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

  5. Uncle K

    Uncle K The bass player doesn't get a sandwich Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    Are you playing a short scale?
  6. It happened on my rickenbacker, and it was professionally set up.
  7. Nope. A rick 4003, fender, and a fretless, all normal scale.
  8. 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.
  9. I've tried 4 already, and moneys kinda tight so I can't keep switching strings.
  10. 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?

  11. 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?
  12. 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.
  13. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    Seriously, Are you playing the other strings?
  14. 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?
  15. 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).
  16. 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.
  17. Yep, and the E string still always goes dead quickly.
  18. I do now. When I first started playing again last year I had a tech do it, but now I string them myself.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.