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Dead E string TB2000 woes

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Dead E string TB2000 woes

Postby free meat on Tue May 30, 2017 10:03 am

Recently acquired a TB2000 and having tuning issues with it.

My band plays in drop C# and no matter what I try to do the low C# just sounds a bit muffled and crappy compared to the other three strings (which all sound great). I've tried increasing the string gauge a fair bit, but still struggle with it sounding noticeably duller and less defined. Is this just a result of the low tuning and the 33inch scale length, or does something sound amiss? If so, any suggestions to get around this, or do I just need to get a new bass/change tuning? Never had any issues on previous basses, although they were all 34" scale.
Last edited by free meat on Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Detuning TB2000 woes

Postby weezy on Tue May 30, 2017 2:06 pm

Things that come to mind, are string gauge and tension. Some strings have higher tension cores and won't get as floppy when tuned lower.

Also check if that string's gauge is too thick for the nut slot and bridge saddle. i.e. it's sitting flush.
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Re: Detuning TB2000 woes

Postby bishopdante on Wed May 31, 2017 2:12 am

C# is only two semitones off the bottom B on a 5 string bass, which is 30Hz.

Most bass amps do not do a good job of that, and it's an incredibly fat string with a very muddy timbre. Some bass amps don't even do a very good job of the low E, let alone low B. It can just disappear.

Even with an amp that can do frequencies that low, a low B takes ages to actually turn up, and it is so low that it almost isn't a note.

Might be an idea to have the guitars tuning to C# and have the bass tuned conventionally.

On the other hand you could use a 5 string and tune two semitones up, using thinner strings.

free meat wrote:Never had any issues on previous basses, although they were all 34" scale.


Hmm, if that is the case, quite probably worth having a look at the nut/saddle.

Might also be worth adjusting the pickup height.
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Re: Detuning TB2000 woes

Postby kxbx on Wed May 31, 2017 9:14 am

I have had similar problems with guitars and I found that if you want to isolate the pickups you can use another bass that has "good" response. Just hold it so the pickups are near the strings of your TB and see if it can pick up the low open string. If it can then it's an electrical issue in the TB (pickups, tone & vol controls) and not something acoustic/mechanical.
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Re: Detuning TB2000 woes

Postby eliya on Wed May 31, 2017 9:22 am

kxbx wrote:I have had similar problems with guitars and I found that if you want to isolate the pickups you can use another bass that has "good" response. Just hold it so the pickups are near the strings of your TB and see if it can pick up the low open string. If it can then it's an electrical issue in the TB (pickups, tone & vol controls) and not something acoustic/mechanical.


This is good advice! Once you made sure that the saddle and the nut are right (there's a good chance the string sits on top of the low E slot instead of in it), try adjusting the height of the pickup by the low E. Obviously try bringing it up so it's closer to the string, but sometimes moving it down helps too.
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Re: Detuning TB2000 woes

Postby Redline on Wed May 31, 2017 12:53 pm

Just buy a Schecter 5 string potato bass and get it over with.
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Re: Detuning TB2000 woes

Postby Dr Tony Balls on Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:33 am

Redline wrote:potato bass


Is this a new term or am I just late to the game? I love it.
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Re: Detuning TB2000 woes

Postby free meat on Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:13 am

Will have a good look at everything tonight to see if the nut, saddle or pickup height seems problematic. Trying it against another bass' pickup seems a good idea too.
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Re: Detuning TB2000 woes

Postby Redline on Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:39 pm

Dr Tony Balls wrote:
Redline wrote:potato bass


Is this a new term or am I just late to the game? I love it.

FM steve used the term in the studio. I think he was describing the Yamaha bass he was using on the Army session...Look, that was a long time ago...
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Re: Detuning TB2000 woes

Postby tallchris on Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:48 pm

Redline wrote:
Dr Tony Balls wrote:
Redline wrote:potato bass


Is this a new term or am I just late to the game? I love it.

FM steve used the term in the studio. I think he was describing the Yamaha bass he was using on the Army session...Look, that was a long time ago...


Definitely used on the forum since way back days.

Think FM timmidyett said Steve told him his pre-Bean bass was a potato bass as well.

Did the term start w/ Albiz?
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Re: Detuning TB2000 woes

Postby Tommy on Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:17 pm

To be fair, the TB2000 is also kinda potato-ish.
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Re: Detuning TB2000 woes

Postby Stinky Pete on Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:38 am

A potato-anything is a long standing term. Your old potato-schoolmate, your dad's potato jam group.

