For removable neck

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Ed Fuqua, Feb 27, 2018.

  1. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Columbia SC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Yeah I know, it depends. Anyway, I'm still playing Zyex lights, but I am jonesing for that gut like sound and was thinking about looking at the Ben Wolfe Chordas for a minnit (at least for the D and G).

    So I'm about to sink a chunk of change into a removable neck instrument (if I can ever get Jed to tell me if I can fall by the workshop this weekend) and now I have to think about THAT issue.

    First of all, let me say at the outset - I am NOT really going to be putting in any serious road time. I'm doing this for a couple of reasons (it's this or buy a red Alfa Romeo 4C), but foremost is that I would like the ability to go visit my buddy Dan in Seattle and take my bass or my buddies (and gigs) down South and take my bass OR if and when I decide to leave NYC, I'd like to be able to come back to the city to play with my friends and take my bass. On a plane.

    So how liable to breakage would strings like guts, or Velvets, or other hybrid gut-like be, if they're not going to be under tension over the bridge and then off tension over the bridge only 3 or 4 times a year? Is once too much? Or is there some bearable wear and tear?
  2. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    Nashville TN
    I know people have put guts on and off their bass a few times. Not wrapped guts but if you did plain gut DG and like Zyex EA that would work.
  3. I’ve had a removable neck cleveland for over 5 years now.

    Plain guts work well, especially those with knots instead of loops at the tailpiece end.

    Spiros work of course.

    Velvet blues work great , I had one break after a year and maybe 12 setups and teardowns.

    Velvet garbos seem as tough as spiros but extremely hard to bow.

    I’ve just put on a set of Gamut Red Diamond (G and D nylon wound gut, E and A copper wound gut), not looking to do a lot of travelling with this setup.
  4. I'll be following this thread.
    I've got a bass going in for the "conversion". Currently trying to deaden a set of spiros in time for a May european tour.
    I do have a set of Lamberts that I haven't put on yet. I know a few country/rockabilly/swing folk who speak highly of these as a touring option
  5. Jon Mush

    Jon Mush

    Jun 3, 2015
    Winnipeg, MB
    Ed, I played Zyex Med for a bit on my Chadwick. The G and A broke within a week a couple of inches below the nut. (On tour it’s a daily break-down for me). I went through a few G strings actually, maybe even a D. It’s a shame, I really liked those strings. I wonder if the lesser tension of the lights would make it less likely for catastrophe. I tried them again last year, same issue. I really wanted them to work.

    Spiros are indeed almost bulletproof on a removable/folding neck.

    I’ve yet to try real gut, as the cost keeps me at a distance. Thus far, apart from Spiros, I’ve tried EP weich G, EP slap (full set), and Innovation 140B (full set). I’ve had the EPs (both varieties) survive more than 20 cycles of on/off and still going. As an aside, I did talk to Nuno via email prior to going with the EP Slap set, and he didn’t seem to have any issue with recommending Velvets for the Chadwick, but I didn’t pull the trigger.

    The 140B are my favourites so far as a hybrid string, and in my experience, seem the most resilient. I’d bet 60-80 or more times on/off with seemingly no ill effect. After a while they just developed uneven overtones and started playing false, indicating time for a new set. I never broke one. I’m itching to hear what the New Polychromes sound like and if they’ll be an improvement over the 140B (for me). However, the old Spiros are back on with an EP Weich G.

