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Precision Tone


WRGKMC
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I been playing My Hofner most of the time jamming and recording. I hadn't played my Precision in about 9 months or more. Its a 1990 Fender I bought off a Guy for $200 used.

 

I pulled it out for a new song I was recording and I just wasn't pleased with the results I was getting using a short scale bases. Something told me to try the Precision on that one. It was a pretty snappy tempo so I thought I might have to really hump it getting all the octave jumps I had written for the bass part.

 

My fears were unfounded. I was able to span the frets with only a little brushing up. I had recorded the part a couple of times already so it was mostly a matter of tuning it up and dialing up my sound.

 

Man I had forgotten how good and snappy a Precision sounds. I had put new D'Addario strings on it and hadn't played them after stringing it up. That bass gives the classic slap bass tones with the bright high end and full lows. Long sustain and dead stops and you dampen the strings.

 

The recording came out fantastic. Can wait to add the vocals and leads now.

 

The only thing I notices after playing it was getting these micro splinters from the strings. There's something up with those D'Addario string. Its not the first time I've noticed it either I've had it with other sets over the past couple of years which is why I haven't been using their strings. Its like rubbing bare wood and getting tiny splinters under the skin. I lubed the strings up to get through the song and it seemed to lessen the problem.

 

I have no idea why the manufacturer doesn't fix that problem and its not like my fingers are soft. I play enough where my fingers have some major callouses.

 

I think I'm going to take some ultra fine Emory paper and run it up and down the strings to see if I can get rid of the problem. I like the strings tone with that bass but man, I cant be dealing with that just to save a couple of dollars on a good budget string brand. I use the deep talking labella's on my other long scale. They give

me an even bottom end and have a good balance for picking with the fingers.

 

Cant imagine what could be splintering of the strings. I know they use a very hard steel to get that bright tone. Maybe it fractures when they wind them or the winding just wasn't polished after pulling it through the dies. Maybe they coat them with some kind of chrome that's flaking off in splinters. I'll just have to try the ultra smooth paper or possibly steel wool to see if it gets rid of them.

 

In any case, I hadn't tried that precision with my vox amp emulator I guess. I was blown away by how good it sounded. I may have to redo some of the other songs I did recently and A/B compare some of them. Its nice having more then one option when recording because different instruments can really change the texture of songs.

 

The only reason I haven't played the precision allot is because its one of the heaviest I've played. It must weigh a good 14lbs or more. I cant wear that kind of weight on my back and even sitting down with it too long cause it cuts off blood circulation sitting on top of my leg.

 

What I need to do is invent some kind of padded brace that cradles the leg puts the weight on the chair instead of my leg.

Edited by WRGKMC
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It might be the nickel plating unbonding from the steel windings.

 

Otherwise, I've never run into such a problem. If it's for real, you should be able to see metallic "sparkles" on your fingers under sufficient magnification and good strong full-spectrum lighting.

 

 

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Its definitely for real. I was able to see the tiny splinters without a magnifying glass shining a flashlight through the skin. They had to work themselves out over a weeks time and my finger tips were sore as hell till they did.

 

Not sure if its the nickel alloys the strings are wrapped with or whatever kind of coating they use. The strings don't tarnish like pure nickel do. I suspect they use a chromium coating which can crack and chip, especially when you bend the metal its bonded to, or when the metal has corrosion below the chrome.

 

I haven't had issues with their half wound strings. I just used a set of those recently. Its only with the XL strings. I notice the issue with my picking hand which pulls in the direction of the winds more then my fretting fingers the move across the winds.

 

Again, I'm going to try the sandpaper trick and see if it neuters the issue.

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These were the ones I bought. Happened on 3 different sets over a years time. Before that I had no issues.

I usually buy form one vender, just Strings but I bout a double pack form Musicians Friend so its unlikely it was a single batch of strings sitting on a vendors shelf that caused the issue.

 

These strings don't tarnish like Plain nickel or Coated nickel strings do.

Their description says - XL nickel round wound bass strings are wound with nickel-plated steel alloy.

 

Have no idea what that is but they don't tarnish like regular Nickle so I can only guess they have some other metals added to the coating.

 

d-addario-electric-bass-twin-pack-xl-environmental-regular-long-050-105-exl160tp-4.gif

Edited by WRGKMC
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I been playing My Hofner most of the time jamming and recording. I hadn't played my Precision in about 9 months or more. Its a 1990 Fender I bought off a Guy for $200 used.

 

I pulled it out for a new song I was recording and I just wasn't pleased with the results I was getting using a short scale bases. Something told me to try the Precision on that one. It was a pretty snappy tempo so I thought I might have to really hump it getting all the octave jumps I had written for the bass part.

 

My fears were unfounded. I was able to span the frets with only a little brushing up. I had recorded the part a couple of times already so it was mostly a matter of tuning it up and dialing up my sound.

 

Man I had forgotten how good and snappy a Precision sounds. I had put new D'Addario strings on it and hadn't played them after stringing it up. That bass gives the classic slap bass tones with the bright high end and full lows. Long sustain and dead stops and you dampen the strings.

