1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

B String Blues

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by action510, Dec 26, 2002.

  1. i have a five string fender jazz and i was wondering what are the best strings and guage for tone, lifespan, and of course avioding that floppy b string.... thanks
  2. also i have one more question. will it matter if you mix and match diferent brands of strings? like leave the e,a,d, and g one bbrand but have a different b?
  3. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I'm using Pedulla strings on my Fender American Jazz Deluxe V. I string them thru the body, and the (tapered .128) B-string is tight and focused (The best I've found so far, for this bass).

    Also, you can mix and match different brands of strings all you want, as long as you like the results. That's all that matters.
  4. Presumably you're talking about the MIA with thrubody stringing option. If you use the option, use either tapercore (as above) or exposed core (like La Bella Super Steps), because the break angle over the saddle is too steep for regular strings (we're talking about the B). I have a MIA Jazz Deluxe V and have tried most strings on the market. Following is a list of strings I consider work with this particular bass;
    Pedulla - thru
    Warwick Black Label - top
    La Bella Super Steps - thru
    D'Addario XLs - top
    D'Addario Slowound - top
    TI Jazz Flats - top (I currently use these)

    To be fair, I have not tried Rotosounds or DRs or D'angelicos.

    These are some strings I consider do not work on this bass;
    GHS Boomers
    Rotosound Nickels
    Ernie Balls
    Fender (!)

    One thing you MUST do. Because the B tuner is too close to the nut, you must cut the string so that you get enough wraps on the tuner post to push the string down as far as is possible, and thus create the maximum angle over the nut. Also push down on the string with a thumb each side of the nut to create a sharp "witness" point over the nut, and if you're using conventional strings, do the same at the saddle.

    Everything I've said here refers to the B string only, and is only my opinion. I run a music store, so have easy access to many strings, that's why I've tried so many. This model bass is not good in the B department, but has a great vibe to it, so it's worth making the effort to get the B happening.
    BTW, another trick is to keep the pickup height as low as possible without sacrificing sound quality, this reduces magnetic pull on the huge mass of the B string.
    Hope this helps! Marty.
  5. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    I have found that a thicker B string helps avoid the "floppy B string".
    I am currently using a .145 Ken Smith string that can be individually purchased from:
    They sell individual strings from several manufacturers. This allows one to buy several gauges to find the one that is the best fit (thats what I did).
    A string this thick allows me to tune the string to B and use a Hipshot to drop to A while still not being too floppy.
    Not all strings of the same gauge are equal in tension. I recently installed a set of DR Strings and the E (.105) is tighter than the Dean Markley SR2000 string (.107) I replaced.
    I typically use DM SR2000 or Ken Smith strings because they have a very bright tone that lasts and they have a Tapered core.
    I have played several sets of DR strings that I also like but there was a set that I did not like. DR has several lines of strings that have different characteristics. The set I currently have is the "Long Neck" Medium gauge (which have an excellent tone). I also like the Steel Lo-Rider Heavy gauge.
  6. Thomguy


    Oct 15, 2001
    New York, USA
    You might discover imbalances when mixing brands as manufacturers use different winding techniques, different materials and since not all post their tensions, you may not achieve the balance you're looking for. "Floppy" is pretty relative, take the T-I 5-string set, for instance, the gauges are; 43,56,70,100,136 and the tension total is 213.15lbs The nice thing here is the tension balance, Example; the E, at .100 has 34.39lbs while the B, at .136 has 34.83lbs. The highest tension string in the set, the C, is only 4 lbs tighter. While this is a nice string-to-string balance, if the overall tension is too low for your playing style, you may consider the B floppy. The Pyramid set has a lot more tension overall and a pretty balanced low B (about a 10lb swing from B to E) but for many, the entire set is too tight so the lower tension B really "seems" floppy to some where as others who like 'em tighter, report that B as "not floppy".
  7. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I've been trying a number of different brands for my different basses, and I'm still "on the search" for what's beast for each bass. I have noticed that what's best for one bass doesn't necessarily sound good on another bass. Since I don't have a bass like yours, there's not much point into me describing what I use.

    I must say, IMHO, that two points made in this thread apply to all basses and may in fact provide immediate improvement for your B's sound. Try 1) Marty's suggestion about getting enough push down over the nut by using multiple windings around the B's tuning key, and 2) redneck's suggestion on using a thicker B. These two factors may help you tremendously. I've used 128 to 135 Bs, and I've found that 130s work best on most of my basses in order to achieve a tight, focused, ballsy, punchy B.
  8. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I've been using Peavey "Steel" stainless steels as of late on my Fender light gauge and the B string doesnt feel too loose at all compared to some of the other brands Ive used.

    When I wind the B string I only give it enough to wrap around one time so that it sits as far down as possible.

Share This Page