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Tone between individual strings.

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by pbd, Feb 25, 2004.


  1. pbd

    pbd Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2003
    Metro Detroit
    owner Procables N Sound
    Okay, not sure if I should be here or in pups. I have a Schecter Stilleto custom 4 with blue steele round wounds. My E & A strings sound full and smooth. My D sounds okay but my G sound brash and weak. Is this strings or pup adjustment? Or is this the way it's supposed to sound? Is there such a thing as mixing gauged sets of strings, IE: putting a heavier gauge on just the G string? I haven't tried adjusting the string height yet. The E & A are fairly low. Suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.

    Patty D.
     
  2. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Actually, this could probably fit into the Strings, Setup, Pickups and Basses forums :) . Oh, and Technique :bassist: .

    The reason I say that is that it's such a common complaint that people have done a lot of things to correct it. On my '78 Precision, I've found that .050-.105 strings generally sound better than .045-.105 for some of the reasons you mention. Also, I tend to pluck the strings differently to try to avoid the twang of the G and the thud of the E. The pickups themselves of course can make a difference, as some have a more even response than others. If I'm not mistaken, you have EMG-Hz's, which should be pretty even all the way across. However, adjustment enters into the picture too. And finally, some basses just sound more even across the board than others.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. pbd

    pbd Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2003
    Metro Detroit
    owner Procables N Sound
    This helps a lot! Now I know I'm not alone! :) Thanks. I'll try a step up in the gauge of the G string. I do have EMG's. I'll fiddle and tweak. Thanks!

    Patty D.
     
  4. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    I'd second the aforementioned. A description of brash and weak sounds a bit of a contradiction but for the volume aspect you'll have to raise the pup to the string (or lower from the brighter), change the string (heavier gauge or different construction), or use a harder attack.
     
  5. pbd

    pbd Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2003
    Metro Detroit
    owner Procables N Sound
    Thanks for your input. Maybe a better word for it would be thin sounding, not weak. Though the D & G sound quieter. I'll check the distance of the pups to the strings. I'm going to change the gauge of the G string. I don't know a lot about strings so I wasn't sure you could mix and match. It sounds like, "use what works best for you and your bass".

    I avoid using a harder attack because it's sounds too much like a guitar note :eek: ;)

    Thanks
    Patty D.
     
  6. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    I think you'll also find that when you play live, if you're playing in a trio or quartet (or more), that a lot of the differences are absorbed in the sound spectrum, and your bass pretty much sounds like a bass out front. It's still a good idea to work on your sound, but realize a lot of the little intricacies are usually lost in the FOH mix. Also, a good sound in your bedroom doesn't always translate into a good sound live. When I first started playing, a guy told me that I should always have a brighter stage tone than what I wanted the audience to hear. He was right, at least for me.
     
  7. pbd

    pbd Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2003
    Metro Detroit
    owner Procables N Sound
    I'll Relay this to the bass player I run sound for. I think you just saved me some headaches for future gigs. I couldn't figure where the boom was from but our guy likes a little muddier sound. translated to FOH=boom. I prefer a little brighter sound myself, relying on the bass strings to make the lower sounds not the tone pots.
    I don't play out, so any changes I make are for my personal preference. I play at church but since the church is so small it's like playing at home. I have deffinitely experieced the loss of frequency distinction your speaking of when everyone plays together.

    Although I prefer the brighter sound the G is just too bright. Especially in comparison to the other strings. Thank you for your help.

    Patty D.
     
  8. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    I forgot to address, string mixing is personal preference. Jones from Zep used to combine flats and rounds and flat pic with fingers. Do what works. I haven't messed with mixing strings myself but I use TI's and you can't buy those individually (that I know of anyway), only in sets. So I'd imagine that may be more common than not. Another thing is the higher frequencies will cut more so, again, the volume difference that's blatant at home may not exist playing out.
     
  9. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    Lately I have been playing with an Ernie Ball Slinky B string with TI Jazz Flats E thru G on my Stingray 5 with great success. The EB Slinky B string speaks very well on the SR5 and doesn't sound weird at all with the flats. In fact the fretted E on the B string (roundwound) sounds much closer to the open E (flatwound) than it did with the full TI set.
     
  10. pbd

    pbd Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2003
    Metro Detroit
    owner Procables N Sound
    Update: I adjusted the pups down for the D and G and it smoothed it out, much better. I'm thinking of a heavier gauge next string change. I also adjusted my truss rod, quite a bit, which of course changed the action. I just bought the bass a few months ago and it must have come from a warmer region because I've been loosening the rod every month up here in Michigan. It plays great and sounds much better now. Of course I'll probably go through this all over again when I change the string gauge!

    Thanks for all the input. Treena Foster has a good essay about her experiences with strings and their effects on sound, very helpful. Not sure if there's a link for it.