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Tone much worse in drop C# - help!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by GBassLondon, Jan 27, 2018.


  1. GBassLondon

    GBassLondon

    May 29, 2013
    London
    Hi all,

    I play a Warwick streamer stage 2 1989 version with EMGs and elixir strings in 45-105. I have been playing in drop C# in a metal band for a while and I love it - but I am always messing around with tone.

    I tuned up to E standard to play some Incubus and I noticed an incredible difference in tone. Sharper, more precise, beautiful treble response without being too clicky. I tuned straight back to drop c# and played the same part and it was so much worse. Muddy, noisy etc.

    So I’m wondering if this is a setup issue. I have used heavier gauge strings before but I’m not sure that helps. Will a big raise of the action get the snap in the strings and the tight tone of a standard when I’m down in drop C# or is that not actually possible? It’s frustrating knowing there is superior tone in my bass that I can’t use!!
     
  2. Drgonzonm

    Drgonzonm

    Sep 4, 2017
    American SW
    You didn't indicate what amp you are trying to play through. Also state what speakers you are using. It might not be the fiddle, on the outside, passive?
     
  3. GBassLondon

    GBassLondon

    May 29, 2013
    London
    Eden WTDI preamp pedal into behringer power amp into Eden 4x10 old 8 ohm cab. I don’t understand the last sentence. It’s an active bass but you can play it passive. It’s through this setup that I notice the difference and also when playing through GarageBand and headphones. That’s what makes me think it must be a setup thing?
     
  4. Drgonzonm

    Drgonzonm

    Sep 4, 2017
    American SW
    1 do not know what the effects the Eden wtdi has on the signal. 2 behringer amp is rated 20 to 20k Hz, so probablyn not the amp. 3. Suspect the cab, the cab is likely rated at 45-14kHz, so. I would expect drop off the later cabs have a stated low spec of 36 Hz. 4. Garage band, not a user, but format you are recording to, might make a difference, just guessing. 5. Quality of headphones, best I can say review the specs. 6. Passive versus, active, Without research, not sure how much circuitry design has on low frequency cutoff. Can it make a difference, probably..
    I know I didn't give any real answers, but hopefully, it gives you an idea on an investigative process. Right now I suspect the cabinet.
     
  5. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    45-105 are pretty small to play detuned that much. 105s are really a standard tuning size. At C# theyre way under-tensioned and it’s no wonder it sounds flabby.

    Larger strings designed for drop tuning, available everywhere, will fix your problem but you may have to widen the nut slots.
     
    knumbskull likes this.
  6. Yes, a 105 tuned down to C# is probably pretty loose. The first thing I’d try is heavier strings and a setup.
     
  7. GBassLondon

    GBassLondon

    May 29, 2013
    London
    As I said above I’ve used heavier strings before - you can’t widen the nut on a Warwick. With bigger strings you lose some of the tone and are left with mud I think. Also I’ve just spent loads on elixirs because my strings always go dead quickly and I love them. They don’t do them in heavier gauge on the bottom strong though they do a 50-105 set
     
  8. You did say that. Sorry.

    The only thing I can think of is to measure the setup when you’re tuned to E and try and duplicate that at C# or at least see if it changes.

    To me though, the strings are meant to have a certain tension on them and dropping way down is going to make them loose and floppy, for lack of better terms. Good luck and let us know if you come up with something. It may be helpful to someone else.
     
  9. GBassLondon

    GBassLondon

    May 29, 2013
    London
    Thanks Matt, will give it a go!
     
  10. Mechayoshi

    Mechayoshi

    Dec 7, 2015
    Tennessee
    If you have to be with those particular strings you might have to accept that it won't be optimal. Rise action and adjust neck to give the strings max room and lighten your touch?
     
  11. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    I would use something closer to a .120, essentially a light B string. If your nut cannot accommodate larger strings, you will need a new nut. It is just basic physics, a .105 string will always be floppy when tuned to C#. Drop C# is not super deep, your rig should handle it just fine once you get a good tone coming out of the bass.
     
    96tbird likes this.
  12. GBassLondon

    GBassLondon

    May 29, 2013
    London
    Crikey 120!

    Elixir sell a single 125 maybe I could put that on. But then that would leave 45-65-85-125....
     
  13. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Don't just change the E string, change the whole set. I used these for C# standard & they were just right:

    100554000000000-00-500x500.jpg
     
    96tbird and frnjplayer like this.
  14. GBassLondon

    GBassLondon

    May 29, 2013
    London
    This is what I’m hoping to avoid - purely because I just bought the elixirs. They were so expensive but the tone is great and I’m trying to avoid having to change them the whole time.

    I’ve never tried boomers but the reason I went to elixir is because other strings go dead on me after a month and it’s expenaive to keep replacing. I’ve heard Boomers are some of the worst for going dead quickly
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
  15. ugly_bassplayer

    ugly_bassplayer

    Jan 21, 2009
    Québec
    I use 45-125 5 string d'addario sets and ditch the high G string for C standard tuning
     
  16. Conkal

    Conkal

    Jun 23, 2017
    Athens, Greece
    If you use the same strigns and the same bass setup then it is only natural for it happen. I would use heavier gauge for C#.

    A comment: it is not wise to tune and detune the intrument . the neck will warp eventually
     
  17. GBassLondon

    GBassLondon

    May 29, 2013
    London
    Tuning and returning the instrument is kind of part and parcel to be honest!
     
    96tbird likes this.
  18. Conkal

    Conkal

    Jun 23, 2017
    Athens, Greece
    I understand but this doesn't mean that the wood in the neck like it.
     
  19. GBassLondon

    GBassLondon

    May 29, 2013
    London
    Damn wood!! It’s a neck through as well so guess I need to be careful
     
    Conkal likes this.
  20. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Germany
    Get the Elixir low B strings and ditch the G strings you have if you bought that many sets. Widen the nut or replace it, and set up the bass for the new string tension. This should get you going. Drop C# is well within the range of a standard tuned 4 string so this should work fine.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Mar 2, 2021

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