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Need a tip on short scale strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Shomy, Sep 16, 2004.

  1. I have a 1974 Framus, which has 20 frets. I bought a pack of Dean Markley's Blues steel (cost me a fortune) and i broke E string while trying to mount it on. I didn't know i had to use short scale bass. I went back and bought a epiphone 45-105 short scale strings, but those were the only ones i could get. I live in Yugoslavia, and we don't have very much of a choice here. :bawl:
    Anyway I was just wondering could you tell if you know some good short scale strings which i could put on my Framus and then we can :bassist: ;)

    By the way the shop i bought Blue steel charged me 33 euros, and in the shop were i bought epiphone blue steel was only 23 euros. talk about a rip off :mad:
  2. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    Rotosound makes short scale roundwounds and flatwounds.
    They're made in the UK, maybe they would cost less in
    Europe. I don't know what the scale length is on a 20 fret
    Framus (Dutch made, I think) but Rotosound will let you know
    if they'll fit your bass. Just check their website and send
    them an e-mail, they'll help you out. They also show quite
    a few distrubutors in your part of the world. You might even
    be able to buy direct from one of them at reduced prices.
    I hope this helps. Check www.rotosound.com

  3. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
  4. to seanm: i've already been on that thread, but there aren't any tips on how to cut strings down to the measure. I broke E string because the thin end of the wire which is supposed to go in to tuner is to far away to fit in it. And if I start from the thin end I end up with knot size of my fist hich keeps falling of the knob.

    to slugworth: It's german bass guitar. It has 20 frets and i think scale is 30''
  5. DemoEtc


    Aug 18, 2004
    I found a site that has Framus strings. Maybe you've seen it? I think I saw a 4 string set for 19 Euros.


    The other suggestions are great too.

    The way I string my basses is to pull the thin end of the string through the hole in the tuner post and then pull it so the string is straight. Then I measure 2 inches past the post and push the string back to that point. Then I start winding. I usually get two or three wraps around the post that way. It depends on the diameter of the post. If it's the smaller diameter ones like earlier basses had, then you could maybe just have 1.5 inches before you push it back. On the newer posts which are larger diameter, I sometimes leave 2 or 2.5 inches of slack before I start winding.

    You could maybe send Framus an email:


    Hope this helps. :)
  6. thanks for the tip. the thing is that even with epiphone short scale strings, the E string is wrapped around the post 4 times and i started wraping it where thinner part becomes thickest. I'm thinking about cutting the ball end of the string then unwounding it, so that i just leave the core of the string. Then shorten it, wrap the core around ball. I think this would be good enough. I just don't know how that will affect the sound of a string. Has anyone done this before?
  7. DemoEtc


    Aug 18, 2004
    It may be hard to put the ball back on, as they might spot-weld it before they wrap. I'm not sure about that, but might not be able to put it back together. And if you do and rewind the outer wrappings, yes, it might affect the sound and the 'trueness" of the string. In other words it might be untunable.

    I see what you mean about the the wrap. When I first saw this post and Epiphone short scale strings were mentioned, I wondered about it because as far as I know, at least here in the U.S., Epiphone strings only come in the 'standard' scale length -- 34". I'm sure it's different elsewhere, but your bass is short-scale and if you have the Epi standard scale then there's the problem.

    I'm wondering; does your Framus have the large tuner posts (like on a Fender bass), or the smaller ones that look like guitar tuners? It's probably the smaller ones, that's why you're having a problem winding all that extra thick string around it.

    The only solution I see is to contact Framus and see what they say -- which will probably be "Get a set of short-scale strings" and if so, then you'll have to get them. If you can't afford them (because they are expensive), then you might think about treating the older original strings you had, either by boiling them in water with a few drops of dishwashing detergent in it, or soak them in alcohol. There's a thread or two on this board about boiling and soaking. Then you could play them while you get the cash up to buy a new set. Just make absolutely sure they're short-scale strings.

    Oh, here's another thought that just ocurred to me: instead of trying to shorten the string by taking the ball off and all that, maybe you could find or make little metal tubes that the strings would slide through; one for each string. Slide the tubes (maybe half an inch long) over each string till it rests against the ball-end, then slide the string through the bridge (if it's possible), and when you pull it through, the tube would prevent the ball end from going all the way to the bridge. It would look weird, but it would in fact shorten the string. And if the thin end of the string still wasn't in the right place, you could make 1" or 1.5" tubes until you get it to where it winds around the post properly.

    It would probably alter the sound too, but at least you'd have newer strings that you could use until you can get a proper short-scale set.

    Hope this works.

    Take care :)
  8. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Four times is ok if there is room. Wrapping the thick part around is normal too. Even on my P bass, which is long scale, I wrap the thick part around.

    I would take the original strings, and use them as a guide for how long to cut the strings to. You almost always have to cut the strings to size, even if they are the right scale.
  9. I thought this is not supposed to be done, because the guy at the shop told me not to do it. Then again, he told me I should sell my bass, 'cause if i keep on breaking strings i will spend to much money, and he thinks that short scale strings aren't being made anymore :confused: And that is supposed to be the best equipped store in Belgrade :rollno:
  10. DemoEtc


    Aug 18, 2004
    You *can* do it, but most people will say that if it's the modern type large-diameter string-posts. The larger diameter means a larger circumference, therefore less curve to the string as it goes around the post. A smaller diameter post will force the string into a smaller curve and that's where the problem of breakage could arise. Just imagine bending a coat hanger around an oil drum, then bending it around a nail; there's more bend in the latter.

