How to get more defined low (E string)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by summeralligator, Apr 6, 2018.

  1. summeralligator


    Jan 14, 2018
    Hi to everyone, i post this cause i got a Jazz Bass and when i play low notes on the E string the sound gets muddy and not defined.. i play surf music.. i wonder if the problem is the bass eq or the mics. Its a jazz bass classic 60s.. i changed the stock pickups cause the radius makes that E and G strings sounds more than A and D. So i put new pickups with raised poles and that problem disappear.. but now the muddy sound of the E string still there.
    PS: The problem of the muddy sound on E string happened with stock pickups too.
  2. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    What strings are you using?
  3. JKos

    JKos Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2010
    Surprise, AZ
    What amp, speaker cab, and settings?

    - John
  4. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Withness point maybe could help.
  5. summeralligator


    Jan 14, 2018
    Daddario flatwounds .45
  6. summeralligator


    Jan 14, 2018
    I have a Hartke HD150.. it cames with tweeter. And flatwound .45 daddario strings
  7. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    What settings are you using on your Jazz?
  8. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    I know this may sound too obvious, but have you considered going to round wound strings and rolling off your tone?
    What gauge string are you playing?
    Are you crimping the ends of your strings before you cut them to install them? Make sure they are twisting when you install them.
    Some basic set up stuff may help. Use a qtip or something to make sure there isnt any tiny debris in your nut slot or bridge saddle. Check the height of your E against the radius of your neck using a feeler gauge or precision ruler. Check to see if there is any tilt in your pickup on that side.
  9. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    I'm sure you meant make sure the strings are not twisting when you install them.

    Regarding the original post - "More defined" means different things to different people. If you want a tone where you can really distinctly hear the pitch, you may want a less bright tone since all the ringy harmonics can make it harder to distinguish pitch. On the other hand, "more defined" is sometimes meant as being distinctly heard in a band mix; for that, you do want a brighter tone with especially prominent midrange.

    This may seem counter-intuitive, but if you want a deeper, bassier, less bright tone, try a lighter gauge string set. If you want a brighter tone with more harmonics, try a heavier gauge string set.

    Also, flatwounds are going to be less bright than roundwounds. Some flatwounds are brighter than others, though - do you know what brand you've got on now?

    If you're looking for definition in a band mix, cut back a little on the lowest lows and boost midrange a bit. Around 800Hz is good for definition without getting overly bright, around 400Hz is good for adding some thickness without making things too boomy/muddy.
    Marcelo Coip, bassomane and Mvilmany like this.
  10. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    Correct. Thank you

    To the OP make sure the string isn't twisted. It shouldn't bind and should be able to rotate in the bridge hole.
  11. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    Chromes should be great as long as the pickups aren't too close to the strings and the string isn't twisted.

    Try loosening the string about an inch, pinch the string in the middle of the fretboard and stretch it towards the bridge while running your hand down the string. If it is twisted, it should untwist. Set the ball end back in the bridge and retune (keeping tension so the ball doesn't come out of the bridge). Once it has some tension, bend it down at the bridge to make a new witness point (as suggested above).
  12. I’ve noticed my dingwall is freaking monster down low. Lot more of fundamental. They do make a super J jazz bass. These are shorter than their modern style basses with a 32”-35” fan 85E00B16-9FC9-44B8-806A-317651F14F67.jpeg . Having a rig that has nice tight lows certaintly helps as well I recommend sending foh a xlr out so they can get all the super low fundamental frequencies most bass rigs don’t put out. Good strings installed properly help also.
    bholder and Ikkir like this.
  13. Neviegirl


    Jun 16, 2016
    Long Island NY
    Besides hearing that Dingwall basses are fantastically crafted instruments, I want to play one sooooo badly just because they look NASTY. They look aggressive and tough.
    Outside of my price and talent justification range however so I'll just gawk after a few pints of Guinness while I "practice" playing along to aint no use by the Meters.
  14. faulknersj

    faulknersj Inactive

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    Try raising the bridge pickup closer to the E string and lower the neck pup on the E String side. You’ll find the sweet spot.

    You may also want to generally favor the bridge pickup in the pickup blend as it typically provides more clarity.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
    Bassbeater and Mr.Ace like this.
  15. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Has it ever sounded good? Some basses just don't.
    Mr.Ace likes this.
  16. Pops OB

    Pops OB

    Nov 4, 2016
    Bill Lawrence J45’s.
  17. Mosfed


    Apr 21, 2013
    Washington DC
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    I’d get a HPF pedal like the Broughton offering and dial out the frequencies that make it muddy.

    Get the LPF/HPF if you need a great LPF for your direct signal
    12BitSlab and Zooberwerx like this.
  18. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    I have a Jazz bass that I love-love-love despite any issues I may have with it extra weight or anything else. It's a passive 4-string with a Warmoth neck, DiMarzio Ultra Jazz pickups, and I use DR Sunbeams in the .45-.105 gauge.

    My band mates would always ask me to turn up a little bit when playing this bass because I would always play it with both pickups turned all the way up. This gave me more of a "scooped" tone without enough mids to give my sound much clarity, but when I'd turn up my amp, there would be too much for lows. That could make my sound muddy even if I cut the lows a little bit on my amp's eq.

    Now when I play this bass, I play with the pickup volumes set one of two ways. I either run it with only the neck pickup turned up - these pickups are humbuckers and this neck pickup by itself sounds warm and hearty with a lot more clarity. Not exactly a P-bass tone, but more in that neighborhood. The other way is with the bridge pickup turned all the way up and the neck pickup backed off to about 85%-90% so that I can hear more of those nasally mids while still getting some lows from the neck pickup.

    I'll only run both pickups full open when I want to slap a little bit or enjoy that tone when practicing at home, but when I'm trying to get a sound that sits in the mix with the band, I use one of those two settings I mentioned above. You might have more luck with a round-wound string that gives you some more mids, but you might get more audible tone with less mud if you try different volume settings on your bass.

    Also keep in mind that a lot of your tone is carried in your "low mids" and not your lowest frequencies. You might get that mud under control at your amp by cutting just a little of your lows at your amp's eq and also turning up those low mids - perhaps the frequencies at around 400 Hz.
  19. Mr.Ace

    Mr.Ace Bass players rule!

    Sep 8, 2015
    Pompano Beach FL
    Endorsed by Fusion ( maker of killer gig bags)
    Maybe your attack is to aggressive? Just a thought, but what about turning up your amp, and try hitting the open E string with more finesse.
  20. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Micing an amp means you have a speaker and a mic in the signal chain. One, the other, or (more likely) both are messing up your lowest frequencies. A DI (with a mic to season some amp flavor into the mix at higher frequencies) will most likely change things for the better.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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