 

The recording came out fantastic. Can wait to add the vocals and leads now.

 

The only thing I notices after playing it was getting these micro splinters from the strings. There's something up with those D'Addario string. Its not the first time I've noticed it either I've had it with other sets over the past couple of years which is why I haven't been using their strings. Its like rubbing bare wood and getting tiny splinters under the skin. I lubed the strings up to get through the song and it seemed to lessen the problem.

 

I have no idea why the manufacturer doesn't fix that problem and its not like my fingers are soft. I play enough where my fingers have some major callouses.

 

I think I'm going to take some ultra fine Emory paper and run it up and down the strings to see if I can get rid of the problem. I like the strings tone with that bass but man, I cant be dealing with that just to save a couple of dollars on a good budget string brand. I use the deep talking labella's on my other long scale. They give

me an even bottom end and have a good balance for picking with the fingers.

 

Cant imagine what could be splintering of the strings. I know they use a very hard steel to get that bright tone. Maybe it fractures when they wind them or the winding just wasn't polished after pulling it through the dies. Maybe they coat them with some kind of chrome that's flaking off in splinters. I'll just have to try the ultra smooth paper or possibly steel wool to see if it gets rid of them.

 

In any case, I hadn't tried that precision with my vox amp emulator I guess. I was blown away by how good it sounded. I may have to redo some of the other songs I did recently and A/B compare some of them. Its nice having more then one option when recording because different instruments can really change the texture of songs.

 

The only reason I haven't played the precision allot is because its one of the heaviest I've played. It must weigh a good 14lbs or more. I cant wear that kind of weight on my back and even sitting down with it too long cause it cuts off blood circulation sitting on top of my leg.

 

What I need to do is invent some kind of padded brace that cradles the leg puts the weight on the chair instead of my leg.

 

 

for chrissakes just buy some decent new strings. Try DRs

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Tried them all, low riders, High Beams. They sound bright for a week or so then turn to mud. The gauge I use bends too easily at the frets and then you have problems with string beating playing double notes. The strings boom on some frets and sound dead on others.

 

For long scale - Labella Deep Talking are far better. They were one of the first steel string manufacturers who set the standard and know how to gauge the string cores properly. They allow you to set the intonation and action up properly and both the tension between strings and the output strength is much more even.

 

I do allot of recording and its obvious how even the recording levels are just looking at the meters. You don't get dead frets with them like you do with the DR's and you get precise control using your fingers, especially the low E string, you pluck it and get a perfect bong without any pitch fluctuation or flabby feel. The cores DR uses are just too thin.

 

If I were to rate strings newness/brightness on a One to Ten scale, and rate the lifespan of 6 months playing out live,

D'Addario strings are near the top, say an 8. Half life of two months they might drop to 6 on brightness and stay there for the rest of their lifespan.

 

Labella Start off at a 7, drop to 6 within a month 5 two months and drop to a 4 by the end of life.

 

DR go from a 7 and drop to 5 in two weeks, 4 within two months and would need replacing in 3 months because of note stability issues

 

Roto Sound are nearly identical to DR, except they sound better new. They drop from 7 new, 5 within a month, corrode badly and become unplayable within 3 months.

 

GHS begin with a 7, drop to 6 in a month, retain that tone for 3 months an drop to a 5 within the last month. The strings are very balanced like the Labella and resist fret bending very well. They are one of the three I use on a regular basis and are superior to DR and Roto's. Good tone too, excellent for recording.

 

Fender Bass Strings were still OK last time I tried them. They were a standard at one time but having moved their manufacturing first to Japan then Mexico they quality has suffered and the competition has blown them away. Their guitar stings are completely unusable. I used to use their super bullets for years. The Japan made were still pretty good, They went down the tubes when they started making them in Mexico. You cant intonate the strings and they are so bad they are flat nearly a semitone at the 12th fret. The core sizes are all screwed up. They must be using wrapped G strings as D strings and don't come close to having enough tension. I have two sets left over from my last batch and Its a waste of time for me installing them on a guitar because the instrument would be unplayable.

 

I'd use Ernie Ball which aren't bad. There just isn't anything special there. Everything is mediocre. I do like their Nickels. They produce a nice rich vintage tone when new, Lifespan is average with both bass and guitar strings. They start at a 7, drop to 6 for two months the stay at 5 the rest of the cycle. They get worn after 4 months so they wouldn't make the full 6 months for me.

 

The rest of the strings are mostly Branded. I've tried many of them at least once and wasn't impressed with any of them. I haven't tried all versions a manufacturer makes of course. Someone may favor a heavier gauge then what I use or a lighter gauge may not last them. The instrument may be different and yield different results both from the pickups and playability.

 

When I played live I changed my strings once a month to maintain new string tone. I kept three basses strung up and would rotate their use so strings were never more then 3 months old so I'd use at least 12 sets a year for about 20 years. The other 30 years The usage would drop down quite a bit because I'm mainly a guitarist but still play allot of bass recording which still requires good tone. That's still allot of experience using different bass strings others may not get if they only change their strings once a year. I'm always open to trying something new so long as its reasonably priced. It just needs to be durable, has good tone and correct playability.

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