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String tension bar

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by neptune, Mar 20, 2001.


  1. neptune

    neptune

    Feb 2, 2001
    Maryland
    I remember reading a post that mentioned adding a string tension bar to a bass, which measureably enhanced the tone. I've also noticed a lot of high end basses have these installed from the factory. Does anyone know of a company producing these as an aftermarket mod? This would be for a 5 string.
     
  2. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    I'm not sure what you're describing, Nep. You wouldn't be talking abou a string tree, would you?

    Pkr2
     
  3. neptune

    neptune

    Feb 2, 2001
    Maryland
    That could well be the term for it. Unlike the old Fenders, which used a washer/button type unit on the face of the headstock to hold downward tension on the D and G strings, these are a bar or rod that the strings run under.
     
  4. I know what you're talking about. I think the Lull's use 'em. Funny thing - years ago, only the cheapest basses (Teisco, Silvertone, etc.) used a bar like you've described.

    I haven't seen any at the parts sites and I think I've seen all of them. You could probably make one but there are some issues there that could thwart a smooth fabrication. Probably the reason you don't see them as an aftermarket item is that there would have to be many widths and depths (threaded portion) to accomodate all of the basses that could need one. Perhaps a good looking substitute would be to take a pair of hardened grade 8 allen bolts (say a #6) and combine them with a nice aluminum bar with two holes. Then you could thread your bolts through the headstock and fix them with black nuts. The bright aluminum bar would look good next to the hardened black bolts.
     
  5. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Yep, you're describing a string tree, Nep.

    If I'm not badly mistaken, Stew-Mac has listed them in thier catalogue. They do have a $25.00 minimum order though and the price should be around fve bucks.

    I have a string tree on my Washburn that only goes over the G, D and A string.

    It would be super easy to fabricate a string tree if you need one. All it does is increase the breakover angle of the strings across the nut. If your action is good at the nut end of your bass, a string tree wouldn't be of any benefit to you. I doubt that the sustain would increase unless the mass of the tree acted like a Fat-Finger.

    Pkr2