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Bad sounding B string on Kit

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by wombolombo, Sep 17, 2004.


  1. wombolombo

    wombolombo

    Nov 29, 2003
    Raleigh, NC
    got a 5-string kit that I built (Carvin), and am hoping that someone here can help me solve a problem.

    (I think it's a construction issue - which is why I'm posting it here)

    When playing on the b-string (pretty much anywhere on the neck, though it's worse the higher up I play) there are these weird sounding overtones that make the bass sound almost out of tune.

    It's not the electronics, because I can hear it when the bass isn't plugged in.

    I recently switched from a set of strings with a .130 B to a set with a .120 B...and there's no noticable difference.

    Anyone know what could cause this?

    thanks in advance for your help and patience.

    wav's:
    bass sounds
     
  2. PasdaBeer

    PasdaBeer

    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
  3. wombolombo

    wombolombo

    Nov 29, 2003
    Raleigh, NC
    Double-checked that tonite...it was a little out...tuned it up but it didn't fix the problem.
     
  4. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Having the pickup magnet too close to the string will do this, and the effect will increase as you play up the neck. You could test whether this is the problem by lowering the pup way down, and if that solves it, be careful not to raise it too far as you gradually raise it back up.
     
  5. wombolombo

    wombolombo

    Nov 29, 2003
    Raleigh, NC
    p/up is at about 1/4" from bottom of B string...that should be about standard, right?
     
  6. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    That sound decently far enough away not to cause a problem (although you could try it anyway if you wanted).

    How about the B string bridge saddle - have you pulled it out to look for any problems there? Such a a crumb of something caught in the wrong place, something not fully seated, &c. How is the groove cut? A poorly cut groove, which has indistinct or multiple witness point(s) will do this.
     
  7. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    How about trying a B string with an exposed core? I've found that on some of my basses, it helps alleviate the lack of "harmonic focus" on the B string.
     
  8. wombolombo

    wombolombo

    Nov 29, 2003
    Raleigh, NC
    Do you mean a set where the b-string is tapered at the bridge end? That's a good idea.

    Carvin ships their kits with strings that are tapered - I just didn't leave that set on past the initial set-up, and was too busy goofing around with the bass to notice.

    Thanks for the suggestion...
     
  9. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I have a Carvin B5 from a kit, and I have never had a problem with non-tapered B strings. My B sounds great. You shouldn't have to use a tapered B string to get a good sound, so you must have a problem somewhere.
     
  10. wombolombo

    wombolombo

    Nov 29, 2003
    Raleigh, NC
    Last night, I 'shortened' the B string so that it didn't wrap around the tuning peg so many times. I just played it quickly after that, and It seemed to make a difference.

    I should have a set of strings w/a tapered B showing up today...I'll report back.

    And you're right - I've never had to use tapered strings on my Music Man.