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string tuning problem

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by SourNote, Sep 21, 2010.


  1. SourNote

    SourNote

    Jun 30, 2010
    menfee ca
    Hello,

    this may sound silly, but I am having trouble tuning some flat wound strings on my highway one P bass.

    I got the bass and wanted to try flat wound strings. the first set was a set of D'Addario ECB82 XL Chromes Flatwound Long Scale Bass Strings. as I was tuning them the E string popped. not much I could do at that point so I put the old E string back. I liked the feel of the flat wounds but the Round wound E was very different in sound (stainless vs chrome).

    So I ordered some Fender 9050M STAINLESS STEEL FLAT WOUND LONG SCALE BASS STRINGS MEDIUM.

    The Problem
    I have installed them got the E and A strings tuned and seem Ok, but when I try to tighten the D and G strings the seem to be tight but not in tune yet (off by a few notes, e.g. G is Db). As I continue to tighten them they (or the neck) starts making pinging and cracking noises. I still have a ways to go to get to a G.

    I don't think I am over-tightening them. when tuned loosely they sound much different then the E and A string on the highway one, and the D and G strings on another bass I have.

    Any suggestions, I would hate to ruin another set or worse damage the bass neck.

    Should I stop at the first time the strings are in tune once the slack is removed? it does not sound right.

    HELP!
     
  2. ggunn

    ggunn

    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    You weren't by any chance tuning on a tuner without listening, were you? It sounds to me like you had already passed the E when you started looking at the tuner and were going for an octave higher. I have done that. D'oh!

    I always get new strings close to pitch by plugging in and listening before plugging into a tuner, or at least doing both at once.
     
  3. SourNote

    SourNote

    Jun 30, 2010
    menfee ca

    I think that is what happened on the broken E string. but now I don't know what is wrong with the D and G strings.
     
  4. ggunn

    ggunn

    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Have you plugged in and listened to make sure you aren't doing it again? Are you sure you've got the right strings for the pitches you are going for?
     
  5. SourNote

    SourNote

    Jun 30, 2010
    menfee ca

    I have done it plugged in, that is how I know that it does not sound right.

    I have check 2 times that they are the correct strings, but will check again when I get home to make sure. But the color on the last two strings matches the color (ring on the end) of the last set) and the G string is visibly thinnner then the D.
     
  6. GregDunn

    GregDunn

    Jan 8, 2009
    As for the pinging sound, all my flats have done that when I tune them up the first time. I assumed it was the windings pulling apart slightly as you increase the tension. I just stretch them all after I've gotten them tuned near correct pitch (helps them to settle as well) and then tune again; it seems to stop then.
     
  7. SourNote

    SourNote

    Jun 30, 2010
    menfee ca

    thanks GregDunn, for the info/insight/confidence, I have tuned them. It was a little nerve racking with the cracking and pinging. But all of the strings holding steady. no broken string (thank God).

    played them for an hour tonight, will stretch and re-tune over the next few days.

    they seem a little high, I may have to lower the action, but that for another night.
     
  8. The first E string broke because the flat part was winding around the tuning peg, which is, I assume, where it broke. This is a no-no. You must either place some old ball-ends on the string to prevent this, or use a shorter wind string.
    The strange noises from the D and G are probably the result of too-tight nut slots. The flatwound strings are probably slightly larger in diameter than the rounds you had on before. Take a careful look to see if they've seated at the bottom of the slots. Chances are, they haven't. If not, the slots will need to be widened slightly.
     
  9. ggunn

    ggunn

    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    He's already said he broke the E string by overtightening it.
     
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