DR, weird out of tune overtone - HELP

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by wilser, Feb 11, 2005.

  1. I just bought a brand new set of DR 'long neck' tapered 6 string set. Here's the problem:

    ONLY ON THE TAPERED STRINGS, there is a very strange overtone, it's like the same note is playing, but out of tune. This is not happening in the non-tapered strings. Tapered strings are BEAD, non-tapered are GC.

    It is not vibration from the other strings, as I've muted them. It is also not vibration from the neck side of the string, since I've also muted it.

    It is very noticeable plugged or unplugged, it sounds like the instrument is out of tune. it is even noticeable on the harmonics!

    I've used tapered smith strings on this instrument without any problems.


    Here's an example file recorded just now. The first set of notes are open strings, and the second set are 12th fret notes
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I cant listen to the file at the moment, but i have experienced in the past that if there is sideways tension on a string it can sound weird. Try taking the string off and putting it back on ,,making sure it is perfectly straight.
  3. Thanks, I already tried that. I'm not sure what you mean by 'sideways tension'. I put the old strings back on, and they sound just fine, put the new ones again, and ONLY THE TAPERED STRINGS have this problem.
  4. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    What he's talking about is any sort of twist in the string. It's possible to get a little bit of twist when tuning up, and it can make a sound very much like that recording. Sometimes turning the ball-end (under tension) will fix it.
  5. Thanks, I tried that, no difference ...can you listen to this new clip ...it shows the problem better than the first one ...you can REALLY tell the problem strings on this one:

  6. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Are you nuts?? :D

    Seriously, that does sound pretty crappy (the strings, that is). Maybe they're defective. If you've done everything you can do, ask DR or your dealer to replace them.
  7. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    I ran into that 3 times in a row before I stopped using them.
    I've seen more than a couple similar posts on that issue *sigh*.
  8. I've narrowed down the problem to the taper. I clamped the strings at the bridge end of the body so that the part of the string that passes through the saddle is not tapered anymore. Voila! the problem is gone. Problem is I can't play in church with a big'ol clamp in the bass!!! ;) I guess my 35" doesn't like tapered strings. I'll make sure I don't buy tapered the next time.
  9. The Thinker

    The Thinker Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    A couple of thoughts:

    1. If your action (at the bridge) is set low, tapered or exposed-core strings can make the string sit TOO low for the setup. In other words, they can be too close to the pickups and the magnets start interfering with the proper vibration of the strings, causing the sound to "waver" and seem out-of-tune. You might try raising the action a bit on the tapered strings.

    2. Your DRs may be defective, as you think. Of the 4 packs of DRs I've tried, 2 were defective. The "good" sets sounded wonderful, but I was tired of having to return strings to the store. While 4 sets doesn't provide statistical validity, I'm still firmly set against buying any more DRs!
  10. Tried it, didn't work.

    Ditto! I'll never buy DRs again.
  11. tappel


    May 31, 2003
    Long Island, NY
    You guys need to chill... DR is on my short list of the best string makers out there.

    Personally, I don't believe that tapered strings perform better than conventionally wound bass strings at all. I hate them, actually. I find them to have less focus and tension (contrary to popular opinion, I know). Maybe it's the style of string, and not the manufacturer?

  12. HOT DANG! why didn't I read those before, I'd avoid them like a plague!!!! I'm sure their non-tapered products perform very well, but this is just unacceptable. They should put some kind of warning sign on the package or something.
  13. This same problem happened to me. I emailed DR, they said they never heard of it. They asked for my address and said there were gonna send me a new set...they didnt. I also emailed Spector to see if maybe the problem was with my bass. They said that its not the pickups because the EMGs wouldnt have that weird kind of pull on the strings. Its really frustrating. I deffinately wanna check out another brand. I like the sound of the non-tapered DRs but the B and E strings go dull within a month.

    Is anyone one else up for sending DR a plague of complaining emails about the crappy long necks?
  14. Deep


    May 8, 2002
    If you notice, DR long-necks have a longer tapered end than most tapered strings. It's this way so it can be used to go thru-body and for top loading too. But I think that the problem is that it's too long for top loading. So the tapered part is VERY close to the rear pick-up on many basses. That may be one of the problems with the weird overtones. If you have a Lakland and order a tapered B string.....this is the B string that you get. And strung thru-body there is no problem with that tapered B.
  15. I called DR a couple of days ago and they said they were going to send me a different set of strings to keep me happy, let's see if they comply ...in the mean time, I've put d'addarios on my bass ..they are really bright! it's all good now.
  16. did you mention that alot of other people are having the same problem?

    also they said they would send me a new set. they took my address and everything. but they didnt send me the strings. i could email them again but i really dont care that much. im gonna check out other brands.
  17. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    Man, do those clips sound nasty!!! Even more so because I've heard the same thing come out of some of my basses...

    I tried the Longneck because I normally use Lo-Riders and was hoping to get better intonation from a tapered B. Nope, the Longneck only made things worse. I actually get a very similar sound from the Lo-Rider .130, just not quite as bad. Same results on 3 different basses too.

    DR was fine for me until a couple of years ago, and I think their other strings are fine - they just can't make a low B anymore. Maybe they changed something in their manufacturing process. When I contacted them by phone, they tried to be helpful and did in fact send me some replacement strings - which sounded exactly just as bad. I don't know which was worse - having the problem, not getting it solved, or having the DR tech on the phone ask me "Do you know how hard it is to make these?" :eek:

    I seem to recall someone on one of the past "DR warble threads" mention that the problem is only on the .130's and not on the .125. But after all the $$ I've spent on strings I can't use, I don't want to pay any more to find out.

    Now I'm searching for a new string. I'll probably try the Blue Steels again, they have a killer metal tone. But I don't know any string that has the punchy growly mids of Lo-Riders and is as easy on the frets. I'm open to suggestions.
  18. Deep


    May 8, 2002
    I mentioned before that the tapered end is much longer than other tapered strings in order for them to also go thru-body. But to me...they are TOO long for top-loading. They go way past the saddle toward the rear p/u. I think this is the reason for the problem. Thru-body it may not exhibit this problem coz then the taper is like a normal tapered. Just put the Long-Neck next to a SR2000 or similar string. You'll see how much more taper they have. Having a taper TOO long should surely cause an intonation problem. Just my thoughts on it. :cool:
  19. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    Deep, yes I understand your reasoning. And just to let you know, one of the basses I tried them in was thru-body and it didn't make a whit of difference. It was just as bad as thru-bridge. And since we're reiterating, I had the same problem with the non-tapered - but only on the B.