do i need an equalizer

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by SuperSluggard, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. SuperSluggard


    Jan 2, 2004
    The E string on my bass is louder than the rest of the strings. :confused: Actually on both of my basses it is like this. On my amps equalizer, I can't dial in the right setting to get them to blend together. When I listen to proffessional recordings, all the strings blend together real well and you can't hear one over the other.
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    maybe your pickup height needs adjusting down at the E? Typically, the pickup slopes upwards and is closer to the G string than the E string.
  3. mines exact opposite and the strings all sound the same.
  4. Funky Doctor

    Funky Doctor

    Aug 28, 2003
    Yeah my E string is always louder. B strings are even louder. I try not to pluck these bottom strings as hard as the top ones. Works for me.
  5. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago

    I agree with the others here: you don't have an EQ problem, you have a pickup/string height problem. If you have a "P" style pickup, this is easy: just lower the low side of the low side pickup. If you have "J" style or soapbar pickups, it's a little trickier and requires compromises. But relax, it's all stuff you can do yourself with a screwdriver.

    Post back with the pickup arrangement on your bass (and make/model), and we'll go from there. Also, if there are two pickups, let us know if the problem is worse on one pickup or the other. Are the pickup polepieces exposed?
  6. SuperSluggard


    Jan 2, 2004
    I have a Fender Jazz bass. I think the low side of the pickup closest to the neck is too high. I think the problem is there.
  7. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    You have two choices here. You can either lower the bass side of the neck pickup, or you can raise the bridge saddle on the E string, moving it away from the pickup. This latter option may yield a lower volume of the E string from the BRIDGE pickup.

    You may notice, once you've lowered the bass side of the neck pickup, that your A string signal from the neck pickup is a little lower in volume. If this happens, you can fix it -- to a degree -- by lowering the A string bridge saddle to bring it closer to the pickup.

    Once you do these things, you may notice that the relative volume of the neck and bridge pickups has changed.

    And, of course, raising and lowering bridge saddles will change how you bass feels to play.

    See how everything is inter-related? That's what I meant by "compromises". The right set-up for you is the one that balances all of these needs -- string-to-string balance, feel, and pickup-to-pickup balance. You may not ever get it "perfect", but with a little experimentation and trial-and-error, you will get it pretty close.

    Good luck. Let us know where you went.
  8. SuperSluggard


    Jan 2, 2004
    I'll try raising the bridge saddle on the E string. This should get rid of the slight buzzing (if i don't press down hard enough when moving from fret to fret), too. I'll have to adjust the saddle for the G string too, that thing is totally screwed up (action is too low, the saddle is in like a diagonal position.)

    Thanks. I'll let you know what happens. It could just be bad fingerstyle technique, as I tried using a pick and it seemed like each string was as loud as the next one. :rollno:
  9. Ive known a couple of players to use a different gauge E (and even B) strings to "round out" similar problems without too much tweaking of the setup. If your like me, once the setups in place Im very hard to convince to change things. I have a J as well, and using Rotosound Swing Bass 66 strings, .105 - .45, havent observed any volume discrepancies, my pickup heights are properly adjusted for sure though.
    Anyhow, much luck to ya and I hope you find resolve with it.
  10. SuperSluggard


    Jan 2, 2004
    Thanks. But I still havent resolved it. The E string is annoying. I might try a .105 E string, right now I'm pretty sure its .100.
  11. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    Actually, if the .100 E is too loud, you should try a .095 (heavier strings are louder). But that could lead to more fret noise.

    What have you tried so far? It really sounds to me like the E saddle is too low (too loud AND fret noise). I think you'll kill two birds with one stone if you raise the E saddle.
  12. SuperSluggard


    Jan 2, 2004
    Yeah I did that. Now the E string sounds too weak. I'll mess around with it. I'm also getting new strings soon.

    I'm just curious why the E string didn't show up so well in a recording, but it cuts through (it did) more than every other string.
  13. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Compressor might help even out sound dynamics. That's where a compressor comes into it's own, in recording situations.
  14. SuperSluggard


    Jan 2, 2004
    I'm pretty sure I have solved my problem, by resting my thumb on the bridge pickup (jazz bass) and playing there. Everything sounds even and I like how it cuts through well. :D

    I'm still not sure, I didn't really pay attention to it today, but at the end of practice I realized something was different. Next band practice I will pay more attention to it.

    Oh, and I lowered the pickups a bit too. So it sounds pretty good when playing over the neck pickup also. But I will definetly be resting my thumb on the bridge pickup now.