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Constant dead E string problem

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by RandomBox, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. This has been an ongoing issue. Everytime I get a new pair of strings, they sound fine and punchy. But after a while the E string just sounds dull and flat, even when the others are still bright sounding.

    This has happened with Rotosounds, TI flats, and D'addario roundwounds (happened only after a week on the D'addarios)

    Is there any way to prevent this? I've tried cleaning the strings after everytime I play, and washing my hands before playing. But everytime its just the E string that sounds dead, none of the others.
  2. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    Have you tried adjusting the height of your PUPs? Maybe it's not the strings
  3. Register_To_Disable

  4. I've tried lowering the string closer to the pickups and it still sounds dull/not as bright.
  5. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Tell us more about your string installation technique(s). Installing a good string on a bad set-up (including lack of witness points, poorly cut nut slot, etc) will kill your tone in no time.

  6. Monster Truck

    Monster Truck aka: Uncle Kenny Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    Are you playing a short scale?
  7. It happened on my rickenbacker, and it was professionally set up.
  8. Nope. A rick 4003, fender, and a fretless, all normal scale.
  9. markanini


    Jun 25, 2008
    Try some different brands, some manufacturers use a larger core wire for the Low E which causes tonal disparity to the rest of the set.
  10. I've tried 4 already, and moneys kinda tight so I can't keep switching strings.
  11. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Ask your tech. FWIW, "professionally set up" doesn't hold a lot of water IMO. I've seen some real botch jobs.

    The same questions that I posed earlier should be addressed when you take it back...or you can answer them yourself. You do change your own strings, correct?

  12. Once I had 5 packs of Rotosound flats all with dead E. It was the strings, cos the next 5 packs were fine. So it does happen.

    I doubt your setup would be so bad that would cause the E string to sound dead. Not sure if setup can do it at all.

    You mentioned D'addarios, they can die pretty quickly, so I wouldn't be surprised here. The E string would be the first to go. Rotosounds can vary, but flats go quite dull after a few days of playing (that's why Steve Harris always puts a fresh pack). So if you want a zingy sound from them you'll be up for some expenditure.

    Are you sure that what you are observing is abnormal? The E string is usually not as bright as the others possibly due to a different core as markanini pointed out.

    Have you tried different bass or different amp?
  13. I use Elite Stadiums now because i had quality issues with rotosound. The Elites are definately the best strings ive ever used and a damn lot cheaper.
  14. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    Seriously, Are you playing the other strings?
  15. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    Is your E tapered? And is it as tight as the rest of the set?
  16. mickster2


    Mar 14, 2012
    Try lowering the *pickup* on the E side. If its too close it will choke the string and can reduce volume.

    This is unlikely to be a string issue as you've tried so many sets. Eliminate that and you're left with setup, amp EQ'ing and psychoacoustics (ie new strings sound zingy & brite cos they're different; when you get used to them you stop noticing the zing).
  17. Again, it happens on all 3, I tried lowering the pickup yesterday and still it sounds dead. Even after weeks its just the E string, none of the others.
  18. Yep, and the E string still always goes dead quickly.
  19. I do now. When I first started playing again last year I had a tech do it, but now I string them myself.
  20. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    Most string sets have a duller sounding E string, I remember Circle K's sounding consistent all over though.
  21. mickster2


    Mar 14, 2012
    In which case see my 2nd para. You're left with installation / setup, an amp EQ issue or else it's in yer head ;)

    - Twisted string when installing?
    - Pickup issue on bass?
    - Are you using the same rig / playing in the same space each time?

    Look for the common denominator. It's not the strings if you're getting the same issue across multiple brands / types.