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How do You guys feel about tapered B-strings? I  use my B-string much above the 5:th fret, often even close to the 24:th.  Mostly they seem to have strange overtone and intonation problems.

T:H

Edited by Johannes

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I used Dean Markley SR2000 strings on my old sixer. I loved them an experienced no strange overtone or intonation problems.

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If your instrument is properly and perfectly set up with correctly fitted strings, you won't hear any strange overtones, but a perfect intonation.

Yes, most people can't fit strings correctly, nor set up their instruments : it's a fact.

I'm using LaBella Super Steps and Fodera Anthony Jackson exposed cores strings to this purpose : a perfect intonation.

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The only tapered B I've ever encountered was the one factory fitted to my Lakland 5501 and I think it was the clearest sounding B ever. 

I should really find somewhere to buy those strings.

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I've experienced wierd intonation problems with tapered Bs before. This wasn't due to poor string installation, it was down to the tapered section of the string being too long for the string anchor/saddle configuration of the bass. The taper/core ran too far over the saddle and into the string voicing area which can cause all sorts of odd effects. I think you get best results with a tapered B when the transition point is as close to the saddle fulcrum as possible. Finding a taper with measurements that suit a particular bass isn't always that easy.

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I have to use a tapered B on my Warwick, because the slots on the tailpiece aren't wide enough to allow an untapered B through.  Fortunately, my set of choice (D'Addario Pro Steels) has one

Never notice an issue with the  intonation or overtones, but in fairness I rarely play the B or E above the 12th fret so I can't give them a full endorsement for the OP

But I do miss the old tapered Rotosound PSDs - fantastically bright. clean tone.  And for the points raised by @ikay they were sold in packs for specific basses because they understood the principal around only having just enough taper to run over the bridge (and equally having enough of the taper to get over the bridge).  Presumably too niche to maintain the volume of sales required to keep them in production ☹️

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30 minutes ago, ikay said:

I think you get best results with a tapered B when the transition point is as close to the saddle fulcrum as possible. Finding a taper with measurements that suit a particular bass isn't always that easy.

I agree.  I brought my Steinberger Spirit to Newtone Strings for them to measure and make the taper specifically for it.

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As a user of tapered B strings (and investigating the possibility of also having tapered E) I would agree about positioning of the end of the taper in relation to the bridge saddle. I'm currently using Warwick Black Labels, but I suspect my next sets will be custom wound by Newtone.

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I use Status Hotwire double ball strings on my S2 5-string, and 4 of the 5 strings are taperwound. No intonation or overtone issue at all, I love them.

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A piano string is an exposed core : do you hear any weird overtones ?

Rotosound pioneered the Piano String Design which is an exposed core string and LaBella, Galli and Fodera propose some sets too.

I've used these kind of strings for decades without any problem, except for the dead A string by LaBella some 20 years ago which is a known fact.

I've also used tapered strings without any problem.

The length of the exposed core or the tapered part has no impact on the sound or strange behaviour... Think piano strings and you'll understand.

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3 hours ago, Hellzero said:

The length of the exposed core or the tapered part has no impact on the sound or strange behaviour... Think piano strings and you'll understand.

The big difference with a piano is that the wound/tapered strings (ie. lower strings) have exactly the same amount of exposed core showing at the witness points at each end. The speaking length of the string is completely symmetrical - it has a taper at each end and has a straight pull across it's length from the anchor point at one end to the tuning key at the other. It is designed to produce a single note only, and the string geometry and mechanics of installation are optimised for that purpose. By contrast, a typical tapered B is only tapered at one end, generally has a different break angle at the bridge and the nut, and has the full string gauge passing over the nut. Which is quite assyemtrical. On top of which, it has to produce many different notes. When you fret the string you introduce yet another type of witness point, at the fret itself, which again is at variance with the taper at the saddle. In effect, whether open or fretted, a tapered string is heavier at one end than the other, which can give rise to unbalanced vibrations, which then causes the wierd intonation issues.

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Thanks for the long answer, but I'm speaking about exposed cores, not tapered strings...

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35 minutes ago, Hellzero said:

Thanks for the long answer, but I'm speaking about exposed cores, not tapered strings...

The same applies for exposed cores. If it also has an exposed core at the nut then the open string will be well balanced. But fretted notes will still have the same imbalance issues mentioned above. Also, forgot to mention, the higher the fretted note, the more pronounced the imbalance will be due to the proportionally longer element of exposed core over a shorter speaking length.

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Again sorry, but I'm using these strings for decades now and I have a perfect intonation on each and every note on all my basses which are mainly sixers. That said, I really fine tune my set up. I'm also mainly a fretless player with uncompromising ears.

All the persons who have received instruments from me are always amazed by my perfect set up.

So I deeply think it's a false problem linked to approximate set up.

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14 hours ago, ikay said:

The same applies for exposed cores. If it also has an exposed core at the nut then the open string will be well balanced. But fretted notes will still have the same imbalance issues mentioned above. Also, forgot to mention, the higher the fretted note, the more pronounced the imbalance will be due to the proportionally longer element of exposed core over a shorter speaking length.

An open string is essentially fretted at the nut. Indeed, many instruments have a zero fret, therefore every note you hit on a bass is fretted. There is no difference. You're saying that every note with the kind of tapered string technology we use on a bass is imbalanced and I say that's not my experience at all. Again, I'll stress that I used SR2000 strings, where the B, E, A and D string had tapered cores, the G and C strings were "normal" and I did not experience overtones or any tonal anomalies at any point on the fretboard on any string. I am also a pedant when it comes to set-ups, for what it's worth. There are no problems with open or tapered core strings.

Edited by Doctor J
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Well to be fair, all I was really saying in my first post above was that I'd experienced similar intonation issues to those mentioned by the OP. In my case the string taper went too far beyond the saddle and I believe that was part of the problem. I've obviously inadvertently ruffled a few feathers with my subsequent blabberings so will now reel my neck in! 

Edited by ikay

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As @Hellzero said in the beginning of this thread, the answer may be in the setup. I used Rotosound PSD strings years back with no issues. Now my 5-string is strung with GHS tapercore strings. After a meticulous setup, no issues at all. I actually found a problem with the bridge saddles: they were slightly loose in their grooves and caused a little bit of rattling.

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