Jump to content

Dear guest,

Welcome to the biggest community for bass players in Europe. You'll find the site a great source of information and advice.

Why not sign up now and:

  • Say hello - tell us about your playing, your gear and where you're from.
  • Search the database for inspiration or to find out more about your instrument
  • Upload an avatar and profile picture
  • Buy one of the thousands of items in our marketplace
  • Safely sell your items to a community of proven enthusiasts
  • Upload pictures, audio and videos
  • Buy exclusive items at discount through our shop (coming soon!)

Go on, click the button and become part of it today!

Sign in to follow this  
Beer of the Bass

light top/heavy bottom guitar strings

Recommended Posts

I've been using 11-49 D'Addario XLs on my electric guitar for a while now. I like the firmer feel and clearer sound on the bass strings compared to a standard .009 or .010" set, but in my experimentation with heavier strings in the past I've found that a wound G doesn't do it for me, so the 11-49s always seemed like the best compromise between light and heavy. However, playing friends' guitars with .010"s, there's a snappy quality and elastic feel on the top strings which I enjoy. I'm thinking about trying a 10-52 set to try and get some of this. Are any of you using these? I'm wondering how uneven the tension feels, and whether the mismatch will wreak havoc with my Bigsby.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use these and have done for a few years. Im not aware of any mismatch in tension, i just like the little bit of extra growl they give chords. Shoudnt imagine your Bigsby will know much has changed. A good set imho.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back in the day I used the Dean Markley 10-52 set. No issues at all. Loved that heavy deep sound you get out of them.

A

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know Ernie Ball did a set of strings with lighter gauge top strings and heavier bottom strings, 10-52. I always liked them but I never used them with a Bigsby!

Only a fiver if you fancy giving them a try:

[url="http://www.google.co.uk/shopping/product/8013646814680956813?q=ernie%20ball%20top%20heavy%20bottom&hl=en&sqi=2&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.45960087,d.d2k&biw=1264&bih=494&wrapid=tlif136791438242310&sa=X&ei=37eIUbSUBsPS0QWTgIGwBw&ved=0CE8Q8wIwAA"]http://www.google.co.uk/shopping/product/8013646814680956813?q=ernie%20ball%20top%20heavy%20bottom&hl=en&sqi=2&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.45960087,d.d2k&biw=1264&bih=494&wrapid=tlif136791438242310&sa=X&ei=37eIUbSUBsPS0QWTgIGwBw&ved=0CE8Q8wIwAA[/url]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use rotosound 10-52, and pretty much nothing else these days. Perfectly balanced, pretty cheap, and you get a spare top e thrown in free as well.
Also those fat bottom strings just feel better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I managed to find time to drop by my local music shop yesterday, who had the Rotosound set, and stuck them on last night. I think I like them so far, and the Bigsby seems stable enough with them. It'll be hard to be sure whether I'll stick with them until I've gigged them though...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Beer of the Bass' timestamp='1368026259' post='2072224']
I managed to find time to drop by my local music shop yesterday, who had the Rotosound set, and stuck them on last night. I think I like them so far, and the Bigsby seems stable enough with them. It'll be hard to be sure whether I'll stick with them until I've gigged them though...
[/quote]

I've never used Roto's on guitar before, but anytime I have used Roto's, they don't measure up at all to D'Addario.

The tension shouldn't increase that much, so long as the increments between strings are even, because although you have a heavier bottom, you also have a lighter top, but you might need to tweak your setup a bit after putting them on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='MiltyG565' timestamp='1368083573' post='2072867']
I've never used Roto's on guitar before, but anytime I have used Roto's, they don't measure up at all to D'Addario.

