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Essex 5er Owners: Is your B string dead?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Dave R, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. Dave R

    Dave R

    Sep 21, 2007
    Boise, ID USA
    I've been enjoying most everything about my Essex 5er, except the B string has no tone. The other strings are nice and lively. But the B? It sounds like a cardboard string.

    Its not the stock D'Addario (roundwound) string. I changed to D'Addario Chromes. I'm a flats kinda guy. And I like the tone of he Chromes--except the B. I chose the Chromes because I read that fatter Bs have better tension. This is an .032. The stock D'Addario round was an .025 or .028 or something. In fact, I had to drill out the hole in the bridge to get the Chrome B to feed through it.

    So is there anything I can do to make that B sound like the other strings? Is it the Chrome? Different strings? Do I need to raise the pups? I hope not. I can make the B hit the neck pup if I dig moderately hard, and that don't sound good when it hits. And, like I said, all the other strings are lively.

    The action is good. I worked it over pretty good.

    Any suggestions?
  2. 7flat5


    Nov 28, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Two possibilities I can think of. The pickup might be too high, not too low. This will do strange things, and make strings sound bad.

    It might be the contact the new string has with the bridge. I had a similar thing happen with an E string on a 4 right after I changed strings. If the string does not make the right kind of contact with the bridge, it can kill the vibration and make the string really dead. I'd check both of those before you blame it on a bad string or bad bass.
  3. Dave R

    Dave R

    Sep 21, 2007
    Boise, ID USA
    Hmmm. Good thought. On the B string, the thread windings go just past the crown of the bridge. I had to pull the bridge piece way back on the B string to get the intonation right.

    Might be worth moving the bridge piece neck-ward past the threads, and see if that improves things? Intonation will be a bit off, though.
  4. Warfrat73


    Nov 18, 2007
    Actually (sadly?) the B string on my SX sounds better than the B string on my Warwick, not that I'd say it sounds great, but better for sure. Rotosounds on the SX, DR Lowriders on the Warwick.
  5. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    First off, is your B really that small? Mine is like 0.130, but no matter, what I find with the really thick string is that the tightness from the windings inhibit its freedom to vibrate.

    What I do (I use webstrings BTW) is bend the B in a fairly tight radius (not enough to kink it but enough to loosen the windings) where the string passes over the saddle (you'll need to take the string off the tuner to do this), you can feel the difference as you bend it, in the beginning it will be quite stiff, and after a few bends it will be significantly more flexible. Helps the tone quite a bit.
  6. Dave R

    Dave R

    Sep 21, 2007
    Boise, ID USA
    Sorry for the typo--its .132.

    OK, I'll try the bending thing. Not enough to kink--just enough to loosen the windings.

    Anything else I should try?

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