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Pickup/string selection interface

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by lovethegrowl, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    When I decided to take up bass again last year I bought a used Ibanez SR406 with the intent of making it into a poor man's Yamaha 'John Patatucci' bass. With those stock DX6 pickups the sound was so damn smooth & generic-- good only for oldies pop. I replaced those DX6 humbuckers with Carvin single coils, & added DR MM strings. Didn't get that MM Jazz sound even though the Ibanez has active electronics--still way too smooth. I got a SDAJB that does get a prominent growl.

    As soon as word got out I got a bass & was looking for amp gear, I was immediately hired for an on going gig.....doing oldies, pop, rock, folk, country, & some jazz. (All with the same group.)

    I took the DRs off the SR406 & put on Thomastik-Infeld Jazz round-wounds. Very impressive strings. They come in gauges .118, .089, .068, .051, .043., .029. The B E A and D string are surprisingly robust in tone. No, not quite as much as hex core .130, .105, .085, etc. The one string that's a little too twangy is the g
    .043. .043 is a pretty legit gauge for any g string
    I'm convinced that it is the combination of the string, single coil pickups, & cheap active Ibanez eq. I also did put that same .043 TI g string on an Squire VM bass (with those robust Duncan J105s) & it still was somewhat twangy.

    Guess I'll put those DX6s back on & see how the TIs sound, particularly the g string. I guess any double coil (even a crappy DX6) can impart a beefier sound to those kind of strings. I hope. I might just give up & sell the bass & strings at a loss. Any other experiences out there with a twangy g string on single coils, later rectified with a double coil?
  2. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    The point is that .043 is the least likely gauge to sound twangy. By any standards it's not too light a gauge for a G string.

    The others .051, .068, .089 etc. are "super slinky", & they're not twangy at all.
  3. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    I know it seems counter-intuitive, but typically a larger gauge string, at a given tuning, will have more harmonics than a thinner gauge at the same tuning. Thinner strings typically have less harmonics, so the fundamental frequency is more prominent.

    It seems like a thicker string should have a "beefier" sound, but usually the opposite is true - thicker is usually brighter than a thinner string at the same tuning.

    Think of it this way - at a given tuning, a larger gauge string will be tighter than a smaller gauge, right? Tighter string = brighter tone.

    I think you might want to try tuning that G string down a step or two or three to see if the sound thickens up. If that works well, consider going to a thinner gauge that will be looser when tuned to G. You could try tuning that .029 down to G, but I kinda think that might be too loose.