1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

help me save my 5 string!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by 69shovlhed, Aug 10, 2012.


  1. 69shovlhed

    69shovlhed

    Jun 5, 2006
    i have a carvin 5 string, tung-oiled koa 34" 2 pc. neck thru, ebony board. i love the neck, but the B ain't cutting it. the fundamental is just not there on the open B. the 3rd fret low D is acceptable, the Db is almost there but not quite. so i hope someone can give me some recommendations on:
    1. best brand and gauge string to get the most fundamental and least floppiness?
    2. would replacing the $#!tty stock bridge help to stabilise the string and decrease floppiness?
    3. spend too much money on a pre-amp and p'ups, or just ditch it and go w/ a 35"?
    4. is koa not really rigid enough to get a good B?
    5. any tips or tricks for getting the most out of the B string?

    thanks in advance for any good info that will help me dial it in.

    forget the dingwall recommendations; i'll buy a fleet of em after i hit the lottery...:D
     
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    Does it have the old Wilkinson bridge, or is it a newer model with a Hipshot? I never liked those Wilkinson bridges.

    Maybe try a higher gauge of B, and tapered. Maybe like a GHS Progressive .135. D'Addario and LaBella also have B's over .135 and are tapered.

    You can get singles at www.bassstringsonline.com and he probably has a lot more than just those.
     
  3. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    +1 on ditching the rickety wilkinson and trying a fatter B, but ultimately B strings are hard to do, and the quality of the B is what separates good extended-range basses from not-so-good ones.
     
  4. 69shovlhed

    69shovlhed

    Jun 5, 2006
    it is a wilkinson bridge. i did look at the hipshot site. one thing i like about this bass is the narrow string spacing .645". narrowest hipshot was .669". might be kinda difficult to find a bridge that fits, but the wilkinson does seem to be a POS.
     
  5. Smilodon

    Smilodon Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2012
    Norway
    Hipshot bridges (At least the A-type) have adjustable string spacing, though. Get the narrowest one and adjust the strings even closer.
     
  6. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Sounds like a koa Carvin 5 I once owned....Sperzel tuners, Carvin elex, Wilkie bridge, all-koa neck and body. Looked great but I could never coax a great tone out of it. Other than the tuners, I would guess that the combination of the other factors may have contributed to its lackluster character. A bridge upgrade may help but don't be surprised if the improvement is only marginal.

    Riis
     
  7. 69shovlhed

    69shovlhed

    Jun 5, 2006
    you didn't by any chance sell it to action music in falls church didja? its got gold hardware.
     
  8. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    No, this was years ago and sported black hardware. Nice playing bass but nothing spectacular.

    The Wilkie bridge is miserable...lots of protrusions and sharp edges...when muting with the right hand.

    Riis
     
  9. 69shovlhed

    69shovlhed

    Jun 5, 2006
    so next question: has anyone actually noticed an improvement in their B string by replacing the bridge? i'd hate to spend $100 on a bridge and get no improvement.
     
  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    This is a very specific question; one which may not garner a response relative to the characteristics of this particular bass. I will venture to say that just about any quality bridge would be an improvement over the stock hardware. You may also want to try different string types (tapered core, for example) in conjunction with the mod. The $100 investment may be of value if you plan on keeping the bass. Other than that, it's pretty much a crap-shoot.

    Riis
     
  11. 69shovlhed

    69shovlhed

    Jun 5, 2006
    yeah, i'm looking into different strings too; i bought some low riders w/ the heaviest B they had, cause i'd heard that they have a better b than most, but the damn B broke just as i got it tuned. i had a gig the next day so i put hi beams on it. i'm really cheap so i will try the low riders after i wear out the hi beams or when i replace the bridge. dr was happy to send a replacement string, no questions asked.
     
  12. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Where did the B break? Never let the outer wrapping even near the tuning post.

    Riis
     
  13. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    +1, especially with DRs; the fat part will not survive that sharp turn around the typical little posts of 5-string tuners.

    maybe you got the extra-long scale version of the string by mistake?
     
  14. 69shovlhed

    69shovlhed

    Jun 5, 2006
    nope. correct string. it broke about 1/4" above the nut. had to be a bad string. only other time i've broke a bass string was 35 years ago, and it was a way old string. but thats not the issue, other than i wasn't able to try out the low riders yet.
    anyone ever upgrade a bridge on a 34" scale and get a better low B from it?
     
  15. HuntYouDown

    HuntYouDown

    Jan 3, 2012
    Tampa, FL
    I have a USA Fender Jazz V, I bought it used and B was floppy. I knew without questioning that the guy had previously stretched the string too much. Tune up/down, etc... I immediately go to store and buya new pack. I got Rotosound 66 swing bass. Now, the B is tight as ever, and stays that way.
     
  16. darkstorm

    darkstorm

    Oct 13, 2009
    Raise that side of the bridge pup about one turn and lower the neck pup on that side about one turn. See if that helps. If so, then finish dialing in pups for better sound on the low B without sacrificing tone of rest of the strings. Carvins Ive heard and the one I owned got better low B then most fivers.
     
  17. 69shovlhed

    69shovlhed

    Jun 5, 2006
    i almost put rotosounds on it, but went with the hi beams. i think the hex core lo riders will probably be less floppy. i did put the rotosounds on my ibanez, they sound pretty good on that, but the open B still isn't as strong as the C#. its got a 35" neck so its a little tighter than the carvin, but the carvin neck feels perfect to me. its very guitar-like. in both bands i'm in, i end up switching from guitar to bass and back. if i can dial in that B...
     
  18. 69shovlhed

    69shovlhed

    Jun 5, 2006
    actually, the p'ups are solid mounted in the carvin. i wonder if putting springs or foam behind em so they float might help? aside from being able to adjust them, i mean.
     

Share This Page