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Why do Fender type basses seem to have very large sounding G and D strings?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Kevinlane, Sep 17, 2003.

  1. Kevinlane

    Kevinlane Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    Missouri, near Branson
    I have a Lakland JO 5, and it has a really large fat sounding G and D. The bottom on the D is almost the same as a 5th fret D on the A string, and the G is also similarly fat as the %thfret G on the D. What gives? Am I crazy or is this a common part of the "fender" sound?
    I also have a buddy with a modded 65 Jazz bass with EMGs, I tried it on the gig one time and the techs loved the sound. I personally thought it had lotsa low to mid lows, but not ture low end thunder, my JO however definatly does, maybe too much.

    I have a Rosco LG 3005 tha has a very nice fat sound on the B, E, A but not on the D and G????
    Has this anything to do with the headstock angle or has the more to do with the pickup placement(the Roscoes PUs seem to be angled the "wrong" way?)

    I find that this fatnees is very pleaing on a reading gig (I've been on one lately and having confidence in the 1st fret Ab/G# to stand byitself is a good thing when you want to stay in first position.)

    When I've palyed the a lot of these real hot "boutique basses don't seem to have this quality??!?

    any thoughts?
    Also is it a miss conception to say that this is a quality of the "Fender type" basses as a group?
    I 've never owned G&Ls or any current MusicMan( Had a MM along time ago and can remember if this was a quality it had or not)
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I don't think so.

    IME modern designs with tilted headstocks (on quality basses) have more balanced strings than Fender-style instruments. Fenders also tend to have a weak A because of the headstock design.

    Also, most basses on display in stores have old strings, especially on the D and G when people slap on them, which is likely. So you can't compare them to your bass without keeping that in mind.

    Never played a Roscoe...
  3. Kevinlane

    Kevinlane Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    Missouri, near Branson
    true, the A is a little weak

    I just wished my Roscoe had a BIG D and G
    Tis JO 5 has a lot of tension on it's strings.
    Huh, maybe that's it??????
  4. Prahainspring


    Oct 22, 2002
    New Jersey
    On my old MIM J bass it has a huge sounding E string which over powers the other string, What causes this and would a new bridge get rid of it? THe bridge that came with it is a piece of junk. The action slowly lowers because of the screw-type things that adjust the action keep coming loose:(
  5. Melf


    Mar 20, 2003
    Starkville, MS
    I was thinking just the opposite. Every fender I've ever played had an incredibly weak, plinky-sounding G string, and a barely competent D, while the A and E were fantastic.
  6. permagrin


    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    All basses are different, but... my Fenders (Precisions) definitely have stronger G and D string sound, actually I'd call it a fuller tone, and I appreciate it - feels like I'm still fulfilling the bass role when I walk a line up high. But then, in general, a precision isn't born to solo, it's for holding down the bottom. We play a couple songs where the bass line has more of a lead role, I then prefer using my bass with a more "modern" tone (with active EMGs).

    WRT a weaker A string: At some point someone added a string retainer on my '73 P to hold down the A string, it seems more even across the neck as compared to my stock '79. Never thought of it before, but maybe that's part of the reason I generally prefer the '73 even though everyone, including me, thinks the '79 has better tone.... I recall reading somewhere that the headstock doesn't give enough downward force over the nut for the A string, perhaps that results in some loss of energy?

    I also think a big part of the overall sound can be controlled by setting the pickup height. I angle them (split Ps) for fretboard curvature, and the D/G part ends up a wee bit closer to the strings.
  7. darkjoker667


    Apr 21, 2003
    my d and g are bright as hell and my e and a are total opposites. my d is bright and my a is kinda 'thud' like