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Need some string help - 5 string

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Frank Orlando, Mar 3, 2016.


  1. Frank Orlando

    Frank Orlando

    Dec 21, 2002
    Fort Myers
    I used 5 string DR LowRider 45-130 bass strings for ever. They are a stainless roundwound on a hex core. I use them on my Warwick Corvette basses. They are both medium scale basses. The DR strings right out of the package fit perfect. The E, A, D and G were never an issue. The B would fit fine as well because the tail that wrapped around the machine head tapered immediately from the .130 diameter to a thin tail that was probably around .060 in diameter. This allowed me to easily fit the .060 tail into the B-string tuner post.

    Well I just bought 4 sets of DR LowRider's and I am sad to say that DR changed the design of the tail. 3 of the 4 sets arrived with a step down from .130 to around .100 and then down to .060. The .100 section is about 1 1/4" long. To properly install the string now I would have to cut right at the end of that .100 section. It was difficult to get that diameter into the tuner post so I filed the slot to make it fit BUT WHEN I WIND THE .100 TAIL AROUND THE TUNING POST THE STRING BREAKS... EVERY TIME RIGHT AT THAT PART.

    I called DR and they checked their stock to see what I was talking about (one would think they would have known they changed their string design without having to go and look). They came back on the phone and said that all the ones she looked at in stock were as I described. She didn't know why they changed the design but agreed that they would break if kept trying. The bad news is she had no solution. I called the gentleman at Just Strings and asked if he had any old stock of these strings I could buy up hoping they may have the very short taper instead of this 1 1/4" long step in diameters and he said that they move so fast that all the stock would be the new type by now.

    So here I am asking TalkBass for some recommendations for a roundwound, stainless steel, hex core, 5 string set that has a B with a tail that tapers or steps down to the final diameter as shown in the attached picture. Your recommendations are appreciated...

    Picture of the old string design that I am looking for.
    B%20string_zpslkmvx3qv.
     
  2. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    Are you sure the sets you used before were long scale DR? Not their 5 string medium scale set of hi Beams?

    What is the distance ball end to nut and ball end to Tuning post on your instrument? This will help determine the shortest and longest strings that will properly fit your instrument.
     
  3. Frank Orlando

    Frank Orlando

    Dec 21, 2002
    Fort Myers
    Yes. I am very sure of the strings I've been using for the last 10 years. :laugh:
    They are the DR Lo-Riders, which do not come in medium scale. As a matter of fact even the Hi-Beams you mentioned don't come in medium scale. Only extra long, long and short scale.
    The set in question that I use (and was re-designed recently by DR) is the MH5-130 set.
    DR did send me a free set of short scale Hi-Beams to try. The speaking length of the string was too short and didn't make it to the bridge. Remember that the Warwicks have a 2 piece bridge and the string retainer is about an inch from the saddle. The DR short scale strings may fit on some medium scale basses but not this one.
    The distance from the ball-end to the center of the B-string tuning post on my bass is 36 1/4". The B seems to be the only string that is an issue. All the rest from the MH5-130 set fit fine.
     
  4. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    DR strings have always been 38" from ball to Taper. Possible it wasn't noticed with the previous set?

    The only Dr strings that are shorter are the DR Hi Beam 5 string set short scale which is technically medium scale with a 34" winding ball to Taper.

    All long scale sets are going to have the B string go around the post a little. Long scale sets range from 36.5" to 38" depending on the manufacturer.
     
  5. Frank Orlando

    Frank Orlando

    Dec 21, 2002
    Fort Myers
    I know you are trying to help and you are a pro when it comes to strings... so far you are the only one offering any help and I really do appreciate it... But I have said that I have been using these very same strings for 10 years with no issue until this past December when I bought 4 sets on line and the tail design was different on 3 of the 4 sets. DR confirmed that's how they make them now... So, yes... I am sure it wasn't something I just noticed. That's why I am asking if anyone here on TB can recommend some other strings that are stainless, hex core and rounds with a tail on the B-string like the one in my picture. I can easily find hex stainless rounds by reading the package at the music store or on-line....but I won't know what the tail looks like until I open the pack and then it's too late if they are not what I am looking for. A 38" winding is fine but after 38" the .130" winding has to stop and the remainder of the tail has to either be around .060" or it has to have a very short intermediate winding (1/4" long or so) and then go down to .060"... just like the picture above of my old DR string design. See that little short intermediate winding? Well now the new DR design has that at 1 1/4" long. That's the issue.
     
