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String perception? question

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by JAS, Oct 8, 2005.


  1. JAS

    JAS

    Jul 3, 2001
    California
    I have played on many basses that have Spirocore Weichs - the tension seems very nice and easy, and even the gage seems O.K. but when I put them on my bass (which I have tried 3 times) they always seem too thin, and have more tension, and less sustain and less growl. Obviously that has something to do with my setup, but...

    I have a 50s Kay bass, which is set up very nice. I have a raised saddle, and I have decreased the distance between my bridge and tailpiece to aliviate some tension. Still, there is this weird illusion that strings seem thin under my fingers on this bass and tense compared to other basses I have played. Even the crapy school bass (with a crappy setup) at the high school that I teach at feels easier to play with Weichs on it then my bass does.

    Does anyone have any clues?
     
  2. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    A sound post adjustment can make a big difference in the tension of the bass. Weichs feel too soft on my bass.
     
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Setup and sound can make things feel way different. As a setup idiot (I always take it to the pros), the raised saddle on a Kay sound suspect, as the bridge height is usually kinda low on ply basses. IF your bass has a low bridge and you had to raise the saddle to make the thing seem more playable, I'm guessing that you were compensating for a badly shaped fingerboard (or other issues) and the setup of your bass is far enough off kilter that almost nothing is going to work the way it should.
     
  4. JAS

    JAS

    Jul 3, 2001
    California
    All the raised saddle is doing is decreasing the angle at wich the strings cross the bridge. It is not one of those giant raised saddles, it is just a little higher than a regular saddle. This decreases the tension on the top of the instrument and has helped it to have a more open resonant sound. The setup seems to be fine. A couple diferent good luthier have checked out the bass a few times. I recently had a new soundpost made and fit and that helped a little. Strings still just seem tighter and thinner under my fingers on this bass. It is weird.
     
  5. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    The decreased angle is my point, though. If, as on many plywood basses, the bridge height is already low, giving you an obtuse angle across the bridge, and the raised saddle fixed whatever other woe the bass may have had, you're possibly all lop-sided and your bass is going to act wierd in general.

    Without seeing the thing in person or good photos, I'm only guessing as an assist.
     
  6. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    what's your string length and the string lengths of the basses you're comparing it to? a bass with a longer string length will have to tighten the strings more to get them to pitch. i think kay's are around 42". my chinese bass is 40.5, and i notice a difference in tensions on the same set of strings between my basses with different string lengths...
     
  7. Eric Rene Roy

    Eric Rene Roy Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    Mystic, CT
    Vice President: Upton Bass String Instrument Co.
    It may not be your setup at all. There are two different Spiro sets you could be playing on. S42W or 3885W. To me, it sounds like you played on S42W's but then bought 3885W's. S42's are meant for a longer string length, and have a different core. The 3885's are meant for a smaller string length, and thus different core.

    Still have your packaging? Check the string numbers.
     
  8. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    no, shorter string length means less tightening of the string to get it to pitch... try it yourself. shorten the length of your g string by putting your finger on it somewhere. lets say for arguements sake the A on the G string... now which way would you have to turn the peg in order to get it back to G? shorter string length means you'd have to turn it down....
     
  9. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    another case in point.... the typical bass guitar string length is 34 inches. the new trend in 5 string bass guitars is to make them 35 inches in order to "tighten up" or get rid of a flabby low b string...i dont know if you'll be able to find it, but gerald johnson the engineer/ bassist, on the 2x basslist archives, once posted all the math involved.
     
  10. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    The actual string length has far, far less to do with the perceived tension of the string than the materials and construction methods used. I know I've played my fair share of floppy 35" B's and tight 34" B's, as have a lot of TB'ers.
     
  11. Rabb

    Rabb

    Mar 2, 2005
    SF Bay Area
    I had a luthier recommend that I only use weich's once. It had something to do with the physical construction of the instrument. I normally used orchestra gauge; but when I did it had a tendency to cock the end pin, and bow the bridge. The weich's were more forgiving.
     
  12. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    yes, i know. but it is a fact that on the same set of strings, shortening the length and tuning to pitch leads to less tension, which could have been noticeable to the origional poster. as i said, i can notice the difference between my 42 incher and my 40.5 incher with the same strings....