E string brightness

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by skinnypete, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. skinnypete


    Oct 7, 2004
    New York, NY
    Hi Everyone

    I just bought a new Fender Jazz bass, American series with the S1 switching feature. Nice bass, but this isn't entirely a bass related post.

    The question I have relates to the string sounds.

    I noticed that the A D and G strings have a brilliant piano brightness however the E is somewhat dull.

    The bass was professionally set up before I bought it so I trust that dead spots in the neck and bridge are minimized.

    The bass was stung with brand new GHS Boomers. I have always liked Boomers but I have to admit I have had my share of duds right out of the pack from them so I fugured this was the case with the new E string.

    I bought a new set of DR low riders and restrung the bass but I have the same issue. So, I think I can rule out strings.

    I read that you should avoid wrapping the fattest part of the string around the tuner if possible and to only wrap the thin, tapered part of the string. Unfortunately, the scale of the jazz do not allow for this and part of the fat sting wraps around the tuner just a bit.

    My question is, does this mute the string slightly resulting in the less than brilliant sound of the A D and G? Does anyone else have this problem with a Jazz bass and if so, can you recommend a set of strings that may be a better scale.

  2. DubDubs


    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Some strings have E strings that aren't as bright as the rest of the strings. The two sets of Rotosounds I've used do this. I know it's not the neck in my case because when I string the bass with other brand strings the E is just a lively as the A, D and G strings. If you want a really bright sound I recommend DR High Beams.
  3. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    It could be a lot of things, none major.

    First, make sure the pickup isn't too close to the low E string. As the distance decreases, the highs are lost. As the distance continues to decrease, the tuning goes sharp, the sustain cuts short, and the string will sound "stuffy."

    Second, make sure your amp is in a room that's friendly to a low E. Your couch may be eating up all the lows. Or you could have standing waves. Lots of acoustic reasons why it could sound bad. Double check in another room.

    Third, make sure the low E saddle is coupled to the bridge correctly. Both height adjustment screws should be contacting the bridge plate, and neither should move when touched. They have to be under pressure for the low E to speak correctly.

    If all of that checks out, have a tech look at your low E nut slot. It could be too narrow for your guage, or cut too deep, or have too wide/undefined a witness point.
  4. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I think this is a better fit in Setup - moved.