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Consistent tone/volume across strings?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Strategery, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. I've got a new ESP 4-stringer, active pickups, and I'm finding that the tone (or maybe volume?) is quite different across the strings. I'm playing through a 100w Yorkville combo. The E is just huge, I love it; A is fair; but things get very thinned out on D-G. I really haven't fiddled with the knobs much; is this maybe an EQ problem?

    BTW, we're playing rock and I'm approaching avg skill. I'm contemplating a GK head in hopes that this is an amp issue.
  2. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Might be a pickup height issue, with the pickups being too close to the strings on the 'E' side, and too low on the 'G' side.
  3. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Are you playing with a more bass-heavy, mid-scooped sound by any chance?
  4. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Does your bass have a mid control? If so, boosting the mids might help.

    I had an Ibanez SRX500 with exactly the same problem. The E and A strings sounded great, but even with new strings and a professional setup, the D and G only produced a weak "twang," and couldn't cut through a live mix at all, regardless of EQ settings on my G-K head. They were even worse recorded. I'm sure it would have been better with a better preamp, but I played it unamplified with my ear pressed to the upper horn, and the weakness was there acoustically, so I suspect the woods as well.

    If the bass seems fine acoustically (compare to other basses without this problem), a new preamp would probably help. If the woods are the issue, you'll want a new axe.
  5. Thanks for the advice. I'll check pickup height and settings. All knobs were in center on the axe, but on the amp: bass was up, mid was down and I think treble was up, so that would be scooped. I had a professional setup done already. Hopefully it's just a matter of dialing in the right sound.

    Hah! And like Nedmundo, it sounded even worse recorded.
  6. I have the same bass with a G-K head and have the same problem. Any suggestions to boost the lower strings? Could it be a pickup height issue?
  7. anyonefortennis

    anyonefortennis Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2005
    Lincoln, NE
    maybe a compressor/limiter would help.
  8. would a cheap one be okay, like a behringer? i guess i can always go into my closest shop and play it, but some advice would be nice first. i'm wanting to expand my rig, so i don't want to spend too much more on pedals.
  9. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    Don't add more gear to obscure the problem - fix it!

    Check your pickup height. Then, unscoop your EQ. FYI, flat on the GK "Contour" knob is hard left. I think that these two things will fix your problem.
  10. thanks! will try both those suggestions tonight and keep you posted :)
  11. This can also be, at least partially, a string issue as some string types/brands and gauges are better across the set than others. May want to search the strings forum and ask folks over there.

  12. RudeMood


    Nov 7, 2004
    Austin, TX
    You might also try a sound processor/maximizer which will bring out the mids and highs and squash the bass a little to even things out. I recently bought a BBE 462 that does a good job. The D & G strings now cut through the mix more. I got mine off ebay for about $70.00 so they are not expensive.
  13. Puru


    Mar 13, 2006
    Alachua, Florida
    You'd think a new bass would have the right strings on it, but who knows. A change of strings and some compression evened things out for me. I've found D'Addario's to be very even in tone and volume on my basses. I've had other sets where the E was too huge, or the G was too thin.
  14. I've noticed this on my bass too, and tried to compensate for it with where i'm plucking. the lower strings can be too boomy if you're too far from the bridge, but that's where the upper strings sound quite nice, and if you're too close to the bridge, you can hardly hear the upper strings... so... instead of plucking all the strings in the same place, i've made a habit of moving at an angle, so the E: i'm plucking over the bridge pickup, A: between pickups, D: over neck pickup, and G: between the neck pickup and the neck.

    no boomy notes, even tone across all strings. takes a while to learn, but it's pretty much second nature now.
  15. SherpaKahn


    Dec 1, 2005
    Bronx, NYC
    You also might want to check the height of the string saddles. I thought my new Ibanez Musician bass had a problem with the nut or a dead spot at the open D string, but it was just a matter of adjusting the string height.
  16. Bigwig


    Dec 27, 2003

    That is so strange, because Im having the flipside problem on my precision.
    The G and D strings are bright and punchy, and cut through the mix beautifully, and the A, and especially E are much quieter and not as ass-spanking as the higher strings.
    Playing in a metal band, you can see the problem Im facing.
    I have a big show coming up on friday (28th) and have no time for a pro setup, and advice from you lads?
  17. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    Raise your pickup height on the E and A half of your split pickup. See if that helps.