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Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bannedwit, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Hey, I thought I posted here but it turned out i posted it at johnmyung.com/forums

    I posted it under my other username KRIPTIC:

    Background: I bought an Ibanez SR-406 on ebay. $400 and got HS case, tuner chord etc... Good Deal.
    Got it and the B string plain SUCKED... It was sooo bad you could barely even make out a note on it. It all just sounded like a thud. I did the truss rod and intonation thing. Got it a little better but it still stunk. I have owned 5 strings before and never had a problem with the B string like this. Anyways, here is what i did:

    Instructions: I went ot a hardware store (LOWES) and went to the plumbing section and looked for ANYTHING that was
    a.) Metal
    b.) Longer than an inch (i ended up with an inch and a half long hose type fitting)
    c.) Would be hollow inside and fit my B string throught it but not the ring at the end.

    I figured I need to make that string longer than it's 34" so what I did was
    a.) Filed the fitting where it "Horns" out so i could get to the intonation adjustment
    b.) Re-strung my B string with this fitting BEFORE the Bridge.
    c.) Tuned it up and got the intonation.
    The result was......

    With the 1-1/2" fitting, my scale for the B string is now 35.5" from nut to Bridge (All i did was technically extend my bridge 1-1/2" back...)

    Works great even to this day.

    See the pics for the example. I Recently threw some black electrical tape around it so it gets disguised a bit. Let me know how it works for you. The fitting costs like $1.

  2. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    As a side note:

    ::::TO ALL IBANEZ SR-406 OWNERS::::

    Does your bridge have a gap between the back end and the body? (Where the strings fit in the bridge) Mine is looking like the string tension has caused the bridge to BEND forward a bit.... It may be the reason why this fix was needed in the first place. It just seems odd.

    It has to be up 5-10 mm from the body.
    (what i can remember i am at work not at home with my baby hehe)
    I will post the EXACT MEASUREMENT WHEN I GET HOME. Maybe you can see it in the pic i included above?

    I know Ibanez stopped making these and there were reports that the last couple years of their making have gotten very skimpy with the whole "quality" thing.
  3. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000
    I have done this with a string ferrule and it really works.
  4. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
  5. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Just to clarify, you aren't lengthening you're scale length. THAT is measured from nut to saddle.
  6. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    I've been researching this as a fix for detuning a whole step and I want to maintain tension on the low A...Gary Willis lists this as tip 88 in "101 Tips for Bassists: Stuff All the Pros Know and Use".

    Before he designed his signature Ibanez basses with the 2+3 Headstock, he used PC board spacers to give more length and tension...

    He suggests 1/2" in length as sufficient, but I don't see why you couldn't go longer...
  7. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    I can't think of any earthly reason why this would work but I'm glad it did! As noted, you aren't actually changing your scale length, as the length of the vibrating string remains the same.
  8. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Wow, I've got plenty of those spacers. Gotta get an Ibby 6er to go with it!
  9. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    I got ya, so all I effectively did was increase the tension of the string? Thanks for clarifying that.
    Anyways, I went with the 1-1/2" because that was what the hardware store had that i found in under 3 minutes so...
  10. BassikLee

    BassikLee Commercial User

    Feb 13, 2004
    Deltona, FL
    Owner: Brevard Sound Systems
    You didn't increase the scale lenth of the string, because that is the distance between the nut and the bridge saddle, more or less. You didn't increase the tention either, as that would raise the pitch. That's how those funny looking worm gear things up on the headstock do their magic, btw. I don't know why, or franky, IF any of those fixes work. I do know that Fodera is doing a thing with the B string at the far end of the headstock. Snake oil??? Maybe just a feel thing, as there is more total string for you to stretch and whatnot. That said, there is no "logical" reason why extending the non speaking lenth of the string would have any effect at all.

  11. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Wait a minute...

    Be gentle here and bare with me.

    After i did this fix, i had to really adjust my intonation. That means that the pitch did change on me correct?

    From what I recall, the intonation from open to 12th fret harmonic was sharp and caused me to have to move the saddle BACK towards the bridge more... Well I did find the sweet spot and it wasn't as far back as the saddles would let me... I do have a bunch of room to go if i chose.

    Does this make a difference in what everyone has been saying about this not making a difference? Thanks for all the posts on helping me figure out exactly what this did and didnt do.
  12. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    The intonation change might have happened at the same time, but it was not related to or caused by the extension you put on.

    You have three things here that changed:

    1) Better intonation.

