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"Tinny" B and E...

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by xolin, Dec 27, 2005.

  1. Hey guys, I know something like this has been discussed before - ive been here a bit - but no good solution I found.

    I own a Brice Swamp Ash Douglas-J (75 fender J copy) 5 string (two actually, but the fretless version doesnt have this problem).
    The E and B strings, when played (in any way, ive tried hundreds, Im sure) sound 'tinny' and hollow, whereas the A through G strings all sound nice and warm and thick.
    The only time Ive got the E to sound nice was playing it really really quietly (so quiet that it wouldnt even work for my otherwise acoustic jazz band) and even then it was not that great.

    In Eb tuning, it sounds a bit better, and similarly with F tuning, but there is still some remnant of the tinny sound. I thought it might be setup so ive changed action, adjusted intonation, etc, but to no avail. I even have new strings and Bartolini pickups, but not much difference (in that area).

    I thought I might need to replace the bridge (also, since the high G post is unscrewing itself...those koreans... :p ), as maybe it was jiggling or something making that sound.

    Note: the tinny sound also appears when I put my chin on the bass acoustically...so it is the natural bass sound.

    And most other E/B frets work much better, like the diff tunings.

    Any help, s'il vous plais?
  2. hmm..thanks guys.
  3. hmmmm.....

    does it still do the same with different brand strings? Just trying to rule anything out.

    (sorry if you said that and I missed it)
  4. Yep. Its been doing this since I bought it a year or so ago.
    I can still get decent tones, but i would really like an E thats consistent with the rest of the bass.
  5. Bass


    Nov 10, 2003

    This wouldn't have anything to do with the string height / pickup height, eh? The E and B string might be set a little too close the pickup, affecting the output.

    Also, maybe the pickup is a 4 string pickup installed in a 5 string bass by accident. In this case, the magnet would be a bit too short and not picking up the outer strings properly.

    I dunno, just grasping at straws here.
  6. np, i appreciate it.

    No Ive had it far away and closer by. Closer actually seems the better of the two. It sounds to me without any other proof than gut feeling that the saddle or bridge is shaking in its socket causing a much thinner tone. It doesnt look like it though.
  7. you're right...closer would be better...

    that's a very interesting problem...

    new pickups, new strings...and the same problem? hmmmm

    sounds like the natural frequency of your instrument is squashing the fundimentals of your lower strings...

    is your neck joint solid?

    also, try this....just for grins...play your bass through your amp and observe how it sounds...now, walk over to the wall and let the head of your bass rest on the wall...how does it sound now? drastic imrovement?

    if so...try tightening up that neck joint and/or giving your truss rod and extra tweak to squeeze the wood just a bit in the neck.
  8. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Put some clear fingernail polish on the threads.