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Short Scale Bass Strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by b3zsgirl, Dec 1, 2004.


  1. b3zsgirl

    b3zsgirl

    Jun 16, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I have EXTREAMLY short fingers, and I ended up with this Hamer short scale bass. I have a p-lyte with DR red-devil strings I normally play, but I like to use the Hamer to do some practicing. It helps me learn more intricate patterns faster as I do not have to consentrate as hard on my reach. The problem is with all short scales, it is bright as hell. It has d'addario short scale strings on it now (not my idea and probably makes it worse). I had thought about trying nickle strings or flat wound strings on it, but I am having a hard time finding such in short scale. DR only makes the short scale in stainless, and short scale strings are hard to find easily anyway. Anyone got any suggestions on how to mellow it out a bit? Before I try to order some on-line I would love some ideas. It is not a particuarly great bass, but I would like to see what I can do.
     
  2. 7flat5

    7flat5

    Nov 28, 2003
    Upstate NY
    I think you should have perhaps said that the problem with Hamers is that they are bright as hell. I have a Gibson EB-0 which is the very antithesis of bright. The AntiBright. I just put a set of Thomastik Jazz Flats on it, and I am pretty happy. They are lively in the midrange but not bright. They have that great flatwound sound I remember from the original strings I had on it a few decades ago, but lots of life too. I tried a cheap set of GHS Boomers just for an experiment and they were HORRIBLE bright. I have also heard very encouraging things about the d'Addario Chrome flats and nylon tapewounds from both Fender and LaBella, but haven't tried them myself. I am sure the Chromes and LaBellas are available in short scale. I have never seen a set of decent short-scale strings in a store. They all offer to order some for me, at list price, but I can do better myself on the Web. FYI, the E string on the Thomastics was a little too long for the 30.5" scale Gibby. I don't know how "short" your Hamer is. If it's a 32" it should be fine.

    7b5
     
  3. rllefebv

    rllefebv

    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    The D'Addario XL's are on my Musicmaster... nickel string that ages nicely...

    -robert
     
  4. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    On short scale basses, I like D'Addario Chrome flatwounds. Just get the long scale and cut them. They work fine. TI Jazz short scales are good, but $$$.
     
  5. b3zsgirl

    b3zsgirl

    Jun 16, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I know what you mean about the Gibson. One of the basses I have is an old Grabber. It is lovingly known by all as "the hog". The Hamer is a 30" so it is good to know that Thomastics are really long. It had not occured to me that the Hamer is bright anyway. I expect a short scale to be brighter, but I have not messed much with the Hamer standard scale basses.
     
  6. b3zsgirl

    b3zsgirl

    Jun 16, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I thought about cutting some down, but that brings up another question. If you cut down your E-string to the point that you are past the tappering, do you try and remove some of the standard top winding so they will fit in the hole in the tuning peg, or do you just let it go?

    I know that I can get the chrome flats around here, so that sounds like a good option. I have always played with round wound, how much of a difference would that really make going between the two?
     
  7. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I have never had that problem, but my small scale bass (Musicmaster Reissue )
    is string thru-body so I am gaining some length. It also has huge tuners, so it wouldn't be a problem anyway :)

    Chromes are bright for flatwounds, but nowhere near the brightness of rounds. They are also higher tension, but very silky smooth to the touch. You either love them or hate them.

    Note if you do get the Chromes you have to clean them off before using them. They are covered with, I think, the leftover from the grinding processes.
     
  8. 7flat5

    7flat5

    Nov 28, 2003
    Upstate NY
    I have never played a Grabber myself, but I can tell you the Gibson EB series of basses from the late 60's are very dark. From what I have heard, the Grabbers are not nearly as dark, more like a F3nder P. The tone in all these basses is almost totally because of the pickup design and location, and not the scale length. The 25+kOhm humbucking sidewinder on the EB series was not misnamed "mudbucker."

    The Thomastik shortscale JF324 strings are fine for the 30" scale except for the E string, which has the shortest distance above the nut to the tuner, so the thick wrapped part of the string has to wind around the tuner a little. The other strings, even the G, are OK. They are really optimal for 32" basses, I think. There is very detailed length and tension information available at both the D'Addario website and at the Dudepit for the Thomastiks. The Chromes are, also, not high tension, but pretty low tension compared to most flatwounds, though not as low as the TIs.

    BTW, I have also used long-scale strings on this and cut them down, but if a short version of the string is available, as is true with the Labella and D'Addario Chromes, it is IMO much preferable to get them instead of wrapping the long-scale strings around the tuners and cutting them off. I would string them up before cutting them, also.

    Hope your Hamer is the bass of your dreams, bgrl.

    7b5
     
  9. b3zsgirl

    b3zsgirl

    Jun 16, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I am off to go get the Chromes since I can get them in town. Thanks tons for the advice on this all of you. I really appreciate this.

    I love the Hamer as a practice tool, but my Fender is my baby.
     
  10. 7flat5

    7flat5

    Nov 28, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Let us know how you like them. I have not tried Chromes yet, and might give a set a go on my 5.