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Tweaking a weak E

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Bebopalamabama, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. I'm completely new to the DB. I bought a Strunal bass from Thomann recently. It arrived with a set of strings that most people think are only 'so good'.

    However it sounded pretty much OK, and I also ordered a set of Spirocore Weich at the same time as I thought having done research on this site that they might make learning a bit easier than the strings that came on the bass.

    I took the bass to a local luthier and he sorted out the bridge (which was not setup well at Thomann) and the action at the nut, did a bit of work on the fingerboard for me and replaced the soundpost. He then strung it for me with the Spirocore Weich's

    Now the playability is greatly improved but the E string now sounds substantially less good than the A-D strings. The other strings have a really good tone, a great 'mwah' and volume.

    The E in contrast now seems to lack sustain in comparison and sounds dull compared to the others, I think the volume is about 25% less.

    I tuned the A string down to E and it sounded louder than the actual E string, obviously its too light a string to be tuned that low, so I kind of think that it proves the instrument as a whole doesn't lack the ability to sound an E, so maybe its the string, the soundpost or something else.

    The luthier said the original position of the soundpost as supplied by Thomann was 'unconventional', but it seemed to be in the range of positions that people suggest is OK on forums like this one.

    My gut feel is that I might need a 'second opinion' on the soundpost position.

    The original luthier suggests that I should put a heavier gauge string in the E position, but I feel I should make sure the soundpost is optimised before tweaking other variables.

    I am aware that my playing technique is probably not yet there for the E string, and I now know it might require different technique to the other strings, but even if I just clamp it down or play it open, it has not got the charisma of the other strings, so I don't believe its just my beginners incompetence that is at the root of this.

    Any other advice that might help me at this point?
  2. Could be a defective string. It happens.
    dhergert and Bebopalamabama like this.
  3. I'll put the old one back on and see if that gives an indication
  4. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    You could try the old post back in its old position, too... I think I'd give the bass a little time to settle in first, though.
  5. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    It depends bass to bass. my carved bass sounds great with a full set of mediums and sounds very even with a set of weich. My hybrid sounds uneven with a full set of medium spiros but the heavy E evens it out.
    Bebopalamabama likes this.
  6. The fundamental problem, pun intended, is that the corpus of a typical 3/4 bass is too small to pump fundamental of low notes. It’s all a workaround.
    DoubleMIDI likes this.
  7. Yes but, the A string dropped to E sounds better than the E itself, so I think more is possible
  8. As the Sheriff first mentioned, you may just have a bad E string. It's much easier to rule that out first before having more changes made to your sound post.
  9. The E of the 4/4 Weich set is a bit weak when new. The A sounds better because it has a smaller diameter and is more flexible.
    Strings get longer over time and more flexible. Play the E a lot and loud with the bow (as well as the other strings) after a few weeks or months they will get better.
    Bebopalamabama likes this.

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