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which is better ?Taper B or Standard B

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by hands5, Mar 15, 2003.

  1. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    I bought a Taper B just for the hell of it just to see how different it was from the standard B and I really could not really tell the difference.:confused:
  2. I don't think there is a difference between a tapered B and a regular, that is sound wise. I use D'Addario Slow Wound tapered B's for my bass mainly because I have trouble getting a normal string through the bridge of my Ibanez SR405. So I guess that would be the main reason.:meh:
  3. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Matter of taste. Apples vs. oranges. Tapers allow for slightly more accurate intonation (supposedly) and feel a little different under the right hand when you're playing fingerstyle. I use both, depending on the instrument.
  4. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    So far, non-tapers have sounded better to me on my basses. More definition and bottom, which is the opposite of what I expected.
  5. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I'm with Boogiebass on using these different Bs. It will really depend on your basses and your playing preference.

    I've been told that the taperwounds will give you more harmonics and desirable overtones, whereas the standard wound B will give you more of the fundemental note. The taperwound B might have more sustain than the standard wound B due to the lesser amount of "string" sitting in the bridge saddle. Finally, IMHO, taperwound B seem to have less tension than the standard Bs, at least the ones that I've played.

    Given my playing preferences: I use a standard wound B on the F Bass because taperwound Bs seem to flappy and loose on this bass. I use taperwounds on the MTD 535 and Skyline JO 5 because they seem to play easier and they still give me enough string tension so that I can get a tight punchy sound. For those of you who have analyzed the topic of "string tension" in other threads, it is interesting to note that the MTD has a tilt back headstock and is strung through the bridge; the Skyline does not have a tilt back headstock but is strung through the body. This is what works for me, and you should be advised that this might not work for the next guy... it's a "personal preference thing". The best thing to do is to try them out and see what's best for you and your basses.
  6. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    less tension? really? is this between two strings of the same diameter? wow. that's interesting - i wonder what causes that?

    in my experience, tapers have better intonation because they make a tighter break angle over the bridge, causing less of a grey area for the node at that end of the string.
  7. I've tried the Slowound too and I think it's good, but I like the DR Fatbeam b which is non-tapered better . Although it's a .125 vs. the .130 slowound, the DR feels tighter. Maybe it's beacause the tapered area lets it vibrate more freely. I've had intonation problems with the tapered b as well (high notes, which I don't use on the b, so it didn't matter).
  8. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I dunno if they actually have less tension, JT, but I agree that they FEEL looser under the right hand. A tapered B always seems to have more "give" in it than a non-tapered B. Less tight.
  9. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    John Turner and Boogie Bass,

    I stand corrected. I should say that the taperwounds "seem" to have less tension than standard wound Bs. I've never actually verified this with a tension measuring device, it just feels that way to me.

    I have to say that there are a lot of variables at play here. I think that these variables make it very difficult to arrive at a definitive determination on this issue. Variables like the thickness of the string's core wire, what the core wire is made of, headstock tilt-back or lack of, string through body or through bridge, scale length 34" or 35", etc., etc....

    It makes for interesting discussion though.
  10. I compared the published tension for four D'Addario B strings, all 0.130 in size. The tension is identical at 34.5 pounds for both taper and non-taper strings.

    I always though tension was determined by the core, and not by the wrapping. ?
  11. Hmmm... I was always under the impression that taperwounds vs. untapered was based on your saddle. Most 5'ers have saddles that easily fit a B, but what if someone wanted to restring their 4-string bass, god knows why :confused: , to BEAD. Some basses would require you to put a new saddle in, wouldn't they?
  12. I had trouble getting the intonation right with a non-taper B string on my Fernandes 5. No matter how I adjusted the bridge, the 12th fret was always sharp. Then I switched to a tapered B string and the problem was solved!!! Note that I also have this problem on my 1969 Gibson EB-0 short-scale on the E string. I don't really play it anymore, but I'm sure a tapered E string will solve that problem also.


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