    Hope that helps.
    longfinger and mtto like this.
  6. I've been using the Innovations on my carved bass for a while. I think I like them, roughly how long did you get out of them? What do you mean by playing false?
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I know Rufus used Animas on his travel bass for years. I didn't notice what he was using last year and the tailpiece of his bass wasn't on the video I shot of him, but two years ago he was using these (screen shot), which look like Animas to me:

    Screen Shot 2018-02-27 at 4.36.28 PM.png

    I'm planning on getting one of the Kolstein basses soon for international travel and plan to use plain old spiros for it since Dominants would never last, but I've also been wondering what other options might be reasonable to try. Will watch this thread with interest.
    Ed Fuqua and bskts247 like this.
  8. Jon Mush

    Jon Mush

    Jun 3, 2015
    Winnipeg, MB
    I got about 8 months to a year out of them on my folding bass. When we tour it’s about 50 dates in a row with the bass being folded and unfolded every show day, sometimes twice a day for random stuff. Our situation never had me feeling safe about a bag under the bus, so in the case it went. At home it’s bagged or torn down depending on circumstances. I think I did at least 60-80 break downs (no exaggeration) on the bass and those same strings performed like a champ.

    So, in short, I’m sure they’d last longer for you in a ‘normal’ situation. My financial situation is such that I only have the Chadwick, so I really can’t say definitively.

    Maybe ‘false’ was a bad description. I think with the constant on/off the bass the harmonics/overtones and overall sound of the string seemed to get odd. They sounded inconsistent compared to what they were when new as I moved around the neck. Some notes just felt comparatively dead or had uncomplimentary overtones, while others seemed okay. The tuning never seemed to wander or anything like that. Then, I’d put a new set, or even used Spiros back on and all the weirdness was gone.

    I think the Innovations are wonderfully made strings, but my treatment of them was quite punishing. I always stowed them with care and lubed the nut and bridge with graphite every setup. The strings always appeared to be unfazed (wrap, silks and the entire string looked totally normal). But accidents happen, and it’s possible to pinch a string when closing up the back of the bass (not sure this happened-but only that it’s possible), and the general on/off process takes its toll. Maybe the core got stretched oddly and unevenly (or bent?) after a while—although I have neither the evidence nor the brain to scientifically verify this musing.

    I’d look into them again, but I suffer from ‘grass is greener’ syndrome and haven’t come close to trying every string ever made yet. Ugh. They’re the only strings I’ve ever purchased more than once for the same bass.
  9. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Ed, buy the Alfa and I'll loan you my bass when you come to Seattle.

    I'm a problem solver...see how that works?
  10. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Columbia SC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    It's just Ben Street let me check out his bass, which is one of Jed's, and it has so much going on that I really dig. Plus, I don't drive THAT much...
  11. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Columbia SC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Thanks Jon. I think that 60 to 80 cycles of tear down and set up would translate into at least 40 years worth of travel for me, so I'm not sure I'm going to need that standard of performance. Looks like I might sound Nuno about getting back on the Velvet bandwagon :)
  12. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Ed, I went to Zyex Lights because of your post and recording of them, as you know. This, after breaking too many Velvets (Compas and Blues) to continue with them, although I liked them pretty well when they worked. I've broken one Zyex in the three years I've played them, probably six sets on two basses.

    If you're only going to take the neck off a couple times a year, I don't think you'll have a problem. But, every time I get a post change, twice a year, the strings come off the bridge. Which is when the Zyex broke...
  13. Earl

    Earl Supporting Member

    Hey Ed, who is this Jed that you speak of?
  14. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Columbia SC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Ima not tell you till I know where I am on the waiting list! Just kidding, Jed Kriegel in Boston. I think the bass Ben got was not a commission (or at least not HIS commission, from what he was saying) but was in the shop and he was the one that pulled the trigger on the purchase.
    Michael Karn likes this.
  15. Earl

    Earl Supporting Member

    Haha, cool, thanks!
  16. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Columbia SC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Earl likes this.
  17. I am using Spiros on my Chadwick and they are holding up real well and staying tune - I know you like a darker sound.
  18. That is a nice neck option. It actually looks like it will just be way stronger than a normal neck joint.
  19. I've found that Spiros seem to brighten up whenever I've put them back on my bass. Is that something that bothes you at all when using your chadwick? Does it go away after a while?
  20. Michael Karn

    Michael Karn

    Apr 16, 2014
    Jed’s dog guarding Street’s bass

    MLysh, tito mangialajo, Earl and 5 others like this.