more thump, less mwah... any ideas?

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by bob atherton, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. bob atherton

    bob atherton

    Mar 8, 2005

    I use a Steinberger CR4M and am pleased with it. My band used to be more world/funk and a bit of jazz. The tables have turned somewhat and there is now much more jazz .I guess this comes with maturity and ageĀ… (-;

    I use Tomastic Spirocore (light) strings and would like to get more of a DB sound and less of the sustained mwah.

    I have been using foam, dusters, loo roll; you name it to dampen the strings at the bridge. Is there a prescribed method and do any NS owners have their favourite setting to get as close as possible to a DB sound?

    Thanks very much.
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I'm on about this in another thread, but: I've been using Flexocore 92's on my Alter Ego EUB as well as my bass. They might be the trick for you.
  3. bob atherton

    bob atherton

    Mar 8, 2005
    Thanks Ray, intresting thread. Still not sure what is the best string for straight plucked jazz, no arco at all.

    I know it's almost imposible on an ERB, but I would like to get as close as I can to a DB tone without the sustain that mine and so many other EUB have.
  4. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    That's exactly why I made my recommendation. I think these would tame your stick to a great degree...
  5. allthumbs


    Dec 30, 2004
    South Devon, UK
    I've had good results with my CR4M with a set of Spirocores (medium weight I think), and raising the action fairly high helped as well. This enables you to "dig in" and play more in an upright style, if you see what I mean, as although just changing the strings definitely resulted in less "mwah" and more thump it was also a question of experimenting with technique as well, also eq. I've settled on bass at 12 o'clock, treble at 12:10 with the amp set flat.
  6. bob atherton

    bob atherton

    Mar 8, 2005
    Allthumbs (?), what setting do you use on the 2nd and 3rd knobs? I use pot two at 3 oclock and pot three at 9 oclock. I tend to use the tone pots set to 12 oclock, but tweak them depending on the venue.
  7. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I'm not sure which Steinie that is, but dialing up the mag pickups and killing the peizo is a good place to start.
  8. allthumbs


    Dec 30, 2004
    South Devon, UK

    From the top down:
    Knob 1 (volume): adjust to taste
    Knob 2 (p/u balance): 4/5 o'clock, ie a lot more piezo than mag
    Knob 3 (treble): 1 o'clock
    Knob 4 (bass): 12 o'clock
    switch: up, though i've found the centre position gives a bit more thump as well
  9. bob atherton

    bob atherton

    Mar 8, 2005
    Ahhh, not boasting but I have 5 knobs... :)

    knob 2 is the piezo / mag blend. I use about 75% piezo to 25% mag. the 3rd knob is a bit of a mystery but appears tobe an arco / pitz kind of thing. This is the one that I set to about 3 oclock. I think my CR4M must be quite new as the battery cover is at the top of the back plate on the rear so batteries can be changed and use 4/4 strings at the same time.
  10. brandonwong


    Dec 16, 2003
    More thumb? Raise the action...
    Less mwah? Raise the action...

    Dig in more and you get that more drastic decay as oppose to lighter playing and touch.
  11. Bob -- I've also got the CRM with five knobs, and I've been going through the same effort you have, to try to get it reasonably close to a DB sound (realizing of course that it's a different instrument than a DB and it can only come so close). Anyway, I've had good results with the following:

    Spirocore Weich strings -- I believe you are also using these.

    Raise the action, as somebody else mentioned in their reply.

    I set Knob 2 (magnetic-piezo) fully clockwise for piezo, as this has less of the mwah (at least to my ears) than the magnetic. I imagine this also may vary by the amplifier you're using. I use a the little portable Gallien-Krueger MB150 combo amp.

    I set Knob 3 (pizz-arco) in the center (12 noon position). It actually has the most DB-like sound if I set it fully clockwise (arco position), but I lose too much pizz volume at that setting, so I keep it at noon.

    I set Knob 4 (treble) full counterclockwise (no treble at all).

    I turn Knob 5 (bass) fully clockwise, all the way on.

    That's the best I've been able to do, for a reasonable facsimilte of a DB sound. Hope this helps. Good luck.
  12. I put Helicore light pizz strings on my Paulin EUB because (apart from being easist to find) they were recommended for a nice growly pizz sound. However I'm wondering whether all the rules are different on a solid-body EUB that has more inherent sustain than a flexible acoustic instrument.
    On a solid EUB would orchestral strings with minimal sustain sound like pizz strings do on an acocustic?
    Bob, is that why you're suggesting Flexocore 92's?
  13. allthumbs


    Dec 30, 2004
    South Devon, UK
    Five knobs and a re-positioned battery cover? I'm envious! I love my NS to death, but it's a real pain having to flick switches to play arco - and as for changing the batteries...

    Good luck in the search for thump.
  14. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I recommended the '92's, and, yes, it's because all of the EUBs have too much sustain naturally and I've found that a darker strings gets you a similar result to a brighter string on a bass.

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