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Steel to Guts

Discussion in 'Rockabilly [DB]' started by AlBass, Mar 19, 2021.

  1. AlBass


    Aug 19, 2018
    Total newbie to Rockabilly playing, and in fact to double bass period.
    When changing a steel set for weedwhackers, does anything else have to be changed, given the new lower string tension?
    Many thanks for any input
  2. Inky13


    Nov 13, 2016
    Buffalo NY
    Those strings are much thicker than steels, so you might have to widen the keyholes on the tailpiece and slots on the nut. If you plan to slap, you might need a higher action, but a lot depends on your current setup.
    Hoyt and AlBass like this.
  3. AlBass


    Aug 19, 2018
    Many thanks @Inky13
    I think the action is ok as it is now, but wondering if it may reduce when the strings are changed, due to the lower tensions? Im used to electric bass where that happenes, but maybe the effect is not the same with double bass?
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2021
    Inky13 likes this.
  4. Just change them and find out. I had red SBWs and never thought anything of it.
    AlBass likes this.
  5. AlBass


    Aug 19, 2018
    Thanks for replies guys. I learned quite a lot today. For one thing, I realised I'm using the wrong name, they aren't gut strings at all, but couldn't change the name of the thread.
    I also learned I hate weedwhackers!
    Ordered a set of Silver Slaps instead
    Inky13, unbrokenchain and HateyMcAmp like this.
  6. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC
    A world away my friend!
    AlBass and Inky13 like this.
  7. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    I think you'll find the SilverSlaps E and A are acoustically much louder, clear and note-defined than whatever weed wacker E and A you are currently using. The D and G SilverSlaps may or may not sound much different depending on what weed wacker D and G you are going to compare them with... Like @Sam Reese I'm using SBW strings, their Deluxe "Dirty Guts" for my D and G, along with SilverSlaps for my E and A.

    While the SBW Deluxe "Dirty Guts" are derived from Kevlar core gator line weed wacker, their spiral cut running the length of the strings sets these strings well apart from normal weed wackers as far as touch, tone and volume are concerned. The whole set is actually great if you're amp'ed. But for acoustic work I have found the "Dirty Gut" E and A were not clear and well enough defined, so I swapped those strings out for the SilverSlaps E and A.

    You may find your SilverSlaps have a pronounced "plastic" tone quality when new. In my experience that goes away once the strings are worked in, probably within a few months after installation. At this point, 3 years down the road with my mixed set, the SilverSlaps E and A and the Deluxe "Dirty Guts" D and G feel and sound consistent, like they were a set, made for each other, and they are still going strong.
  8. AlBass


    Aug 19, 2018
    Thank you guys for replying. I feel more confident through this support and grateful for it.
    @dhergert that is very useful detailed information. The Weedwackers I have are the Slaphappy ones. I wanted to see if I could get away with a cheap set before spending out, as some people seem to make them sound OK, but I guess once you have good technique, it is easier to make anything sound OK.
    I had only fitted the E and A so far, so haven't heard the D and G. Although not an expensive bass (30 year old Strunal) it sounds good with the steel strings it came with, and I was baulking at my familiar bass sound dwindling and not being replaced by something compensatory!
    I have heard incredible sounds come from the Silver /Gold Slaps on a decent bass, pizz and arco too (not that I will ever use arco) so hope they would be a good step up.
    It is real helpful to know that the "plastic" aspect of the sound is pronounced at first, as I will not be put off by this now.
    PS. Being a total noob to dB, I was not even aware that there were many different brands of weed whackers, and had initially only heard of the Slaphappy ones. This forum is great. Thanks again guys
    Inky13, Keith Rawlings and dhergert like this.
  9. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 12, 2021

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