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yuck sound


shex

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ey, i've noticed when im playing that i seem to be getting a hell of a lot more sound out of my E string than the other three. i can fix it by fiddling with the knobs, but in order to make the string not override the others, i have to kill alot of the low end...

is this problem due to shitty pick ups or a shitty amp? [im using a shitty amp that i picked up pretty cheap 2nd hand, looks like it'd be 70s or 80s model, 60W head w/ 2x12" cab, and im using "specialy designed BC rich pick ups".]

maybe the pickups are only made to play metal using really low notes or something. either way it's giving me the shits.

- roses on your breath but graveyards on your soul -
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Your problem may be how your pickups are adjusted. Try raising the pickups near the G string and/or lowering them near the E string to try and balance out your gain issues. I had a similar problem with my first bass and it frustrated me to no end until I brought it to Mr. Lull to have him do a basic setup/adjustment to it. He informed me that the pickups were way out of adjustment, he fixed that, and the bass sounded 100 times better. Give it a shot.
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out of place?? they look pretty much in the right spot, and they're in the places they came at factory settings...

 

but maybe the lower one is buggered??

- roses on your breath but graveyards on your soul -
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Sorry, by out of adjustment, I mean the height of them relative to the strings... not their placement on the body of the bass. There are screws on either side of the pickup, they allow you to raise or lower the pickup to make them closer or further from the strings.
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Dead strings can affect your tone in ways that can surprise you if you're unfamiliar with it. Compared to new strings, dead strings are usually dull and flat sounding because of all the sweat, oil and dead skin that has collected in the windings.

 

Try replacing the strings first. See if that solves the problem.

 

If replacing strings often is an expensive proposition for you, try boiling them in water for about 15 minutes. You can get away with doing this seven or eight times before the strings start falling apart from metal fatigue.

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Yeah, sheX, I had the same problem when I put in some new pickups. Volume was louder towards the E string, and it was boomy too.

 

Before you do the next steps, it would be good to put new strings on.

 

Look at the space between the E string and the pickup. Use the screws on the pickup to lower the E string side of the pickup away from the E string. You may also need to adjust the space between the G string and pickup closer together. Doing these steps will even out the volume across the strings.

 

It may or may not take care of the boominess (equal volume, but lower strings are still boomy). One of my basses is like that, and like you, I roll off some eq on the low end to compensate.

 

Now both pickups will be angled, the E side lower than the G side. As a final adjustment, make sure the bridge and neck pickups are equal in volume compared to each other. Turn on only the bridge pickup and listen to the volume. Turn it off, turn on the neck pickup and listen to the volume. If the neck and bridge pickups individually have the same volume, you're cool. If they are different, adjust the lower volume pickup entirely closer to the strings (still keeping the angle you put in earlier). Keep checking each pickup to each other.

 

If you do all of this, you'll have saved yourself a bit of money, because a tech would do the same thing.

 

Hope this helps.

Bassplayers aren't paid to play fast, they're paid to listen fast.
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I can't stand dead strings. I can't afford to replace half as much as I'd like to. I have been cutting the lows a bit or switching to the bridge pickup because of my dead strings. Even though the E is dead it is real boomy. Nothing like fresh strings.
"Don't Ask Me I'm Just The Bassplayer" UBP
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the strings seem to be fine, their really not that old... i had a look and the screws on the pick ups were very loose, and i tightened them which pulled the pickups closer in to the bass. it seems to have fixed the problem...

 

thanks fellers.

- roses on your breath but graveyards on your soul -
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If replacing strings often is an expensive proposition for you, try boiling them in water for about 15 minutes. You can get away with doing this seven or eight times before the strings start falling apart from metal fatigue.

BenLoy, vinegar with a shot or two of water, boiled, then with baking soda sprinkled on top works better. You boil the strings in it, when boiled for 10 minutes, sprinkle some of the powder on it, then rinse out with cool water. Lasts a lot longer.
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Originally posted by Bumpcity:

Originally posted by BenLoy:

Vinegar?

 

I'll stick with hot boiling water. I can't see how baking soda would help...

The baking soda makes the strings smell better... :D:D
The vinegar eats away more of the crap that sticks on there, and the baking soda equals out the acidic nature of the vinegar...so you're left with a pH of 7.0... Boil the strings in the vinegar, get rid of the crap, pour the baking soda on, then sit it in the sink and douse it with water, til nothing but water is left in the pan. It works, trust me.
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Originally posted by squeennyzim:

how often do you do this? and what's the ratio of water:vinegar that you boil it in?

You can only do it a couple of times before the strings get awfully old, but you should do it when they start to sound dead. As for the ratio, straight up vinegar, really. Some water if you like, but it's the vinegar that really does the job.
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