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difference between strings...

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by KekChoz, Feb 12, 2005.

  1. with my p-bass, i have a big different sound between my 2nd and 3rd string... is it normal or is it about my pickup adjusting?
  2. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    It could be the set of strings or the pick up setup. On one occassion I had a set of strings where the E-string just didn't cut it no matter what I did (TI's which was really wierd!). I replaced the set and the problem disappeared. On another occassion I had an issue with the G-string (no jokes please ;) ) and adjusting the pickup fixed the problem.

    I would suggest adjusting your pickup first to see what difference that makes. Make sure you adjust the pickups a little at a time and listen to see what the difference is. Also make a note of what adjustment you made (number of turns and what direction) in case you need to go back to the original setup. If that doesn't resolve the issue change the strings and see what that does. If that doesn't work either take it to a repair shop or check back here for other ideas.

  3. cool thx! I'll try to adjust my pickups. But how do i know that a pickup is well adjusted? Because my p-bass pickup is like two parts, one for the g and d strings and another for the a and e strings, and they are not adjusted the same way...
  4. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    Go to Mr. Gearhead to see the instructions for the pickup heights for a precision bass. That should set you on your way. I also use my ear to listen and determine if one string is louder than the others and work it through that way.

  5. It depends what you mean by "a big different sound". If the above instructions fixed the problem then please ignor this post. If not what you could be hearing is the changes in string tension across the strings.

    Ideally on a stringed instrument each string would be a different length (like a piano or a harp) but guitars are a compromise. This means that you end up with progressively increasing string tension as you head towards the higher frequency strings. Because of the way we normally tune a bass the D string is put under massive tension (around 60lbs :eek: on a 34" scale with regular strings, 12lbs more than the A string).

    It's more likely that the pick-ups were causing your problem so I hope the above fix worked but if not and the difference was more tonal than volume you could be picking up the difference in string tension.

  6. And if the difference is bigger than you would expect? I have a problem with this on my Warwick bass. It's tuned C-F-Bb-Eb (125-95-75-40). Eb and Bb (higher 2) sound great. Then F and C (lower 2) sound weak. This is accoustically. Less fundamental, sustain and volume.. I feel this is not normal!
  7. I presume this is a 34" scale. I played a Streamer 5 (34") acoustically with standard tuning and I couldn't hear anything on the B string at all - it may as well have been a slack elastic band - heaven help you dropping it to C :( . I was presuming that the effect wouldn't be so bad through the electrics?
  8. It's bad enough because I depend on those lower notes.. So if they sound honky.. :meh: It happens to every bass I tune like this (like a 5 stringer without the G, a half-step up). Before I presumed I had a bad bass, but this is a '97 Warwick Streamer.. Makes me wanna dump it!
  9. Other than dumping it you may have two courses of action.

    1. Try using heavier guage strings on the F & C, these have to be tighter to get the same frequency. It may also be worth trying a different brand / construction of string as this does have an effect.

    2. If the Streamer is of the Bolt-on variety Warwick do offer 35" necks, I don't know if these can be purchased after sale but it may be worth asking. (Could be pricy though :( ).

    P.s. If you don't use a pick try one as they get more attack from the sting.
  10. mariner


    Feb 18, 2005
    Front Royal, VA
    I think you'll find that th height of the pickup may have the biggest effect on the string sound. Check the saddle height as well...

    I have a P-style bass and found that somehow my top pickup was very high, probably because I like to plant there, and the tone from my D and G was much weaker. I lowered the top pickup and it balanced the tone across the strings.
  11. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Are your two pickups angled like this / \ or are they flat? You usually need to lower the E and G string sides compared to the A and D.
  12. Thanks for the info. I have already changed strings, to little effect. I have narrowed the problem to the way the bass is responding to thicker gauge strings. I did everything to the bass re-setup it, change everything and it seems the only thing that makes these strings weak are the fact that they are thick.. So something doensn't vibrate correctly. So I'm seeing if I can discover what it is! Reading luthier stuff and so..