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New strings sounds like crap


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Hi, I just put on a new set of Elixir strings on my Ibanez K5 5-stringer because my band is recording in studio.


After I re-stringed my bass, the sound on the top three strings were aweful. They sounded like a "synthbass", like there were two sounds coming from the strings when I played them. A blurry "booming" sound.


I initially thought the strings got "twisted" when I put it on. I have heard that it can be a problem, but I don't know if it's true.

Anyways, I tried to take the strings off and put them on again, but it only got worse.


What's wrong?


I really need some help fast, because alot of studiotime will go to waste because I did something wrong somewhere in the process :(


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What kind of an angle is there between the fingerboard and the string above the nut? If that angle isn't enough it can cause a kind of buzzing harmonic noise when the string is played open. If that's the problem rewind the strings on the pegs so that the point the string leaves the peg is as close to the head stock as possible. Other than that I have no idea what you're describing.



Feel free to visit my band's site

Delusional Mind

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Mind Yer language mate. A moderator will be along soon.


I had a similar problem on my Ibanez because the ball ends didn't seat properly. The slots are square and if the ball end is 'twisted' it doesn't sit in properly.


Unusual to get 3 wrong though.


My tip is to push the ball end in first and make sure it is seated then cover it with some tape to stop it coming out while you take up the string tension.

Feel the groove internally within your own creativity. - fingertalkin


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the angle is straight. I guess you're thinking I fastened the string on the wrong side of the nut, so the string isn't parallell to the neck all they way up to the nut, or?


The buzzing sound occurs on every fret I play, not only on open string.

The soundengineer at the studio thought I got a bad set of strings from Elixir...

I think I put the strings on twisted, but I base that on absolutely nothing! :P

I also read on the internet that if you put to little string around the nut, the strings will not get enough tension, and will sound "mute"... I can't remember correctly.



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Just checking, did you turn over the bridge pieces that hold the string up?

In general, I hate the sound of new strings... maybe change strings a day or 2 before you go to record so this doesnt happen.


I would assume its not the strings with such drastic results.








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Just so we're clear - the "nut" is the strip of wood or bone or plastic that runs perpendicular to your strings at the top of the fretboard - it has grooves in it, through which the strings run.


I'd check a few things:

1. If you don't have enough string on the tuner peg (the thing the string wraps around at the top), the string can shift upward on the peg - this may result in the string not being seated down in the nut, which means you'll get buzzing at the nut. There should be a visible change in the direction of the string at the nut. If there isn't, rewrap the string, and try not to have any overlap. Here's a website that has a decent photo: Website on restringing


2. Look carefully at the strings at the bridge and at the nut. Are there any imperfections or spots where it looks like there is damage?


3. Is the extra "sound" a buzz? If so, where is it coming from? Perhaps the new strings have a different tension than your old strings? This might happen especially if you changed string guages. Check to see if there is fret buzz when you play. Check your neck relief.


4. Did you correctly seat the strings in the saddles? Are there hex screws on the saddles that might be too loose, that may be rattling?


5. Are there springs on the saddles that might be off center, loose, or damaged, accounting for buzz?


You might just try a new set of strings. It's worth the bills, if it means you're able to salvage your recording session. And if all else fails, put your old strings back on, or borrow a bass from the studio.


Good luck.

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