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New bass or change the strings

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by slobake, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    I have a 50's Classic Precision with GHS flats that I love. Lately though I find myself playing mostly on the E and A strings. I just like the tone a lot better on those two stings.
    On Sunday I played and American Standard Jazz and with both volume pots dimed and the tone was rich and full on all the stings. I tried all the other Jazz basses in the store and to my ears that is the one that had the tone I like. I hated the tone on Jazz 5 string, and the MIM standard and MIM 60's classic didn't have it either.
    So, I started wondering what would it sound like if I put some good rounds on my Precision?
    So what do you think, change the strings on the P or try and find a used American Standard Jazz and hope it matches the tone of the one I played. If I get a used one I will probably have to buy it online, no luck on Craigslist yet. One way saves a lot of money, the other way is risky but if I get a good Jazz I feel like I will have the best of both worlds. Plus I'm not even sure if rounds on my P-bass will do the trick.
  2. alembicguy

    alembicguy Lone Wolf Miner of iron ore Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Change strings if that doesn't do it for you then buy the jazz
  3. Technotitclan

    Technotitclan Lurking TB from work

    Mar 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
  4. Well - strings are a lot cheaper than a new bass, and the biggest way to change your tone.
    Slap some D'Add prosteels on and hear it come to life! < too bright? Try some D'Add XL's ... both are cheap to try.
  5. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    Thanks for the recomendations, I'll check them out. Which one would you try first?
  6. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    new strings rotos 66
  7. SHardin


    Aug 9, 2012
    Norhern Indiana
    Is the setup on the pickups correct?
    Pickup height can have an effect on the tone.
  8. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    Good question. I tried raising the pickup on the treble side and it seemed to weaken the signal. Is that possible?:confused: So, I put it back to where it was.
    Do other flat wound Precion players know what I am talking about here? I know the description was pretty vague. If so, is this common with the set-up I have, or should I go see a luthier?
  9. Yes, the pickup can be too close to the string and impede the string's ability to vibrate freely; the end result is the string will sound weaker. Assuming you can find a manual on your bass the recommended pickup height settings are typically provided as part of basic setup instructions.
  10. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    Thanks Rob, I'll check that tonight. Are you guys sure you don't want me to buy a new bass? :p
  11. Because of magnetism? Please explain.
  12. Yes, the magnetic pull can be strong enough to interfere with the string's vibration and dampen it if the sting is too close to the pickup. While I'd heard of this I only ran into it on the used G&L L-1500 fretless I bought a few years back. The pups sounded super weak and it was only by accident after buying the bass that I tried lowering the pups and discovered the bass started to open up and actually sounded much better. I mentioned this to Mike Lull when I took it to him for a board levelling and he confirmed it does happen.
  13. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    Thanks Rob, more discussion on this topic here:

  14. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Try roundwound strings first. They wil change the sound qaulity of your bass a lot.
  15. PotsdamBass8

    PotsdamBass8 Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    It might also be possible that by raising the pickups you're limiting the distance you can effectively pull the string. Regardless of the reason, yes pickups being too close can choke the sound.
  16. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    This. It still won't sound like a Jazz, but it will surely sound bitchin'!
  17. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    Nickel or stainless?

    I think I'll go with the 50's
  18. I have a road worn 50s P currently strung with Prosteels. HUGE. Try that first.
  19. dmrogers

    dmrogers Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2005
    Eastman, GA
    I love the sound of both of my Precision's with rounds! Not a Jazz but great tone anyway.

    I agree with the others, try a set of rounds. I bet you will like them.

    Ultimately you might want to shoot for getting a Jazz in addition to your P bass. I have an American Standard Jazz and a MIM Jazz and really like both of them. So don't rule out a good MIM. When I found the right one, I snatched it up. Great bass.