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Lower output on B String?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by berklee46, Jun 28, 2002.

  1. berklee46

    berklee46 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2000
    After 6 months, I got my 5 string bass back. New Curbow neck, new finish, but same body and same electronics.

    Since getting it back, the B string seems much quieter than the other strings. It's been a while since I've played this bass, but I don't remember the B being so dead.

    I've tried a couple different strings and even tried throwing a lighter guage string on it and tuning it up to E and it sounds different than the 'real' E string.

    Any ideas what could cause this?
  2. FrolicHoek


    Nov 14, 2001
    Dallas, TX
    I had this same problem with my Tobias. Check your action on the B. You might try raising your string up just a bit, as the B string has a tendency to get much closer to the fretboard than the other strings. This worked very well for me...
  3. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    If anything, the rockwood neck should improve the B response due to its added rigidity over a maple neck. I know the B strings on my Curbows are pretty ferocious.

    Maybe the pickup is a little lower on that side of the bass?

    I know that thing has volume knobs for every string, right? Is the one for the B string functioning properly?
  4. berklee46

    berklee46 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2000
    The neck is great for all the others strings, so I'm not really concerned that it's the neck. The pickup/string volume knobs is working fine, it's just quiet now. I had originally thought Greg may have put the pickups in backwards, but they are in right.

    I've adjusted the pickups lower/higher/you name it. This is pretty frustrating after all this time and $$ to have a weak B string
  5. Well, I'd expect the wiring setup on that thing is rather complicated, and it does have separate coils for every string. I wonder if maybe the pickup connections for the B-string coils could have accidentally been mis-wired (out of phase, for instance). Do you notice the same thing when you pan to each pickup individually? If not that, it could be a problem with how the pan pot for the B string is wired up, or with the pot itself.

    The other thought would be that there's some problem with the new bridge--the break angle over the saddle not being right, or some such thing. Presumably that would be obvious acoustically as well, though. Does the B seem noticably quieter when you play the bass unplugged? (That's hard to tell, I'm sure...)

  6. berklee46

    berklee46 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2000
    Mike, To be honest, it does seem a bit quieter acoustically as well. I don't know if I'm listening for it to be that way or not though.

    Just for kicks, what would you suggest if it was a bridge issue? Greg did use a high-end bridge like on his basses, so it's not a junk one...

    Thanks again guys!
  7. The simplest thing would be to just pop the original bridge back on there, if you still have it. I'm not sure what else you can find easily with that narrow string spacing.

    Alternatively, you might just take a really close look at that B-string saddle, and see if you see anything weird. I can't think of any particular thing that the bridge could be doing to make the string less loud, so you'd really just have to look looks and see if it's not making good contact at the saddle in some way, or buzzing against someting that's soaking up energy. Given that the adjustment length on the saddle looks pretty short, it may be that the string is not breaking over the saddle properly--you might try just pushing down hard on the string on both sides of the saddle at once, to give it a little "bend" there. As thick as they are, B strings sometimes don't want to bend where you want 'em to.

    Good luck!