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Low E buzzing and too quiet... help?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by ixcokerxi, Nov 8, 2012.


  1. ixcokerxi

    ixcokerxi

    Oct 21, 2011
    I've recently started playing upright, and my three top strings are fantastic; they have great, full tone. My low E, however, buzzes whenever any note besides the open is played. I've tried adjusting the bridge to as high as it will go, and the buzzing is kind of fixed... but the sound is still SO quiet compared to the three other strings. All four strings are nylon, and noticeably thicker than the strings I've felt on other players' basses. Is this an issue of the string itself, or is the low E just quiet on DB (the instrument's just that way)? :confused:
     
  2. Clarkybass

    Clarkybass Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2010
    Do the strings by any chance each have different coloured silks, which could mean you have Innovation Silver Slap strings as these are fat and nylon. If so, the E doesn't have as much tone and carry as the other strinsg in my opinion. Its one of the reasons I have swapped out from these strings to steels (nice low tension steels include Kolstein Heritage, down-tuned Spirocore Solos and I am sure there are others that may suit, eg, Spirocore Weichs are not as low tension but lower than most steels). There could be other reasons too, eg, the way the string is wound around the pegs, the break angles on bridge and nut etc
     
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  4. ixcokerxi

    ixcokerxi

    Oct 21, 2011
    I'm very happy with the other strings... would it be too strange to change just the low E to a steel or different brand nylon, or do you think it would be a good investment to change them all? I've played other basses, and every steel string I try is much more dead, not to mention much quieter.
     
  5. Clarkybass

    Clarkybass Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2010
    You could easily mix a diiferent type of E. For example, if they are Silver Slaps, you could try an Innovation Super Silver 'E' as this brand is by the same manufacturer and of similar construction but of higher tension. However, it would help us all suggest something if you could identify the strings - what colour are the silks for starters and are the strings opaque coloured?
     
    Povl Carstensen likes this.
  6. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Low E should not be quiet but balanced with the other strings. Definitely try another new E string or set, spirocore weich would be fine, or do what Clarky suggests. If it is still quiet, you'll need to take the bass to a bass luthier to check the soundpost. May need an adjustment there. Is the buzzing coming from the strings/fingerboard, or from the body? Unfortunately, some basses just have weak low note response. Hopefully yours isn't one of them.
     
  7. ixcokerxi

    ixcokerxi

    Oct 21, 2011
    I've attached a picture as reference... you'll probably get more from this than any description I could give you!
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Clarkybass

    Clarkybass Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2010
    OK, those aren't Silver Slaps, rendering my comments about the Super Silver 'E' largely irrelevant (possibly)! Over to someone who does recognise those silks!!!!
     
  9. JeffKissell

    JeffKissell Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Soquel, CA
    If you're just starting out then technique is also a factor. Having had this problem with Spirocores when I first started playing DB, my personal opinion is that it's more technique and/or a set-up issue than a string issue.
    The E string is plucked/pulled differently because of it's location on the fingerboard. Most likely you're pulling this string down and into the board as opposed to a more parallel or slightly upward motion for the other strings. This is because when you pluck the other strings you finger comes to rest on the next lower string but when you get to the E string, your finger naturally pulls down and off the board entirely. Try pulling slightly upwards to see if you get a better balance. Good luck, YMMV, IMHO, etc.
    -Jeff
     
  10. Earl

    Earl Supporting Member

    Those look like Eurosonics.
     
  11. ixcokerxi

    ixcokerxi

    Oct 21, 2011
    Good advice, and I've tried that some as well. Still, the issue of weak sound and no sustain continues. Any suggestions for strings that might be better?
     
  12. JeffKissell

    JeffKissell Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Soquel, CA
    The Eurosonic string set typically has a pretty strong E string. It sounds like it might be a set-up issue more than a string issue. I'd hate for you to buy a bunch strings only to discover you've got an issue with the bass itself. Do you know a more experienced DB player or luthier who could play your bass to confirm?
    -Jeff
     
  13. ixcokerxi

    ixcokerxi

    Oct 21, 2011
    I'll go to the shop that set it up tomorrow and tell the owner about the problem. It's still under their warranty, so I'll see if he can do something to help it sing :) thanks!
     
  14. Hi Guys

    I have the same issue, I have just started the Double Bass (in mucho middle age, I was actually a drummer by trade hehe) My first DB is an Archer Professional Carved, looks lovely and has a lovely warm sound. because of a great deal I also bought a cheaper bass, a Gear4Music solid spruce top. (though I realise an Archer is cheap for a carved bass). Now this one souns brighter and louder than the Fully Carved Archer. The Archer's E is very quiet and rather dull. The strings on it are flatswould with a metal core I think, like a blue silk at the ball end by the tailpeice. Can anyone help? Maybe even if it's a case of telling me 'That's the sound, like it or lump it!'.
    If I could brighten it I would love to as I like the warmth and look of this upright :)
     
  15. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Can you post a pic of the silks at the tailpiece please?
     
    Mike North likes this.
  16. bskts247

    bskts247 Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    Taking a picture of the strings would help. I'm predicting you'll be told to buy a new set of strings.
     
    Mike North likes this.
  17. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Since you're just getting started and probably don't know much about double bass setups, I suggest you take your basses to a bass luthier, if possible, or a good teacher, and have them evaluated. Buying cheap, as you did, from an online "big-box" seller probably means they are not setup very well, at the very least.

    Read the newbie stickies if you haven't already. Good luck.
     
    Mike North likes this.
  18. Thanks guys! I took my bass to a Luthier, he's called Andrew Hutchinson on the Wirral, 'The Violin Shop' he's a DB player himself, he has some awesome items up there, goodness me. Anyhow he suggested Pirastro strings, £200 :woot: but he set it up well, moved the sound post adjusted the nut and bridge, far better action 'for me' anyhow. Have been learning some 'Walking' via Geoff Chalmers DIscover Double Bass YouTube channel. Hope it's a good place to start? I am really loving this forum thanks for all your valuble help.
     

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  19. It was a used bass, (they both are) The Archer which is the one I will probably keep was owned by a jazz player from Oxford, apparently he was very good indeed. The Luthier I used Andrew (See above) told me it wasn't that far out at all, just needed tweeking and action lowering for me. Thanks though Eric
     
  20. bskts247

    bskts247 Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    Those are innovation Honey bass strings. I don't know much about them but they are apparently dark. If you want a jazz string buy a set of thomastik spirocore medium bass strings. Best price is at string emporium
     
    Mike North likes this.
  21. Thanks bskts247 I am guessing "dark" means mellow, warm? A bit dull? Please educate me Ha!