How you deal with a too loud B string?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by maturanesa, Apr 12, 2024.

  1. Hi!
    I have a 5 string P Bass with a Low B that overpowers the other 4.
    Lowering the pickup doesnt work because it make the E string, and A quieter too.
    Unbalance persist.

    Rising the action of B string would be a solution, but currently the B string saddle is at the same high as E string, so the action is noticiable higher than the rest of the strings. Still so unbalanced.

    Tried different gauges. Heavier still moves a lot and create a greater signal. Lighter = more floppy but still enough to create greater peaks than the rest.

    Trying to find a solution that doesnt include buying 1 millon strings in order to get one with a less magnetic signal to get balance :)

    any ideas?
    It is more than annoying specially when recording it keeps clipping, with the rest of the strings with a quieter signal input.

    Ellery likes this.
  2. What specific strings are you talking about?

    I've experimented with mix-and-matching the low B to get a better balance with the other four. Different type, even a different brand.
    Nashrakh likes this.
  3. This are Magma flats, stainless steel. Just happen in this bass. Tried different gauges, same brand first, then a custom 130 gauge B.
    Not solved yet.
  4. Is it louder in headphones as well? Just to make sure it isn't a cabinet or room resonance...
  5. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC/JAM USA: For brand affiliations visit
    Is the B string overpowering when you play it acoustically? Side note: trying "fixing it in the mix"...i.e. eq'ing your amp to "attenuate" it. What BassNugget said above has merit.
    BassNugget and Joedog like this.
  6. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    P-Bass 5-er? lower the B-side screw. If that doesn't work, raise the string. If that doesn't work, lighten up a gauge since magnetic strength, therefore output, is proportional to mass and inversely proportional to the square of the distance the string is from the pickup.
  7. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Lower that side of the pickup.
    Lighter B gauge.

    Any would help with part of the problem which is that the mass of a B is higher.
  8. Aloe


    Apr 10, 2016
    1. try to lower the action of the B string, so it hits the frets more
    2. use a HPF
    3. pluck the B string more gently then the others
    One Way, mcnach and bassdude51 like this.
  9. bigdaddybass12


    Feb 26, 2021
    Try a tort pickguard, seems to the the cure-all! (Come on, a little humor on a Friday)
  10. Yeah, the signal is louder in Cubase, it clips
    BassNugget and SharpCat like this.
  11. No, acoustically sounds like normal
  12. J Posega

    J Posega Cat Dad and Dingwall Enthusiast Inactive Suspended Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2005
    Portland, OR
    I love the folks that respond to titles and don't read the entire post. Good job guys, your critical reading skills are garbage.

    First, lower the entire pickup until the B string does not clip at all. Then, apply a high pass filter first in your signal chain, cutting everything below 30 hz. Then, compression. It doesn't solve whatever the physical issue is with the bass/pickup/string, but it should at least help get clean recordings.

    What model bass is it?
    fig, Keither, ImTheOnlyOne and 4 others like this.
  13. 1- Its the same, but with rattle
    2- Dont have one yet
    3- Too much mental control. If i cant pluck consistenly across the strings i prefer another bass.
  14. Squier VM 5 string Precision Bass (tried original pickup and custom), same problem
  15. When i lower the pickup the E and A strings get quieter too so the unbalance persists
    Killing Floor likes this.
  16. True. The thing is the lighter the gauge, more movement and gets up to the peak easier. The ideal is a string that stays more rigid. But tried 130 and still moving around a lot
  17. Already have it
  18. Aloe


    Apr 10, 2016
    you mentioned, you're recording. you should have one in your DAW. and a frequency analyzer that will help you understanding, is it like louder in all frequencies or has the sub-sonic boom (a rather common case).

    lower the gain until you won't clip the input, at 24 bits you have not to worry if your signal is strong enough after this.
  19. J Posega

    J Posega Cat Dad and Dingwall Enthusiast Inactive Suspended Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Lower the entire pickup, both sides. You need to stop the bass from clipping, period. To do that, you have to sacrifice some volume overall. No, it won't solve the imbalance, but it will solve the clipping. You can apply the bandage of EQ and compression to temporarily fix the imbalance.

    You could try sticking extra magnets underneath the E and A pole pieces on the pickup. It might help.

    I hate 34" scale B strings. I've never played a B less than 35" scale that I found acceptable for my tonal needs. Other people will tell you their 30" scale low B with a .090 string sounds perfect and that just proves every player and ear is different.

    I use a .130 on 35" scale and wouldn't go any smaller or shorter. I found the most acceptable low B at 34" scale was a .135. Your experience and preferences probably differ.
    jTrolt likes this.
  20. The bass itself doesnt clip, it clips in comparison with the other 4 strings when they have a normal signal input