Best strings for P-Bass Junior?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by MARSlAN, Dec 11, 2021.

  1. I have a MIM Fender P-Bass Junior.

    I bought a set of Fender 5250 Short Scale Bass Strings (supposedly the strings that come new on this bass). As I was putting them on, the E string snapped right at the start of the tapered end section before I even got it tuned up to pitch. I don't know if it was just a faulty string, or if they're too thick to wrap that tightly around a narrow split-shaft pole.

    Anybody have a P-Bass Jr, or know what strings work on such a short scale bass? I don't want to spend a fortune. I like flatwounds, but I will settle for anything that really works well.
  2. What's the actual distance on that particular bass from where the E string ball end is seated to the E tuner post?
  3. 31" so ideally the wound portion would be less than that.
  4. Most "short scale" bass strings are 32" in winding length (ball end to taper); some are even longer.

    That said, one inch of fully wound portion of the E string wrapping around the post shouldn't cause breakage with a roundwound string as long as you're careful installing it. Are the tuner posts on that bass that much skinnier than the ones on a full-size Fender P bass?
  5. Well, it sure broke, and by no fault of my own. I don't have a standard P Bass so I can't compare, but the posts appear to be thinner than most, much skinnier that my MIA Bullet Bass.
  6. Have you checked the E tuner post closely to make sure there are no rough edges or burrs that can bite into the string?
    7dollarbologna likes this.
  7. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    Was the bridge replaced as some point with a toploading-only one?
    AFAIK, the MIM P Jr. was string-through-body and accepted normal short-scale strings:

    If the string length requirement for your basslet is now 31" and you fancy having flats on it, La Bella recently made a small batch for users of its younger Asian cousin the Squier Mini Precision, available through their "Roadie club". A number of TBers got a set and seem happy with it. (See here and previous posts.) You could contact La Bella and either get one if they have some left, or queue in for the next batch.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2021
    MarMar, macmanlou and michael_t like this.
  8. Good point, I forgot to account for the string-through body. The bridge has both options. Thanks for the La Bella tip.
    HaphAsSard likes this.
  9. Are bass strings ever faulty? Nothing appears to be wrong with the tuner. I never got the string quite to full tension when I heard the snap.
  10. Yes, it can happen.
  11. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    It's wound wire manufactured under high pressure and tension. Can happen. Not often.
    Ask for a replacement.
  12. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    And the BEST strings are the ones you like the most. There is no best.
  13. I guess I meant best fit for my particular instrument. I imagine someone owns one of these and has been through this before. I don't want to spend another $30-50 on something that doesn't work to begin with. I'm ready for a tried and true solution.
    Killing Floor likes this.
  14. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    Oh, I hadn't noticed the bridge can do either. Case solved: take advantage of the through-body option and most short-scale strings will fit.

    Now, you might be tempted to combine both parts of my post, and look into "normal", off-the-shelf (as opposed to special-ordered) La Bella flatwound sets, with the idea of getting one and install it through the body.
    Should that be the case, be warned than La Bella, unique among bass flatwound manufacturers, recommends one doesn't string their flats through the body, lest they break, unless it's one of their special -TB sets (with a more flexible section right past the ball-end).

    However, they don't make sets that are both short-scale and through-body ready, to my knowledge
    (except for the 760F-MUS, tailor-made for the Fender Mustang bass and its 30" scale + thru-body, which means the strings would be too long for the P Jr.).

    In short, when it comes to flats for your Junior, it should be either La Bella specials (for the Squier Mini P) or short-scale flats of other brands.
    MARSlAN likes this.
  15. That's super helpful. Grazie!
    HaphAsSard likes this.
  16. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    Prego! :D
    MARSlAN likes this.
  17. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    I would caution you that LaBella strings specifically state not to load through body. There's nothing wrong with those Fender strings, that was likely an uncommon failure.
  18. No way I'm buying another set of the Fenders and chancing the same thing happening. Besides they weren't flatwound, so I'll use this as an opportunity to buy something that suits me better. I think you're right about not buying off-the-shelf LaBellas though. Thanks.
  19. 7dollarbologna


    Apr 22, 2014
    Downtown Albuquerque
    Desert Eccentric
    B1E16316-E7DB-41EB-AE69-D7728B65300E.jpeg I had a bass that had cheap tuners that had sharp edges that did the same thing- break the E string - I sanded the edges - see photo- has never happened again

    P.S - this was not the bass
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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