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When Nylons Go Bad

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by sevenyearsdown, Nov 22, 2016.


  1. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    Recently I switched from gut back to Innovation Silver Slaps. I had played slaps years ago before I eventually settled on gut.

    I wanted to share this experience and see if others have had similar issues. Last night I went to practice, and my bass had a noticeable buzz/overtone thing happening on the E and I thought the A as well. It was SUPER present plugged in. Present enough that I tried a different amp because it sounded like a blown speaker. It was every note on the E. It was really roaring pretty good.

    So I checked all of the usual suspects, and couldn't get rid of it. Then I recalled that a couple of years ago I was using the same type of string as an E to match with guts, and had the exact same problem. I can't remember if it was an Innovation or Eurosonic, but I was matching different nylon E's with plain gut for a while. The solution - change the string. I swapped out the E, and the problem went away.

    Both times I've inspected the string, and physically can't find a darn thing wrong with it. Is this a typical failure for nylons when they reach the end of the road?
     
  2. Probably the fine round nylon wire that gets a bit loose somewhere.
     
    sevenyearsdown likes this.
  3. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    Update - the problem came back a day later with a different string. My gut tells me that if I put something other than a Nylon string on, this problem will disappear.

    Maybe this bass just does not work well with these strings in winter?
     
  4. Bridge is well-rounded and lubricated with graphite?
    Same for the nut?
     
  5. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    Yes. The bridge is stock/setup from Upton. I did check to make sure it was correctly aligned, and not leaning one way or the other. I lubed when I changed strings a couple of months ago - same with the nut.
     
  6. jasonrp

    jasonrp

    Feb 19, 2015
    vt
    Why did you give up gut?
     
    james condino likes this.
  7. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    This summer was absolutely brutal on them. In my neck of the woods we had the worst drought since WW2, followed by oppressive humidity. I literally could not keep them in tune for more than a song on many gigs. They would adjust as much as a full tone, and more on my E just sitting in the stand for day. Then after one gig, they just started falling apart over the playing surface. It took much sanding and oiling just to get them useable again. For the previous 2 years, I had not experienced this kind of instability - not even close.

    It's worth noting that I had been playing them for long enough to know the shortcomings of gut. I also regularly maintained them, so it was not a case of neglect. It just got to the point where they were holding back my abilities, and killing me on gigs. I was tuning more than playing it felt like.

    So I threw the towel in on them in late summer. I was just too busy with gigs to put up with it anymore. I had to have a reliable solution.
     
  8. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Yep...

    [​IMG]
     
    D_Bag, 5StringBlues and rickwolff like this.
  9. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I've also sent an email to Eric at Upton to get his thoughts. I was planning on sticking with Innovations for a while, but now I'm a bit gun shy.
     
  10. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Oops... just realized this was the DB forum. Apologies for my OP, but I'm leaving it cuz I think you guys need it :).
     
    Zane DeBord and bassfran like this.
  11. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    It was appropriate given the title!
     
    Joe Nerve likes this.
  12. jasonrp

    jasonrp

    Feb 19, 2015
    vt
    I'm not too far from you and mine went nuts with the humidity also this year. The cold weather change isn't making them very happy either. There is less shredding on them now but they are still going out of tune a lot. I love the tone and am not ready to give up yet....but I've got the silver slaps and/or evah slaps on my wish list.
     
  13. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    My fear is that this bass will not play nicely with these types of strings. I was getting ready to buy a new set of Golden Slaps...but not now.
     
  14. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    Maybe try Evah slaps
     
  15. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    Already been there. Not my thing.
     
  16. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    Maybe contact innovation and ask them what may be wrong.
     
  17. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    If it's ONLY happening on the E string then it has to be a setup issue right?
     
  18. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    Slightly on the A, I think. Like I said though, I've had an identical problem before - only on nylon strings. If I switch strings it might just disappear again. I'm gonna wait for some emails to come back...might just put gut back on because I have to record again soon.
     
  19. Maybe the groove at the knot is too wide and/or too deep.
    Try putting a small piece of thin plastic or vinyl tubing under the string, at the bottom of the groove, to see if the buzz disappears.
     
    sevenyearsdown likes this.
  20. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    The first thing I think I'll do is put a wound gut E on, tune it up and see what happens.
     
    Remyd likes this.

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