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Musicman, weak G string

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by jamhampton, Apr 16, 2002.

  1. jamhampton


    Apr 16, 2002
    I have an early 90's stingray(3-band eq). Ever sence i've owned it the output on the G string is noticably weaker and thiner sounding then the rest of the strings. I have played proffesionaly for a long time and have tried all the trick fixes. Has any one else had this problem?
    A few years ago I replaced the stock preamp with the Basslines preamp, this did improve the sound but did not remedy the problem. I just ordered the Basslines pickup (alonickel) SMB-4a for it and I hope this will remedy the problem. Has anyone installed the basslines pickup/preamp combo in thier stingray? What were the results?
  2. FWIW, jan, I've never played nor owned a bass where a higher-fretted note on the D didn't sound immensely better than that same note on the G.

    Then again, I haven't used flatwounds for a long time, nor have I owned Fodera-level basses.

    Still, the wimpiness of G's has always been the principal reason I don't consider extending my range to a 6-string.

    I have a custom in the works with an alnico Basslines MM pup and the accompanying Tone Circuit. If that doesn't have a G with some authoritative cahones for the G, I don't know what will.
  3. jamhampton


    Apr 16, 2002
    The problem is noticable even when hiting the open G, so much if fact when playing live I cant hear any notes Im playing any were on the G, it sounds like somebody turned my amp down a few notches. My 74 Jazzbass with bartolini's on the otherhand sings and sounds even all accross the neck.
  4. That throws some new light on it. It could very well be a poorly cut nut slot for the G, IME.

    If there's one nut slot that always seems to be poorly cut, IME, it is the G.

    From what I know, the strings should always set about only half-way into the slots to resonate well. Yet, the G so often seems to be sunk about 6 ft. deep into the nut on mass production basses.

    On the last bass where I had this problem, I kept adding layers of super glue into the G's slot and let each coat dry before adding another. Finally, after multiple layers of super glue, the G made a significant sonic contribution! :rolleyes:

    The alternative was having a tech install a correctly cut nut and paying him $150 or more.
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Hm, that wouldn't help if the problem occurs with fretted notes also.

    What gauge are you using?

    The g string on my bass sounds awesome, but I use a light gauge (.035-.095).
    I notice that a lot of people use .055 for a g, which is the gauge of my d string.
    So this got me thinking, maybe you should try a lighter gauge for your g string, e.g. .040.
  6. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    This is actually a pretty well-known shortcoming with Stingray 4's...I know lots of people who have them, and have had this problem. I sold my Stingray 4s due to this very issue....and I've never played one that didn't have this "wart". I think most players just accept it as a trait of the bass, just like dead spots and buzzing on a Fender.

    Strangely enough, no Stingray 5 I've ever played had this issue.
  7. NioeZero


    Sep 2, 2001

    Where do you find your techs?!

    I had a kahler bridge installed (which required some fairly in-depth routing), and an entire fretboard leveling/crowning for 165 total. The guy did an excellent job.

    Jeezus... 150+ is way too much money for some dude to notch a piece of plastic and glue it to a piece of wood. Seriously.
  8. It is a lot.

    I imagine it is much less expensive to have it done on something like your Ibanez. It probably just involves gluing a pre-fab, machine made, plastic nut to the end of the fretboard and not having to worry about the downward pull of a tiltback headstock.

    As the complexity of the instrument increases, some of this becomes friggin' rocket science. But, then there's the difference in how the instrument performs :D
  9. NioeZero


    Sep 2, 2001

    So then what, exactly, are you playing that requires a degree in Physics to set up properly, Rickbass? :D :rolleyes:

    A nut is a nut, graphite is graphite, etc. People love to grift us music-folk. Are you taking your basses to the shop of the company from whence they came, or to a private repairman? My tech has always been straight up with me, hes quick, and he is very cost-efficient.

