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Important Lesson Learned RE: Strings for an EUB

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by rickwolff, Sep 1, 2017.

  1. rickwolff

    rickwolff CGJ Emeritus (Certified Gear Junkie) Retired??? Supporting Member

    I recently got a BSX Allegro (used on TB) that is a very nice bass, well made, fun to play, nice built-in pre-amp etc.

    BUT, it had way too much sustain and didn't sound or feel like playing a DB. Almost sounded more like a BG with that Looooooooooooong sustain. The bass came to me with 1/2 size Spirocore Weichs, I also found (on TB) a 1/2 size set of Spirocore Mittels. Same problem.

    I tried damping the strings with foam just above the bridge. See that thread here: UPDATE: EVEN BETTER Make you EUB sound (more) Like Your DB Go to post #19

    But in the end it turned out I had the wrong (length) strings.

    Francois Blais explained to me that by putting a string designed for a 38 inch mensure on a bass with a 41 inch mensure meant I was tuning them too high (for the string length) which caused higher tension and much more sustain.

    Well, the proof of the pudding was in following Francois' advice and putting the proper 3/4 size string on the bass - despite having to cut most of the silk winding end off because of the very small peg box.

    IT WORKS. In fact, it works so well that I pulled the ad I had put up for the bass and am going to keep it and really enjoy playing it.

    So I guess there are two lessons here:

    One: determine the string size you need by the mensure (length from bridge to nut) and NOT by the overall size of the bass.

    Two: look to the collective wisdom of TalkBass to help solve problems. That works too.

    Thanks, Francois !!
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
  2. My pleasure, and thanks for the kind words!
    SeanVplayer, carl h. and rickwolff like this.
  3. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    Again, subject matter that could be a sticky in the EUB section. Both of my Azola Basses came with 1/2 size strings...a big improvement in sound and feel was to use full length sets.
    I remember years ago I saw a very compact home made EUB from Oregon that allowed full length strings to be used by running them back over the bottom of the bass and attaching on the back of the instrument. It sounded great, and felt nice to play as well. I noticed recently that the NS Design allows this feature, excellent.
    Mark Gollihur and Randy Ward like this.
  4. Ludwig


    Aug 17, 2006
    On my Stagg EUB I prefer classical strings with less sustain even when using 3/4 strings (1/2 size would not work anyhow,the Stagg needs longer strings, 4/4 or 3/4). My current choice is Jargar Dolce, nothing I would use for pizz on an acoustic double bass.
  5. Rick,

    get the Excel-file from my Dropbox:
    Dropbox - Talkbass
    You could have easily found out what Francois told you by entering the scale of your instrument at the top and compare unified tension values of the strings in that table (there are a lot in there).

    There are nice tools available, we only need to know where and get and use them.
  6. Thanks to DoubleMidi for that tool BTW!
  7. rgull


    Feb 14, 2015
    NW Italy
    Very interesting tool, thanks!