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Van Halen: how did he get his B string to cut through?

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  • Van Halen: how did he get his B string to cut through?

    I've been amusing myself with covering some vintage Van Halen material recently. The tone is great, except that my B string just does not cut through. You need this for those triads and suspensions rooted on the A string.

    Was Eddie known to play with the pole pieces? Or was it pre-eq?

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  • #2

    Oops! Harmony Central's upload code cut the end off. Ah well. I didn't hit the harmonic tone very well there anyway in that take.


    You can see how the upper notes of those triads don't cut through all that well, like suspension embellishments on the C#m and B.

     

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    • #3
      I think it was because he was just GOOD!

      "You people keep on raining. I'll still be the parade." - Diamond Dave.



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      • Chad
        Chad commented
        Editing a comment

        That is odd. The B string is often the loudest. That's why vintage staggered Strat pickups have the B pole the lowest. Also, that's why most string packs have the B string smaller in gauge relative to the other strings.

        My first guess would be that you have a defective or worn out B string currently installed. Has this been an ongoing problem for a long time with different sets of strings?


    • #4
      But seriously, every situation is different. Yes I would start with adjusting pup height and even individual pole height if you are inclined to go there. Otherwise, next step is to try a little eq, and then my next suggestions would be a little compression. So many other variables could contribute or degrade, like dead strings, loose or improperly seated but, does your neck have a sustain destroying shim in it, etc, etc, but start with new strings, then pup height, then eq, then compression, but the effects should be used only after you have physically attempted altering all the adjustments on the guitar itself.

      If none of these things work, try playing golf for a week. That should cure you of ever complaining about guitar problems again.

      "You people keep on raining. I'll still be the parade." - Diamond Dave.



      TO HEAR MY COUNTRY BAND: ADRIAN RAY, click THIS or this


      Official endorsee of:Breedlove Guitars

      http://www.ghsstrings.com

      http://www.rocktron.com

      http://www.monsterenergy.com/

      Myspace.com-Dave Aronow

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      • #5

        His tuning probably has something to do with it. Since B is only four notes from G, he thought the intonation sounded "off," so he tunes his B string a few cents down from the expected note (from Bb, since he tunes in Eb).

        http://www.harmonycentral.com/t5/Guitar-Jam/Eddie-Van-Halen-s-B-String/td-p/13590743

         

        A good explanation can be found in the OP in this thread on MetroAmp.com:

        http://forum.metroamp.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=3753

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        • Kazinator
          Kazinator commented
          Editing a comment

          All I wanted to know is whether there was any information about EVH havine done something with the string-to-string balance of his humbuckers.

          It's not that there is anything wrong with my guitar or strings in particular. Rather, it's a problem with everybody's guitar.  You just don't hear the chord notes leap out and grab attention in that same way in most "everyday" guitar tones.

          Since starting this topic, I've been able to make a big difference in the right direction with EQ: simply by boosting the 5Khz band.

          I suspect pre-eq may play a role.

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