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drop c fret buzz, tightest 115 to tame it?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by ubernator, Oct 3, 2016.


  1. ubernator

    ubernator

    Oct 30, 2004
    lost angels
    Had a fender 7250m set with a tw 110 instead of the regular 105, that I was using for drop c on a wenge/bubinga neck sr500. Even with stupid high action (enough to mess with intonation), there is buzz all down the neck. Surely due to the string vibration being too loose. I put a dean markley nickelsteel 115 on it and set the action relatively high for a marginal improvement. (Just swapped the E/C string for now because I had an extra single)

    Going to 120 is not an option, I am not altering the nut.

    The bass does not have a serious fret buzz problem in standard tuning. (Please no replies about setup advice, fret work etc)

    Which strings, rounds, (flats won't work in a modern alt metal cover situation), have good tight controlled vibration tuned CGCF, and have a 115 set available (115, 90, 70, 50 ideally)?

    Thanks
     
  2. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    Saying you don't want to do the only things that will solve your problem doesn't make other solutions possible.

    You need heavier strings and more curve in your neck.
     
    ColdEye likes this.
  3. NewLaw83

    NewLaw83

    Jun 26, 2009
    Boston, MA
    A stainless steel string will give you the most tension especially compared to nickel strings. You might want to try the DR Drop-down tuning string sets. They make one that is 115-95-75-55. > DR Strings | The Handmade String - Guitar and Bass
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2016
  4. NoxNoctus

    NoxNoctus The Crushinator

    May 9, 2004
    Annapolis, MD
    I faced the same issues when I went drop C. It's so much of a headache to make it work without the proper gauge...nuts are dirt cheap to replace and the re-setup is a small price to pay for a bass that actually plays properly
     
  5. ubernator

    ubernator

    Oct 30, 2004
    lost angels
    I can't even join bands that expect a chip in for rehearsal, any price is too big a price right now. Also, it is a commitment thing, I want to be able to be just a truss rod tweak and bridge adjustment away from going back to normal gauge and tuning, so I am sticking with the 115 parameters. I did drop c on a Warwick and OLP in the past, it is just this ibanez that is touchy.
     
  6. ubernator

    ubernator

    Oct 30, 2004
    lost angels
    Well I already loosened the truss rod a bit, the curve is pretty pronounced.

    And I didn't say I don't want to do those things (other than a nut change and even heavier than 115 strings, which I did say), I said I didn't want setup advice, and that is because I am pretty decent at it and have done most of my own work. I was also very tired when I made the post, and didn't want to go into all the self qualifying details, and truss rod issues, since I already had put a bit more bow in the neck.

    I do have a feeling that only swapping the one string isn't putting enough pull on the neck.
     
  7. ubernator

    ubernator

    Oct 30, 2004
    lost angels
    That was the one I was expecting to hear in the replies. I had used heavy boomers in the past and they worked OK tension wise, but they went dead too quickly.

    I will probably end up pulling the Warwick out of storage for this gig. It was what I used the last time I had to do drop C, and 115 worked fine. Being able to raise the nut helped too.
     
  8. NewLaw83

    NewLaw83

    Jun 26, 2009
    Boston, MA
    I almost forgot about Ernie Ball. They sell pretty much all their strings in singles. I heard their stainless steels are probably the most tense compared to other string companies and they have a 115 E > Stainless Steel Electric Bass Single Strings

    I always loved the Ernie Ball sound for about a week before the strings would be dead. But stainless tend to stay fresh much longer compared to nickel in my experience.

    I hope this helps. I also played in a band that did drop C tuning and yeah it was tough to get the buzz out (had to turn down the treble to tame it a bit) and I had ok results with 110 stainless DR lo-riders. I always wanted to do the 115 but for some reason I never got around to it.
     
  9. ubernator

    ubernator

    Oct 30, 2004
    lost angels
    So I gave in and put one of my nickelsteel sets (to match the 115) on for the other 3 strings, 90, 70, 50, and that extra tension pulled the neck a bit more as I knew it would. I loosened the truss another 3/8 turn or so and it seems to be pretty good now.

    I have really been digging the crunchy scooped tone of the nickelsteel 115 since I put in on my jazz for a drop c# audition, and it has been a great tone on the SR500 for drop c for the system of a down stuff i need it for. Now that I have a whole set on, I hope they prove to at least be longer lasting than XLs or 7250s.

    Will definitely give DDT a try in the future if I have some money to throw around.
     
  10. NewLaw83

    NewLaw83

    Jun 26, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Sweet and good luck with gig! If you do try the DDTs in the future let us know how you like 'em.:thumbsup:
     
  11. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    If you used a .100 for regular E tuning, the ratio of pitch down to C from E is roughly 5/4. So multiply that ratio by the .100 diameter for the E string, and you get .125 to have a drop C tuning that is roughly the same tension as a .100 tuned to E to get rid of flop. Or you can go down to .120 if you want to make sure the string is flexible enough to retain tonal consistency, but still avoid flop by raising the action a tiny bit.

    Physics is physics. You are not going to find a .115 that feels significantly tighter at that low pitch. The good news is that if you widen the nut to .120, and do it on the A string side of the nut slot instead of the fingerboard side of the nut slot, you can go back to conventional E strings and E tuning at any time, and the string pulling slightly sideways as it goes back from the nut to the tuner will be just fine.
     
  12. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    ^ That.
    A .115 C is loose, without using flats all you can do is use a bigger gauge like .125. 'Big core' strings like DDT may affect tone due to stiffness. What you need is tension.
    Equivalents:
    .100 E .125 C
    .105 E .130 C

    What's the problem with filing the nut? If done correctly you can go back to a thinner gauge with no problems, i've run a .045 in a .165 slot and a .007 in a .032 slot.

    Strings are not located by contact with both slot walls (a common misunderstanding) the downforce at the nut makes the string sit at the centre of the curve of the slot floor. As long as that curved slot floor remains there is no problem and you can use any gauge.
    Most E slots are .115, if contact was necessary all sets from .090 to .110 would have problems. If you can use a .90 in a .115 slot then you can use a .100 in a .125 slot, no difference.

    Filing a nut is easy and cheap using a curved-side needle file (3 US Dollars), only file back the upper 2/3rds of the slot walls, and it's only widening by 1/100th inch.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
    lz4005 likes this.
  13. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Stainless steel strings have more tension than the same gauge of nickels?
     
    lz4005 likes this.
  14. ubernator

    ubernator

    Oct 30, 2004
    lost angels
    I never said I was expecting the same tension as tuned to E.

    And also, some types/brands of strings have more controlled vibration than others, and that was what I was reffering to.
     
  15. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Dunlop heavy core.
     
  16. NewLaw83

    NewLaw83

    Jun 26, 2009
    Boston, MA
    To me, at least nickels feel a bit more "floppy" compared to stainless steels of the same gauge
     
  17. el_Bajo_Verde

    el_Bajo_Verde

    May 18, 2016
    USA
    Please fix that curved neck and super-high action asap! It's not the answer!
     

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