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High tension problem

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by mariuste, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. mariuste


    Feb 3, 2012

    I have a problem where the strings on my bass the last couple of weeks suddenly feels stiffer/got higher tension. The strings are Fender 7250 ml and are quite new. The action is low aswell. The thing is I have tried out a couple of strings over the past six months or so, the last one was a heavier gauge, before I put these on. So it is likely that something has changed on my bass (?) but when I look at the neck the relief is the same (or close to) what it has been.
    Other than that the bass both feels and looks good, I got it a year ago, should I have someone to look at it/new setup?
    As you might understand I am not very experienced, only played for a year or so.

    Would appreciate if someone might help..
  2. funnyfingers


    Nov 27, 2005
    Is the intonation correct? That is, is the tuning perfect at the 12th fret as well as open?

    I am not certain, but I don't think the stiffness of a string is the same as the tension, which goes with the gauge.
  3. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Stiffness and tension aren't necessarily the same thing (compare strings of the same tension with round and hex cores).

    If the action, tuning, intonation and relief are the same as two weeks ago with the same strings, then there isn't a difference except in how you perceive it. If any of those things have changed in the last two weeks then yes, that could affect how stiff the strings feel.
  4. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Tension at a given pitch is constant. It is a function of composition and mass. The only way to change the tension is to change the pitch. Or vice versa. If the guitar was tuned standard and has not changed the tension will also be the same as before.

    The feel, sometimes referred to as elasticity, stiffness, or compliance is something different.
  5. funnyfingers


    Nov 27, 2005
    But if the intonation is different and still tuned correctly open, then the tension would be different, right?
  6. mariuste


    Feb 3, 2012
    Sorry, forget stiffer, I mean string tension. It has become harder to play, it is most noticable when I play with a plectrum, my wrist cramps. It was much more comfortable before.
    Because the action is low I had also some slight fret buzz if I played hard, that is not there now.
    I dont think it is the intonation. I could always put on a new set and see what happens..but the strings was ok to begin with, so something has changed.
  7. Low Main

    Low Main Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Necks take on a forward bow in the drier winter months. If you're just eyeballing the relief by sighting down the neck and guessing it's about what it was, best to confirm that by checking the relief with feeler gauges.

    Also check the string height at the 12th fret and compare that to what it was before.

    IME, 1 or 2 thousandths increase in the amount of relief due to a seasonal forward bow makes a noticeable difference.
  8. Ian_Flash


    Jan 17, 2013
    Get yourself a set of feeler gauges, capo the strings at the first fret, then fret the G (high) string at the last fret. If your clearance at the 7-8th fret is over .015" (1/64") is can start to feel stiff. (some players like it that way and use higher clearances than this). It's hard to tell by eye. If it's really higher than this, turn your trussrod to tighten 1/4 turn (ususally clockwise). If it's better, wait about 2 hours, then adjust another 1/4 turn. Do not adjust more than twice in one day.
  9. mariuste


    Feb 3, 2012
    Thanks for the replies. I want to try to tighten the truss rod a bit to see if it helps, but it looks like the screw for it is partially covered on the bridge side of the neck. It is a Fender squier p-bass Japan model btw. What to do?

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