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Exposed Core Strings: Pros/Cons?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by madbassplaya, May 27, 2012.

  1. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    Considering trying some exposed core/tapered sets. I've always dug what a taper does for a B and even an E string. So what about the E, A, and D as well?
  2. Cons = requires set up and not commonly available in most stores

    Pros = Better intonation and more consistent tone,

    To me, D is the same either way
  3. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Thing I dislike most about taper cores is that when set at a proper action, they tend to buzz easier than non-tapered. They definitely seem to have a freer movement.

    I could be totally wrong, but they have always done that on my basses.

    And I've only recently tried DR Longnecks, but the E and B strings were consistently warbly past the 6th or so fret.
  4. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I dunno. I once had a bad experience trying to intonate a set of GHS Progressives (tapered "E", non-tapered A, D & G). The tapered "E" required me to move the bridge saddle almost as far back on the bridge plate as it would go, while the other three strings didn't have enough room to intonate at the front edge of the bridge plate. :rollno:

    It was very weird. I threw away that set, put on a standard, non-tapered set, and haven't looked back.

    Since I've begun transitioning from four-string bass guitars to five-strings, I still haven't been able to bring myself to use a tapered "B" string. Fortunately, the makes of string I like best - DR, Dunlop & D'Addario - offer lots of non-tapered "B"s from which to choose.... :meh:

  5. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    I've been told that exposed core/tapered strings have a more balanced feel to them and are easier to intonate, so that's why I was considering them.

    I absolutely love a tapered B string.
  6. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I recently went back to Progressives on my Warwick after using Cobalts for a while, great strings. I could give or take the exposed core E string though, I think they would be fine either way. No intonation changes needed at all, they intonate just like the Cobalts did..in fact of all the strings I've tried they've all been about the same so intonation issues might be a bass or bridge specific issue.

    One major pro of exposed core strings is that many top load bridges aren't wide enough to accept the string where it gets fatter at the end...the bridge that is used on the Brubaker Brute are Carvin SB basses are bad for that. Exposed/tapered strings fix that.

    One major CON of exposed core strings is that if they are truly exposed hex cores, they can dig into your saddles. Progressives have a wrap of thin wire to prevent that.
  7. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    Yea man, I do dig the progressives. Really wanna try the new Helix strings by Dean Markley as well. I've never had intonation issues on E-G strings but I am curious if they feel more balanced.

    And yes, I don't want completely exposed cores because of that reason.
  8. Randyt

    Randyt RAAPT Custom Wood Productions

    Jul 21, 2010
    Barrie, Canada
    Fbass makes exposed core strings as an option too!!
  9. Dragan


    Oct 5, 2009
    I received exposed core B string among set of MTD steels - and,boy am I disappointed! It buzz like a hell, even with high action! I wonder if you experienced similar thing (with MTD or some other brand) I think MTD comes with non tapered/exposed core regularly.
    Other than B,other strings sounds very nice and balanced,but my touch is a bit aggresive especially in live situation,so that B string buzz is big downer.
  10. Pier_


    Dec 22, 2013
    Roma, Italia
    probably, being it exposed core (so it vibrates more), your touch makes it buzz.

    I've red that is a common problem with exposed core strings, and that it's all a matter of touch.

    maybe you needed a bigger B?
  11. Dragan


    Oct 5, 2009
    B gauge is 130. as for the touch,I agree, but I dont want to change my playing because of strings. off they go.
  12. BassinCT

    BassinCT Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    similar issue: With a Modulus Q5 and LaBella super steps, I had to adjust the saddles quite a bit. Once the intonation was set, the intonation accuracy for fretted notes was not nearly as good as with D'Addario XL170's. I could spot check anywhere on the neck with the XL's and the tuning was *very* accurate all over the neck- even better with Sunbeams.

    It is interesting that there are so many different experiences. Some people have no issues whatsoever, so I recommend trying new things out and thoroughly evaluating them for feel tone and intonation. Also note how the harmonics speak. I suspect that because the mass is not the same at every point along the vibrating length, there may be some influence on the harmonics, for better or worse.

    What I did like about the SuperSteps was that the strings were very "alive" and open sounding, sustained well and had a solid fundamental. You could hear more "swing" in the string.
  13. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    I'll have to check, but we have a .096 and (I think) a .106 that are available without the exposed core for the E string. I use the .096 on my Streamer LX and like it a lot.
    Randyt likes this.
  14. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    When I was into an ultra bright bass tone last year, I used Progressives on my Geddy. No issues whatsoever. Very hi-fi sounding strings.
  15. baxter_x


    Nov 27, 2013
    I prefer exposed core strings as I feel it has a better tone. Especially with the B.
    I just gave a try with some D'Addarion pro Steel set, non exposed core strings, and feel the B string is slightly muffled compared to my Dean Markley set.
  16. LowB-ing


    Aug 3, 2005
    - Slightly more brightness/clarity (due to better flexibility at the bridge witness point)
    - Slightly better intonation if the taper aligns properly with the bridge.

    Impossible to get good intonation if the taper does not align properly with the bridge.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015
  17. baxter_x


    Nov 27, 2013
    Can you be more explicit on this point? How come the taper would not align properly with the bridge?
  18. I knew it! I always thought a tappered string will buzz more than a non-tappered. And beside all I think a non-tappered one has a more controlled vibration.
  19. baxter_x


    Nov 27, 2013
    Funny, I completly think the opposite. However about that buzz thing, to me, it's quiet the same with tappered and non-tappered.
  20. LowB-ing


    Aug 3, 2005
    What I meant was alignment between the taper and the witness point at bridge saddle. If I have to much length of "thin" string in front of the bridge, the string won't intonate perfectly.

    This happens when the string has been wound with a tapered/exposed length that does not match the distance between the saddle and anchor point on your bridge.

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