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How do taper strings affect your intonation?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by RIZ, Sep 11, 2000.


  1. Yesterday I experimented with a set of Fender .45-.110 strings that has a really severe taper on the E. I installed them on my '77 Jazz. I was checking the intonation
    and even though the E is a heavier gauge than what I had on previously(.100 to .110), my intonation on the E was flat at the 12th fret.

    I was surprised to find this out. I was anticipating having to increase the vibrating string length(move string saddle back)due to the increased diameter of the new E... But I had to adjust it forward !!!

    I have been setting up my intonation for a long time so I am very coomfortable doing it. I use a Korg BT-1 Bass tuner.

    Is this normal with radical taper wounds? I have used taper wounds quite a bit, but never one that went from .110 down to basically the core in one step.

    Any thoughts anyone?
    Thx!
     
  2. rsautrey

    rsautrey Banned

    Jul 27, 2000
    Its' been my experience that for most taperwound or exposed core sets, normal rules for intonation go out the window!! You have to keep in mind that the actual gauge of the string for intonation purposes is the diameter at the bridge. That's a big difference from the .110 the rest of the string is. I used Dean Markley SR2000 on my old bass (Fender P bass plus) and had to move all saddles forward for the tapered E, A, and D. G string stayed the same.
     
  3. Hans

    Hans

    Sep 10, 2000
    I've always found that tapered strings are much easier to get perfectly in tune and setup. However, I've found that they break much more easily and the sound, certainly on the E and the B is a little lacking. That said, if you were to use a set of strings that were all tapered, like some of the exposed core sets, then you wouldn't notice the difference, as all of the strings would have a similar tonal quality.

    The rough for setting up intonation is as follows

    Sharp at 12th fret - move saddle towards the neck (decreases the length from saddle to nut)
    Flat at 12th fret - move saddle towards the bridge (increases the length from saddle to nut)
     
  4. Hans, do I have it backwards or do you?

    If a string is sharp at the 12th fret don't you want to increase it'length? and the opposite, if it's flat?

     
  5. Hans, I chkd over in the 'setup' forum, which is where this post ought to be about now, and I believe you have it backwards.

    Anyway the new Fender strings I installed play pretty darn good. have been foolin around revisiting old Allman Bros tunes I used to cover and that .110 really sounds big bad and punchy.
     
  6. Hans

    Hans

    Sep 10, 2000
    Oops!

    I realised I explained it incorrectly whilst setting up one of my basses yesterday. I am sorry.
     
  7. Craig H

    Craig H

    Mar 23, 2000
    Kansas City
    I have used Fender 8250's (with the taperwound E) on my S-T-B Hot Rod P-Bass with questionable results. The set that came on it (8250's in 45/65/85/110) had a very pale-sounding E string. I replaced them with a set of DR Tapered Hi-Beams in 45-105 (E tapered only) and it improved a little. I recently put a set of standard Hi-Beams on it (no taper) and it sounds great. I had to make only a minor intonation when switching to the standard strings. I doubt I'll try anymore tapered strings.

    Craig
     
  8. rsautrey

    rsautrey Banned

    Jul 27, 2000
    Craig H,

    Did you use the taperwound DR Hi-Beams through the bridge or through the body? I haven't found a taperwound set that is long enough through the body for my AS Jazz (other than Fender strings). Also, I thought the taperwound Hi-Beams were tapered for all strings, not just the E. I've got standard Hi-Beams on my bass now and they sound pretty good.
     
  9. Craig H

    Craig H

    Mar 23, 2000
    Kansas City
    rsautrey,
    The Hi-Beams I used were tapered only on the E string and I ran them through the body. I was going to give you the part number but I guess I trashed the package. (Funny, I usually hang on to that kind of junk for reference purposes. Of course, I have never actually referred back to ANY of it...until now. Doh!:( )

    Anyway, I ran all of the strings through the body with plenty of length.

    Are you running thru-body on your AS Jazz with the Hi-beams?

    Craig
     
  10. rsautrey

    rsautrey Banned

    Jul 27, 2000
    Craig H,

    On my AS Jazz, the only option I have is to run the strings through the body. The American Standard Fender basses don't have the deluxe bridge. This works fine for most strings except taperwound. If the DR strings work I would try them, but I would like the whole set to be taperwound, not just the E. Dean Markley SR2000 didn't even come close. I contacted GHS and they said their taperwound super steels would not work. I contacted Labella and they said Super Steps would not work. E-mailed DR but never got a reply.


     
  11. I have a new Roscoe Beck 5 that of course, has Fender 8250 5M 's on it. I like the sound and feel of the strings, but I have never liked the tapered E; way too metallic sounding. But I DO like the tapered B, as it seems to tighten up it's tone. So, I ordered a set of Ken Smith RWM-5T roundwounds with a tapered B to replace them. I'll do it when I can't stand it anymore cuz I'll probably have to adjust the intonation and other stuff afterwards, and have never done it before.