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Shrill tone after a set up, wrong string material?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by andrus108, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. andrus108


    Mar 11, 2018
    I just had my 4 string bass redone from Eb standard to BEAD, and.... I get a very hollowed, clanky sound. I bought the bass used, and when I asked about the strings I was told they're D'addarios, but the seller wasn't sure if they're stainless steels or nickel wound. Because I liked the growl from that bass I wanted to know where it comes from, and the internets told me that steel strings are part of the equation, so I assumed that's what they were. I gave my bass to a luthier to retune to BEAD, needed in a band I just joined, and gave him a set of D'addarios Prosteels, and when I plugged it into my setup I got this really hollow sound, regardless of EQ. There is also fret buzz, which I don't mind and it was there before too (low action), but now it sounds really bright and harsh. Also, while low notes sit fairly well in the mix, the higher ones just disappear. Is it just a matter of exchanging these for a set of nickel wounds?

    Gear in question: Ibanez SR600 with Dimarzio Model P only, GK RB400 (early one) with boosted mids and set somewhat grindy, although boosting bass or reducing drive didn't give much result; at home I use direct out from amp into an interface, and then TwoNotes WOS plugin with Ampeg fridge emulation as my 'cab'.
  2. saabfender

    saabfender Banned

    Jan 10, 2018
    What’s the gauge of strings he put on? Which is weird to say because it sounds as if you don’t know how.
  3. andrus108


    Mar 11, 2018
    The string gauge before was 105-45, and the new one is 135-45 with the 45 discarded, so it's basically the same with added 135. I know how to change strings, but I have no knowledge of setting up a guitar especially when it comes filing the nut or adjusting the truss rod, hence I gave it to a luthier.

    EDIT: I gave the new strings to the luthier with the guitar, he didn't choose them for me.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
  4. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    I recommend to bring the bass back to the luthier for another setup. This time, communicate your tonal goals, and let him choose the strings.

    The two things you have working against you are:
    1. ProSteels are one of the brightest strings you can buy, which a lot of people like, but sounds like it isn't your thing.
    2. Ampeg "fridge" cabinet has a steep rolloff of the low-bass frequencies. This is generally considered desirable, but with your low B tuning, your ear might be responding to the lack of fundamental frequencies.
  5. andrus108


    Mar 11, 2018
    Okay, so I guess I gotta get another set of nickel wounds to compare....

    The thing is I don't have problem with the low notes on this cab sim (assuming it's any real representation, there are two such models in Two Notes plugin and they sound quite different), but on the high ones, with my EQ settings (boosted mids, bass either flat or cut) they just completely blend in with guitars and synths. On the previous set the same notes with the same EQ gave this fuzzy bottom to other instruments, even when the notes I played on bass before downtuning were exactly the same as guitar's.

    But so far it's compared against a recording, I haven't played the new strings in rehearsal yet, so I might have to wait until then to see if it's still a problem. After all, what sounds nasty at home with headphones might sound great with the rest of the band on a real cab, and cymbals obscuring the fret clank.... :)

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