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thodrik

D'Addario Balanced Tension Strings

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[url="http://www.daddario.com/balanced_tension.page"]http://www.daddario....ed_tension.page[/url]

It seems that with all their string tension guides that this product line was inevitable. The 50-120 set should be pretty good for those wanting to tune down to D standard or Drop C if nothing else. Hopefully they aren't priced at a silly level.

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But is balanced tension actually desirable?

And when most players talk about tension they really mean compliance which is how stiff the sting feels and is not necessarily directly related to the actual tension of the string.

Personally I prefer my lower stings to be less compliant than the higher ones.

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[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1359212595' post='1951655']
But is balanced tension actually desirable?

[/quote]

Honestly when it comes to standard tuning, I really don't care that much and I'm happy to stick with a 105-45 set.

I think it is better for heavier gauge strings or five string sets. I generally find 110-55/50 sets to be a bit 'unbalanced' in the sense that the high 'G' is too heavy and the low 'E' is too light.

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[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1359212595' post='1951655']
But is balanced tension actually desirable?

And when most players talk about tension they really mean compliance which is how stiff the sting feels and is not necessarily directly related to the actual tension of the string.

Personally I prefer my lower stings to be less compliant than the higher ones.
[/quote]

It's down to personally preference - I'm not sure yet, but as soon as I get to try a set I'll be posting my thoughts.

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I've experimented a lot with balanced tension sets - mostly custom winds.
The traditional compromise of string gauges is one of both tension (compliance really) and volume. I found that those sets that felt the most even in terms of compliance were counteracted by the fact that some strings were quieter than others - meaning you had to play them harder to get even volume! Obviously if you have a fancy-pants bass with individual pole adjustment (or a P-Bass) you can work this out to some degree, but otherwise (e.g.Jazz Bass, Musicman) you're left with the strings being uneven anyway.

I'd be interested to see if these balanced tension sets are also balanced in volume... The aim is to be able to play consistently across all the strings with the same feel of compliance from the string and the same volume out of the Jack socket!

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I'll hopefully have some news soon, apologies it has been crazy busy these last cuppla weeks. I'm definitely trying them out on my own basses anyway, so absolute least I'll be able to review for you.

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[quote name='dood' timestamp='1360176428' post='1966218']
I'll hopefully have some news soon, apologies it has been crazy busy these last cuppla weeks. I'm definitely trying them out on my own basses anyway, so absolute least I'll be able to review for you.
[/quote]
[quote name='ead' timestamp='1360443662' post='1970656']
Looking forward to that review dood.
[/quote]

I was too eager to try a balanced set so I have ordered single of .105 .080 .060 and .045. they have the tensions rated at around 42 lbs. They've arrived today so will be giving them a try tonight at rehearsals.

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Excellent! - I haven't had sets through yet - I've been a bit busy elsewhere!

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[quote name='Prime_BASS' timestamp='1360925695' post='1978353']
I was too eager to try a balanced set so I have ordered single of .105 .080 .060 and .045. they have the tensions rated at around 42 lbs. They've arrived today so will be giving them a try tonight at rehearsals.
[/quote]

Surely this will mean the nut will not be cut correctly. If it was originally cut for .45 .65 .85 .105s will the A and D strings not rattle? Maybe I'm wrong. Curious....

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I've not used these, but I had a balanced tension set made by Newtone for my 6 string. I found that the higher strings didn't feel as tight as I would have liked. Some people love them but my preference lies in having slightly more tension up there,

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[quote name='Badass' timestamp='1360926169' post='1978363']
Surely this will mean the nut will not be cut correctly. If it was originally cut for .45 .65 .85 .105s will the A and D strings not rattle? Maybe I'm wrong. Curious....
[/quote]

60 and 80 is still fairly standard for some sets in the 100-40 range. I would imagine that problems would only really start if using a really light 35-90 type set or a 120-50 set.

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I have custom-ordered GHS Progressives in 45-60-80-105 for over 20 years for my Rickenbacker 4002. When I used Rotosound Swingbass on my custom fanned fret bass, I custom ordered the same gauges. And finally Fender came out with those same gauges in a flat wound set they call the 9050CL (for custom light) which have converted me from a roundwound player to a flatwound player. So it's good to see a mainstream company like D'Addario finally get on with it!

