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E,A,D,G sounds good, but the B is not so good.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by DaveCustomMade, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. I have a 5 string, 35" scale. The E,A,D, and G strings sound good, but the B string doesn't sound as loud, doesn't have much presence. Anyone have any ideas as to why it may not be as strong as the other strings?

    I am planning on switching out my preamp [for a different reason, wanting 3 band eq], but was wondering if the B string would be helped out with the new Bart preamp or could it be the pickups?
  2. bonscottvocals


    Feb 10, 2005
    Upstate NY
    Most likely, your B string needs to come closer to the pickups. Make sure you're really pumping the bass on your EQ as well. There should be a way to adjust your bridge to allow your B string action to lower, but then you'll have to check your intonation as well.
  3. The B string is as close to the pickups as the other strings are, and lowering the bridge for the B might cause more fret buzz.
  4. Oh, . . . .the B sometimes sounds a little hollow too. :meh:


    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    What type of amp are you using, and how's the eq?
  6. That part doesn't seem to matter. I have a small amp at home, but I usually play through a system at church.

    My fretless, through the same outputs, has a much better sound. . . . . . . . . . Thank you, Mr. Bartolini! ;)


    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    hmmmm, two things I might look at are:

    1. Possibly new strings are in order
    2. Check the saddle and adjust the truss rod to minimize fret buzz.

    ...that's a weird issue, though
  8. Is the B string very close to the pickups? If a fat string like a B is too close the magnetic pull from the pickups will cause it to sound weak or with odd overtones. Also, I disagree with boosting bass frequencies, as that might just make your B sound like mudd. Try experimenting with pickup blend (B strings tend to sound weaker with a 50/50 blend on some dual pickup basses) and right hand position (more growl near bridge). Just some suggestions on what to look for.
  9. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    I've encountered this before, and started doing a few things that help a lot.

    First, always put the bend in the string BEFORE you cut it to put it in the post. This will help prevent the wrap from slipping over the core wire. This alone has made a huge difference for me; I do it all the time with all strings.

    Second, get enough wrap on the post so that the B will be pulled down at the nut, giving good firm contact. After you've tuned up to pitch, pull the string out of the nut slot and let it snap back in. This will help relieve any binding/sticking that might be occuring.

    Third, at the bridge, mash down the string over the saddle to get a good firm contact and good witness point. Sometimes, I'll do all these steps, and detune to let the string regain some slack and do it again. Makes a big diff for me anyway.

    Also, what strings are you using? Good B strings are hard to find.

  10. Hmmmmm, interesting. FWIW, the strings aren't that old. DR Lowriders. Anyway, I could try lowering the pickups and blending it more towards the bridge pickkup and see what that does.

    A side note, this is a Peavey Axcellerator with original preamp and pickups. One thing I noticed that is different than the pickup in my fretless [a Bartolini] is that the Peavey pickups, on the top part, is a lot more curved than the Bart. As far as I'm concerned, more than it needs to be. Also, just the other day, I straightened the strings [adjusted the Wilkenson bridge] to be more straight down the fingerboard. I got to noticing the other day that the B string was to 'high' where it crossed over the pickups. I moved the saddle down about 3mm in order for it to go down the fretboard more straight. Of course, that still really didn't improve the lacking B string all that much. :meh:

    I just wish it had the sound and presence that my fretless does. . . . . . . . . . . or I just may be a 'mostly fretless' kind of guy soon.
  11. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    If I recall correctly, the VFL pickups have a radius to them. The blades are curved to match the fingerboard, so if you have a "flatter" setup, the middle 3 strings will sound louder. Try raising your middle 3 strings a bit, see if that helps any. Get some magnetic paper to "see" the field of the pickups as well- is the B sitting in the field, or is it "on the edge"? You might have to move your B saddle a little closer in. Hope this helps!
  12. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    It amazes me how many problems are solved with a enw set of strings, I'd go to a repair shop and have him do a set-up and news strings.

    Another excellent point as a lot of bass amp systems don;t respond well in the low B to D range. I have always been meaning to find out what freqency is at the low C and bost there. I'm always playing with the 33 Hz band to so the low B string is in line with the rest of the sound but too much gives a "boomy" bass.
    - 40 Hz Reduce to decrease "boom" and increase recognition. For this increase at 33 Hz. I turn back by -2dB the "bass" control on my amp (which is 50hz). This increases the increases the clarity.

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