The ABC's of ABG B string response?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tritone, Sep 12, 2003.

  1. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    Ok, here's a question for the ABG crowd (and anybody else I guess ;) ). I have a line on a new Tacoma CB-10 ($800 out the door, includes LR Baggs pre, and hard case). Anyway, it's a 4 banger, and I've been playing 5's exclusively for a few years now. This bass will be used for an acoustic- unplugged- strolling mistrel- type thing (yikes). I'll be amping (and strolling somehow) with a Pignose 30 watter to help me compete with 2 acoustic guitars and a cajon. My thinking is that a B string will just get washed out anyway, so I really won't need the B. Am I right?? Kinda leery of buying a non 5...gotten used to having that rope on top!

    Thanks everybody :bassist:
  2. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I think B strings do pose a problem on ABG's because of the physics involved in producing a strong sound from such a thick string.

    My ABG is a four string but I have a friend who uses a five string (MKS - you out there?) who has, I believe, recently switched to EADGC tuning as being more useful. Mind you, he also plays a seven string tuned BEADGCF, so what does he know :D

    How much of the music you're playing depends on the B string. Also, if you're using an amp anyway, couldn't you just use your electric (or is the appearance important)?

  3. joninjapan


    Aug 13, 2003
    Tokyo, Japan
    I bought my CB105F because I would use the B when amplified, acoustically the B is not really there except for practice. A little amp might help, but I would think you are pushing it.
    I would recommend the bass though!!! and pick up a few felt picks, they are usually used for ukulele, the stiff ones work wonders on an ABG.:D
  4. I have an Ovation Celebrity Deluxe ABG and as wulf said, I'm currently using it EADGC. This was mostly down to preference of having a high C to play with when I'm noodling around.

    Some observations:
    It took some time to find a B string where I was happy with the sound. Unplugged a B string has virtually no benefit apart from practice since the sound and volume is just too low to make it worthwhile.

    The fact that you can't easily tweak intonation on an ABG (you can to a point, but hey) means that it's important to find strings and guages that work well for your instrument. I found that a big chunky .130 B string tapewound on my ABG just sounded lousy from an intonation point of view. I switched to TI strings which are lighter guage and the intonation improved a lot.

    Plugged in the B sounded great, but in the end I really wanted to have something that I could play chords on etc. and that meant I changed to EADGC. I'd be happy to switch back though since I mostly play the ABG plugged in at my church worship team - the sound of the ABG blends with the rest of the band better than an electric would.

    SO... So far I haven't missed the B. Although the thought of a 6 string ABG is quite appealing.
  5. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I just recently put a set of Rotosound Monel Flats on my Athlete 6 string ABG, and the response from the low B has improved tremendously.

    The low B is loud enough to play with a single acoustic player when I use my Entwistle-style typewriter technique, or use a pick. When I plug in, the resonse is very even across the spectrum.
    If I only had a 5 string ABG, I'd probably string it EADGC so I could do chords. But, since I have the six string, I find that the low B is very usable with my jazz band.

    Now I just need to spend some money upgrading the 10 year old piezo technology.
  6. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    Thanks to everybody for the helpful responses! Since my neurosis was squelched, I had no choice but to go ahead and get the bass! :D

    And Wulf, the amp is just gonna be used to augment the acoustic sound. Good idea about using an electric though...

    Boy I'll tell ya, the threads on this bass have been right on...suprisingly BIG sound out of it! And using a felt pick, like Joninjapan suggested, was THE ticket! I'll be using it at the gig starting Friday!

    Thanks again everyone!
  7. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Good deal. Felt picks are a lot of fun, and add a nice new option to the tone palette.
  8. anyone know where I can order some felt picks?
  9. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    Believe or not, I found mine at Guitar Center....I would check around with some of the "folkier" stores? Felt picks are primarily made for mandolin, and I'm not too up on my folk instrument sources..... . I'll be in the same boat when my picks run out :eek:

  10. I think sonce this is equally divided into thirds of what threads they should be in, this should be moved to Misc.