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For the manthing - Retaining tone through altered tunings?

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by Spectorphile, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. Spectorphile


    Mar 8, 2005
    Hi Michael, I don’t have any clue on what your current setup is, but I remember hearing that you used to use extremely light gauge strings. If you are tuning way down, say to a low "b" doesn’t a desirable tone go straight out the window :confused: . Also I was wondering how exactly your Hyperbass bridge works? I'm very interested in your basses, and definitely hope to see more of your crazy (in a good way) ideas in the future. One more question, is Giant Steps still a big scary monster? :D
    - Ben
  2. Spectorphile


    Mar 8, 2005
    Couldn’t help but post these as well, the connection is undeniable. :p Keep up the good work!
  3. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Thanks for the pictures, Spectorphile -- I appreciate the comparison to Liszt!

    The sound of light gauge strings tuned low is quite unusual and the key is to use that method where it works. If you’re looking for a tight, focused low B sound for instance, light gauge strings probably aren’t going to be your best choice. However if you want a big, fat, nasty tone, tuning a string below its intended pitch will really do the trick. There are many options for tone color available from string tension and I like to use the concept to add expressive variety to my music.

    The Hyperbass bridge has a kind of a platform for each string. There are 2 cams that run underneath these platforms and these can be turned by using levers on either side of the bridge. This allows you to move to platforms to different heights which are preset using small screws in each of the platforms. The upshot of this is that the bridge offers instant access to three sequential tunings of the entire bass.

    “Giant Steps” is still big fun to play!