The tension shouldn't increase that much, so long as the increments between strings are even, because although you have a heavier bottom, you also have a lighter top, but you might need to tweak your setup a bit after putting them on.
[/quote]
I've never really bonded with Rotosound bass strings either, but I think that's more about their formulation than actual quality. I've used their Superwound phosphor bronze strings on my acoustic guitar for years, they've been as good as any other brand and perfectly consistent from set to set.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Beer of the Bass' timestamp='1368093215' post='2073022']
I've never really bonded with Rotosound bass strings either, but I think that's more about their formulation than actual quality. I've used their Superwound phosphor bronze strings on my acoustic guitar for years, they've been as good as any other brand and perfectly consistent from set to set.
[/quote]

I've heard stories about their flats for guitar, and I can definitely trust the guys opinion on strings!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='MiltyG565' timestamp='1368093368' post='2073025']
I've heard stories about their flats for guitar, and I can definitely trust the guys opinion on strings!
[/quote]
I've seen less than positive reviews of the guitar flatwounds too, but that's different materials and a different manufacturing process, so I'm quite happy to judge the roundwounds on their own merit. And if they work out for me, they have the bonus of being half a pint cheaper than D'Addarios and not having been shipped across the Atlantic. If they don't work out for me, then I still have a set of D'Addarios in my case pocket...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='MiltyG565' timestamp='1368093368' post='2073025']
I've heard stories about their flats for guitar, and I can definitely trust the guys opinion on strings!
[/quote]

What guy and what stories? Colour me interested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Beer of the Bass' timestamp='1368094424' post='2073036']
I've seen less than positive reviews of the guitar flatwounds too, but that's different materials and a different manufacturing process, so I'm quite happy to judge the roundwounds on their own merit. And if they work out for me, they have the bonus of being half a pint cheaper than D'Addarios and not having been shipped across the Atlantic. If they don't work out for me, then I still have a set of D'Addarios in my case pocket...
[/quote]

That's cool. I'm going to try them out some time, but I just like the sound of D'Addarios :D


[quote name='Dave Vader' timestamp='1368098326' post='2073095']
What guy and what stories? Colour me interested.
[/quote]

Their flats were "rough as f***" IIRC. I'm sorry, but i'm not going to compromise a source :D :P

Edited by MiltyG565

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use 10-52 Ernie Balls on my Gretsch Duo Jet. You need a fair bit of tension to hold the floating bridge in place! My Strat and PRS get 9-46 (i.e. light top / heavy bottom, but a gauge lighter) everything else (i.e. Gibsons and Teles) gets 10-46. And yes I do have quite a few guitars, but don't worry, pretty soon you'll be able to buy one or two of them!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

10-52's are grand, until you try to use them with re-issue Fender F-tuners, such as may be found on certain of FMIC's output and available as 'period-correct'.

Original F-tuners will take a .52, but the RI's won't. Too narrow.

Tried gently filing the RI slot to widen and snapped part of the shaft off. Because they're not steel like the old ones, they're a cheap, granular alloy.



[size=3]Re-issue. Narrower, will not take 52. Quick clue: No centre-drilled guide right at the top of the peg for vertical insertion. Oo-er.[/size]


[size=3]Original Fender-made Safe-T post type tuner. Will take .52[/size]


So I've had to buy original 70's F-tuners one at a time at about £30-odd a pop.

Bastards.

Edited by skankdelvar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='skankdelvar' timestamp='1368119326' post='2073505']
10-52's are grand, until you try to use them with re-issue Fender F-tuners, such as may be found on certain of FMIC's output and available as 'period-correct'.
[/quote]
That's a curious one. Are those the the 70's style tuners? An old bandmate used to string his Japanese 60's reissue strat with 13-56 with no problems, so I presume so. That was a good sounding guitar, though really not bend friendly! My cheap chinese Schaller rip-offs take the 52 gauge string just fine, fortunately.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Beer of the Bass' timestamp='1368120159' post='2073516']
That's a curious one. [/quote]

Ain't it, though?

[quote name='Beer of the Bass' timestamp='1368120159' post='2073516']
Are those the the 70's style tuners? [/quote]

Yep, surely are. [url="http://www.fender.com/en-GB/guitar-bass-parts/tuning_machines/70s-f-style-stratocastertelecaster-tuning-machines/"]These chaps[/url].

