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Quiet D string?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by thiocyclist, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. thiocyclist

    thiocyclist Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2012
    Careful analysis of all of my basses shows that most strings are balanced for output but the D string is marginally quieter than the rest. This seems to transcend brand or string type. It's not like the string is dead or sounds bad, it's just got a smidge less output than the others (also accounting for more dB to make the bigger strings equally audible as the smaller ones). I guess this is why a lot of string sets make the D string way more taut than the others (to get the bigger mass that causes that tension to go up) but it doesn't seem to fix the problem either.

    The origin of the problem? In my mind it's got to be mostly the fault of the radiused fingerboards. The D string has the least mass of all the strings raised further from the pickup because of radiusing so suffers the most (I guess).

    It's a niggling issue for sure but I wonder if anything could be done about it?
  2. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    Adjustable pole pickups.

    I had this issue in extreme with a CIJ FL Jazz. I tried new PUs, bridge adjustments, different gauge strings and nothing worked. Then a set of Dimarzio JP 123s allowed for individual pole adjustment and problem solved. My Alesis rack-mount compressor has a long row of gain/reduction LEDs that allow for very sensitive string to string output comparison and I've got them spot on.
  3. On a Jazz for example the pickup is flat whereas the neck is curved so the D and A string are potentially higher from the PU than the G and E string. Annoying design feature frankly. Perfect pickup height adjustment is easier on a P bass.

  4. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    Right; you have to bring up the G side to increase the output from the D string and the result is the G string is now too loud. Adjustable pole PUs solve all of these types of issues.

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