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E string way louder.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Dalewyatt, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. Dalewyatt


    Nov 7, 2017
    I am new to bass playing but have always played guitar. I have a Ibanez SR500. When playing at jam volume there is a Hugh difference in volume from the E string compared to the rest of the strings. Anyone have any advise on fixing this. There are no weird pickup height issues. I already checked that. Thanks in advance.
  2. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    If it's not a PU height adjustment, you may have to go a smaller diameter E string, thus reducing the perceived volume with the skinnier string. I've done that as well as fatten up a G string with a similar problem. :)
    dmt and sissy kathy like this.
  3. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Usually when there is a problem with the E string, it is lack of sustain (that some misinterpret as volume loss.) If you are sure the pickup height is correct, I'll skip over lowering the pickup and jump straight to grasping at straws. Is the E from the same set of strings as the rest? Could the G, D, and A strings all be twisted, but not the E (that would be a unique achievement.)
    Lownote38 likes this.
  4. Dalewyatt


    Nov 7, 2017
    The strings were on the bass when I got it. I have a new set but have not put them on yet. I will lyk if this fixes the problem.
  5. dmt


    Apr 19, 2003
    Orbiting Sol
    A setup done so that string height follows the radius of the neck can leave the E and G strings too close to flat, non-adjustable polepiece type pickups (or, if the E and G strings are at the desired height, the A and D strings too high).

    Accordingly, you could try raising the E string some if the bridge allows individual string height adjustment (loosen the string a bit first before raising a saddle, then retune). Also, even though you say you are familiar with pickup height adjustment, I still want to mention that you could try lowering the E string side of both pickups. This will also effect the A string a bit, but less so than the E. Between raising the E string a bit, lowering the pickups on the E string side (i.e. tilting them) a bit and/or going with a thinner E string (or thicker A, D and G strings), you can hopefully get your string balance issue resolved.

    I guess I mentioned the adjustments first because they’re free and quick - you can just get out your screw driver (and/or perhaps hex wrench) and give a few turns here and there and see if it helps. However, a thinner E string involves less setup compromise. While you’re at it, since the strings are the strings that came with the bass, you might as well get a whole new set and start from scratch strings-wise as there could be hidden issues there. Finally, some setup compromise might reduce the E string thickness reduction compromise if needed.

    I’d be interested to hear how it goes — I hate string balance problems!

    Ultimate quick fix is of course to adjust technique (lighter right hand on the E string). Compressor pedal... Actually, a tube amp being pushed will cover up (or at least reduce) such issues compared to an amp being played with plenty of headroom. A compressor (or heck, distortion pedal) gives that kind of effect, too. Now, I’m not saying the solution is a compressor(!); I was just throwing that out there. Thinner E string and perhaps setup adjustment should get you where you want to go
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  6. Dalewyatt


    Nov 7, 2017
    I lowered the "E" side of the pickups a bit more and also brought the E sadddle up. The bridge was setup to follow the radius of the neck. Its a lot better then it was. I will lyk further results when I change the strings later this week.
    Oren Hudson and dmt like this.

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