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No one can help me....why does my low E string have very little top end? It's not a dud string.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by mr80htz, Apr 28, 2019.

  1. mr80htz


    May 15, 2018
    I have had a 50th anniversary Fender Jazz 5 string since it came out in 1996 as a bday gift from Dad. The low B string, for as long as I can remember has always sounded like it's an old string. Tried maaaaany different brands and it stays the same for all. I finally tried stringing it E - C and now the E string (in the same spot as the low B before ) sounds as lifeless as the old B string. What's the deal with this? Is it a nut thing? Wide slot? The strings go through the body after the bridge. The other strings sound fantastic. It's almost like I'm playing a flatwound on the low E. I've struggled with understanding this for many years. Luthiers unite and help me!!! :)
  2. James Collins

    James Collins Guest

    Mar 25, 2017
    It sounds like the 5th string, not necessarily an E doesn't sound correct? Does it sound the same when you play without amplification? Is it always one or a few notes? Is it always certain frets across string tunings? Is there rattle? Is the sustain okay, but it lacks overtones? Is the sustain decreased?

    It could be any part of the bass, the nut slot, the bridge, the tuners, the frets could have a high place, the pickups could be ineffective in that location, a dead spot in the neck, etc. As of right now, it reads like the only thing you have troubleshot is the strings. Since different strings and tunings give the same result it is probably not the strings.

    Interested to see what someone more expert than me thinks.
  3. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    Pickups too high
  4. mr80htz


    May 15, 2018
    Right, the 5 string doesn't sound right. It's the whole string...no rattle or buzz, even when not amplified, sustain is fine and full...the top end is just missing. I just notice a thin 2cm crack starting at the only screw keeping the tuner in for the 5th string. Could that be in issue for overtones?
  5. Scottgun


    Jan 24, 2004
    South Carolina
    Got a local luthier? I'd take it to him and get another set of eyes/ears on it because it is difficult to diagnose online.
    chinjazz and mr80htz like this.
  6. InstantEctobass


    Feb 18, 2018
    Try a lighter gauge. This changed everything for me.
  7. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Try re-stringing thru bridge, not body, and re-set your witness points. E & B strings are particularly resistant to bending.

  8. jw23mind

    jw23mind Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2017
    Reading MA
    Copying my recent post here from a different thread, FYI. Perhaps the fact that the lower string is cut shortest is why the following may be happening to you: "I just had this problem on a new set of D'Addario Prosteels. I learned from Scott's Bass Lessons on Youtube that one should make the sharp right-angle bend where the string goes into the top of the tuner BEFORE cutting the string, or it can go dead. I've been playing for 31 years, and embarrassed to say I've NEVER heard this before! I've always cut them before making the bend! Can't explain why only the E went dead; maybe it's just more prone to the problem than the other strings due to thickness/extra winds. Hope this helps someone...super curious to hear if anyone else out there already knew this or finds it solves their problem!"
  9. mr80htz


    May 15, 2018
    Wow...23 years playing for me and have never heard of this. People keep suggesting that it is a bum string. This would explain why it sounds better initially and then the E string tone drops off...it may be the core sliding! I hope this is it. Wow, I'll get back to this after I switch em out!
  10. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician - Retired
  11. Kriegs


    Feb 14, 2018
    Are you saying that there is only one screw left (fender vintage style uses 4 screws) or that there was only one screw to begin with?
    Basically, what I'm asking is do they look similar to this:
    or this?:
  12. mr80htz


    May 15, 2018
    They are Gotoh tuners...the small ones that only need one screw.
    Kriegs likes this.
  13. jw23mind

    jw23mind Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2017
    Reading MA
  14. SteffanB


    Oct 15, 2018
    Check your pick up height. Could be a pole is to high/low as well. And is the string between the poles and not off the left/ right. And is it sitting in the nut correctly? Could be the nut isn't cut deep enough or too deep. Take it in for a set up. A unbiased set of ears could help as well. Good luck to ya.
  15. mr80htz


    May 15, 2018
    Ok, so far I tried the trick where you bend the string, cut a small 'L' shape and tried to place it in the tuner but the hole for the string has basically the size of the string itself and I couldn't fit the thing in there. I did watch the rest of a SBL youtube vid about string changing and I took off the string, cut it shorter with less wraps and made sure it was wound correctly. I also, per the video, pushed down the string by the saddle on the bridge to make it a better angle because its a string through body. I think it sound fresher now? I couldn't plug it in due to a sleeping baby
    in the other room but hopefully it will be better. I also lowered the pickups to see if that will do anything.
    Kinda bummed I couldn't do the bent string trick with these tuners. Hope that's not the actual remedy. Thanks for the posts peeps.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
  16. jw23mind

    jw23mind Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2017
    Reading MA
    What hole, you mean the slot (Gotoh)? Equivalent is making bend after placing in slot, BEFORE cutting.
  17. mr80htz


    May 15, 2018
    I don't know if the hole the end of the tuning apparatus that the string fits into is called a slot but the hole you put the string end into. Made a bend, cut the excess short (tiny lL shape at the end) and it is too wide to put into the hole.
  18. dave_p


    Dec 20, 2005
    I have a 1992 Jazz Plus V. Similar issue, same Gotoh tuners all 5 inline. Two string trees, plastic or some sort of composite. Gotoh Bridge. B string is kinda dull, not that defined. It has been that way since I bought it new in 1993, and is still that way today. Many different brands of strings over the years, few different gauges. Got the best B string from a set of fender branded strings. 45-65-80-100-125. Lace sensors on the bass so its not a magnetism thing. I chalk it up to Fender being in its infancy with the 5 string basses. I think the string through option on your model was an attempt at a remedy, and then going to the 4/1 tuner arrangement.