PC Board Spacers and String Tension

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by StingrayKid21, Jul 27, 2003.

  1. StingrayKid21

    StingrayKid21 Holding down the low-end since 1996.

    Oct 7, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Hey everyone.

    I purchased a book a couple months back called "101 Bass Tips" by Gary Willis. It has a lot of good ideas and tips about everything from setup to tracking bass. It had one tip referring to the use of "PC Board Spacers" to increase string tension. Apparently they are 1/4" spacers that are found at electronics stores and you slip them over the string before running it through the bridge. The spacer then sits at on the backside of the bridge making the string slightly tighter. I've never tried this but I was wondering if anyone else has? Seems like a good idea I might have to try on my E and B strings. So if anyone has any experience or opinions on this I would appreciate the info!

    Thanks! :bassist:

  2. As a matter of fact and not opinion, a string that is tuned to pitch cannot have it's tension changed without changing it's pitch. Likewise, there is only one "tension" a string can have at any given pitch. Sorry for the bluntness but string tension and length are the only two variables that work to create pitch. Change either one and the pitch changes.

    Perhaps there is more to the issue than you've put forth here? Could he have been talking about changing the down pressure on the bridge? That CAN be changed by altering the break angle over the saddle but this won't change the tension of the playable length of the string.
  3. sublime0bass


    Aug 2, 2007
    Boone, NC
    ive got that book, and its awesome for newbies and seasoned vets alike. i STILL dont believe in boiling strings though

    i wanted to try this... ill let you know

    also, string gauge also affects pitch
  4. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
  5. One more time from the top.......this is from one of my posts previously on this topic.

    "This topic has been flogged previously. The physics are indisputable. Length past the bridge makes no difference in tension. Gary Willis is a very sharp technical person. And that is why I was mystified that he would make the statement about the spacer. It just didn't make ANY sense. I did however go back and look at the page in his book that illustrates the spacer. It works for him because his B sting is TAPERED. The spacer effectively reduces the length of tapered core from 1/2" in front of the saddle to almost zero making the string less floppy. Increasing the length of a normal string CHANGES NOTHING regarding stiffness or tension."
  6. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Mike Lull does essentially the same thing by adding a B string thru-body ferrule. I'm not sure if its the actual lengthening or thru-body stringing that makes a difference in tone...if any.

  7. Thangfish

    Thangfish ...overly qualified for janitorical deployment...

    Sep 3, 2006
    Cameron, NC USA
    Well that makes total sense... for a change.
    What would make even more sense would be to NOT USE A TAPERED FRIGGIN' B STRING if it feels too floppy.

    I missed that in the last thread concerning this. Every time I see this topic come up, it gets ridiculous and I glaze over.