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Clear B string


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On 18/02/2019 at 17:59, Len_derby said:

 I can recommend Newtone strings. They are a small, specialist British company, local to me. The MD, Neil Silverman is a bass player himself. I now don't buy any other strings. Contact them and talk about what you're looking for.

I found the newtone strings to be far too high tension for me. Sounded good though

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21 hours ago, Graham said:

I've seen angled headstocks to create the right break angel of the string mentioned as one element of getting a good low B, so would that make headless basses (on paper at least) a better or worse option?

The break angle is the same on all the strings. With the strings anchored right by the nut, they're held firmly onto the nut. When you add to that the lighter weight, better balance, and better looks of headless instruments, it's difficult to understand why people persist with heavy, neck-diving instruments with ugly headstocks... 😁😁😁

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I got Newtone to make me a set for my 6 string with a .150 for the low B and it was the best sounding and feeling low B I'd had, but then it was on a custom bass that already sounded awesome. I think it was the feel of the Newtone that I liked so much. It was pricey though

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A few years back I purchased a very reasonably priced (cheap) Prose fretless 5 string from a fellow BCer. It wasn’t too pretty and still needs tidying up. The B on that thing is ridiculous. I think it has an artec pickup, no preamp cheap individual bridge units and odd (non matching tuners) and it easily competes with my Warwick’s and was vastly superior to a Stingray and a couple of Fender shaped 5ers I had in terms of handling that fat string and string to string tone and feel. 

 It was strung with Elixirs which made me use them on a couple of other basses. I don’t know if it’s the bass construction ,strings or a combination or both but something about it works very well. So it’s not all about cost and the latest greatest of components. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for all of that advice. There are a lot of different takes on what affects the tone of the B string. I will start off by trying the neck screw tensioning thing and try an all steel piano wound B to see what happens. I am generally pretty happy with the musicman I have owned it since the 1990s but I am interested in trying a 36 scale instrument to compare the sound. Any other suggestions on 36" scale basses?

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The 36 inches scale basses are not really standard... I'll maybe be selling my rare Japanese Tune BEB-6 (but it's a 6 strings bass). If you can find a Tune BEB-5, go on, they are terrific basses. Overwater is making some 36 inches scale basses too. Just as Celinder or Fodera do, but in this case, be prepared to sell a kidney. 😉

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I had a 36" scale 6 string Overwater strung with a bottom F sharp. It was the clearest bass voice I have ever had. If playing 6 strings did not make my brain go mushy I would have flogged everything else and stayed with it. It was a delight. 

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 I've tried a few longer scale basses but came back to 34" scale and was happy until this thread. I'm now rethinking and on the looking for one of these. The only problem is that I mainly play small venues. 😂

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Edited by Pinball
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I have a Dingwall NG2 5 string and the B string is almost piano sounding and studio engineers just love it for that reason. 

My Overwater custom 6 fetless i had some issues with my B string and changed to Elixir strings with a Taperwound B string. I was finding same as OP issue.

What i found out when adjusting string height for the 1st Taperwound i fitted was that the saddle was a little tight and hadn't fully seated on the bridge. As soon as i eased it off and it seated i found when i put a normal B string back on that the muddiness or dull tone had gone.

Make sure your bass is working properly to ensure everything else is ruled out.

I use Dingwall strings on my Dingwall and currently have Overwater strings fitted to my Overwater. I don't use these basses too often.

Dave

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I've never used a Dingwall anger - just at shops/Bass Bash/my mate's ABZ, but they've never done anything for me tonally.

Very comfortable necks, superb build quality (particularly on the Z3 I played at the SE Bass Bash a couple of years ago) but I've always found the tone cold, dull and sterile - a bit Bartolini like now I think about it. 

I also found the 37" low B no better than other basses with 34 or 35" scale lengths.

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5 minutes ago, Graham said:

I've never used a Dingwall anger - just at shops/Bass Bash/my mate's ABZ, but they've never done anything for me tonally.

Very comfortable necks, superb build quality (particularly on the Z3 I played at the SE Bass Bash a couple of years ago) but I've always found the tone cold, dull and sterile - a bit Bartolini like now I think about it. 

I also found the 37" low B no better than other basses with 34 or 35" scale lengths.

The NG2 has a Darkglass pre-amp and the tone can go from sterile or piano tone to growl depending on pick-up selection or series / parallel mode. I compared it against the standard Dingwall and liked the growl from the NG2.

