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My B String Sucks!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Melvin7822, Jan 1, 2005.

  1. Melvin7822

    Melvin7822 Supporting Member

    May 11, 2004
    Broomfield, CO
    I have a Musicman Stingray 5. All the other strings sound awesome, but the B-string really sucks. I've put new strings on and changed the battery and had the bass professionally tweaked, but for some reason it just sounds dull like there's a blanket over it and it doesn't ring as clear as the other four strings.

    All I really want is for the B-string to match the rest of the strings in tone. Does anyone have any insight as to what can be done or something that may have been overlooked?
  2. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    I have found that the SR5 needs a little treble for the B to speak well. Best sounds to date have been with DR high beams with the onboard Treble just off the detent and D'Addario Chromes with the treble and mids flat and the bass boosted a bit. I think it works best also if the pickup isn't too high and the action isn't too low. Maybe that big humbucker chokes the fat B string before the others if its too close. You'll also find that the bass responds to small changes in right hand position and even a less-than-optimum setup can work OK if you shift back toward the bridge a fraction of an inch when you play the B.

    I am a notorious tweeker and really haven't messed with mine for the past 6 months of steady playing - Chromes with medium action. In fact it's getting better as these strings age a little.
  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    IME, and there is some consensus here at TB, that an open core string (exposed core, taper core or whatever you want to call it) will speak more clearly. In addition, they are often easier to acurately intonate and allow for a cleaner adjustment of the action.

    I have had excellent results using Dean Markley SR2000s on my bass. The B string tone, as well as the other strings' tone, is absolutely outstanding. I'd consider it perfectly aligned in tone and feel with the other strings. Overall the strings are very brilliant and articulate.

    I should add that a lot of it has to do with the bass itself. The B string most easily forces the bass to deflect. So, if the bass is prone to this behavior, you'll experience most problems with the B.

    I don't think SR5s are known for having B string flabbyitus. IME, with the ones that I have played, they are pretty much average. Better than a Fender 5 but not as good as some others in the same price range. No where near the feel of a Roscoe, Smith or Modulus.

    lastly, getting a good B string tone takes some practice. If you tend to play with the action a little higher and dig in hard, it will be more difficult. IME, the best B string tone (and tone consistency across all strings) comes from playing with the gain higher and using a much softer attack.
  4. Eggman


    Dec 3, 2004
    Denver, Colorado
    Try a Dingwall with the fanned frets and a 37" B string. Killer tone.
  5. I'll bet a Dingwall does sound great, but of course this doesn't help the man with the Musicman, unless you are gonna send him a Dingwall to try.. In this case I'd like to add MY name to the list too. :D