Dying B-String on a Tobias

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by FrolicHoek, Feb 4, 2002.

  1. FrolicHoek


    Nov 14, 2001
    Dallas, TX
    I purchased a used Tobias about 2 months ago, and I immediately put a new set of Carvin strings on it. Instantly, I noticed that the low B completely lost any low end, and it rattled. Now, when I am on stage, every string sounds great except the B-String. I have lost my identity! *sobs*

    So, I bought a brand new package of Blue Steels, thinking that it was just the Carvin strings. Wrong again! The Blue Steels helped a little, but I am still missing any of the real balls that the low-b is supposed to give me. I dropped a pretty penny on this bass, but I can't seem to get it to do what I want. Any suggestions?
  2. Ur using nickels right ?
    try putting on Stainless steel's and give them a good pull once they're on.. takes out stetch..
  3. He said he switched to Blue Steels (Dean Markley-good strings) so I don't think that's it.

    I would suggest going through the bass step by step to diagnose the problem. You can probably just concentrate on the B string with your inspection. First take the string off so that you can inspect everything the string touches - start at the tuner. Are all of it's mountings tight? Is there an abundance of slop between the gears themselves? Does the tuner pull the string over the nut at a steep enough angle? Next, move to the nut - Does the string seat itself well in the slot? Is the nut broken? Have there been any spot fixes done on the slot itself? Next stop would be the bridge. I'm not familiar with the Tobias specifically so what I offer is generic. Does the string seat well into the saddle?, Are all of the adjustment screws tight in their place?. The pickup is the only thing left in the chain. Take your E string off and put it on in the B position. Does the E sound off the way you would expect? If not, maybe there's something wrong with the pup.

    This inspection might tell you something and it might not. Start here though before you take it to a pro for an assessment. Maybe you can find the prob and save a few bucks.
  4. uglybassplayer


    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    Your profile says you have a Tobias Growler. Is this the bass you're refering to? Did the B sound OK before you put new strings on it?
  5. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    At least thats my experience. And that includes the Musicyo junk. I've played a couple of Growler 5's and they had GREAT B strings. If you changed strings and all of a sudden got a bunch of "rattle", that sound's like a gauge/neck tension/setup issue.

    If it is a Growler, they have one of the most messed up, counter intuitive pre-amp setups I've ever encountered and it takes awhile to figure it all out.

    The difference in the sound of the various Tobias lines is not good or bad, it's great or incredible.
    IMHO of course.

    If the bass is set up right, and you can figure out that bizarre preamp, the problem lies elswhere.

    If all else fails....wanna sell that Growler? I've been looking for one for awhile.
  6. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Good stuff. There's been more than one comment written about the Growler tone getting lost in the mix with that particular style of music. The Tobias' in general have a pretty big tone that needs a little elbow room. The Growler is one of the best due to it's Music Man-esq design but it still woulden't be my first choice for punching through a wall of sound. Maybe you have a little of that going on.
  7. FrolicHoek


    Nov 14, 2001
    Dallas, TX
    I don't remember if it didn't have much of a problem. I don't remember thinkining "Wow, there is a serious dropout whenever I go to the B", but, I was in new bass shock when I first got it, and the bass could have sounded like someone making a noise with their armpit and I probably wouldn't have noticed it.

    After really looking at all of the pieces, I did notice that the bridge on the B was quite a bit lower than the rest of the setup. I am currently in search for the right size allen wrench to adjust it to see if that will make a difference.

    I really appreciate everybody's help. I think I will get this thing licked. I LOVE the bass, and I thinkn it will be perfect. I just have to get to know the instrument. I also have to keep from booty calling my old bass, and sticking with this one until I get it right.

    Also, you are right. The tone knobs and preamp are incredibly difficult to figure out. I had a hell of a time trying to figure out which knobs did what. I am still wrestling with them.....
  8. top028


    Dec 14, 1999
    Lancaster, PA
    I am not too familiar with tobias, and too lazy to look up specs for it, but It may be a case of your truss rod. A few top-end basses have two trussrods. I wish my 5 did. the G side has perfect shape, but the b side has slightly less tension. its a frettless, so I am trying to get the strings as low as possible to get the all mighty mwhah. If your bass has two truss rods, you may be able to solve your problems. ONLY IF YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH PLAYING WITH TRUSS RODS!!!!!!!!!!!!! my best friend and I both learned the hard way. LOOSEN THE STRINGS (take them off to be safe, yeah it a pain in the butt time consuming process, but believe me when you cry over a snapped trussrod you will do it) my friend was adjusting his banjo one day, and the truss rod popped up through the fretts. two problems there ...strings were on, and it was a gibson. I sheared the bolt off my truss rod.
  9. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Torque Wrench.....
  10. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    More words, please.

    Exactly how will a torque wrench help?

    What is the proper torque spec for a truss rod?

    Tnx, Pkr2
  11. top028


    Dec 14, 1999
    Lancaster, PA
    not to mention finding an allen or flat blade adapter for the tourqe wrench that will fit into those nasty "access" holes
  12. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    O.K. first of all please understand that I wasn't trying to be a smart #$%.

    You dump hundreds or thousands on a bass, forty bucks on a set of strings and yet people put up with a 10 cent peice of junk wrench.

    A multitude of Allen and hex head fittings are available at any good auto parts store that are vastly superior. Straight and phillips sockets while not as plentiful, are available.

    There is no tourqe spec on bass necks that I know of. The idea is to get both rods the same and then
    sneak up on what you want by gradually increasing the amount of torque.

    If you only have one truss rod, it's pointless but if you have two, they need to be the same tension or else your neck will eventually twist.

    It's not voodoo and it's not rocket science. It's just the proper tool for that particular job
  13. top028


    Dec 14, 1999
    Lancaster, PA
    exclent reply thanks for the tip, although I doubt I will ever own a bass with two trussrods. I do work on cars, so I understand the value of a tourque wrench thanks again
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I have bought two "Roadie Rench"s for this purpose - which are made in San Dimas CA. and they work very well - loads of tools in one handy unit that you can carry everywhere with you. I liked the instructions which mentioned that it is also handy to throw at drummers' heads to get their attention! :D
  15. FrolicHoek


    Nov 14, 2001
    Dallas, TX
    Well, thanks to all of you that helped out. After scouring over my bass for days, I finally was able to adjust the bridge and get the string up off of the fretboard, and lo and behold, it sounds beautiful. I know this was something I really should have checked, but you know how when something frustrates you, you forget to check the most obvious thing? It was really easy, once I found the right size allen wrench. That turned out to be the biggest challenge! :)

    Anyway, thanks for everybody's help. I have a new found religion: Talkbass.com!
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