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Fender P5 and B String

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DavePlaysBass, Jun 8, 2014.


  1. DavePlaysBass

    DavePlaysBass Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2004
    CO
    My church picked up one of these used from a guy who did not care for it. It's red with maple board. I liked the guy's sound with this bass better than other basses I have heard him with but he did not get along with it and moved on.

    So I volunteered to give it some TLC and see if I could dial it in. I did this with a 2000ish US 4-string P bass for them last year and that bass went from "bad" to a top favorite among many of the church's bass players. Funny how a good setup and right string selection can change people's mind.

    So I tried the bass. Typical complaint. B string not focused. I took off what I think were stainless DR Strings and put on a set of Carvin Stainless 40-100 with a 128 Taper B. This is one of my favorite B strings as it is a Labella make and very similar to the HRS.

    Unfortunately there was nothing major wrong with the setup that I could improve on. I did add a bit of relief the neck. But the bridge was setup almost perfect for medium lowish action and intonation. And the pickup height was fine.

    I took the B string thru bridge so I could get the taper on the bridge. It sounded horrible with no focus. It did not sound like a continuation of the other 4 strings. I then went thru body which placed more string (less taper) on the saddle and it improved. I was surprised by this. But it still is not great. Does anyone has a good experience with the B String on these Fender P5s. It's not horrible but it does not seem great. I also wonder if I would hear improvement on the other 4 strings going thru body. I doubt as the E thru G sound very good.
     
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    I'd go the other way. The 34" scale is already working against you, so I'd get a tapered .135 instead of going smaller and floppier. Try a custom Fodera set from www.bassstringsonline.com
     
  3. Bergerman

    Bergerman

    Feb 23, 2004
    Springfield, OR
    I'm very happy with the B on mine. Untapered D'Addario nickel round, .130, strung through body. Make sure you get a good break angle over the saddle!
     
  4. DavePlaysBass

    DavePlaysBass Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2004
    CO
    I am assuming the D'Addario would be a super long?

    Thanks for the suggestion on the Foderas. I have never gone that direction. Most of my string experimentation was done before they became popular. And now I hate the thought of going thru 10 brands hoping for that one :).
     
  5. DavePlaysBass

    DavePlaysBass Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2004
    CO
    I also am surprised at the neck. It feels wider and maybe flatter than my Sadowsky. It does not feel all that good to me even though the fret work is great and the action is low. I am going to take some neck measurements for future reference and compare them to the Sadowsky. I was GASing for one of these Fender P5s for a while but this may cure it. I have been thru a Lakeland P5 as well. I may just have to lay down the cash for a Sadowsky PJ5 at some point.
     
    Tunaman likes this.
  6. Rezdog

    Rezdog Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    T.Rez, Canada
    Greetings from the North,

    Sorry to hear the Fender P5 isn't working for you. Just wondering......what wasn't to like with your Lakland P?

    Rezdog
     
  7. DavePlaysBass

    DavePlaysBass Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2004
    CO
    The Lakland was a fine instrument. Good B string. It was in the P ball park but being 35" scale it was not completely there for me. I struggled to get the "right" sound from it in a band setting. I could not get it to sit in the mix like my 4-string 60's P or my Sadowsky RV5. I swapped pickups. Tried a couple of different string types. But I needed money and decided to flip it. At the end of the day I have never kept a 35" scale or an ash instrument and the Lakland Skyline P5 was both.
     

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