Warbly B strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by geshel, Nov 14, 2001.

  1. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    I know this has been discussed before a bit, I looked up some old threads, but they were pretty old all right, and I'm wondering what people think about it now.

    Every low B I've tried for the past two years has been semi-useless above the 5th fret - warbly overtones. Some worse than others. I still shudder when I think of the DR taper-wounds I got last year (I read some people have found taper-wounds to be their saviour in this department, just the opposite for me. I think it has to do with how much the skinny part extends past the bridge. Too far, and your string is gonna vibrate in all kinds of weird ways. Mine went past for about 3/4", and all the tapered strings sounded horrible). The Elixir polyweb .130 was in the middle, the TI Power-whatever .119 is better (OK up to maybe the 7th fret).

    This has been a problem on two substantially different basses (Carvin LB75 and Hanewinckel 6).

    I can't imagine the general public accepts this behavior. SOooo . . . what am I doing wrong?? :)
  2. Dirty Road Cola

    Dirty Road Cola Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Gainesville, FL
    I've had the same problem as you as well, but it seems to deal with 2 things in my case: String make/type and fingerboard type. The gauge of the string seems to give it wierd overtones; just like any other heavy gauge string. a .125 seems to have less overtones than a .130, to me, at least. Taperwounds do help, but it depends on the taperwound. GHS and Rotosounds, from what I've tried, do NOT have the wierd overtone thing going on as badly as, say, D'addarios. I tried a set of slowwounds and the b string sounded AWFUL. Nickel strings also seem to have less overtones than Stainless steel.

    Fingerboard material seems to matter, because on my rosewood Ibanez EDB605 (never played anymore.) whose fingerboard is rosewood, the b string always had odd overtones. But, on my Zon, I could tell which strings had odder overtones than others, due to the density of the fingerboard.

    Hope this garble made some sense :)
  3. malibu

    malibu Guest

    Dec 26, 2001
    with the larger gauge low B strings when they don't bend well over the saddle, do some 5-string players really just push down and bend them over the saddle more ?(as I have with a Fender .120 steel string as a B)

    what about really fat strings for a 7-string low F#, do those have to be tapered to get over the saddle "level"/parallel to the body?
  4. you might try lowering the pickups a bit, at least on the B string side.

    RE fingerboard material, roger sadowsky says that maple contributes to a tighter B string. this may or may not be true, but AFAIC, what roger says goes.
  5. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Ah! forgot about this thread. Thanks for the advice! Both actually turned out to help - I tried bending the string over the saddle a bit, helped a little.

    What really did it was increasing the string-pickup distance! Hugely better now. I think the pickups were way too close to the B string.

  6. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    well, in my experience with 9 instruments with varying fingerboard material is that taper core strings are the way to go. i have great performance with my taper Dean Markley sr2000's.

    give them a try - i use a .135" low B and they sound great all the way up the neck.

    the warbling could be the intonation - proper intonation is _crucial_ with the lower strings. make sure your bass is intonated properly, and remember that the intonation varies, sometimes wildly, from string to string. everytime you switch manufacturers, you need to reset your intonation.