    2) What part of the string is touching the saddle.

    3) Your extension.

    Given that the scale length, saddle pressure, behind the saddle string angle, and behind the saddle string tension were not changed by your extension, I suspect you had/have a bad string and that now the saddle is making contact with a different area of the string windings than before.

    So Number 2 is the responsible party.
  13. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    As the last post pointed out, you have a different, and apparently more fit part of the string crossing the saddle now. That was my original guess, as a saddle that's close to the bridge can create an unmusical bend in the string, and it bends it closer to the end also.
  14. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    To: bannedwit

    At the risk of asking something obvious: Did you try a different B string(s) on the bass before you did this "modification"?

    As a few have stated: Nothing you have done has altered the "speaking area" (nut to bridge saddle only) in either tension or scale/length. What you have done is move that speaking area, as a whole, about 1 to 1 1/2" up on the particular string.

    Many things have now changed.
    1. A different part of the string is now over the bridge saddle. If you had some loose windings near the ball, this would make a big change in the string's response and tone.
    2. If you have not crimped the new area of the string over the saddle (as would naturally happen over time due to tension) this would have an adverse affect on the "old" intonation setup.
    3. Related to #2: While I cannot tell from your pic, if your modification has forced the string to come out of the hole straighter before going to the saddle, this is going to cause a sharper break angle over your saddle, once again, affecting the old intonation setup.
    4. Somewhat related to #1: You now have a different part of the string over the nut.
    5. You probably now have a thinner "lead" part of the string coming off the tuning post which may, or may not, alter the sideways break angle at the nut.

    Any or all of these things could cause major differences in how the string performs, but nothing you did, or anything in my post, has anything to do with scale or tension.
  15. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Ok this all makes perfect sense to me. Thanks to everyone who commented on this post.

    I am pretty much 100% positive you guys are right about the whole saddle contacting a different part of the string now with this mod.

    I did have 2 set of strings on the bass. The first set I got included with the ebayer and that caused me to go out an buy the second set of strings (with the same flappy sound as a result.)

    QUESTION: (look at the second post on this thread and check out the whole "too Ibanez SR-406 Owners" thing)

    I heard some people saying that on other basses, their bridge actually bent due to the tension of the strings (and cheap metal prob.)
    When something bends, that takes the scale and shrinks it.

    If this is the case (probably is) then let me know how to fix it... Aftermarket bridge, bend it back (prob. make the bridge even weaker),buy replacement, etc...
    I will post a pic of the bridge sitting on the body when i get home at 4pm

    thanks again.
  16. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    I think your Bridge is defective yes. It should deffinantly be flush with the bass, not raised at all. I'd just get an afteramrket, good bridge to replace your current one, and you likely wont need the extension anymore.
  17. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Loosen the strings and see if you can tighten the screws holding the bridge down. It's unlikely that you would manage to bend a bridge with the strings, and if part of it's lifting off of the body it most likely just needs to be screwed down. A loose bridge will cause you a lot of problems, since it's half of the anchor for your string and whatnot.
  18. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Whoa! That's like an A-bomb to put out an oil fire. It works, but a bit overkill.

    A much, much easier fix for this would be to either: A. Put some broken lengths of toothpicks in the holes to increase the bulk in the hole, giving the threads of the screw something to hold on to. Or B. Fill the holes with wood filler (plastic wood, etc.) and after letting dry and removing excess, re-drill the holes.
  19. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Yea, using a T nut is a pretty blatant physical alteration to make. I doubt the screwholes are stripped, unless they've been abused. If they are stripped, some longer screws or holes refilled with toothpicks and glue would be preferable.
  20. greenfrog5


    May 9, 2005
    Providing more of the string exposed to tension/stretching, while maintaining the vibrating length of the string produces the same tension (tone), but more 'ability to stretch' due to same applied force (more length = more string to actually stretch when you 'play' it)

    Imagine a very very long string, that is run through a normal length bass nut/bridge. There is a length range where the extra string on either side of the vibration length acts as a spring, affecting the vibration (by absorbing and releasing the energy), without 'loosening' the ability to vibrate (as would happen with the longest of strings).

    I would expect this (at certain lengths, ratios, gagues, materials etc), to almost have the effect of actually changing metals (without changing length) - like using a more 'stretchy' metal in a normal bass arrangement/length.

    I bet string gague has a strong affect as well - as that (cross sectional area) also affects the ability of a piece of material to stretch - as well as the tension/tonal characteristics.