As far as volume drop: if you have a fairly flat crown radius or staggered or adjustible poles on your pickups, you won't notice it. And it will feel much, much better. As far as setup, raise the A string a hair and the E string two hairs to flatten out their effective radius, and possibly a slight pickup adjustment, and it will be fine. If you have a well-cut nut with a proper "witness point" and backslope to the tuners, there will not be a problem switching from a 65 D or 85 A string.

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[quote name='Badass' timestamp='1360926169' post='1978363']
Surely this will mean the nut will not be cut correctly. If it was originally cut for .45 .65 .85 .105s will the A and D strings not rattle? Maybe I'm wrong. Curious....
[/quote]

As others have said there is no problem, I normally used a standard .45 .65 .80 and .100 set and they've gone in fine, I'd assume they rattle if you have a weird tuning etc, the tension has actually gone up from about 36lbs to 42lbs, on the ones I changed. So now the strings have a stronger pull on them so even if the nut was cut for really wide strings the force exerted on them would hold them in place and stop 'rattle' or them moving you dig?

[quote name='chrismuzz' timestamp='1360926302' post='1978366']
I've not used these, but I had a balanced tension set made by Newtone for my 6 string. I found that the higher strings didn't feel as tight as I would have liked. Some people love them but my preference lies in having slightly more tension up there,
[/quote]

That doesn't make a whole lot of sense, the idea of balanced tension is so each string has equal tension (compliance or whatever) so they each feel the same. I realise it's down to personal preference at the end of the day, but if you feel the top strings were too flabby you should look at maybe going up a few gauges??

I've had this set - D'addario nickel wounds(#I wanted prosteels and made a accident when ordering) with gauges .045 .060 .080 .105 - on for a day or two now, so feel I should epress my feelings about them.

I always liked D'addario's due them not costing the earth and being one of few strings that I like the played in sound of and don't have to clean them so much. They also seem to sound newer for longer, in comparison I had a set of black beauties that sounded pretty dead after a week, which included a gig and a rehearsal, and then mild playing at home, and usually strings sound pretty played in after a rehearsal since it gets sweaty as hell and my hands are always mucking up everything, grease sweat blood you name it it's on my hands. Anyway.
What's on now have been on only a day or two but have already had a good amount of play at home aswell as an intense rehearsal (did our set 3 times for an upcoming gig) and playing them today they still sound fresh as daisies, so I'm happy about that. The meat of thread however is in balanced tension.

In regards to setting up, it is actually a whole lot easier, since each string is pulling the same weight it's easier to balance the action, less tension will mean they rattle easier compared to strings with higher tension. This is probably why I was always finding my low E far to rattly compared to my top G even though they were the same distance from the fret board. It still has a pretty standard setup on the bass though, the higher side is closer than the lower side of things. However I've been able to lower the action a fair bit compared to what it used to be, which is always helpful.

There shouldn't be any confusion about volume drops or anything drastic. As I understand, a balanced tension set would have more equal volume, since each string is pulling at the same weight they'll vibrate within the same sort of attack and decay, more flab would mean it'll vibrate far wider and more causing, lets say in my case the low E to be overly loud. TBh I never really had a trouble with volumes of strings as I've used a well setup instrument and a decent compressor for ages. Chordal work sounds a lot better and my D string would always over power everything else but now the notes ring at the same volumes(attack and decay wise I think)

Sound wise, there is a definite small difference in a mix, especially on the low side of things. Each string punches with a what feels like the same weight to my ears and notes across the range or more defined which always helps in a loud/noisy band also found I wasn't using as much volume but they may have been due to the nickel strings or the new setup. I always dug the way a .080 gauge A string sounded, songs like people of the sun make me tingle on that string, but always felt lack luster with the others, now as cliché and hype it sound each string do have a more similar overall sound/tone. I'm more impressed with the low side as my E always felt lack luster and I always ended up trying not to play it, now it sound a whole deal better and in the band setting comes to live a bit more.

Playability, it was strange at first the whole set does a feel a little stiff compared to before, but I persevered and now I barely feel it.

Overall I'm pretty happy with how the set sounds. I'm still a bit apprehensive about going for a full balanced set as a .107 I'll still feel a bit heavy, I think a .105 is enough to bring it up with he rest and not feel a chore to play.
But if a set is going to be less than £20 then I'll live with it.

I've also lost the cool colour coded ball ends as the single come with brass ones. :(

I would urge anyway to give it a try before they dismiss it. Just they to yourself which string do I like the sound of the most then match the others to that. You should only have to buy two single strings.

