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DR Long Neck taperwounds = weird warbling sound and high action?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by MacheteJames, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. I've never seen anything quite like this. I just installed some DR Long Neck taperwounds, 30-125, on my Cort Curbow 6 string. I've had to raise the action WAY up... I've got it set pretty high and I'm still getting an unacceptable level of fretbuzz. I had been using DR Lo-Riders before, and had the action set really low, it was very nice... I'm not terribly thrilled with having to raise the action way up. I'm also getting an odd warbling sound in the higher register, it sounds kind of like a chorus effect... I have no clue what's causing this. Are all taperwounds like this? :meh:
  2. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    When you change from a non-tapered to a tapered string, you'll have to raise the bridge saddles quite a bit because the taper makes the main body of the string sink down below the level of the saddle. No getting around that. I've had basses that I could not use taperwounds on because I couldn't get the saddle up high enough for a buzz-free B string.

    And I've got the exact same issue (odd warbling) with a set of DR Longnecks that I recently put on a 6 string Quantum. All the tapered strings sound like they've got a built in chorus. It actually sounds pretty darn cool, but it's not so cool if you want a clean sound. It's like some of the harmonics are out of tune with the fundamental pitch. The non-tapered G and C strings do not have this problem. This is the only set of Longnecks I've tried, but I have tried some other tapered strings in the past and had intonation problems with them, so I've avoided tapered strings for quite some time. The only reason I tried these is that it's hard to find 6 string sets, even harder when you've got a 35" scale to deal with, and GC had these in stock. I've got some other strings ordered, but in the meantime I'm playing mostly my Dingwall 5 string. When I play the Q6, I have to use a chorus pedal so that my high strings at least sound the same as the low ones. Works for practicing at home, but no gigs until new strings are installed. Chorus is a nice option to have, but having it all the time, even when you don't want it, sucks.

    I think that it could be that a lot of tapered strings have this problem to a degree, but the DR's are so bright that it's a lot more obvious. In my case, I'm combining the DR's with a carbon fiber neck, PLUS this particular Q6 is one of the rare neck-throughs, so this thing is clear as a bell; you can hear the warbling everywhere, not just in higher registers. Even the open notes have it.
  3. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    you'll also find that there is no getting around re-intonating the strings.

    Tapers aren't even close to a "regular" string in that department.
  4. I have found that on my lower strings (if they are tapers or steps) that I get a similar chorus sound when I play up high on the neck. I understand that this may be due to the way the windings stop before they reach the bridge and the inconsistent mass due to the windings not going all the way down. I could of course be wrong. :smug:
  5. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    It may be an issue of construction specific to the strings. I've encounterd the problem on my Sadowsky and Tobias 5 with DR long necks.

    The issue doesn't exist with Sadowsky Strings, Slow Wounds or the Dean Markley SR2000's on either bass.
  6. Sheldon D.

    Sheldon D.

    Oct 3, 2001
    Lowering the bass side of the pickups may help if there's any magnetic pull on the strings adding to the chorusing effect.

    Otherwise it's a symptom of too much step length.
  7. I've never been this unhappy with a set of bass strings before. Every DR string I've used to date has been absolutely fantastic, but these just... suck. I've got the bridge saddles as high as they can go and I've still got fretbuzz. These were the only 6 string bass strings Guitar Center had, that's why I went with them. I'll never make that mistake again. :oops:

    Thanks for the replies, everyone.
  8. Razman


    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    The warbling effect you describe is caused by your pickups, which probably have very strong magnets in them. Lowering them should help somewhat. I went through this a year ago with a Peavey TL-5 bass I bought.

    I noticed this sound as far down as the 12th fret, but it got progressively worse the closer you went up the fretboard (towards the bridge). I was told that Strat's have this problem if the p/u's are close to the strings. I changed strings, tried regular vs. taper wounds, and noticed no changes. This problem was very pronounced on my bass. A PV Cirrus I played did not exhibit the same problem; neither did my previous T-40. I finally sold the bass, frustrated with the wierd sound and another issue with the design of the instrument (the bridge was mounted too far back, making intonation difficult on the higher strings).

