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Weird Problem With My Low E String

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by MichaelThomas, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. MichaelThomas


    Mar 24, 2009
    This might be a really lame n00bish question. I joined a band that tunes down to C# so this is my first time down tuning a bass. I have a 96 american jazz bass and I can't seem to keep the low E string from sounding "rubbery" when I downtune. All the other strings sound nice bright and warm but the low string sounds like crap. I never set up my bass to down tune, and also the slot for this low string on the nut is a little worn down. Could this be it? Any tips for getting this to sound right? Do I need a new nut? A good set up? This string sounds like crap even though its brand new. I'm putting Ernie ball hybrid slinkys btw. I'm primarily a guitarist so sorry for sounding like a total noob lol.
  2. Sijjvra


    Mar 31, 2009
    New nut, setup, try different strings, maybe adjust the pick up height. Could be any number of things. Could even be your amp.
  3. A heavier string usually helps this, so it has more tension. Try a .110 E string.
  4. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    "low E string from sounding "rubbery" when I downtune"

    Gonna happen, sorry.
  5. kingbee


    Apr 18, 2006
    There are other options that might work, like getting a 5-string or an octave pedal.
  6. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    The lack of tension in a drop tuned E string makes it very challenging to get good tone/intonation and even response. I would suggest stringing your bass B E A D. This will require a new nut (save the old one in case you decide to go back to standard), neck relief adjustment, and bridge adjustment for string height & intonation. However, this will give better fundamental tone and better tension across all 4 strings.
  7. Papazita


    Jun 27, 2008

    That, or get a 5-string and tune the B up to the C#
  8. this might be a bit off topic, but i hate when a guitarist will ask you to drop-tune and will fail to realize that if you do it will sound like garbage. they fail to understand that the string tension over 4-strings when downtuning is a lot different from 6-string downtuning.
  9. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Get a 5-string, or play the lowest notes up one octave. There's a nice C# on your A string.
  10. MichaelThomas


    Mar 24, 2009

    Got it, the .110 did it. Thanks for the help guys.

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