Overall I spent about £25, but that's still a bargain compared to some other brands out there.

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[quote name='Prime_BASS' timestamp='1361023856' post='1979919']
That doesn't make a whole lot of sense, the idea of balanced tension is so each string has equal tension (compliance or whatever) so they each feel the same. I realise it's down to personal preference at the end of the day, but if you feel the top strings were too flabby you should look at maybe going up a few gauges??
[/quote]

This is because tension and compliance are two different things.

The tension of a string is easy to quantify and control. For a given length of vibrating string with a given unit mass producing a particular note the tension can be calculated. I assume that these "balanced tension" string sets are designed so that the tensions are equal at a 34" scale length with standard tuning.

Compliance on the other hand is based on a number of other factors, some of which like string construction (core type and number of winding wraps) can be controlled by the manufacturer, but also lots of other things such as break angles over the nut and bridge saddles and length of free string beyond the witness points which are entirely dependent upon the bass the strings are fitted to and how it is set up.

So while the actual tension of all the strings might be equal, how stiff each string in the set feels may well be different and can change from one bass to another even with the same set of strings. Edited by BigRedX

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I think it's more a revolution for guitarists rather than bassists.My mate is sending me a set of them to review on my guitar when he gets them in. I don't think they have been released in the UK yet? could be wrong, but i haven't seen or heard anything of them from any UK people except for those that were at the D'Addario booth at NAMM.

I'm a big fan of D'Addario, but i'm staying open minded. I'm a fan for a reason, obviously though. I recently said about the difference between their ProSteels and Half Round bass strings is simply that ProSteels are much brighter, but have retained the same tone, sound, and ring that the Half Rounds have. I think that's remarkable. I also think they even as bright as ProSteels are, that there is no even a pinch of harshness to the sound. Brilliant!

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[quote name='Prime_BASS' timestamp='1361023856' post='1979919']
That doesn't make a whole lot of sense, the idea of balanced tension is so each string has equal tension (compliance or whatever) so they each feel the same. I realise it's down to personal preference at the end of the day, but if you feel the top strings were too flabby you should look at maybe going up a few gauges??
[/quote]

Basically, what BigRedX said. Also, for me, I like the top strings to feel slightly tighter than the bottom strings. When I play faster passages up the dusty end of the neck I tend to play less sloppy that way :lol:

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[quote name='brensabre79' timestamp='1359371627' post='1953558']
I've experimented a lot with balanced tension sets - mostly custom winds.
The traditional compromise of string gauges is one of both tension (compliance really) and volume. I found that those sets that felt the most even in terms of compliance were counteracted by the fact that some strings were quieter than others - meaning you had to play them harder to get even volume! Obviously if you have a fancy-pants bass with individual pole adjustment (or a P-Bass) you can work this out to some degree, but otherwise (e.g.Jazz Bass, Musicman) you're left with the strings being uneven anyway.

I'd be interested to see if these balanced tension sets are also balanced in volume... The aim is to be able to play consistently across all the strings with the same feel of compliance from the string and the same volume out of the Jack socket!
[/quote]

This was my immediate though also. I tend to stick to a 45-105 set, but do occasionally find the G, and sometimes D, strings a bit lacking compared to the E and A. A 50-105 set sounded more balanced output-wise, but felt a bit uneven under the fingers. I'd be worried with these strings (45-110 I think?) that whilst feeling good, they may fudge the tone a bit.

Or we can just compress the hell out of them and have done...

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I've taken delivery of some Balanced Tension strings that I will be testing very soon. I have to say that I really don't think there will be any noticeable difference in volume of a string being of a very small gauge difference. For example, 105 to 107 is such a tiny change, I'd be very surprised if it affected overall string volume. We shall see!

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[quote name='dood' timestamp='1361378139' post='1985020']
I've taken delivery of some Balanced Tension strings that I will be testing very soon. I have to say that I really don't think there will be any noticeable difference in volume of a string being of a very small gauge difference. For example, 105 to 107 is such a tiny change, I'd be very surprised if it affected overall string volume. We shall see!
[/quote]

I think the 107 might be a bit of a ploy. If you look at the set, it goes 45-60-80, all strings you can get normally anyway, then 107? .002 of an inch difference? It's hardly worth bothering over really. I love D'Addario, but that one just seems a bit... silly, really.

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