    The same can't really be said about the majority of customer services at big companies...
  10. It's a matter of what your expectations are, Nioe. I know a Talkbasser who is forking out $200 as we speak for nut repair on a 6 string (he lives in a major US metro area).

    Here's a place reputed to do good work; (I never used them); check out what they charge, which doesn't include shipping (sorry, it takes a little scrolling);

    http://guitarrepair.com/rates.html#Nut Work

    Are there less expensive places??? No doubt. Would I expect much from them??? No.

    A little carelessness with the files and the nut slots start going down the dumper.
  11. I don't think how high the string sits above the nut has anything to do with the sound. Ideally, the nut slot should cut deep enough that the first few frets are easy to play, but not so deep that the string buzzes against the first fret. If you cut your nut so that the G string only went down half of its thickness, the first few frets would be REALLY hard to play, and probably out of tune too.

    BTW, cutting a nut is a really easy job. When I replaced the neck on my Fender with a Warmoth, I cut the nut myself. It was a piece of cake.
  12. Well, there goes a few centuries of luthiery knowledge out the window. :eek: Someone call Rick Turner and tell him not to worry any longer!!!
  13. I've had a Stingray 5 and 4, and sold them both because I could never get any satisfaction from the G string either, despite trying all sorts of strings.
  14. Rickbass, look at the attached picture. The red dots represent the strings, the gray line represents the first fret. Figure A is how the nut on my Modulus is cut. Figure B, if I'm not mistaken, is how you say the nut should be cut. That makes no sense to me. Why would you want the smaller strings to be so high off the fingerboard? Now, look at figure C. Would that sound any different from figure A? I don't think so.
  15. Marty can't get no satisfaction from a G-string??

    Oh you mean the one on the bass.
  16. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    let us know if the new pickup fixes the problem. My stingray has the same problem. I replaced the preamp and I got a better tone but the problem stayed. I have ordered the alnico SD, but it's going to take a while to get here.

    keep groooovin
  17. jwymore


    Jul 26, 2001
    Portland, OR

    What I believe Rickbass is referring to is not the depth of the slot itself, but actually removing material from the TOP of the nut so that when the strings are at the proper playing height half of the string sits abaove the nut. This is best for sound an also looks correct.

    I agree cutting a nut is easy, but you must have the right tools and know the proper way to do it. Nut width, slot width, slot spacing, slot angle and top trimming are all important.
  18. Almost without exception, I never, ever, include the entirety of a quote from another other Talkbasser in my posts.

    Yet, John of Black Rose Customs, (above), is so dead on in his comments, I had to reiterate what he says because he is in a position of authority to know - rather than just some jerk who has been a bassist for 30 years....(such as I). However, I know many people who aren't gourmet chefs who can appreciate the difference between Iranian Beluga Mallasol caviar and Utah sturgeon caviar

    In my layman's world of understanding, I have come to appreciate luthiers and nut designs that let the fundamentals of a string vibrate/ring almost infinitely while it adds the partials of the harmonics that comprise a bass's character, (cheap basses excluded from this discussion). If you're just after a cheap Rex Brown-Pantera sound, you can quit worrying about these qualities. A friggin' nut cut from brick nd installed by a plumber will probably please that person who doesn't hear the nuances.

    I ain't no Anthony Jackson when it comes to being picky. But, I know a $60 nut job makes my notes sound like second-hand toilet paper.

    I've bought too many strings to put the blame on them...........unfortunately :rolleyes:

    Bottomline, Cjazz, if your bargain basement nut jobs are giving your audience and your band members what they like, forget what I say.

    An Ibanez GSR through an Ampeg SVT, night after night, can keep the masses sedated if you're in the right band. :D
  19. Can the nut be responsible for an entire string sounding "weak, lifeless, without sustain and fundamental"? How?
  20. tim oconnor

    tim oconnor Supporting Member

    Oct 29, 2002
    Mooresville. NC USA
    You might try removing the neck and reattaching it making sure it's snug.
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    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.

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