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Tone Tip? (from the TalkBass newsletter)

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by PhatBasstard, Dec 9, 2003.


  1. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    In this months newsletter, Rodney Gene says that using a spacer on the B or E string, before the bridge (see diagram) will help "increase tension" on said string.

    Since the speaking length of the string (only the area between the nut and the bridge saddle) is the only thing, other than string gauge, that dictates the tension needed to achieve the desired pitch, messing with the lengths after the nut and bridge saddles to the various anchor points are irrelevant to the tension needed to reach the desired pitch on a given scale (speaking length) with a given string.

    I've seen a similar thing touted in various bass designs (i.e. Having a B string post that is farther from the nut or a ball end anchor point that is farther from the bridge saddle) as a "way to increase tension" but, from a physics angle, this is not possible because to increase tension on a given (pitched) string without increasing scale is impossible, regardless of where the string is anchored after the nut or bridge saddle.

    This does not apply to tone differences due to types of anchor points (i.e. String through body vs. through bridge) since the given string on the given scale is still tensioned the same on it's speaking length.

    Rodney Gene's mod may or may not help tone, but tension along the speaking length of the string will not change.

    All this mod will do is place the speaking area of the string up some distance. The speaking area's size will remain unchanged.
    However, this mod may make it difficult or impossible to get said string's windings over the nut due to the entire string being shifted towards the butt end of the bass unnecessarily.

    Any opinions on this?
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Word...

    :)
     
  3. paul

    paul Staff Member Founder Administrator

    Jul 20, 2000
    Texas
    Unless I've lost it you're completely right. I should have taken a closer look at this tip before plopping it in the newsletter - got to be routine after the first three tone tips :) I just assumed the mod somehow increased the vibrating string length, which it does not.

    I don't want to mislead anyone, especially the younger crowd... I'm going to contact Gene regarding this and probably post a correction.
     
  4. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    No big deal. This has been a fallacy in the industry for a long time.

    How many times have we seen a bass guitar "review" that says the improvement of a B string routed through the body is better because of "increased tension" (the wrong reason :rolleyes: ) instead of it making a (debatably) superior coupling for transfer of vibration to the body (the right reason)?

    Or some similar argument related to the placing of the B string tuning post farther from the nut (like on Oteil's new Fodera)?
     
  5. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Not only doesn't the additional length beyond the bridge not increase tension (the tension stays the same), but the plucking force is reduced, so the string feels softer or looser.

    I have a spreadsheet in this thread which deals with this. The first sheet of the spreadsheet has the basic string equations. The second sheet goes into further detail, and can be used to calculate the differences in plucking force using different lengths of non-speaking string beyond the bridge or nut (as well as other considerations).

    BTW the spreadsheet also has a fret calculator, standard string guages, and frequencies of notes.

    All derivations are also provided.

    Also, to clarify, I am not saying that the extra string length, whether through the body or beyond the bridge, will not affect tone; just that it doesn't affect tension.
     
  6. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Right. Total agreement. :D
     
  7. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    There was a recent bass player mag where a reader wrote in saying that about a product. The Staff guy wrote back with a state ment that was worded convincingly about tension vrs "stiffness" of the string.It was very resently mabye someone could find it and post it.


    AJ
     
  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Yeah, but wearing platform-heel shoes while you're playing makes your E and B sound better...for real!
     
  9. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    ... maybe if you've been wearing them at a bar for several rounds...
     
  10. What! We agree?!! hmm did time stop for a second! hehehe

    :D:D

    Merls
     
  11. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    WOW!! You guys amaze me with your knowledge. I am just trying to understand making simple adjustments to my string height.

    I am realy glad I decided to read this, I was thinking about trying out that tip. Even though there was a mistake in the tip, I still like reading the newsletter.

    Thanks to those who put it out.

    -Mike
     
  12. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Don't let my post stop you. If the stars line up and whatnot, it may help your tone, but not because of "increased tension". :)
     
  13. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member


    Could anyone wear them for several rounds, pilot???


    [​IMG]
     
  14. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    In the late Seventies, they were worn all night by many girls - not to mention Gene Simmons.
     
  15. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    "Excuse me, do these 7"-heeled, demon-head platform boots match my chromed maille codpiece?"

    "Sure Gene. You kids have fun."
     
  16. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    HEY, I'M IN BASSPLAYER MAGAZINE!
    (Well.....sort of) :p

    I just openned my (very late) Dec. issue and there's my (condensed) letter to the editor (they titled it Tension Headache) about the very same subject of this thread as relating to a Warrior Bass review by Jonathan Herrera a couple months back.

    They also printed a response by Herrera where he "technically" agrees with me, but talks about "perceived tension" (I don't know how it could be any different, but, OK.) :).

    Now if they'll just send my prizes. ;) :p
    (No autograghs please.) :D
     


  17. Bump!

    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
  18. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Wow. Did I really write all that? :eek: :rolleyes: :p

    Actually, I've had that same debate in about 3 or 4 different posts here at TalkBass,
    not counting the Bass Player letter.
    I've written/debated it so many times I'm getting sick of myself.:spit:
     
  19. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    I was just re-reading this thread and realized I may never have seen this post,
    and since I didn't receive my Dec.2003 until the 15th I never knew this was about me.:)
    Funny.:D