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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RichSnyder, Jul 17, 2018.
The simple solution is don’t curve the strings
The strings follow the radius of the fretboard. I’ve personally never seen a properly setup bass that didn’t have the strings following the radius of the fretboard. YMMV
There is no absolute proper set up. There are some minimum things that need to be done (like having the right strings in the right slots, haha). But every set up is personal to the individual player and the instrument. What is right for you might be terrible for me and vice-versa. You might think you have your set up correct for what you've done in the past but it may not be right for this instrument. Without having your bass in hand, I can't tell you what the problem is. It may be the pickup height or the saddle height or it may be your technique. I don't have the issue you're having and my strings are pretty even with maybe a very small curve. These fretboards have an 11" radius not 7.25" or 9.5".
FWIW, I have seen just as many people suggesting that curving the string height to match the fretboard radius is wrong and unnecessary. I don't agree with that when it comes to vintage radius instruments but with flatter boards YMMV.
This is interesting I’ve always adjusted the pole pieces of my older Stingrays to be almost flat, because my low action setup doesn’t have much of a curve. So I was pleased to see the special had flat pole pieces to start with. I find it gives a much more even volume across the strings.
I have a Special and a couple pre-Special StingRays — all 5-strings — and I do not experience what you describe. (Or maybe I do, and I subconsciously adjust my technique to compensate.)
The inherent problem with StingRays was said to have been weak G-strings (with 4-strings more so than 5-strings, I believe). I understand that EBMM worked to remedy that with the Special. For the weak Gs, some folks cut rods into thin wafers to add to the pole-piece height. Maybe a fix for weak E, A and D?
Another thought: Maybe your pickup height is too high overall, which would exaggerate the proportional difference in distance between the pickup poles and strings for the B and G compared with the other strings.
This would provide an unplayably giant string height for the B and G strings. String height should follow the fingerboard radius.
This video shows the method I use to adjust the pole peice heights, I believe it will work for raising as well as lowering.
The volume difference from string to string is very minor, certainly not noticeable from the front of house perspective. And I’ve already started to adjust my technique accordingly. I’ve read a few TB threads on the topic of flat pickups versus curved string/fingerboard radius. I owned a Jazz bass once that had Lindy Fralin pickups, and the pole pieces were higher in the middle to compensate for the fingerboard radius. Like it’s been said, how audible the differences are will depend on individual setup and technique.
My basis and knowledge of setup adjustments come from a collective of studying the setup articles in this thread over the years... ALL BASIC SETUP QUESTIONS ANSWERED HERE
I trust the expertise of guys like Roger Sadowsky, Jerzy Drozd, etc., who set their action according to the radius of the fretboard. True, a flatter radius will have less of a curve in the strings. But adjusting the strings to follow the radius has worked well for me over the years, so that’s my preference. As always, YMMV.
Unplayably giant is a bit of a stretch. The curve isn’t all that exaggerated. You can set up a bass the way that works best for you and for the instrument. If you like it one way then that’s the best way for you but sometimes that isn’t the best for everyone. Again there are lots of ways to skin a cat. The argument seems to be “it has to be this way, even if it doesn’t work for me because this is the right way even if it’s wrong”. That doesn’t make much sense to me. I set up saddle height differently on a p bass then I do on a Stingray. That’s what makes sense to me.
The other variable and possibly the biggest variable that we aren't discussing as it relates to Killens issue is the strings. What kind of strings are you experiencing this issue with?
GHS Bass Boomers: 45-65-85-105-130
Gonna try various others as well.
I've been using Rotosound RS66's on everything for years. Nickel-plated usually, but straight steel on my Stingray Special, because SS frets.
Are there any strings that sound more "rock and roll" on this bass than Rotosounds?
I just put 45-100 Boomers on mine a couple of days ago. I haven't noticed any drop. If I were you, I would definitely experiment with the pickup heights. Best of luck!
EBMM are damned if they do, and damned if they don't :
The pickup poles used to follow the radius of the fretboard, and some people complained it caused a "weak" G string.
They make the Specials with all the pole pieces level, and now there's a "weak" A string
I think Killens is going to try some different string sets. That might get him where he wants to go. I haven't experienced the same thing he has but it doesn't mean he hasn't experienced himself. All this talk has got me down. I am going to play.
There are magnet companies that sell little neo magnet discs. There can be ordered exactly the same diameter as just about any pole piece. You can get them any thickness like 1/32 or 1/16. You pop them on the pole piece and you’re all set. Once you get just the right height, you can crazy glue them if you wish, or not. It works! I’ve done it to several basses with flat pickups.
Hallo everybody - i’ve been reading pages 1 to 15 and then 95 to 100
But here I go to join the Club with my 5hh
I am really happy with this beauty and with the sound it produces.
I have something though I would like to hear your opinions.
Beside the fact that the instrument weighs almost 10.5lbs - which seems to be slightly more than advertised - I have found dead spots
It’s not the g though - its the b string from say 12th fret all the way up that sounds dull. the notes sound quite dead unamplified. But - its the b string, and one would hardly use it up that register except maybe for some arpeggios pearling down.
At this price point I’d insist on getting what you want. Bring it back and get a lighter one without obvious dead spots
I'm just ridiculously happy with the stock strings that came on it
Yeah, if they would stay reasonably ‘alive’ for any length of time at all I’d use them, but I’d have to change after every gig and rehearsal so no bueno for me.