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Dropped D Tuning

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by dave120, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    Does anybody have a real floppy string problem in dropped D? My band has most of our songs in D tuning so I have to tune down, which sounds fine but I noticed when I was giving my Taurus a setup this morning, that it almost needs a completely new setup to play in D. I set it up in standard tuning, lowered my action and made it play beautifully. But then I remembered we mostly play in D, so I tuned it down and felt how it played. Ugh! Horrible! The top string buzzed like CRAZY! I had to raise the bridge saddle a ton and now the action sucks on the top string. I'm not sure if it was buzzing with how I had it setup before or not, since usually I'm always plugged into the big amp with this bass since I only use it for rehearsal and not bedroom practice.

    Should I set it up for D and just switch basses or does it not really matter if it buzzes a lot since I probably won't notice it when playing with the band?
  2. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    I've been tinkering with it a little more and got it to a somewhat reasonable level in D. I just set it up for D since that's what we are in for usually 3 out of every 5 songs, and the songs that aren't in D, this bass doesn't sound as good for anyways. I probably could have left it as is but once I doscovered that, it's one of those things that would bug me whether I could hear/feel ir or not.

    Looks like I get to start switching basses like the guitar players do now! Hopefully I won't get to the point where I need more than 2 until I get my own roadie crew tech to hand them to me on stage :D Might be a while :smug:
  3. protoz


    Nov 30, 2000
    I've never had a problem with drop D but I run a 105 E string so I have plenty of tension.
  4. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    My E string is 105 also...Rotosound RS66 Swing Bass (Nickel Wound). When setup in dropped D its got plenty of tension. With a setup for E its kinda floppy and just buzzes like crazy when tuned down. Not sure what the problem was, but like I said it could have been there for months now and I just never noticed. It also feels a lot different when standing up as opposed to sitting with it, which I usually don't do with this bass either. I only use it for rehearsal and shows, almost never to practice.
  5. Razman


    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    Read all the low-b string war threads on which bass has the best one as there are a number of factors to consider: construction, hardware, quality of wood, scale, strings etc. all play a part in this. For example, a 39" scale isn't better if the bass is made of balsa. You could try an even heavier E string like a 110 which Rotosound makes (had one on my old T-40) but this will affect your tone and make it darker. If the problem is in the wood then there isn't much you can do outside of replacing your bass. For contrast, my Dingwall Z1 sounds and plays awesome, even tuned to D or the B tuned down to A. Scale isn't the final answer but it makes a significant difference if construction is solid.

  6. Bruce B

    Bruce B

    Sep 2, 2004
    Or just get a 5 string :bag:
  7. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    when we play in drop d my .100 does get a bit floppy, but i have my action set medium height so i dont get any buzz. i actually like it when its floppy. sounds thunderous..
  8. jeffhigh


    May 16, 2005
    are you tuning to drop D where you just tune the low E down to D or are you dropping all the strings down two semitones.
    If the latter, the lowered tension will effect your neck relief and cause buzzing
  9. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    Just the E down to D, all other strings are standard
  10. protoz


    Nov 30, 2000
    Is your action too low? Your neck straight? I have 2 basses. One has the neck set for Drop C so I have extra tension and the other is set to standard and neither have trouble with the E getting floppy.
  11. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    Well the E is never floppy unless I set it up for E and then tune it down to D, then the D is sloppy. With it setup for D, the D is fine and the E is fine also but the action is a little higher than it has to be if I was to set it up for standard.

    On this bass, it's built solid and is neck through. I can set the action up REALLY low and have no problems with standard tuning or E flat tuning. The drop D doesn't work well with it that low though, so I had to raise that string up, and the others a tad so there wouldn't be a huge step down to the others. Not a real big issue since the action is still pretty good now anyways. I was just wondering if anybody else had similar problems.
  12. Daytona955i


    Feb 17, 2005
    Albany, NY
    Bump up to a .110 and see if it helps.

    Otherwise you'll have to find a compromise between buzzing and action height.
  13. I use a .115 for my E, but I have a full heavy guage set on my jazz. really deep and dark tone, but when I pick up my 5r with standard strings on it, its nice to be able to play that easy and bend notes without a problem. you really cant bend much with heavy guage strings :mad: but ohwell. if you every going to tune to C you need atleast a .110
  14. vic_6


    Dec 19, 2004
    Manila, Philippines
    i got a t25 and i just tuned it the other week to GCGCF. it was bad at first but it's all good now. adjusted the action just a bit higher which i dont mind. it wasnt that much of a height difference. and well, for the music i play, i keep it a bit low still, just so that there's a little clanky sound from the frets. i didnt even have to adjust the truss rod.

    i think that if you dont want any buzz at all, you gotta rise the action AND put a little more relief.

    hope that helps.

  15. My guitarist is in Drop D,always. Since I hate down tuning,I just use a five string. I found its a good way to get a clear low D sound and also it helps alot with song writing (with certain hand positions,etc,etc.)
  16. I use really light strings 30s - 90s and have a low action and don't get a problem . I use Status hotwire strings with a round inner core, which seem to have more tension than the previous strings that I used.Try them or get another bass and set it up with ahigher action just for drop D tuning and just use it in songs that require it. :bassist:
  17. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    Well I did adjust the action a little higher and after playing it like that at practice the other day, it's just fine. We're in dropped D a lot so I just set this bass up for that. I'll probably just use one of my other basses for standard tuning songs, although I can tune this one up to E and back down again and have no problems, I just had to set it up for D rathr than E, so my top string is a LITTLE higher than it has to be for standard tuning. But it's still pretty low since the action on these things is incredible
  18. I hope it works out for you. I personally think that the other couple of replys that mentioned getting a 5-string were on the money. (If you can afford it, of course.) I'm sold on them. The versitility of having the lower end available without any extra effort is immeasurable. I would also, IMO, think that if you keep raising and lowering the string, you'll wear it out tone-wise, faster. (...although, those E strings are pretty durable compared to the others...)

    Your choice, but (again, IMO), adding a 5-string to your collection might be the way to go if you can. If you haven't played one, I suggest you go to the "shop" and try one out for a while. Take you guitar player along and play some of your stuff together and see how it feels.

    Good luck!
  19. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida

    I've tried 5 strings but I've never found any I liked anywhere. Fenders, MM's...I think I'm gonna be an old fashioned 4 stringer forever. I've set it up now to where it's got sweet action even in D, so it's not a problem anymore. I tune up and down all day long at practice with it and my strings have had no issues. I think they'll wear out faster due to me sweating all over them anyways :)

    Besides I'll probably just switch basses at shows anyways, it's no big deal since my other bass sounds better for E tunings anyway.
  20. Sounds like you've got it all handled. Great! I suppose that 5-string is an aquired taste, and finding just the "right" bass, no matter how many strings is not easy. Glad to hear it's gonna work.