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tightening up a b-string

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Godhead'sLament, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. i've been looking to buy a new bass, but recently a played an f-bass and i felt that there would be no point in buying a new one until i can afford an f. :bawl:

    so i figured i could upgrade pickups and pramp on my current bass to make it sound better.. it is a esp f-205, it has pretty good playability so if i could make it sound better it would do until i can afford the sweet f-bass..

    so what i would like to do is to tighten up it's b string.. can this be done? :help: now ist all muddy and its hard to hear what note you are playing.

    so i would like to change the emg hz to a pair of dingwall fd-3, and throw in an aguilar omp-3. could this make the b-string better or would it just change the overall sound of the bass?

    if you have other suggestions about pickups or pre that would suit my needs better, feel free to contribute..
  2. Sheldon D.

    Sheldon D.

    Oct 3, 2001
    The FD-3 pickups will improve clarity over the HZ pickups. Using the same strings that F-bass uses will help too. They're made by LaBella (I forget which set). The rest will be the construction of the instrument and there's not much you can do about that except save for that wonderful F.
  3. You can raise the action on the B and get a new nut. That will help a bit. But as Sheldon said, you are limited by the quality of the bass.
  4. The only way you'll save up enough without spending your savings is to open up a new bank account. Depending on your salary, put 20 bucks a week or something in there. That's what I'm doing and I'm up to 500 now. And that way, you'll know, this is for my bass.... And sometimes you sneak a few extra bucks in there when it starts getting close :)
  5. thanks sheldon. well i thought so.. clarity would be a nice improvement in deed. i guess i should start saving..
  6. Basshole

    Basshole Banned

    Jan 28, 2005
    Increasing the size of the string will increase the tension.

    Switch to another brand or set of strings that features a heavier B, and it will help dramatically. I have basses that are great with just a 128 on them, and others that really need a 145 to be solid.
  7. thanks guys.. it is not the tention of the string that is the problem. sorry if i was unclear at this point.. it is the sound especially on the lowest notes on the b string. (from low E and down). it sounds like its a different intrument down there.

    that saving trick is good. i usually do something similar when im saving for something. but i've started studying now so i don't have an actual salary.. i guess i have ti be really patient..

    the reason i want to do this is because i want to be happy about my bass until i can afford an F or something similar...
  8. EricTheEZ1


    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    Never seen a stock B string heavier than 135, to be honest. By stock I mean non-custom made strings. 135 should be mor than enough to tighten it up as far as playability. In tone, I hear compression works wonders to tighten up the B.

  9. Oh, another thing you can do is use a Sadowsky preamp. Those really help.
  10. Hey..I love the sound of the Sad preamp, but really....
    If Sadowsky preamps really could tighten up B-strings, Roger Sadowsky could stop making basses, and just sell preamps to every five string player. As a matter of fact, he just had to sell the rights on his preamp, and than he could retire.

    There is no such thing as a preamp that tightens up B strings.

    You just have to experiment with different types and brands of strings, hopefully there will be one that helps a little. Also sometimes lowering the pickups will help a bit if the magnetic fields of the pickup causes the string to produce false harmonics and overtones and stuff.

    But usually when a bass has a bad B string, it will stay that way no matter what you try.

    There are basses with good B strings, even cheap ones, and there are basses with muddy floppy B strings, even more expensive basses. Its all a matter of try before you buy, and don't fool yourself thinking that a preamp or pickups or whatever can cure a bad B string.

    My $00.02

  11. so you are saying that i shouldn't waist my money on making this bass better. well i guess you have a point, i was just hoping i cold do something to make my time with this bass more pleasant.
  12. That is basically what I was saying. I assume that you have tried things like different B strings, and lowering the pickup height on the side of the B string? If those things don't help, there is not much else you can do I'm afraid.
    Things like pickups and preamps will cost several hundreds of euro's, and will do nothing to tighten up the B string. Better use the money for your next bass.

  13. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Harrison Labs makes a small, passive, 50 Hz. high pass filter that will work wonders on a muddy B string.....

    It's a car audio part so it is set up for RCA jacks and you need adapters but...

    It's cheap and VERY effective.
  14. Basshole

    Basshole Banned

    Jan 28, 2005
    So true. Once played a beautiful Fodera in a NYC shop - worst B ever...and Vinnie makes great basses. It's wood, and it varies. Try before you buy any contrabass, is a great plan.
  15. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    That F-Bass is a wunner'ful thing ain't it? But I think you've come close to hitting the nail on the head when looking at those FD3 pickups, but also barking up the wrong tree at the same time. You should maybe think about one of Sheldon's guitars.

    I'm not necessarily unbiased, as you may know...but from my perspective, you can get the most killer B string on the planet along with the FD3 pickups by buying an Afterburner 1 bass. They also cost about 1/3 to 1/2 of the price of an F-Bass, while coming close to the playability and the construction. If you drop a quick email to Bass Central or BassNW, you're going to be surprised at how reasonably priced a Dingwall AB1 is, especially if you don't mind a solid color finish instead of one of the flame-tops.

    I know the pricing of the FD3's aren't cheap (they're well worth it), and from what I'm looking at, if'n you pay for the pickups and decide to use a OBP-3, you're looking at close to the resale value of your whole bass...and you'll still have a sloppy B.

    If you change strings, and spend some time saving up, I'm gonna guess you can work your way into a killer new bass (either F or D) in no time.
  16. i've been wanting to try a dingwall bass but i've never seen one, heard some good things about them.. the novax system is very appealing.

    that highpass filter sounds interesting, never thought about that.

    well thanks for the input guys.. i guess i have some saving to do..
  17. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    It works.

    I have a pretty dang high end rig and mud isn't really an issue for me but I still don't leave home without one of those things in my effects loop.
  18. Yes, there is.

    It makes it audible. B strings become more audible. One of the things the Sadowsky does is tighten up the bottom end, making it more definite. Get it?

    Of ye of little imagination! The expression "tighten up" has more than one meaning!
  19. Got it. But in my imagination i don't want a muddy floppy B to become even more audible... :bag:

    I wouldn't want to spend an additional $200-$250 on a preamp when my problem is a floppy B string. I'd save it for my next bass.

    O well..

  20. Yeah, but I am working on the assumption that anyone who plays a passive bass is going to need a Sadowsky sooner or later!!!!! Good investment.