Tone on E string very dull compared to ADG.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Twick, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. I just picked up an American Deluxe Jazz 4 a couple weeks ago. The fit and finish of this bass feels great, but the E string sounds very hollow and boomy compared to ADG. I wrote it off at the store as just a dead string and replaced the whole set with D'Addario XL nickels as soon as I got it home.

    At first the string change seemed to resolve it, though now I'm wondering if it wasn't just a placebo effect and I maybe just convinced myself it's fine because I love the rest of this bass so much. But now it's clear that if I play down the strings it goes "purr-purr-purr-THUD."

    Does anyone have any recommendations as to what the potential problem(s) may be? It sounds like this both acoustically and when plugged in, so I'm wondering if it's got something to do with the nut?
  2. billgwx


    Apr 10, 2009
    Centereach NY
    Here's an edumakated guess: This probably has something to do with the string contact points (nut and/or bridge), and/or the way the string was wound--am thinking here of possible twisting during winding onto the tuner that could somehow increase tension? To paraphrase Dr. Strangelove I've decided to stop worrying and love the thump, but am still curious and waiting to hear what others have done...
  3. Thanks for the reply Billgwx. The sound of the thump itself would be fine, it's just that it's different than the other strings, and lines that skip between sound awkward.

    I've got a few photos that show the bridge saddle, tuning peg, and nut, which may help to explain what's going on.


    I'm hoping this is an easy fix and I can get on with enjoying this bass. Worst case I'll return it to the store and keep hunting for another bass in this series. They're oddly hard to track down in my region.

    (sorry for the huge images - I'm a bit of a tech weakling)
  4. Are you comfortable doing your own setup? If not, take it to a pro for a good setup and discuss the issue; this should improve the string-to-string balance.
  5. Rocky McD

    Rocky McD

    Jun 28, 2005
    San Antonio, Texas
    What size E string did it come with and what size did you put on? It really looks fat and does not seem to fit into the nut slot properly.
  6. Also a few no-cost tricks to improve the "punch" of the E string on a properly set up jazz bass:

    1. Mix one pickup louder than the other (not equal volume)
    2. Cut the "bass" control on the amp a bit
    3. Pluck a little closer to the bridge with your right hand than you do on the other strings.
  7. Thanks for the suggestions Mush. It sounds this way both plugged in and acoustic, and the other strings all sound fabulous, so I'm not convinced it's a problem that deft EQ and pickup balancing would address. It's quite a dramatic imbalance in tone, finger style play near the bridge on the E ALMOST gets the same brightness as the same technique over the neck pup of the other strings.

    Rocky - both the factory strings and the D'Addario nickels are 0.105.

    Any other thoughts? Has anyone else experienced flabby sounding E's on new Fenders with the High Mass Vintage bridges?