Just bought a 5-string, having issues with the 5th string’s behavior.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by rivetmetal, Feb 14, 2021.


  1. rivetmetal

    rivetmetal

    Feb 14, 2021
    Springboro, PA
    Hello! apologies if this is the wrong place for this, I’m very new here :)

    I impulse bought an ESP B-205SM bass, and I’m having issues with how the 5th string interacts with my amp. I would describe the noise as “farting out”, I really don’t know how else to put it. It just sounds garbled and gross. My buddy said using different technique and changing the strings would help, but he never went into any detail, so now I’m just confused! He also said my amp, a Markbass CMD JB Players School Of Music combo, wasn’t powerful enough for the bass. I don’t have room for a bigger amp, so I hope there’s a way to fix this without upgrading, since I really haven’t had any problems with it until right now.

    (Mildly unrelated, but it might help a little? I play a lot of thrash metal, doom metal, funk-rock, classic rock, grunge, stuff like that.)
     
  2. dwizum

    dwizum

    Dec 21, 2018
    Aren't those combos like 200 watts through a 15" speaker? Should be fine to handle a 5 string.

    Check your pickup height - make sure the low b side of your pickup(s) aren't too high. Take the string off and make sure it's not twisted.

    Is it farty everywhere on the 5th string, or just the lowest notes?
     
    Matty Koff, bassdude51 and rivetmetal like this.
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Dying 9v battery? Got the onboard and/or amp EQ dimed? The bass and amp should be "playing nicely" together...something has probably been overlooked.

    Riis
     
    Matty Koff, bassdude51 and rivetmetal like this.
  4. rivetmetal

    rivetmetal

    Feb 14, 2021
    Springboro, PA
    it’s pretty farty everywhere on the 5th. I’ll check the extent of it in a bit, I’m catching up on some homework right now.
    Edit: The fartiness stops a bit after the 7th fret. It’s still not perfect after that, but it’s not distorted and garbled.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2021
  5. rivetmetal

    rivetmetal

    Feb 14, 2021
    Springboro, PA
    I just replaced the battery last night, nothing changed. I don’t know what you mean by “dimes” but I’ve spent a good deal of time messing with the amp settings and the basses’ tone knobs, and nothing really helped. I was probably doing it all wrong, but at least I tried?
     
  6. If you play the 5th fret of the low B and the open string of the E, are they both distorting?

    If you roll the bass control all the way off on the bass preamp, and center the conrols on the amp, including the VLE and VPF settings, is it still farty?

    Have you changed strings and/or had the bass set up to make sure that the B string is not bottoming out and causing fret buzz that may translate to 'farty'?
     
    Dean N, bassdude51 and rivetmetal like this.
  7. rivetmetal

    rivetmetal

    Feb 14, 2021
    Springboro, PA
    Playing the 5th fret on the low B is definitely distorted, the E string is completely fine. After I set the amp and bass controls to what you said it wasn’t farty anymore, it sounded fine.

    I purchased the bass In-store and the tech did set it up, but they never played it on an amp or anything. I didn’t have the cash on me to buy an extra set of strings, so I’m still using the stock ones. Is there a particular type of strings you recommend?
     
  8. Matty Koff

    Matty Koff Inactive

    Aug 21, 2014
    Tennessee
    250W with extension, 150W with just the combo.

    A low B string is a big ol' fat thing. Is this your first bass with an active preamp? You have to respect the controls on the bass and respect the limits of that amp.

    The bass side of your pickups should be a little further away from the strings than the treble side.. maybe not even full mm of distance from each other. On top of that, I would crank every knob on the bass up to max for setting the input gain, which, Markbass instructions typically, turn the master volume down, turn the input up until the blue light comes on as you play with the volume and all the knobs on the bass cranked, and then back it off until the blue light no longer comes on. From there adjust volume only from the master volume on the amp and EQ the preamp on your bass to your liking.

    My first guess would be you might be clipping your amp if you're hearing distortion.

    Also, without even having to do any of the above.. play a muted open B..just place your finger right by the nut without pressing down or applying pressure and pluck. Does the garble go away? That might not be clipping..and might go away once the string is nice and broken in. I tend to get some harmonic overtones with a fresh ol' fatty B, tends to go away after playing it for a week or two. Until then I EQ through it with lows and low mids.

    Looking at the product page @ espguitars.com, that thing comes stock with D'addario XL, like a lot of basses I own do. Play them for 2-3 weeks. See if that "garble" becomes less apparent. By then they usually sound nice and beefy to me and the harmonics are less noticeable. I pretty much go through this with every string change.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2021
    rivetmetal likes this.
  9. Were you able to dial back in the sound you want using the preamp and you combo amp? Keep in mind that the bass preamp on that instrument has boost and cut, so in the middle is even. Cranking it wide open like a passive bass will overload things.

    My basses have preamps in them and here's what has worked for me: Starting with the all the bass preamp controls centered, I dial in my basic, overall tone on the amp, with my volume knob just shy of full. Then I do very minor adjustments on the bass preamp as needed. In one case, I have a bass that is boost-only, so that stays rolled off 95% of the time.There is never a time when my preamp is even remotely maxed out. That can finding tone very difficult. Subtle tweaks around the center point have worked well for me and give my plenty of range to add and cut tone.

    Strings are a personal choice based on what type of music you play. Personally, I don't use nickels and I'm partial to the Dunlop Marcus Miller light gauge as my 5 string stainless set. My other bears wears flats. But almost anything is likely an upgrade to what comes on most factory basses.
     
    rivetmetal likes this.
  10. rivetmetal

    rivetmetal

    Feb 14, 2021
    Springboro, PA
    I’m under the impression that my first bass does have an active preamp (the website said it has active pickups + active EQ) so yeah, I’m kinda used to ‘respecting’ the limits of my amp and making sure it’s happy. When I got the 5-string, I knew I’d have to make some adjustments to my tone & technique, so It’s not like I had the bass knob cranked all the way up lol.

    My amp is indeed clipping. (I don’t know how I never noticed that little light before) I tried playing the B string muted and it was still clipping. I’ll work on adjusting the amp settings how you said, I hope that helps it a bit.
     
    One Way and Zooberwerx like this.
  11. Matty Koff

    Matty Koff Inactive

    Aug 21, 2014
    Tennessee
    Pickups are not equal in output. Input gain is something to check every time you plug in a different bass. Good luck man I hope that gets you sorted.

    *edit* Lowering your pickups on the bass side (B string side) with a quarter turn or two of the screws might help balance out the volume levels of your strings, a high pass filter in your signal chain and cutting out the inaudible frequencies may help as well, but not a necessity imo.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2021
    rivetmetal likes this.
  12. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    "Dimed" means everything turned up to 10. First thing I think of when "clipping" is the gain is set too high.

    Riis
     
    rivetmetal likes this.
  13. ixlramp

    ixlramp Guest

    Jan 25, 2005
    Complete nonsense =D Any amp works with any bass as long as you use a suitable volume.
     
    One Way, rivetmetal and Zooberwerx like this.
  14. 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.

     
    Jan 27, 2022

Share This Page