"Flabby" low B... help!

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by TemjinStrife, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. TemjinStrife

    TemjinStrife Power Metal Cellist

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    Hey guys,

    So, I just got my first seven-string, a Dean EVO Special 7 body and neck from eBay. Long story short, it's all put together and set up now with a set of super cheap Duncan Designed JB-7/Jazz-7 clones I snagged for $7 shipped off of eBay earlier this year.

    However, I can't get any definition from the bottom string with anything approaching a metal amount of drive/distortion. It's great for rockabilly and clean stuff (especially with the coil tap I wired in) but distortion (of almost any kind) basically "flabs out" on me through my Line 6 PODXT/powered monitor system, which is weird because I can use the same system for fuzzed-up electric bass and it sounds fine... so I'm thinking it's a guitar problem.

    It's a 25.5" scale set-neck seven with a mahogany body and maple top, currently strung with the only seven-string set I could find locally, a 10-59 D'Addario set. I've also since managed to find a .66 and a .72 for sale individually at a local store but I haven't managed to test them out yet.

    What would you guys recommend, pickup-wise? I intend to upgrade the bridge pickup at least, as the neck pickup sounds great clean and distorted (if again a bit flabby on the low strings), I just haven't figured out with what yet. I'm looking for maximum versatility, from clean to 60s and 70s rock and rockabilly to metal with good definition on all strings.

    I'm leaning towards a real JB-7 in the bridge, but I've heard good things about either the Drop-Sonic or D-Activator (can't remember which, they're both Dimarzios with a D in front). Is the difference between the Duncan Designed and the real SDs that pronounced?

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. SnowfaLL

    SnowfaLL SS.org Regular

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    isnt it 24.75?? I know mine feels like that, but I havent played mine in months.. definately feels less than 25.5" anyways, and that might be an issue for flabby low B string.

    Id say if you could, find another 7 to try on your settings to see if its really the guitar or just too small of scale. Maybe a diff string gauge?
     
  3. yevetz

    yevetz I am a COCK!!!!!!!!! Contributor

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    where is the most floopy sound....what frets?
     
  4. JBroll

    JBroll Hard-On For Freedom™ Contributor

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    Try a few things: heavier B string, a Tube Screamer in front of the amp (gain low, tone wherever it sounds good, level set so that the volume with the pedal engaged is the same as the volume without the pedal engaged), and another 7 if you can.

    Jeff
     
  5. TemjinStrife

    TemjinStrife Power Metal Cellist

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    Pretty much just on frets 1-3 of the low B string, or any inversions or extensions that cover the bottom five frets of the low B. Single-notes are okay above the third fret, but anything chord-related is a mess.

    Also, I'm almost 100% sure its 25.5" scale.
     
  6. yevetz

    yevetz I am a COCK!!!!!!!!! Contributor

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    Try to turn little bit trus rod in right side if you look straight from headstock to body.....if buzz is just little so don't worry about;)

    Good luck
     
  7. Apophis

    Apophis Banned

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    I think it has nothing to do with neck relief :)
    What gauge you're using for low B ??
     
  8. darren

    darren Decibel Guitars Forum MVP

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    He said he's using 10-59 D'addarios.

    I have my EVO 7 strung with 11-70 and it sounds great on the low end. You might try better pickups.
     
  9. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    i think its probably the pickups.

    my schecter came with the duncan designed hb10-something, supposedly the DD version of the JB. it was rather dull sounding, especially on the low B. i put a duncan custom sh5 in it, and it sounds tighter, clearer, and higher output.
     
  10. zimbloth

    zimbloth Nick // Axe Palace Vendor Forum MVP

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    Pickups are the issue. Lighter strings have more definition so that won't alleviate your problem. Honestly man, the JB is a good pickup but if you're looking for the ultimate in low B clarity and punch, check out the DiMarzio Evolution model. That pickup smokes the other ones you listed. The Duncan Custom is a great choice too. The JB is awesome but the low B response isn't the best, especially in darker guitars.

    Also it sounds like the guitar could use a setup too. Make sure its intonated and that the truss rod is properly adjusted.
     
  11. TemjinStrife

    TemjinStrife Power Metal Cellist

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    The setup is great... low action, straight neck, no fret buzz, intonated, etc. That's one thing that doesn't change from a 6-string and something I pride myself on being able to do for myself. The thing plays like proverbial butter and feels awesome.

    However, I have very little experience with 7-strings, thus my question.

    I'll try sticking one of the heavier low Bs on it tomorrow (yay for easy-stringing locking tuners!) and get back to you guys.

