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String Tree: Just to keep strings from popping out or affects sound?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Squidfinger, Oct 29, 2004.

  1. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    Something has been bothering me lately. I've got a Skyline Bob Glaub (P-bass) strung BEAD coming very soon from Bass Central (Thanks Gard!). I was looking at the Fender P 5er and it has a string tree before the B and E and another one for the A,D, and G. I think the Mike Lull P5 also has a string tree for the B and E. I also read this at another site:

    Getting a great sounding lo B is a complicated issue and there is a lot more to it than the magic inch. There are a number of reasons that newer design 35" basses sometimes sound better but many of the same priciples can be applied to 34" basses. When 5 strings were all the rage a lot of builders rushed their designs and there are a lot of design mistakes but many can be addressed with some minor adjustments. I play a PV Dyna 5 that with a few small improvements sounds just fine to me.
    Many great builders put a lot of thought into improving designs and into analyzing why one bass design works better and it got back to simple acoustics and string angles. Having the proper string break at the bridge and nut is essential and is a common area where older designs fell short. Probably the simplest improvement is to be sure that the nut is the proper height and that there is enough string break. If the string break is too shallow or deep it will choke the string and not allow it to speak, quite often something as simple as a string tree will help. On my old bass I've added an eye hook that the string passes thru b4 the tuner and it helps. Another common problem is that on many basses the lo B tuner is crammed too close to the nut and it will not allow a good string break, there may not be much you can do in this situation.

    I did a search on string trees and all I found were people saying they were for only keeping strings from popping out. They mention nothing about affecting sound. Will I maybe need to add a string tree for the B and E? :help:
  2. I wouldn't worry too much about it, dude. After taking a gander at the Skyline, you should be fine without it. String trees (from what I know and have seen) are only used on instruments without angled heads. I'm 99% sure that string trees will not affect your tone at all. Nothing above the nut should affect the tone to any audible degree. And even if it does, you shouldn't worry about it because the only time you'd hear it was when you were playing the open strings. And if all you ever do is pluck an open B string... I don't think I need to finish that.

    Hope I've been helpful :p
  3. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    That's the thing though dude, it's modeled after a Fender '64 P so it's 99.99% the headstock is NOT angled.
  4. Yeah, man. It's all diggy though. Because the E and the B are close enough to the nut that the string popping out isn't an issue. So, as I said: No worries :)
  5. DubDubs


    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    String trees are to keep add some angle to the string before the nut on non angled headstocks but not having one won't affect the tone too much if at all.
  6. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    Alright, cool. Thanks guys. :)
  7. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    The string tree does ads angle to the string over the nut, and pressure on it. If your B string is floppy, you could try a tree on it to increase the pressure over the Nut. Increasing the angle/pressure over the nut will increase the tension between the Bridge saddle and nut. Some companies don't bother with a tree on the and E because there is enough downward pull while other need the angle.

    The only tonal difference will be if your B string or E string is better pronounced.