[quote name='Beer of the Bass' timestamp='1368120159' post='2073516']
An old bandmate used to string his Japanese 60's reissue strat with 13-56 with no problems, so I presume so. [/quote]
Similarly, no probs with 52's in the Kluson RI's on my Jap '57 RI. In fact no probs with [i]any [/i]other tuner I've used since I switched to 52's. 13-56 on a Korean Danelectro left in open E warped the neck pocket though :(

[quote name='Beer of the Bass' timestamp='1368120159' post='2073516']
My cheap chinese Schaller rip-offs take the 52 gauge string just fine, fortunately.
[/quote]

Then I may be looking at a set of those. Ta for the tip, Beer-man :) :)

Edited by skankdelvar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='MiltyG565' timestamp='1368118868' post='2073497']
Their flats were "rough as f***" IIRC. I'm sorry, but i'm not going to compromise a source :D :P
[/quote]

Ah, fair enough, forewarned is forearmed as they say, never used flats on guitar anyway, but their roundwound guitar strings are cheap and good and last ages. Never been impressed by their bass strings or acoustics though.
:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Dave Vader' timestamp='1368130972' post='2073706']
Ah, fair enough, forewarned is forearmed as they say, never used flats on guitar anyway, but their roundwound guitar strings are cheap and good and last ages. Never been impressed by their bass strings or acoustics though.
:)
[/quote]

I was thinking about getting flats for guitar. Usually, I'd go and watch a review on YouTube, but there aren't any for flatwound guitar strings... so guess what i'll be making a review on? :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='MiltyG565' timestamp='1368131071' post='2073708']
I was thinking about getting flats for guitar. Usually, I'd go and watch a review on YouTube, but there aren't any for flatwound guitar strings... so guess what i'll be making a review on? :D
[/quote]

Plectrums? ;)

Only guy I know who uses flats on guitar is a proper rockabilly type with a quiff and an ancient hofner. Works for that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Dave Vader' timestamp='1368131400' post='2073719']
Plectrums? ;)

Only guy I know who uses flats on guitar is a proper rockabilly type with a quiff and an ancient hofner. Works for that.
[/quote]

Yeah, it's quite an old rock and roll sound I think. Good for jazz too I suppose. Definitely the opposite of what you want for reggae or funk though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='MiltyG565' timestamp='1368131974' post='2073728']
Yeah, it's quite an old rock and roll sound I think. Good for jazz too I suppose. Definitely the opposite of what you want for reggae or funk though.
[/quote]
I dunno, I could imagine flats sounding good for some types of reggae guitar. Ernest Ranglin (legendary Studio One guitarist and the man who coined the word Ska) was a jazzer on the sly, and it shows in his playing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Beer of the Bass' timestamp='1368133109' post='2073750']
I dunno, I could imagine flats sounding good for some types of reggae guitar. Ernest Ranglin (legendary Studio One guitarist and the man who coined the word Ska) was a jazzer on the sly, and it shows in his playing.
[/quote]

Suppose, but he was in to jazz, so that explains it :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off, if you are using D'Addario XL nickel wound strings they do a set of 11-49s with a plain G. Check their web site for details.

Secondly, if you look at the D'Addario string tension charts you'll find that most sets tend towards being lower tension as the strings get thicker. Look at a typical 9-46 set. The E string has a high tension and then the strings get progressively lower tension with the B and G until you get to the wound D which is higher tension again dropping off with the A and E. Even on a heavy bottom set like 10-52 the low E still isn't as high tension as the high E. Whether any of this is "balanced" or not is entirely subjective as it is all about feel and besides when most people talk about tension in strings they actually mean compliance which is governed by more than just vibrating length, unit mass and the pitch of the string.

Finally, because of the way the Bigsby vibrato works, you don't need to adjust anything. If it was a start-type unit or a locking vibrato then you'd be in for loads of adjustments to get everything balanced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd been using the plain-G D'Addario 11-49 set for a while, I used them because they were about as heavy as I could go before getting into wound-G sets, which have never felt right on electric guitar to me.
The 10-52s turn out to work absolutely fine with my Bigsby, and sure enough, looking at the tension charts D'Addario publish they're not really more unbalanced than most other popular sets. I hadn't found those charts when I started the thread! As it is, I'm enjoying the 10-52s as I can get better finger vibrato on the top strings but also dig in harder on the bottom strings than I could with 11-49s. I may go back to D'Addario for the next set though, as the Rotos seem a little darker on the wound strings after a week or so, and I enjoy a bright, glassy sort of sound.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×