    I currently play a '99 Dingwall Voodoo Z1. It has Bartolini's with a Bart active pre. It also does this to a small extent, but it's only noticeable above the 16-18th frets and on the lower strings. I also have my p/u's raised to boost passive output. I plan on lowering my p/u's and boosting the active pre to raise output and hopefully eliminate this "problem" (imo). I don't like it either, but it is hardly noticeable on my Z1, and I think with some adjustment I can almost if not entirely eliminate it.

    I hope this helps.

  9. Deep


    May 8, 2002
    Also this has been mentioned before. The DR Long-Necks have a longer step down taper than regular taperwound strings. That's really because I believe the Long-Necks are meant for string thru body bridges. The tapered part almost sits over some rear pick-ups on some basses. If you compare the length of taper with a SR2000 or Super Steps you will see how much more taper there is. That would easily cause intonation problems as well. But when it's strung thru the body the taper is then in the same position as other taperwounds.
  10. I started a thread like this a couple of months ago. I have a 35" 6 string that I put a set of long necks on. I had used tapered strings on this bass before without problems, but the long necks sounded like you described. The problem is that these strings were designed for 35" instruments that are fed through the body, so they made the tapered part of the string extra long to compensate for this. If you put them on a regular bridge, the tapered part of the string will go way beyond the saddle and distort the harmonics when you pluck it (or pick it).

    If you call them and explain the problem they'll send you a different set (I got the hi beams which worked great). just make sure you tell them what happened and that you would not want a replacement set of the same but a non-tapered set.

    hope this helps.
  11. Thanks for the help, Wilser.
    I was going crazy last night.
    I thought my electronics were going haywire.
    I put these on my Warrior 5 and adjusted the neck and string height.
    Then I started to adjust the intonation, every string except the G (the only one that isn't tapered), wouldn't even register on my tuner when I played at the 12th fret.
    The tuner needle goes back and forth like I'm in a Vortex!.
    Then I noticed these out of tune harmonics on any fret starting about the 8th on.
    I also noticed when I pluck the strings, at certain notes, after about a half second,the string would vibrate wildly for a brief moment - causing fret buzz.
    I'm definitely going to call DR - I paid more for these than any other set I've bought.
    Finding this thread lowers my blood pressure. Thanks.
  12. Deep


    May 8, 2002
    What Wilser said is exactly correct. DR Long-Necks are really supposed to go thru the body. That's the reason for such a long taper. As a matter of fact I think they are just about the only taperwound string that works thru body.
    They are actually Low-Riders that are tapered. They have a hex core. Call DR as they are very helpful.
  13. I got Long Necks for my Schecter Elite 5 because they were the only strings I could find that were long enough. And that bass doesn't string through the body! It's 35" scale, but for some reason, normal "long scale" strings aren't long enough, and you end up with silk on the nut. That said, I've been very happy with the LNs; have had 'em on there for a long time now, and never any significant issues with intonation or odd tones. Just bought another set for my new Yamaha RBX5a2 (which is through-body). Am hopeful I don't see any of these problems...

  14. A follow-up: I just got my new Long Necks from MF, and installed them on my RBX5a2. First, a happy coincidence: I guesstimated where my saddles should be, and once I set the height, found that every string was nearly perfectly intonated! That doesn't say anything about the strings; I just got way lucky, and it saved me about 45 minutes of dicking around to get the intonation right (using my Turbo Tuner). Gotta love that...

    But once on and set up... I love these strings. Great feel, great sound, perfect tension, low noise (not clangy, even when new)... Quite possibly my favorite strings ever.

    Regarding the OP's problem: I've encountered something like it before, and concluded the string was either a bad apple, or it was inadvertently twisted during installation. The only remedy was replacing the string altogether.

  15. johnsonabq

    johnsonabq Hanging on in quiet desperation... Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2011
    Albuquerque, NM
    FWIW... I've got La Bella Super Steps on my thru the body Fender Jazz and the winding starts exactly in front of the saddle. No intonation issues and no warbling.
  16. ixlramp


    Jan 25, 2005
    Necrobump but yes ... this ... exactly this. Ideally the taper should be as close to the saddle as possible, also a fatter tapered section helps, such as >1/2 full gauge. The less a string is full gauge from end to end the less it vibrates harmonically like a normal string. Check out Circle K Strings that have a short taper of 1.625"