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Clankiness in string tone? Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by liveburning274, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. I have just moved from a Fender Jazz strung with GHS Pressurewounds to a SBMM Ray35 with a brand new set of Ernie Ball Slinkys. I am very pleased in the instrument, but not so much with the strings just yet. I really loved the pressurewounds and perhaps my hands lost their callose with these new rounds. But I am noticing kind of a clank-type sound playing in the lower registers that I don't care for. Most of this I'm noticing when playing acoustically with the bass.

    The whole tone of the strings is just a little "metally" for me and I'm not sure if that's just the nature of the Slinkys or them not being broken in? Their growl and punch is tremendous with the Ray pickup. Either way my "target tone" is something a little bit mellower, but still alive sounding. I love the bell-like high end these things have. I just want my low end to feel and sound as pretty as what I've got up in the higher registers. So help me out in finding what my adjustment is.

    Has anyone fallen in love with halfwounds or pressurewounds on some 5er rays, out of curiosity?
  2. Orpheus55

    Orpheus55 Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2006
    Port Charlotte, FL
    What you are describing is the signature SBMM sound. You can tame it with flatwounds without losing the punch, but I have found that to do this is to rob the essential characteristic of the instrument in the first place. Just my opinion, and I know many others will disagree.
  3. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Slinky's are roundwound, so they are going to have more 'clang' than Pressurewounds. Add to that the natural 'clang' of a Ray and you've got double clang! Why not put Pressurewounds on the Ray?
  4. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    My musicman experiences were with ceramic MM pickups, like on the sterling. I didn't like pressurewounds on those basses with those pickups. There was too much mids, not enough lows; and pressurewounds had a twang to them that I didn't like in combination with a pickup in the sweet spot. I always found myself wanting DR high Beams on those basses, since hi-beams sound sweeter in the upper mids where that pickup was harsh.

    You say the bass clanks, and I instantly think that there needs to be a setup change. Also, the strings should mellow considerably after some age. Slinky's tend to die quickly and round up in sound when they do.
  5. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    Raise your action, use higher tension strings, play less aggressively
  6. emblymouse

    emblymouse Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    Lakland Artist Endorser
    My thoughts also. What you are hearing unplugged is metal on metal and has little to do with which brand of bass or strings.
  7. Thanks for the thoughts guys. I have been looking at maybe trying some DR strings after a few weeks if some of the tone I'm getting doesn't calm down with use. But I'm willing to give the Slinky's some time to mellow out.

    Most of what I'm referring to is the actual acoustic tone of the string; unamplified. I'm working on adjusting some of my playing a bit, as this is my first 5er and I can tell I'm dragging my fingers a bit to reach all of the low B and E strings because of the wider neck. The action is fine on this thing. All strings are getting a full range of resonance at all points on the neck, most of what I'm referring to is the tone of the string as it rings out. Does that make sense? It's sound a little too much like a metallic clang in it. Could be just needs some time to mellow.
  8. KhzDonut


    Jan 7, 2013
    I'd probably just try a set of pressurewounds if that's what you're used to and like.

    Did you solo the bridge pickup on your Jazz? Because one thing I've noticed is that I really like the sound of a bridge humbucker in conjunction with a single coil in the neck, but I really don't like them soloed. There's a weird midrange sound that just doesn't appeal to me, but I wouldn't be able to really say what it is exactly.

    Anyway... Coupling roundwounds with solo bridge pickup is definitely going to sound a lot different than pressurewounds with a bridge AND neck pickup, so if nothing else try some pressurewounds or flats or something just to see if that solves your problem.