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Need help setting up my low B.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by E-rock, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. E-rock


    Mar 3, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Ok, I'm treading in new territory here so I need some help. I just received my new BRICE 6-string fretless (cheap ebay special). The fit and finish is really nice actually. The only problem is with the low B string. First off, I've only played 4 string basses. Never played fretless, and never have used flatwound strings. All of the other strings sound good and punchy, but that low B string just sounds dead. It has a significant decrease in volume compaired to the other 5 strings, and it sounds like that all the way up the fretboard. Almost like it's being muffled or something. I raised the action on it, and still nothing. Does this sound like a problem with the bass or just a bad string?
  2. atldeadhead


    Jun 17, 2002
    Sounds like a bad string. Try some new ones. Flatwounds will help keep that fretboard looking nice but people who are used to using rounds often describe flats as sounding dead, particularly the low B strings.

    Which Brice did you get?
  3. E-rock


    Mar 3, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Mine's the HXB-406. I guess it could be the string, but it sounds radically different from the other 5 strings. I'll play around with it some more tonight when I get home. I'm sure there's a simple fix for it.
  4. There's literally nothing you can do with a string that is out of spec with the others in the set. There are lots of reasons this could be true - and begin with the fact that the strings you have stock on that bass aren't first quality anyway. In fact, I doubt they are even D'Addario's like advertised.

    Here's a tip - If you like the roundwound sound on a fretless but don't want the inherent fingerboard damage then seek out some half-rounds, ground-wounds, or compression wound strings. These all start with a roundwound outer covering and then they are compressed or ground down to make a flat surface. You get the roundwound flexibility and sound but without the saw action chewing up your neck.
  5. E-rock


    Mar 3, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Well, I've spoken with Kurt/Rondo, and he's shipping me a new B string to test it with. I hope that's it. Here's another question for you guys though. You know how you can have "dead spots" on certain frets if the bass isn't set up right? Is it possible to have dead spots on just one string along the fretboard? Because I will play the 12th fret on the E string, and it rings out with normal decay. Then I'll do the same on this low B string, and it just doesn't ring out at all. It's like that all the way up the fretboard (not just the 12th fret - I just used that as an example). It just sounds muffled and the string doesn't vibrate as much. I'm hoping it's just a bad string, but if you guys have any ideas, please let me know. Thanks again...
  6. JSCHRO7376

    JSCHRO7376 Commercial User

    Feb 23, 2004
    Los Angeles County, CA
    Owner, Schroeder Cabinets
    If you still have the original strings on that bass, dump them and get a new set a.s.a.p., they're not worth bothering with.
  7. You might consider switching to taper wound strings too, they fit better in the saddle and help stablize the B string for more clarity!

  8. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao EspaƱa
    once you get new strings try to put the pickup near the B string or use the saddle screws to put the saddle in a lower position. I play a 5 strgs and that worked for me whith my low volume on the B strng. You should send your bass to a luthier for an electric check too.
  9. E-rock


    Mar 3, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks for all the suggestions guys/gals! Kurt/Rondo first had me check a few things like the battery and the pickup height. Everything tested fine. The taper string may be more on the right track, because it really sounds like something is keeping that string from vibrating. I tightend it up to about an E# or F, and it sounded normal then. Obviously I can't leave it tightend up that tight. Does that sound like a bad string? Or does anyone else here have a 5 or 6 string Brice with/without the same problem?
  10. E-rock


    Mar 3, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Well, my faith in Brice basses and Rondo Music has been restored. Kurt @ Rondo sent me a new LaBella "B" string to try out, and it worked perfect! It was also tapered towards the ball end (where the originals were not), so maybe that was the problem. This bass sounds really good now. I can't wait to swap out the rest of the strings. :hyper:

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