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Drop C Jazzbass V low string problem

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by sem_, Dec 2, 2019.


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  1. sem_

    sem_

    Dec 2, 2019
    I've recently bought a Squier Jazzbass V, which I've tuned up to drop C (C-G-C-F-A). I'm using the .130 on the low C string, which should be overkill for a C. However I'm actually finding I haven't got enough tension. If I tune that string up to a D for D standard, the string feels and sounds great. Is there something maybe wrong with the set up? Surely I shouldn't need an even thicker string, but it feels like that's what I need.

    If it helps, the gauges for all the strings are .130, .085, .065, .050, .040 . All the other strings are fine.
     
  2. Vinny_G

    Vinny_G

    Dec 1, 2011
    Gallia Celtica
    Hi, and welcome to TalkBass. :)
    It seems you answered your own question. ;)
     
    tekhedd likes this.
  3. sem_

    sem_

    Dec 2, 2019
    Thank you! Haha, fair point! But surely going above 130 is crazy. The 130 is meant for a B, so tuning it up to a C should have the opposite effect. I know Shavo from SOAD uses a 130, and his bass tone sounds like the string is too fat if anything. I've seen other threads on here about Drop C strings and most suggestions are 125 or lower. Is it something unique to the Jazzbass that requires heavier gauge strings?
     
  4. Vinny_G

    Vinny_G

    Dec 1, 2011
    Gallia Celtica
    Indeed it's strange. If I understood your tuning, the C should be around 110 to follow the sequence.

    Three questions come to my mind:
    1) Is your low C the same as the 5th fret of the next string, or is it an octave lower ?
    2) Is your intonation properly adjusted? I ask you this because an incorrect intonation can sometimes give the impression of a string that is stiffer or softer than it should be.
    3) Which strings do you use?

    Sorry if my questions sound stupid, I try to figure out what's wrong. ;)
     
  5. sem_

    sem_

    Dec 2, 2019
    No need to apologise man, I appreciate the help!

    1) The low C is an octave below the 5th fret on the next string. The exact tuning is C1, G1, C2, F2, A2
    2)The intonation could very well be the problem. All the strings are pretty close, but the low C is still not properly done, purely because I don't have a good enough tuner to pick up the sound properly lol. But that could be my issue
    3) I use Ernie Ball nickle wounds. I get the single strings because no other string sets did what I needed, so I use .130, .085, .065, .050, .040 gauges.

    Thanks for your replies btw!
     
  6. tukulnana

    tukulnana

    Nov 3, 2019
    +1
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Vinny_G

    Vinny_G

    Dec 1, 2011
    Gallia Celtica
    Yes, those thick strings are difficult to intonate. If that's not the problem, the last thing that comes to mind is that the action is too low. But I guess you've already thought about that, so ... :unsure:
     
  8. sem_

    sem_

    Dec 2, 2019
    I've just gone and experimented with the intonation and action, and sadly it hasn't seemed to have made a difference. Maybe I just need to get a thicker string, or maybe get it professionally set up? I'm not very experienced at all so I might have done something wrong haha
     
  9. Vinny_G

    Vinny_G

    Dec 1, 2011
    Gallia Celtica
    I don't know, I'm running out of ideas. What surprises me the most is that a 130 tuned up to D feels okay to you. :laugh:
     
  10. sem_

    sem_

    Dec 2, 2019
    Haha I'm just as surprised as you! Maybe I'm just a freak that like super high tension and there's nothing wrong lol.
    Thanks for your help anyway!
     
    Vinny_G likes this.
  11. electrichead

    electrichead

    Nov 29, 2013
    I run in A and drop C. To get the tension I use a 145, non tapered. If you are using stainless strings try the Pro Steel for that string. I find them to be more stiff than others.
     
    BILL BO SAGGINS and lucas303 like this.
  12. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    Not that surprising. From B to C is a half step - 6 % in frequency, 12% in tension. Tuning up to D is two more half steps - a further increase of about 25% in tension. At that pitch, my string tension calculator says a GHS 130 Boomer is at about 54 pounds tension, which although on the high side, is within the realm of "normal" if you're a fan of big flats or the like.

    I like low tension strings, and a 130 is just right for me for a low B (married with 95-70-50-35 for a standard tuned set). You just like your tension a bit higher.
     
    NKBassman likes this.
  13. Vinny_G

    Vinny_G

    Dec 1, 2011
    Gallia Celtica
    That makes sense, but if you combine the 130 with 85-65-50-40 like the OP, that's a jump of at least one gauge with the strings tuned a whole step down, so he should find them way too flexible. That's what I find strange.
     
  14. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    Yeah, I agree the other strings seem to be a bit on the thin side for his preferred tension - not sure what to make of that. Some folks tend to hammer the lowest string on a 5, trying to dig low fundamentals out of an amp that's not delivering - that may or may not be in play here.
     
  15. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I use a .125 for the low B on 16 different 5 string basses and I find it works well on all of them … I find a .125 brings out more mids than a .130 or a .135
     
  16. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    This is what I like to use

    1478625771_1289334.jpg
     
  17. sem_

    sem_

    Dec 2, 2019
    I certainly prefer the higher strings to be thinner, and then have the ballsy low end on the lowest string, but it is weird that this string still feels out of place. I was using D'addario's tension calculator when deciding on what gauges to get, and the low C has a similar tension to the G. I suppose it should make sense that it need to have more tension considering the contrast in thickness. And I've considered that I'm playing too hard on that string, I'm certainly prone to doing that. But it still just doesn't quite feel right.

    Thanks for all your help guys - it seems I just need to use a thicker string, so I will look about trying that. Ernie Ball only go up to a 135, but it seems a 140/145 is more what I'm after in terms of tension. Any suggestions on where to get single strings this thick?
     
  18. lucas303

    lucas303 Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2019
    Colorado
    Fretnation has some .145 singles (I have no affiliation with them). There may be other sites as well but that's the first that came to mind for me.
     
    Vinny_G likes this.
  19. Vinny_G

    Vinny_G

    Dec 1, 2011
    Gallia Celtica
  20. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    It might make sense to use a different type of string. I ended up with hex core tapered strings as the best choice for low B on my basses.
     

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