    As far as your local store, they might be well equipped, but maybe the salesguy hasn't investigated things to a great extent. Or maybe he has but just says what he does because there's no way for his store to get the stuff anyway.

    There are lots of older short-scale basses (like yours), but there are also many newer basses and manufacturers who make short scale instruments, and so the major string manufacturers keep a line of short-scale strings just for those. Fender has some, GHS, Fodera as you've seen, Rotosound, LaBella, and others. The strings are out there, but maybe your store just doesn't want to bother special ordering them, especially if it's just one our two packs. Not very profitable since most people are under the impression that long 34" (and over) scale basses are the best thing you can play. I don't agree, but that's another story.

    You might wind up either having to order online (from juststrings.com or fodera), or maybe, just maybe, having a set of newer type tuners installed on your bass. I would leave that for last choice though because of the expense and the possibility, because of the shape of the headstock, etc, that it wouldn't be able to be done.

    If the strings you originally had on it are unbroken, you might try boiling them to clean them, and reinstall those for the time being. Just until you find a brand that you can get over there.

    Anyhow, keep us posted as to how it's going.

    Take care man.
  11. I am thinking about ordering Rotosound flatwounds for short scale. I think product code is RS77S. Never had flats before, and I was just wondering what will they do to sound. I think that they are supposed to be darker than roundwounds, but i just want to try them.

    Btw, thanks for all the good tips :)
  12. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    The Rotosound flats are certainly worth a try. They're very
    bright at first, and get darker after the break in period. I think
    John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin used them on his Jazz Bass for the first few albums; you can get an approximate idea of
    what they sound like from listening to those records. Steve
    Harris also uses this string, they have a set named after him.

    Good Luck
  13. DemoEtc


    Aug 18, 2004
    I love the Rotosound flatwounds and had them first on my Turser Beatle Bass and then on a Squier P-bass Special. They are 'thumpier' than roundwounds and if that's the sound you like then they're pretty good.

    Here's a list of their products: http://juststrings.com/rotosoundelectricbassguitar.html

    But Rotosound (and others) also makes a nice roundwound short-scale set, the RS66s. I used those on an Ampeg Lucy Lucite I had years ago. At that time Rotosounds were the only strings I could find in short-scale. Or maybe there were others but I just wanted that Chris Squier 'clank' sound - not that I ever got it on the Ampeg.

    There's a couple of things though, about what you're doing. First is, and I *think* this is the main one, is that you need new strings, and the second is, you seem to want to experiment with your sound a little. If you mix the two things it might get a little confusing and can get a little expensive.

    If you're happy with the sound you were getting with your old roundwound strings (which I think you had), then you should just get roundwounds again, but new ones. The sound will vary slightly between brands but you'll still have a 'roundwound sound' to work with and play with. The difference between flats and rounds is pretty noticeable so if you don't have a gig or are in a band that needs to rehearse, you could experiment with flats. If you do have a gig or are in a band, then you might want to just go with the sound you're familiar with, *then* experiment later on with flatwounds. This way you'll have something on your bass that you can use until you can get a set of flats to try out. If you can get a set of each that would be great, but like you said, strings are expensive and hard to get where you live.

    For me, recently, I wanted to try out nylon tapewounds on a Squier P-bass I had. But in the back of my mind I knew that I wanted the Rotosound flatwounds on it, so I ordered both, with the ones I really wanted as a spare. I tried the tapewounds (GHS) and didn't like them that much, and so quickly put the flatwounds on and liked them. It was an experiment, but I gave myself an alternative I already knew I'd like.

    So if you need to have the roundwound sound for your band, then just get the roundwounds and then get the flatwound later on. If you have time and there's no pressure to have the bass playable and have a *certain* sound, then go ahead and try the flats. Like slugworth said, they darken up after awhile. Mine are darker sounding but you can still hear the harmonics when you want (which surprised me), but then that's the bass's construction and the pickups and the amp and whether you pick with a flatpick or with your fingers -- there's a lot of variables involved.

    When you're experimenting though, you try to get as few variables as possible so you can reach a conclusion.

    Anyway, it still comes down to whether you have the time and cash to experiment.

    A Framus with flatwounds might sound pretty cool though: very 60s sounding I would think; classic rock sound.

  14. I have a band, but we are still trying to get our own sound, so experimenting is pretty much welcome. I like these strings i have now, but since nobody is speaking of them on TB i guess they're something I should stick with. I liked them because they gave my bass life, since the set i got it with was dead as a zombie.
    I want to try DR's, TI, GHS and Rotosound, because they seem to be very popular and quality made strings. I can't even imagine waht will they do my sound. I know that i might not like them all, but i still want to try. Anyway, I can always go back to Epiphone since they are easy to come buy, and are only 11 euros :)

    I'm trying RS77S first :cool:
  15. DemoEtc


    Aug 18, 2004
    Ah, there you go then! :)

    I personally love my Rotosound flats, especially on the Beatle Bass. In fact, I imagined myself playing rock, hard-rock, metal and then thought of which bass and which strings I'd use in each, and funny, I still came up with the Beatle Bass and Rotosound flats. I just love the sound :)

    Anyhow, good luck man, and let us hear what you guys are doing if you ever put some mp3s up.

    Take care.