I'd agree that if the issue is timbrel and that it's probably not the string, as long as it's sitting correctly and not being dampened. Roll the low end off the bass amp and compare the G# to the open string, the 2nd string should be brighter but not overtly so and they should be the same loudness. Adjust the pickup height if not. If/when it is bring back in the low end on the amp, if it goes lumpy it's the bass amp/room response.

We tune to Low C and don't use terrible heavy gauge strings, our bassist uses a Squire P Bass.
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Re: Detuning TB2000 woes

Postby Redline on Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:57 am

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Re: Detuning TB2000 woes

Postby J. Burns on Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:56 pm

tallchris wrote:
Redline wrote:
Dr Tony Balls wrote:
Redline wrote:potato bass


Is this a new term or am I just late to the game? I love it.

FM steve used the term in the studio. I think he was describing the Yamaha bass he was using on the Army session...Look, that was a long time ago...


Definitely used on the forum since way back days.

Think FM timmidyett said Steve told him his pre-Bean bass was a potato bass as well.

Did the term start w/ Albiz?


FM steve's usage of it goes back to at least "The Problem With Music."
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Re: Detuning TB2000 woes

Postby free meat on Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:02 am

Well, I've fucked about with this a fair bit and managed to exclude string gauge, pickup height and anything pickup related.

When tuned standard the whole string still seems fairly dead and muffled compared to the other three, even unplugged. Looks like either a nut or bridge issue? String looks to be sitting flush in both, from what I can see. Might be time to get this looked at by someone who knows what they're doing.
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Re: Detuning TB2000 woes

Postby llllllllllllllllllllllll on Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:16 am

free meat wrote:Well, I've fucked about with this a fair bit and managed to exclude string gauge, pickup height and anything pickup related.

When tuned standard the whole string still seems fairly dead and muffled compared to the other three, even unplugged. Looks like either a nut or bridge issue? String looks to be sitting flush in both, from what I can see. Might be time to get this looked at by someone who knows what they're doing.


I had this exact problem with an Ovation Magnum in standard tuning on the A-string for forever. The G string was also cut too low at the nut so it sounded unnaturally hot in contrast. I would take it to somebody. Good luck!
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Re: Detuning TB2000 woes

Postby Pure L on Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:05 pm

I've been lurking on this thread just seeing if you or anyone else came up with a good solution.

Truth be told, I've played with a bassist who played a TB2000 and we had the exact same issue and we were in standard tuning. So much so that we ended up ditching it and just used other basses. I could be wrong but I sometimes wonder if people who play TB2000s learn to just play around the issue.

FWIW, I've never noticed it when watching Shellac play.
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Re: Detuning TB2000 woes

Postby free meat on Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:55 am

Pure L wrote:Truth be told, I've played with a bassist who played a TB2000 and we had the exact same issue and we were in standard tuning. So much so that we ended up ditching it and just used other basses. I could be wrong but I sometimes wonder if people who play TB2000s learn to just play around the issue.

FWIW, I've never noticed it when watching Shellac play.

Ah, shit. Really hoping this isn't a common problem.
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Re: Detuning TB2000 woes

Postby Tommy on Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:55 am

free meat wrote:
Pure L wrote:Truth be told, I've played with a bassist who played a TB2000 and we had the exact same issue and we were in standard tuning. So much so that we ended up ditching it and just used other basses. I could be wrong but I sometimes wonder if people who play TB2000s learn to just play around the issue.

FWIW, I've never noticed it when watching Shellac play.

Ah, shit. Really hoping this isn't a common problem.


Dead spots usually happen to a specific note or two. If only the open note sounds dead, it's nut related. If all fretted notes sound dead it is related to the bridge/saddle or the string itself. All notes on one string sounding dead could also be related to pickup (one or more pickups too high, shorted coil, etc).
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Re: Dead E string TB2000 woes

Postby Justin Foley on Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:57 am

I have a TB2000 that's tuned to D. Sounds equally good on all strings. It's not a design issue.

It sounds like a mechanical problem rather than an electrical one. Some of the ideas below try to solve for that (and some don't):

A couple of troubleshooting ideas -

Is it the same problem on both pickups? And can you turn a pickup around to see if the dullness stays on the same string? (This would require enough slack on the pickup wire.)

What about...
- tuning up to E to see if it helps
- swapping the saddles between strings
- moving a heavy-enough gauge string into the A string and tuning that down to C# as a comparison
- very carefully cleaning out the nut, the tuning peg, the saddle and the bridge. Do it super lightly with a dry qtip and see if anything catches on a snag/burr

Goal here is to isolate the problem. Then you can either DIY fix it or bring it to a good tech with a much more specific diagnosis.

Good luck. You can always sell it to me if you don't like it.

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