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Ibanez ATK300 - Low dropped C Issue

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Haegrit, May 11, 2020.


  1. Haegrit

    Haegrit

    May 11, 2020
    Hey guys, I just bought a used ATK300 and havean issue with it:
    I tuned the bass down to Drop C for a new Band. On the Low C, I use a 120 string gauge. But the tone dies very quickly and the sound is very dull. On the bridge, I already set the string action highest possible. I don't want to change too much on the truss rod since I am pretty happy with the other strings.. Any ideas?
     
  2. Try tuning it up to D. Does it sound better? Or still dull?
     
  3. Haegrit

    Haegrit

    May 11, 2020
    Thanks for the reply! Yeah tuned up to D it sounds better. I think it might be because the string somehow "dies" quickly when tuned to C. But I have no idea why, the tension seems alright and the strings seems to have enough "space" to ring... To be honest I fooled around with the tross rod, it didnt really became better after loosening it, to the point the other string's action became terrible. So I tightened it back but I have still the same issue with the C string of course :(
     
  4. This result SUGGESTS there simply isn't enough tension on that string when tuned to C. You may have to go to a heavier string. Or you might solve it with strings intended for low tuning, such as the DR 'DDT' strings. But ultimately you may not be able to fix it. Some basses just work better at low tunings than others. There are a variety of theories for this. My personal one is that it's mostly about how thick and/or stiff the neck is. Stiffer is better. IMO/IME.
     
  5. Haegrit

    Haegrit

    May 11, 2020
    So basically you would suggest trying a thicker gauge like 130? Seems reasonable because when I tune me 5 string Soundgear to C Standard, I have no issues whatsoever with the low C.
    Unfortunately, if this is the case, I have to buy customized sets from now on..
    I'm just very confused since a lot of people recommend 110 for Drop C and all kinds of weird gauges that make no sense to me
     
  6. Riff Ranger

    Riff Ranger Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2018
    Bigfoot Country
    I have an ATK 300 in CGCF myself. I use Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinkies (.105/.085/.065/.045) with no similar issues. The bass should handle drop tuning with ease. You could try a different gauge of string, but as my experience demonstrates, you don’t need an insanely big string to make this work. I suspect you just have a dud of a string. I would suggest trying a different brand of strings, or a different set, or even just a different string for the low C. It’s by far the cheapest and easiest thing to try if adjustments on the bass aren’t doing it.
     
  7. Riff Ranger

    Riff Ranger Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2018
    Bigfoot Country
    I tried swapping out the .105 for a .110 on a different instrument, and went right back to the .105 because the bigger string sounded too thuddy.
     
  8. It really does depend on the particular instrument. Some just don't like to do low tunings.
     
  9. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2013
    Illinois
    The dull sound is likely due to the bridge saddle being high without adjusting the pickup height as well.

    Honestly, try Out the DR DDT strings. I used the 115 set tuned BEAD with great success. Switched to D’Addario XL’s, BT160 I think they were, balanced tension set with a 120 and it was flop city.
     
    Haegrit and Monterey Bay-ss like this.
  10. Riff Ranger

    Riff Ranger Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2018
    Bigfoot Country
    One of few downsides to these awesome pickups: limited range of height adjustment relative to P-style. The blade appears to curve to match the fingerboard radius. I haven’t had issues getting string-to-string balance with mine, but it would be difficult to correct if I ever did.

    I tried both of those in CGCF and thought they both did okay, but I went right back to my normal-ish gauge Slinkies. I like ‘em like rubber bands, haha.
     
  11. Haegrit

    Haegrit

    May 11, 2020
    Thank you for your opinion! You're right with me not adjusting the pickup - but all my issues can be heard even uplucked (and felt; Bass instantly stops vibrating)
    Yeah right now I have the D’Addario XL’s "balanced tension" with the 120 low string and it just doesn't cut it. Its funny since everybody either says go higher gauge or lower gauge xD
    One thing that seems most interesting to me is, that gauge does not equal tension. This is basically what you are suggesting by saying I should try out the DR DTTs, even when gauge is lighter, strings will be tighter. I hope that will be the case.
    @Sid the Kid : If I really like the other strings of my current set, say 50-67-90-(120), do you think I should try the DR DTT 50-70-90-110? Or will the 110 be too floppy? Also, for testing, is it enough to just change the 120 for the 110 or should I change all strings, since I'll be mixing stainless steel with nickel plated otherwise?
     
  12. Riff Ranger

    Riff Ranger Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2018
    Bigfoot Country
    The main reason I went away from the D’Addarios after two or three sets was that they went dead too quickly—especially that .120. I suspect you would be happier with different strings, and that gauge/tension/stiffness/whatever isn’t the issue.
     
  13. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2013
    Illinois
    The blade isn’t actually radiused, the cover is. I am a former ATK owner. This is a common problem with all pickups that aren’t split. Even radiused pole pieces will not sound right if one string is way higher than the rest.


     
    Monterey Bay-ss likes this.
  14. Haegrit

    Haegrit

    May 11, 2020
    It really is a dude compared to the other strings of the set.. but then again, on my 5 string, which I often tune to C standard, I use a low 130 and like it quite well, no similar issues... I just dont know man :D guess I'll have to throw some money and just try :D thanks anyways!
     
  15. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2013
    Illinois
    Scrap those strings ASAP. They are the problem. Balanced tension is overrated and they will only be balanced if tuned standard. Drop that D to C and you lose many pounds of tension.

    The 110 should do it just fine, it will probably feel as stiff as your current string but will be pulling less tension. The 115 would split the difference. If you tune up to D and back down to C at times I’d do the 110. Full time low c would get the 115 so I can run the string height lower.

    Good luck!

     
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
    Monterey Bay-ss likes this.
  16. Riff Ranger

    Riff Ranger Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2018
    Bigfoot Country
    Better <30 USD on strings than >300 USD on another bass, haha.
     
  17. Riff Ranger

    Riff Ranger Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2018
    Bigfoot Country
    You’ll be happier with the action closer to that of the other strings, too.
     
  18. Cut the middle

    Cut the middle

    Apr 17, 2020
    I'm no expert. I had issues w/ my 5 string B. Floppyness, no sustain, buzzing @ the height I wanted it set at.

    I found two problems:
    1. One of the bridge saddle height adjustment screws did not make good contact with the bridge base. This improved the situation when corrected.

    2. I now use a. 145 B string which has completely fixed the situation.
     
  19. Haegrit

    Haegrit

    May 11, 2020
    SOLVED!

    I just strung up the DR DTT Drop down Tuning 50-110 strings. So much better! Clear, growly tone and none of the issues as with the d'addarios. Thanks everyone!
     
    David Jayne and Monterey Bay-ss like this.
  20. Riff Ranger

    Riff Ranger Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2018
    Bigfoot Country
    Woohoo! It’s a great bass and you’ll dig it in Drop C.
     
    Haegrit likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Mar 7, 2021

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