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Will a bigger E string help me?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by EString, Feb 13, 2002.

  1. EString


    Nov 20, 2000
    Los Altos, CA
    I pluck on my strings quite hard, so I often find that I have to lower my pickups down very low. I have a G&L L-2000, and if I don't lower the pickups down far enough then occasionally the string will hit a pole piece and make a nasty "pop". I'm sure that that isn't good for my speakers.

    This problem mostly applies to the E string. The A, D, and G strings are suitably tense enough that I don't have to worry too much about them hitting the pickups.

    As a result, I usually lower the pickup on the E string side the most. However, in order for the pickup to be low enough that I can safely play hard on the E, the output must be reduced significantly. The E string ends up being quieter than the other strings.

    I don't want to lower the whole pickup so the volume is completely even because that would mean my bass' output would be considerably diminished.

    I use .045-.105 strings. If I switched my E string to something like a .115, would this solve my problems? Or would it be counter-productive, as I would have to pluck harder to achieve a suitable volume?
  2. Me thinks you ,might have better luck getting an answer in a different forum. Lets try Setup.
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    The first that strikes me about what you're saying is that you may be forgetting about a fundamental electric bass concept - Let the amp do the work! You shouldn't have to be pounding the snot out of your bass.

    Digging in as hard as you sound like you are just means you'll never develop enough speed to play many/any more complex and interesting lines.

    If your E seems to really be the only problem child, it could be the pole piece for that string. A crude test you can try is to take a paper clip, (or anything small with iron in it), and see if the E string pole piece pulls as hard as the others.

    As string volume goes, a larger core, roundwound, stainless steel string produces the most. The gauge isn't a reliable indicator, always. Cheaper strings, IME, have either smaller cores or they have less magnetic/ferrous metal for the pickup to.....pick up.

    Rotosound Swing 66's make a .130 E string and are quite loud. DR Hi Beams or Lo Riders and GHS Boomers are two others that I know of that use larger cores and give a lot of output. The larger gauge may slow you down but most people seem to adjust to it in time.
  4. Damn! I use a .125 as my B string!
  5. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Another thing you can check is the shape of the string core. Hex core strings are often a little less flexible, thus feel tighter than round core strings.

    An example, is if you like a really hot output, try DR Stainless Steel Lo Riders (instead of the nickle). They have a hex-core and are much tighter feeling than the Hi-Beams, but sound approximately the same.

    Tighter strings will not "move" as much and may hit your pickup less.

    I agree with Rickbass, however, about your technique: You should NOT have to play that hard to get good tone. Loosen up on your right hand.
  6. Would you believe it I've broken this .130 E string that you're talking, and this is the only string that I've broken on a bass. It happened when I was trying to install it on bass, I was trying to tune it and than it's gone:( I wondered if I was trying to tune it one octave higher or not, but no, there was aproblem with the string...

    I don't know if it's a good advice but maybe you should adjust the bridge and make E string saddle as high as it can go... But a proper technique will help you in hell a lot way IMHO.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    This reminded me of the classic joke! Man goes to the doctor and says "Doctor my arm really hurts when I do this!" . Doctor says "Well don't do that!"

    Next! :D

    Don't pluck the string that hard!
  8. My brothers friend breaks E strings all the time. Shocking technique. I suggest this.

    Turn your amp up LOUD. to say 7 etc. then play and try to play until you can hear the bass and its at average volume, as if it is not loud at all. play with the softest touch u possibly can. Think of water (dann glenn thinks of elephants... weird) i think of water, think of something light, think of a feather when your playing. Sooner or later you'll be playing at a loud volume yet you won't be sledghammering the bass.



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