String Installation

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Andrew_S., Sep 24, 2002.

  1. Andrew_S.


    Jul 24, 2001
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Hi all,
    If I missed this in the newbie threads please forgive me...

    Just got a set of Labella Supernils in the mail and I'm curious about a couple of things:

    1.) The wrapped part at the bottom of the string (the part that goes through the tailpiece) is way too long. I'm assuming that this is to accomodate basses of different size. I untied the knots and re-tied them but noticed that the end of the wrapping is not even on all strings. Is this bad? I could always re-tie them.

    2.) For those who use Supernils, how long do they take to stretch and finally stay in tune? I put 'em on last night and tuned them, played them, tuned them, played them, etc... 5 times. This morning they were way out of tune again. I'm just a little worried because I have a gig this friday. Any knowledge on this would help.

    3.) I realized that I had to raise my action a lot more to compensate for the thickness of the string. One side effect of their thickness is that I seem to be accidentally hitting the G string when I slap the D string, I suppose I'll just have to adjust my playing style to accomdate for the added string thickness. Can someone suggest a string height that they use for the Supernils?

    thanks for evrything in advance!
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    You may want to bring this question up with the resident string gurus (francois and olivier) if they don't see it where it is. If it sits for a couple of days with no replies, let me know and I'll scoot the thread over to the Stings forum, where the GURU FACTOR is higher.
  3. Andrew_S.


    Jul 24, 2001
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Thank you my man! You are a most gracious Mod. :)
  4. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I used Supernil E and A for a while. They matched gut D and G all right. (I switched to Eurosonic E and A last spring.)
    Here's some help-
    Tune the strings up to pitch. PULL out on them. Bring them back up to pitch. PULL out. You get the idea. Gut and synthetic-guts take a bit of patience. But once stretched out, they stay in tune very well. A little note, though. Make sure the bridge doesn't "creep" up towards the fingerboard when you do this tuning/stretching excercise. Always look at the bridge feet to see them seated properly at all times. (No gaps) The E and A should have plenty of graphite (#2 pencil) in their grooves. The roundwound wrapping likes to catch on the edge of the bridge. Also check the grooves and make sure they aren't too square, and/or too deep.
    String heights? Try 10mm on the E and 7mm on the G. (Sorry, I only do metric.) This measurement is at the end of the fingerboard, from the top of the board to the bottom of the string's edge. Everybody has their own preference with string heights, though. Find out what works for you.
    The wrappings on Supernils are long. It doesn't matter much that the wrappings aren't even across. But the wrapping should obviously not go over the bridge crown. Is your tailpiece cable set far out? Maybe the tailpiece should be further south.
  5. Andrew_S.


    Jul 24, 2001
    Flagstaff, AZ
    thanks for the words of advice. I'll try the streching. As far as my tail gut, I think it's about as low as it can go, the end of the tailpiece is about 1 1/2" to 2" from the end of the bass. I'm guessing this is correct. It was funny because I didn't even think about it and I put the strings on and tuned it to pitch then I looked down at the strings and sure enough, the wrappings were over the bridge (Yikes!). I loosened them and re-tied then so now the wrappings are below the bridge.
    Actually, all the strings except for the E have their wrappings end almost perfectly, the E wrapping comes up a little further.
    I've also noticed that the G string has this weird kind of "sonic" (metallic?) sound to it when slapped. I'm wondering if it just needs to break in a little more?

    It's weird, the tension is sooooo much lower than the generic steels I had on the bass. It feels like I'm pulling on rubber bands or something :eek:
  6. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    I've only tried (and recommend) G Supernil on washtub bass... make sure you have a replacement set: I bet they unravel easily.

    François is THE REAL STRING GURU. It would cost a fortune in DB strings to try to catch up with his experience. Remember that his knownledge applies to EUB.
  7. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Yes, that G Supernil has a metallic tone to it. It won't go away, either. I would further replace
    the G and D with Lemur's European Plain gut G and D. The tension will be a little higher, and the slap tone will be killin'. :D I know you just bought the Supernils. Some bassists like them; most don't.
    Do you know of Lemur Music?
  8. Andrew_S.


    Jul 24, 2001
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Yeah, that's where I got these for $65. I figured if I didn't like them it wasn't like I had to sell my car or anything.

    Hmmm, I might investigate those guts! That sucks that that Metallic (I just love saying "sonic") tone won't disperse. 'Tiz the curse of being cheap with strings I guess. :oops: