompact Bass Soundclips)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lokire, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. I always see people saying that low B-strings on acoustic basses, and short-scale basses don't work too well. Well I have a short-scale acoustic bass, and when I tune down my Acousticore E string (.086 gauge) to a low B, it sounds good to my ears :smug:

    Here's a soundclip I just recorded of me messing around a bit on my Kinal Kompact Fretless bass. The first couple minutes are of the pure acoustic tone (recorded with a mic by the soundhole), and the rest is through the piezo pickups with a couple different onboard preamp settings:


    What do you think?

    JAUQO III-X Inactive

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    The bass,your playing and the low B string all sounds nice to my ears.
  3. Thanks Jauqo :)

    Here's the bass, for those who haven't seen it:



    (the gut-core cello string is the A right now)
  4. I enjoyed your playing for the most part, and I think it sounded fine. It didn't sound "unnatural" or floppy at all to me.
  5. T'was ok, but I thought the detuned E string sounded fairly noisy with each hit. Overall consistency between the strings wasn't the best. The piezo seemed to pick up some squeeks here n' there, but that's what happens with piezos and roundwound strings.

    The playing was good, but the detuned B isn't a sound I go for.

    You inspired me to mess with my Mouse 30. Beyond dropped D, mine starts to flop out. Tuned to B, my MB2 5 string knocks the tar out of it.
  6. Well, the piezo pickup is a little weaker on the E string, compared to the others. And I've got a single Gut-Core Cello G string as the A string right now, so the string consistency isn't the best right now. I'm slowly putting together a set of these gut-core cello strings for this bass since they sound and feel perfect! None of those squeaks come through when you've got super smooth silver wrapped flatwounds :D

    I wouldn't keep this bass tuned with a B though. Once I get my 6-string, I'll use an actual B-string (.118) instead of tuning down, which would probably work much better with the piezo and allow me to dig in a little more without bottoming out.

    I played an MB2 5-string at BassNW about a year ago. Strung with acousticores. One of the best B-string I've ever heard/played :D
  7. Ya, piezos are sensitive little buggers. Even tension becomes critical to getting a good consistent tone. My Rob Allen basses are strung with the stock LaBellas, which are thicker, but less dense than a regular nickel/steel string, so roughly the same tension. I have thought about ordering more Rob Allen basses and having them strung with different strings.......but not enough to spend the money on more basses! :p

    I really wish LaBella made something that would make a good short scale low B. Perhaps some day I'll put a low B on the Mouse 30 and see how it behaves.
  8. EduardoK


    Jun 28, 2004
    I think the tension on the detuned B string is too low, but the result ain't bad at all and I really liked your playing !!! + the Kinal sounds very cool.
    I'd reconsider going with a lowB as standard on a short scale sixer though... certainly an MB2 ain't 30" !!!
  9. I may well end up tuning it E-F instead. Thinking I might prefer it that way actually. But we'll see :)
  10. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    The playing sounds great, but the low B sounds somewhat muddy. I guess I'm used to my 37" scale B's!
  11. You could always do that. How does your Kinal handle dropped D?
  12. richnota


    Jan 11, 2005
    Santa Cruz
    Its a great sounding bass but I agree on the floppiness on that B. Your sixer might be better strung high.

    Tell us more about the gut core cello strings?

    Are they ball end? or do you have to rig a tie? How do they feel vs. the TI's?
  13. EduardoK


    Jun 28, 2004
    +1. What about the rest of the strings, can you find these in cello gut core also? Would a set of cello strings work right out of the box or have to find special gouges?
  14. EduardoK


    Jun 28, 2004
    I can't seem to get rid off the clack sound on my fretted Kinal. I am using (Rotosound) tapewound strings but there's always a clack at the attack (which is a bit annoying). I have learned to live with it and assumed it was the payoff for the specific piezos in Kinal basses and not so much because of the strings... but I don't hear that much clacking on your Kinal.
  15. Are you using the piezo or mags? If it's a piezo, frets could be the big reason you have a clack sound. It could potentially be a combination of that and technique. When I got my first piezo, my attack produced an introductory tapping sound, but I changed my technique (don't ask me how) and it seemed to go away.
  16. EduardoK


    Jun 28, 2004
    No mags on Kinal Kompact basses. I tried mounting a Seymour Duncan "Woody" PU but results were not an improvement. I do play with a most gentle "fleshy" attack, believe me. I Guess frets have something to do but I don't get this on every other fretted w/piezo bass either. Wonder if it has more to do with the particular piezo and pre-amp factory settings. I have the impression some piezos are "optimized" or better suited for bass guitar.......?
    It is not too bad either... I'll survive.
  17. My thread on them is here:

    They're Pirastro Oliv (gut-core) Cello Strings. A Cello is close to a 30" scale, so they're a good match length-wise. They're tied at the end with a little loop, but the knot is big enough to fit in the slots of my bridge and hold fine.

    Cellos are tuned in 5ths though, so low to high you CGDA. I got a single G (same pitch as the bass G-string), and ended up with it tuned to A, which gives a similar tension to the acousticore A string (maybe a little lighter). It's a sterling silver flatwound wrapped string, so it sounds and feels awesome!

    I have a single Cello C on order that I'll use as the bass E string. Then if I'm still liking the results, I can use a lighter gauge Cello G for the Bass D, and maybe a medium-heavy gauge Cello D for the Bass G. Each of these Cello strings are available in 5 different gauges on special order, so even though the tuning is in 5ths, you can still customize the tensions pretty well.

    If you're interested in trying the same, these strings should work with up to a 34" scale bass (piezo only), as long as your bridge doesn't eat up too much more of the string than mine. I'll keep my thread updated on the results I get :)
  18. I tried the RotoSound tapes for a few minutes (literally), and didn't like them at all. Higher tension, and they did have a real clacky, plasticy type of sound. Have you tried the acousticore strings? Or maybe even TI Jazz Flats would be a good match. You can get them in 32" scale.
  19. I 'spoze you could also try out some LaBella Mouse strings, which are 30" scale. I really like the sound on my Mouse 30, though I'm not sure how they'd sound on a fretted bass. I don't really play fretted a whole lot........

    I wish I could check out your set-up personally so'z I could give ya a definitive answer if it's technique, action, strings, etc.
  20. EduardoK


    Jun 28, 2004
    Guess there's a number of factors involved and strings certainly have a lot to do. I am a strong believer that finding the precise set of strings for each instrument is of vital importance (the correct set of strings can make huge difference). Just have not gotten yet the time and $ to do that as I have more basses than I'd care to admit. The Kompact bass came with Rotosound when I bought it, and I liked them precisely because the higher tension made up for a very strong well focused E (something short scales in general may lack many times IMOE), but Lo' is right, they do have a certain clacky sound. Tapewounds may last a lifetime so I've had no real need to change them yet... will have to do some experimenting sooner than later.
    I use TI flats and rounds a lot on other medium/short scale basses so it will be easy to try these on the Kinal.
    I never thought before on Acousticores because they are long scales and I thought I couldn't use them on a short scale.
    LOKIRE: did you just cut the string endings to shorten the length accordingly and insert at the tuning pegs, or what?
    SPADE2YOU: Can I get the LaBellas with any distributor or only through Rob?
    I do need to find several different short/medium scale strings (not only tapewounds) and have trouble finding them (specially for 5-6ers.).
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