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Lengthen My B String

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by bizzaro, Jan 9, 2003.


  1. bizzaro

    bizzaro

    Aug 21, 2000
    Vermont
    I have a Yamaha TRB 5 and am considering making the B string go through the body to lengthen the fixed points of the string thus increasing the tension. I am hoping this will give it a better tone.
    What do you think?
     
  2. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Length-wise, the only thing that affects the tension of a string is the speaking length - the distance between where it is stopped by the bridge saddle and where it is stopped by the nut (or your finger). You could extend the the string for miles beyond the bridge, or beyond the nut, but as long as you are tuning to the same pitch, using the same gauge string, and have the same distance between nut and bridge, the tension will be the same.

    That being said, some people think that the tone is different when stringing through body. This is possible, since the break angle at the saddle is usually different, and the anchorage is at a different angle. But the tension is the same.
     
  3. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Actually, the break angle has also less to none influence on tone.
    Anchorage point and anchorage rigidity has.

    Anchoring on the back of the body is more rigid than a screwed on bridge - especially a Fender bent plate style.
    Also, ancoring on the back of the body may have (though probably very little) an influence on vibration pattern for the body.
     
  4. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    My 2 cents:

    edited- spelling
     
  5. bizzaro

    bizzaro

    Aug 21, 2000
    Vermont
    Thanks guys. You answered my question. It will not increase the string tension to liven up the tone. Even though it is a 35 inch scale, and the neck should be rigid(it is a three piece neck), the B string is pretty disapointing. I really don't have cabs that can reproduce the fundementals, but it still is dead. Any suggestions?
     
  6. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Try some different strings. Moving up to a higher guage on the B might help.
     
  7. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Make sure those neck bolts (assuming it's a bolt-on) are tight! Yes, there's a danger of stripping out if you overtighten. But the loss of rigidity due to a loose neck joint will definitely affect sould and feel.
     
  8. bizzaro

    bizzaro

    Aug 21, 2000
    Vermont
    I am kinda partial to DR lowriders and I am using the heaviest guage available I think (130 for the B string). I have heard of heavier sets in other brands but have yet to have found anything available in more than 130 by anyone in a 5 string set. I will check the bolts, but I am pretty sure they are tight. Thanks again.
     
  9. What about replacing only the B string? You could probably sell the other 4 to someone who plays a four string, and still keep (most of) your lowriders. You might also bring it in to a music store and test it on a cap with some more bottom and see how that goes.

    p.s. Where-abouts in Vermont are you? I'm currently at school in Burlington.
     
  10. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    The angle-anchorage rigidity is actually physics...
    I'll have to do that article some time soon....
     
  11. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    OK, I think I see where you're going here. I was referring to the actual rigidity of the mounting of the (ball) end of the string. You may be referring to the fact that a greater angle would produce more downforce on the bridge saddle (proportional to the sine of the angle). This in turn could cause greater friction of the string at the saddle. However, there are other factors involved too. For example, this would be as straighforward as was just stated with a knife-edge saddle. But with a rounded barrel saddle, as the angle increases, the force is spread over an increasing area, resulting in an increase in total force applied, but a constant pressure applied.