  6. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    You are referring to the "Tuning Post Tapered Section" as the "Tail".

    DR's are handmade. I know there are only two guys that make their round core bass strings, not sure about the hex core. There are tolerances where sometimes the overall winding is a little longer or a little shorter due to the nature of them being hand wound.

    I personally would not suggest a 38" wound string for an instrument with the 36.25" Ball End to Tuning Post length. However since you say a 38" winding is OK for you (with the full winding going around the post) we can look at what strings have a "shorter taper" by the "tuning post" section of the string.

    I can literally check all of the strings I have (that are not factory sealed) and let you know... If you want..........

    For example. The D'Addario Pro-Steel .130 has a shorter tuning post taper of about 1/4"... However the full winding length ends at 37" a full inch sooner than the DR strings begin so the shorter taper doesnt matter as much.

    Here is a complete listing of string lengths by manufacturer. This is the measurement from Ball End to Taper by the tuning post. Since DR Long Scale is the longest "Long Scale" strings, a longer taper by the tuning post is causing a problem for you.

    Electric Bass String Winding Lengths by Manufacturer from BassStringsOnline.com

    I suggest looking for a string that is 36.5" or 37"... Even if it did have a 1.25" tapered section it would be the length of the "Old Style DR" string you are used to.

    If you would be so kind to check the length from Ball End to Nut so we can determine the shortest possible string then more options may open up for you and you will not need to worry about a shorter tuning post tapered section.
     
    JustForSport likes this.
  7. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Nov 17, 2011
    +++ ^^

    One reason no one else is offering advice is because you're already being offered the best advice by someone that's able to back up the advice with facts

    and has the product on hand for unbeatable pricing and service.

    He even offers TB members VIP pricing.

    Win, win and win.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
    tfer and SLaPiNFuNK like this.
  8. Frank Orlando

    Frank Orlando

    Dec 21, 2002
    Fort Myers

    The length of my B string from the ball end to the upper edge of the nut is 34 1/2". Your comment about just two winders at DR for this string and the tolerances varying which makes me wonder if the person I spoke to at DR was correct when she said ALL the .130 B strings are being made with a longer intermediate winding now. If it was just a batch that "varied" then this is a false alarm. She put me on hold and came back after a few minutes and said she checked the ones in stock and they are all being made with the longer intermediate winding but she didn't know why it was changed from what I had been receiving for years. I wish I got her name now. I'm going to call back Monday and thank them for the free Hi-Beam short scale set. Maybe I can re-ask my question at that time. But in the mean time I am looking at the winding length info you provided (Thank you!). I will let you know what DR says after I call them Monday. If you have any DR MH5-130 sets in stock I would appreciate your checking the B string. I hate asking you to check your other stock that is not factory sealed. Not looking to give you any work. I do appreciate the offer and maybe as a last resort I'll take you up on it...

    Thanks again...
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
  9. Frank Orlando

    Frank Orlando

    Dec 21, 2002
    Fort Myers
    I took another set of pictures of an old B string I had and one of the recent B strings I received. Not sure if this adds any info but you can clearly see the difference between the older strings and the new ones I just received.

    B%20DR_zpss7ncfs6t.
     
  10. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Nov 17, 2011
    You're lucky you've been getting away with winding that much of the outer wrap on the post for this long. I wouldn't even try it and expect to not have problems at least sometimes, and that's not good enough.
    That's why I don't buy DR or KS strings for most of my basses- they only make (and seem stuck on) 38" winding length for standard long 34" scale basses..
    Maybe you can find some old stock for a while...
     
  11. Frank Orlando

    Frank Orlando

    Dec 21, 2002
    Fort Myers
    Sorry I have not been back to this post sooner. I called DR and left a message. I did not get a return call. I wrote them an email with pictures and did not get a response on that either. I just sent the email again today. Hopefully I get a response and I will share it with you.
     

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