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Fretless mwaaah

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Awesome Sauce, Jan 16, 2012.


  1. Awesome Sauce

    Awesome Sauce Already tired tomorrow

    Dec 21, 2011
    NW Chicago 'burbs
    I'll be getting a new 5 string fretless soon w/ a rosewood board, passive eq, and was wondering what strings would give me the best mwaaah. I've read a lot of TBers like Sunbeams. Are they generally considered the go-to fretless string? Any help, as always, is much appreciated.
     
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    When I had my fretless Zon, the magic combination was roundwound nickels and low action. MWHAAAAAH for days!

    Sunbeams would be a great choice. In fact I use Sunbeams on my fretted Spector and guess what...MWHAAAAAH for days! I blow peoples minds when they hear a fretless sound coming from a fretted bass :)
     
  3. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    Lighter gauge strings will make more mwah as well...
     
  4. Awesome Sauce

    Awesome Sauce Already tired tomorrow

    Dec 21, 2011
    NW Chicago 'burbs
    Did not know that. Could you/would you mind explaining why that is? I was planning on getting at least a .130 set for better tension/more lows, but now...
     
  5. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    If the strings are vibrating more in either direction, they will make more mwah by the string making more contact with the fingerboard away from where your finger is.

    I just put a set of T-I Jazz Flatwounds on my 6 string fretless Ken Smith and it Mwah's even more than it mwah'ed with my Ken Smith Slap Masters on it.

    In this video I use the 6 String Slap Masters: Extra Light: .028 .040 .060 .075 .095 .120
    Ken Smith BSR6EG Fretless Bass Electronics Overview Sound Samples - YouTube

    Ill be doing another one shortly with the T-I Jazz Flats as soon as they break in a little more...
     
  6. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    OH/WV
    If there is anyone out there that knows strings, its SLaPiN. He's the man.

    On that note, I didn't know lighter gauge strings made for more mwah. Proven fact?
     
  7. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    From my experience, yes...

    A good way to see...

    if you have 45-105 on your bass now, tune it down a whole step and the strings will be the same tension as a 40-100 set...
     
  8. Awesome Sauce

    Awesome Sauce Already tired tomorrow

    Dec 21, 2011
    NW Chicago 'burbs
    Wow, great tone and playing in that vid! Nice job! :bassist:
     
  9. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    Thank you :D

    That vid was mainly to show the bass / different features of it / versatility of the controls...

    I will post ITT when I do a video with the other strings...
     
  10. crustychef

    crustychef

    Apr 4, 2009
    Seattle WA
    I concur with SLaPiNFuNK. I use light gauge strings on both fretted and fretless 5 strings. Way more mwah. It was really made apparent when I just got my Thumb BO5 fretless from the previous owner. It had medium gauge Rotosounds on it. They are way to stiff and sterile sounding compared to the Light gauge Sunbeams I had on my fretless Streamer Stage II 5er. Over the years I've gone from medium down to med light and then to light last year. I can play faster, be more expressive, get more mwah and not wear out my hands and fast. My B string still sounds fat too. You just adjust your playing a touch.

    Yes and excellent vid btw!
     
  11. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    Thanks for the compliments on the vid!

    You can get more mwah out of any bass by playing more towards the fingerboard... The string vibrates more this way, if you play over where the 20th fret is compared to playing back right against the bridge.

    If you want some old Jaco video's you can see him playing tight up against the bridge, but in slow tunes or where he wants a lot of mmmmmwaaaaah, up on top of the fingerboard...
     
  12. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    As low action as you can get without clack and hard choking buzz is a big thing too, IMO.
     
  13. Awesome Sauce

    Awesome Sauce Already tired tomorrow

    Dec 21, 2011
    NW Chicago 'burbs
    So light gauge it is. Now my question is which strings would give me good midrange definition w/o sacrificing low end? What type of character do the Sunbeams have? Again, thanks for the help!
     
  14. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    Sunbeams have good midrange definition without sacrificing low end :)
     
  15. Awesome Sauce

    Awesome Sauce Already tired tomorrow

    Dec 21, 2011
    NW Chicago 'burbs
    Awesome, thank you! :bassist:
     
  16. AndroWal

    AndroWal

    Sep 28, 2003
    Ojai, CA
    I use DR Highbeams and have exclusively for years on both my fretless and fretted basses. I've never tried Sunbeams.

    Anyone here A/B Highbeams and Sunbeams on a fretless that can comment on attack, brightness, growl (mwah), etc. comparing the two?
     
  17. So will I need to change the neck much to compensate for the change in tension of the lighter gauge? I recently put new strings on my fretless, (5) and all of a sudden the low B string is rattling. Thought I was using the same gauge as before. Someone told me that older strings have more tension, after they settle in, than newer and it will be fine after a bit. Not so sure...
    Thoughts?
     
  18. also, consider a journey to the spiritual home of the fretless bass player ...

    Mahwah.
     
  19. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    Not to sidetrack the thread....but that's an interesting bit of info. I didn't know that. Does this apply to all?

    Again, I apologize for sidetracking, but in an attempt to find the strings that will best serve me...I have a set of DR Fat Beams on my 5 string which are round core. I'd like to try a set of Low Riders (hex core) but I'm wondering if they'll be too stiff for me.

    So of what you're saying, if I try the 045 gage set and find them too stiff, just tune them down a half step and that's what the tension of the 040 gage Low Rider set will feel like?
     
  20. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    @gottawalk - any string change between manufacturers and especially gauges should require some form of basic setup. Sometimes you can get away with just adjusting saddle height & intonation, but you may need to tweak the neck slightly as well. All depends on the instrument and the strings you are going between.

    @Mike M. - Its roughtly between a half step and a whole step depending on the specific string gauge, but you will get the idea by tuning down at least a half step. Although its not going to be exactly the same as a .005 gauge difference in string since the string mass is going to be larger and actual windings different, but you can get an idea of how the strings will "feel" and kind of how they will respond. Much of the difference between the Fat Beams and the Lo Riders is going to be in overall flexibility. You could try Lo-Riders a gauge lower than the Fat Beams you were using, but overall they are not going to be overly stiff or tight to the point where they are hard to play.
     

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