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I learned something really big (I think)

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Flatwound, Jun 5, 2001.

  1. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    OK, over my bass playing "career" I have been plagued by funny sounding E and A strings. You know, they just sound weird, kinda twangy-chorusy, and don't seem to have as much fundamental as they should :confused: . More expensive strings don't seem to have this problem as much.

    I think I've found the answer: lateral torque. I read a post here fairly recently by someone who had a weird-sounding string, and when he turned the ball-end of the string to line it up with the others (he apparently has a thing about aligned ball-ends), the weird sound went away :eek: . This hit me like a ton of bricks. I dug out a set of SIT Rock Brights I had tried and taken off because both the E and A strings had the aforementioned sound. I strung them very carefully onto my Washburn el-cheapo bass and they sounded pretty good except for the A. I loosened the A completely, pulled the ball-end out of the bridge, wiggled the string to make sure it had no twist whatsoever, and brought it back to pitch. Voila! These strings sound fantastic now, consistent, punchy, and with nice, clear sound on the open strings :cool: .

    I'm surprised I never thought of this before. I have probably twisted a lot of strings by hand-wrapping them around the machine post rather than using a string winder. No wonder I've had troubles. I'm going to try some more cheap nickels and see how this theory works out.

    If everyone else in the world has already figured this out, well, just ignore me and realize I'm a little slow :D .
  2. Yeah, I like bridges with slots instead of holes. That way I can wind the string around the tuning post and when I drop the end in the slot, it's totally relaxed. But if I don't have slots, I wind it up and leave about a half turn of slack, let the ball end twirl until it's relaxed, then take the rest of the slack up by turning the tuning peg.
  3. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Yeah, on all my quick release bridges, my ball ends are parallel to the bass body. Always. Annoys me when they aren't.

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