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Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by sir juice, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. sir juice

    sir juice

    Sep 11, 2006
    London, England
    I play a fretless bass and although I like a bit of mwah every once in a while, ie when i use a slow, wide vibrato but some of the time however stationary i try to keep my left hand it comes through anyway.

    What strings can I use that can growl like roundwounds with the same clarity in the harmonics. I know flats don't growl so what are the brightest clearest flats? (looking for harmonics that sound a little like Manring)

    Will groundwounds give me what I'm looking for? I played some LaBella Quarterwounds of a fretted that I thought sounded great.

  2. yugo


    Mar 28, 2006
    YES finally another fretless player who isn't all about "mwah"! I like the same type of sound. I use relatively high action on my bass to get rid of the mwah sound and i use d'Addario round wound strings. if you want harmonics i would have to recommend that you go with roundwounds, i think if you want to use other types of strings you may have to get active pickups to help get more harmonic clarity with different types of strings. i think that with my setup i get pretty clear harmonics. i play with d'addario round wounds and emg pj set and graph tech string saver saddles. (after i got these saddles i notices much more harmonics)
    good luck on your hunt for strings
  3. marcray


    Nov 28, 2006
    Englishman in Oyster Bay, NY
    Aging Former Bass Player
    I have the same attitude to fretless... I use the D'Addario Half Rounds...
  4. I have a set of Fender tapewounds on my fretless P/J and it MWAHs like crazy!!

  5. Buskman


    Apr 13, 2007
    Jersey Shore, USA
    Well, in the original post is says he's looking for less 'mwah', so I guess the Fender tapers are off the list! :D
  6. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    +1 to Yugo's suggestion to raise your action. Mwah is a function of low action. The vibrating part of the string brushes up against the fretboard and makes that sitar-like sound.
  7. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Set-up, and "mwah:"

    You want the neck as straight as she'll go; ie, zero bow. So, lower string tension, and set your trussrod tension til the neck's nice and flat. I wouldn't go more than a 1/4 turn per day til you get it nice and flat. I just eyeball down the figerboard, but I've been doing this for many years now.
    If you're not so familiar with this procedure, fret the string at the 12th fret, and observe the gap between the string and frets 5 and 7. There ought to be "about a business card" worth of gap there; maybe less depending on personal preference, how true the fingerboard is, string choice...

    Then, lower the action til it starts sounding like you like it.

    It's my personal opinion that rounds achieve this better; but you can get some degree of what you're looking for with other types.

    (side note: with a fretless, you can set nut slots lower too, this will ease fingering in the lower positions. be careful filing nuts slots. removoe only a little at a time. I like to keep a little angle to them, sending the string down to the tuner)

  8. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    I find that how I 'fret' the note affects the amount of mwah. If I use the pad of my finger I get more mwah than if I use the tip of my finger.

    Seconded on higher action to remove mwah. You could argue that the mwah sound is like fret buzz without the frets, so raising the action should remove this somewhat.

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