    Would the Evolution give me a "classic" sound? I seem to remember hearing it's more of a "modern"-sounding pickup. I'm looking for something with moderate to moderately high output and a decent "classic" sound, yet good definition on the low B.

    Also, to my ears the JB generally sounds astounding on darker guitars. JB+mahogany = awesome due to the pickup's upper-mid punch and rawness with a bit of smoothing from the mahogany. I'm not looking for super-defined clear stuff (that's what EMGs are for, and I love them for it) but a decent tone that can do rockabilly bite to most styles of metal.
     
  12. The Dark Wolf

    The Dark Wolf Contributor

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    The JB-7 has about the worst low-end response of any pickup I've ever played. I imagine the clone is probably even worse.

    Granted, the upper 2/3rds of the JB's tone curve is gorgeous, but the bass response is, to use the term thrown about, very "wooly." Soft, lacking attack and initial clarity/definition. (Doesn't lack total note definition, per se, but really "mushes" out.) Compared to most Dimarzios, or EMGs, there's no comparison. I had the same problem using a JB, and could never really rectify it completely to my satisfaction.


    1. New pickups. This alone could help, especially using something like Dimarzio (EVO7 and D Sonic 7 come to mind).
    2. Clean boost. Like a Tube Screamer. Will tighten up the low end CONSIDERABLY.


    One or the other would help, both together would likely turn the low end into a metal riffing monster.
     
  13. Nick

    Nick SS.org Regular

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    Listen to this man he preaches THE GOSPEL :lol:
     
  14. Aled Smith

    Aled Smith SS.org Regular

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    get that .70 string on there and see whats goin on, and if that doesnt work ditch the Seymour duncans and get a Bareknuckle set or a set of 707''s or something with loads of power to push the sound from the low string, however could be cause its a dean Should stick to Ibanez
     
  15. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    If by "flabby" you mean "floppy" then a heavier string will most certainly help. If not, then it's a split. A thinner string will certainly be brighter sounding than a thicker one, but a lot of which works better for you depends on your technique. I hit too hard to get away with light strings, so an Elixir .68 it is for me.

    Pickups are the first place you should start. The dean's mahogany, right? The Evo7 might be nice, it's certainly a contemporary voiced pickup with tight bass, a lot of upper mid energy, and burnished/polished highs, that owns face for that "screaming" lead song but will also do chunky rhythm well.

    If you want somehting more classic sounding, it might not be for you, but then again from what it sounds like your problem is, a "classic" voiced pickup may not be the answer...
     
  16. NiCkMiLnE

    NiCkMiLnE 7>6

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    heavier low B definatley!!
    i have 10-70 on my 1527 and its killer!
     
  17. JBroll

    JBroll Hard-On For Freedom™ Contributor

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    I'm a little lost on why people call Tube Screamers 'clean boost' given that it clips the signal and rolls the gain down on everything that isn't basically between 700 and 800 hertz...

    But for tightening and adding definition to your tracks, it's definitely worth a shot. An Ibanez TS7 is the exact same circuit as the 'classic' TS9 (hell, a lot of the TS9 reissues aren't even using the right parts) and it'll run you $40 new. It boosts midrange (well, technically it cuts the highs and lows, giving an effective mid boost... blah blah blah), like the 'classic' hot pickups - generally, mid-heavy signals are more easily handled by the amp, so you'll have better definition and you'll be able to use all of the fretboard.

    Plus, as far as versatility goes... you can turn it off. Those pickups should at least sound decent clean, so problem solved.

    Jeff
     
  18. The Dark Wolf

    The Dark Wolf Contributor

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    Semantics. Compared to most OD pedals, or the classic "distortion" pedal, the TS is relatively "clean" in its boosting.


    If one were to be pedantic :)mad: you technical, thread derailing fuckers) then fine, it's not a real clean boost, like an EMG Afterburner or whatever.

    But what-the-fuck-ever. C'mon.
     
  19. JBroll

    JBroll Hard-On For Freedom™ Contributor

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    My point was that a clean boost is exactly what *isn't* needed here, that's all. But the main point does stand - a Tube Screamer really can't hurt in this situation. Pick up an SD-1 or a TS7 and you're good to go.

    Jeff
     
  20. The Dark Wolf

    The Dark Wolf Contributor

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    Bullshit. I use a clean boost to tighten things up. It sends a hotter signal into the preamp, forcing more clipping/gain. Low gain is generally "looser" in feel to a real tight, hot signal. Re - Active pickups.


    You use a clean boost (with EQ, even better) in conjunction with a boost/OD pedal, like a TS, tonal bliss.
     

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