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floppy b string, any advice?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by jbasedig, Jun 24, 2019.


  1. jbasedig

    jbasedig Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2015
    Tucker, Georgia
    I have a 34 inch 5 string with a neck that I love. I've always used extra light gauge strings on this bass. I like that too. However, the B string has never really felt right... regarding tension in relation to the other strings and it's floppy. Its sounds decent, but the floppines...is bothersome, and I think it could sound better as well.

    1. a tech at Guitar center told me to put a heavier gauge string on it.
    2 Is it that simple?
    3 Can I just change out the B string, or do I need to up the gauge for all strings
    I like the Hartke xtra light strings in this bass. It has a very thin and fast neck
    4 Would changing just the B to a heavier gauge cause the neck to twist?

    The bass is a Bian Moore 5 5 string - Google Drive
     
  2. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    If the tuning and length stay the same the only option for more string tension is to go thicker.
    Necks aren't made of paper. Get a heavier B.
     
  3. jbasedig

    jbasedig Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2015
    Tucker, Georgia
    Thank you. Do you mean I can keep the others extra light and change out the B only ?
     
    nice_hat likes this.
  4. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    Necks aren't made of paper. Get a heavier B.
     
  5. jbasedig

    jbasedig Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2015
    Tucker, Georgia
    Got it , just change out the B.. should have read more carefully!
     
  6. No. If anything, increasing the size on the low B would balance out better with the rest as the B string is usually the one with the lowest tension in a typical 5-string set.
     
  7. jbasedig

    jbasedig Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2015
    Tucker, Georgia
    Looking through the string classified section now!
     
    Heisenbass likes this.
  8. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    My current favorite feeling B string is a .136, it's not floppy at all on a 34" scale bass.
     
    Element Zero likes this.
  9. jbasedig

    jbasedig Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2015
    Tucker, Georgia
     
    MYLOWFREQ likes this.
  10. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I run a .145 DR DDT as my low B on my Sire fretted V7 fiver (1st gen). So yeah, I vote "Get a heavier B" as well. :p:thumbsup:
     
  11. I've also experimented with the idea of mix-matching with surprisingly good results.

    Instead of simply increasing the size of the B string with the same type of string, try to find a B string with increased "stiffness" so it doesn't feel as "floppy".

    For example, when I tried the GHS Round Core Boomers 45-65-80-100-126 on my 34"-scale 5-string Yamaha, I wasn't too happy with the way the 126B sounded or felt. ie a little too loose and "mushy". So, I tried the GHS Pressurewound 128B to go with the rest of the RCBs and found it to be a better match both in terms of tone and feel due to the PWs hex-core stiffness (vs. the round-core flexibility) despite a fairly minimal increase in size.
     
  12. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    (Yeah, I was going to mention stiffness too, the DR DDTs are hex core - much stiffer than my usual DR Hi Beams (round core).)
     
    jbasedig likes this.
  13. onda'bass

    onda'bass Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Buffalo Ny
    Go heavy 145 matches a 105-45 set. Not as bad as it sounds
     
  14. The size of the core is also another important consideration. The larger the core, the stiffer/firmer it would feel.

    The Dunlop Super Brights are hex core but very flexible due to the small diameter of the core wire. DR DDT would have a thicker core to make them suitable for down-tuning.
     
    bholder likes this.
  15. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I have several sets of the Super Brights on my "next to try" pile (they seem promising) but haven't felt like doing string changes for a while. :) But there's always a bass somewhere in my house with old strings if I look hard enough lol....
     
  16. jbasedig

    jbasedig Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2015
    Tucker, Georgia
    I am getting schooled . Thank you all so much for your responses. I was just looking at a 175 B on the rotosound website...
     
  17. A .175 would be better suited for the low F#; a little too big for B.
     
    Quantized Harmonic and nice_hat like this.
  18. jbasedig

    jbasedig Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2015
    Tucker, Georgia
    Yeah... I KNOW!!!! Cool.
     
  19. I've found nickel strings in general too soft, as well as all but the biggest round core steel strings. I have to use a 130 B, minimum, in a hex core steel string. I'm currently using a 50-135 set of D'Addario ProSteel strings on my 2010 Fender American Deluxe Jazz 5. Great feel, great tone and great longevity. I've found I can actually run my action lower, my neck more flat, with bigger strings. They seem a bit less noisy when new, and tho they are stiff, I can run action a bit lower to compensate. Even wit slightly lower action, my B string is clean, responsive, and playable all the way up the neck. Even on my 34 scale bass.
    By the way, Brian Moore makes phenomenal instruments. I'd definitely bet it's a string issue.
     
    jbasedig likes this.
  20. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    I play Very light gauge strings - 35-50-70-95. That set is tilted towards higher tension in the low strings, but it's still very low tension, which I like. A 130 B string matches the tension of a 95 E, if you want to keep the tension slope going down to the B, so it's a tiny bit tighter, a 135 works well for that assumption. Strings, for the same tension, should be a geometric progression - the next string down should be about a third bigger in diameter. String sets with even diameter steps, like 40-60-80-100 end up being slack in the lower strings, because it's a linear, not a geometric progression. It's math; it's Physics. It's not a lack of scale length (although that can help a bit,it makes the other strings tighter as well, which can be counterproductive)), it's a lack of diameter on the B string.

    Short answer: You need a bigger B string. Most 5 string sets are deficient in this respect.
     

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