Its definitely not to everyone's taste but great for recording

As you said the neck is a treat for a 5 stringer IMO

Dave

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31 minutes ago, Graham said:

... I've always found the tone cold, dull and sterile - a bit Bartolini like now I think about it. 

I also found the 37" low B no better than other basses with 34 or 35" scale lengths.

Urm, Bartolini tone is just the exact opposite of cold, dull and sterile. I don't know which bass you tried with these pickups nor preamp, but it must have had some serious problems.

You are right, it's not about string length, but construction and mastering it.

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6 minutes ago, Hellzero said:

Urm, Bartolini tone is just the exact opposite of cold, dull and sterile. I don't know which bass you tried with these pickups nor preamp, but it must have had some serious problems.

You are right, it's not about string length, but construction and mastering it.

Never played a Cort Curbow then? The Bartolini in those fails to excite me.

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I used to own one, not terrific indeed, but those are not Bartolini pickups nor preamp, but designed by Bartolini, so just like the awful pseudo EMG's on Hohner basses, only selling a name, not a product not even made by the brand itself. I was 100% sure that this was it, strangely. Try an American MTD and tell me about the sound, but the lutherie is also top notch quality, which proves what I've always said : an electric instrument is, above all, an acoustic instrument. If it doesn't sound unplugged, it won't do better when plugged. And the Cort Curbow was a deep sh*t unplugged.

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6 minutes ago, BreadBin said:

Never played a Cort Curbow then? The Bartolini in those fails to excite me.

Those are the cheaper series 1 "made under licence" jobbies. They are cheap basses. You should try something like a Ibanez SR5000 or even some of the older MIJ Ibanez...great sound

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1 minute ago, Hellzero said:

I used to own one, not terrific indeed, but those are not Bartolini pickups nor preamp, but designed by Bartolini, so just like the awful pseudo EMG's on Hohner basses, only selling a name, not a product not even made by the brand itself. I was 100% sure that this was it, strangely. Try an American MTD and tell me about the sound, but the lutherie is also top notch quality, which proves what I've always said : an electric instrument is, above all, an acoustic instrument. If it doesn't sound unplugged, it won't do better when plugged. And the Cort Curbow was a deep sh*t unplugged.

Chris at Overwater had me play different basses unplugged to hear the difference in tones from them. I'm a big believer in this now.

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I am a Bart “convertee”, I never liked Barts and felt they lacked character. Then I heard them in a passive setup and they were warm, articulate and defined. Then spent some time on understanding which preamps get the most out of Barts, end of story I now have Bartolini pickups in ALL my basses.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Pinball said:

Those are the cheaper series 1 "made under licence" jobbies. They are cheap basses. You should try something like a Ibanez SR5000 or even some of the older MIJ Ibanez...great sound

Did the Ibanez basses have Bartolini pick ups too ? 

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1 minute ago, HazBeen said:

I am a Bart “convertee”, I never liked Barts and felt they lacked character. Then I heard them in a passive setup and they were warm, articulate and defined. Then spent some time on understanding which preamps get the most out of Barts, end of story I now have Bartolini pickups in ALL my basses.

 

 

I heard Steve Williams at the Moffat Bass Bash few yrs back using his Jazz bass fitted with Bart's and it sounded warm and really quite sweet. Enough so that i nearly considered changing my Geddy Jazz pick-ups to Barts but in the end decided i quite liked what i had.

Dave 

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20 minutes ago, Hellzero said:

Urm, Bartolini tone is just the exact opposite of cold, dull and sterile. I don't know which bass you tried with these pickups nor preamp, but it must have had some serious problems.

You are right, it's not about string length, but construction and mastering it.

Not my experience of Barts - I'm currently borrowing a defretted Ibanez SR with their soapbars and I've played a Mayones equiped with the single coils - that's how I find them.

The Ibanez is better than I was expecting, but I'm still unerwhelmed.

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Just now, dmccombe7 said:

Did the Ibanez basses have Bartolini pick ups too ? 

The prestige SR's have custon designed Barts and if you sind an old SR MIJ with barts it is worth a look. I have tried a SR1300, SE1000 and SR805 in the past and all sounded good ro my ear. I also had a prestige SR3005 that raised the bar to a whole new level. I found the controls a little over complicated for my needs, otherwise I would still have it.

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