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My B string doesn't sound right.

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by DuckSoup, Dec 12, 2018.

  1. DuckSoup


    Dec 20, 2017
    I've seen countless threads on B string issues. (Sounding dead, lifeless, etc)

    My B string I think has the same problem. It just makes a Thump sound and has a very low sustain. The tone out of this string has never sounded right from the day I purchased the bass. I'm wondering if this is a string issue or something else.

    I'm playing on an Ibanez BTB745, which I've heard produces a good B string sound. I'm just not sure what to do. The string has always sounded off even when it was new. After a few months that hasn't really changed.

    I linked a clip to the audio here at some random free site I found.

    E <<< Link here

    The first note hit is an E on the B String. The second note, is an open E on the E string.

    The tone knobs are bass at the middle, the Mids are slightly elevated, and the highs are in the middle.
  2. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    That doesn’t sound right. While the B will have less sustain than the E (just like the E has less than the A, etc.), it shouldn’t be a thump. That sounds like a dead string to me. How old are the strings?
    LiquidMidnight likes this.
  3. DuckSoup


    Dec 20, 2017
    Strings are about 3 months old. I'm not exactly a heavy player, and I really don't use the B string much because of the sound. Honestly it's always had this thumpy sound since I had it.
  4. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    Try different strings.
    I tried many brands and gauges till I found the ones my bass agreed with
    They really do matter
    Turbo Sparky, murphy and Reedt2000 like this.
  5. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Are these the original strings on the bass? If they’ve been on the bass in the showroom or in a warehouse for an extended period at tension, the string could have been at the end of its life when you got the bass.

    Try new strings.
    joeypee likes this.
  6. DuckSoup


    Dec 20, 2017
    These are the original strings. Yeah I didn't really think about the fact that just because they aren't used, doesn't mean they won't go dead.

    I'll explore some new strings and go from there.

    Last question, I believe the stock B string is a 130 gauge. Is there any reason to consider adjusting that?
  7. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    I agree, try new strings first. You also can't make an apples-to-apples comparison between an open string and a fretted note though your B-string does sound particularly dull in your recording. It could be an issue where the string contacts the nut or the bridge. Does it have the same dull sound when it's not plugged in?
    Quantized Harmonic likes this.
  8. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    I suggest you start there. Some say a lighter-gauge B-sting will be clearer due to less mass, others say a heavier-gauge string will be less floppy because of the greater tension. When you’ve had some experience with 130s, then you might want to try others.

    I play 130’s. Mostly Ernie Ball Slinky and Ernie Ball Cobalt Round Wound.
    burgerdj likes this.
  9. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    I can only speak from personal experience.
    I found that if I go heavier than a 125, the string gets “wooly” sounding and less distinct.
    I current use a Daddario pro steels EPS300-5 (43-63-85-107-127) tapered set and those are my go to strings on my stingray 5

    On my four strings I use stainless DR high beams or Fat beams. They sounded bad to me on my five
    MordBass, murphy and MattZilla like this.
  10. DuckSoup


    Dec 20, 2017
    Yeah that same deadness is present even when the bass isn't plugged in.
  11. faulknersj

    faulknersj Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    I find this can help (witness points) Witness Points: The Pictorial

    also...if the bass is not set up properly (you have fret buzz around frets 1-5) that can cause that dull sound as well.
  12. nilorius


    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
    Just for the result - try to completly take it off and put back alittle bit differently to see the results.
  13. Then you have stepped or exposed core strings vs not, that will react or sound different
  14. baxter_x


    Nov 27, 2013
    I use D'addario EPS300-5 strings, and it did happen that the B or E strings were not sounding exactly the same as "usual". I guess it was some dead strings out of the box.
    murphy likes this.
  15. I had this with 5 string sets I tried (D'addario Pro Steels, DR Nickel Lo Riders).

    Using Elixir Nanowebs with the taperwound .130 seems to have fixed it. That's the best B string I've played so far, to the extent I'm not that inclined to try other sets (but let's face it, I probably will).
    joeypee and C_Becker like this.
  16. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    MY BTB came with the Taperwound Elixir string and that's just fine.
    This is the set it came with:

    Check your bridge, whether or not the B string starts with full diameter at the ballend.
    When you have one that starts thinner and then increases in diameter after it passes the saddle and want to swap it for one that has the full diameter all the way, you will need to adjust the bridge accordingly (same goes for the other way round, obviously).
    Yahboy, C_Becker and nilorius like this.
  17. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    A new set of strings properly installed should address the issue adequately.

    Lardass5000 and murphy like this.
  18. baxter_x


    Nov 27, 2013
    True! I tend to avoid through the body mounting. I noticed it tends to muffle a bit the big strings. Any way, I don't have the choice anymore on my Sadowskys as there is no through the body possibilities ;)
  19. onda'bass

    onda'bass Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Buffalo Ny
    go .145 taper core on the B, your welcome :)
  20. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    This... I had a similar issue and a tapered B string fixed it...
    Reedt2000 likes this.

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