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Best string gauges for D standard 4 string?


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I will be changing one of my 4 string basses to D standard.  I'm not sure which gauges would suit this best.  I'm thinking it would be 50-110? or maybe 55-115?

 

I normally use 45-65-85-105 nickel rounds and on my 34" scale 5 string I have swapped the 125 its came with for a 135, which is much better.

 

Any assistance would be appreciated.

 

 

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D'addario do a balanced tension set of 120 - 90 - 67 -50. I use that generally for D standard and drop C. The tension of a 120 tuned to D is not dissimilar to having a 110 string tuned to E.

 

GHS do a Heavy Boomers set of 50-115 which I rate. There is also a DR DDT set of 55-115 but I find the higher strings to have too much tension at D standard for my personal taste. 

A normal heavy gauge of 50-110 with your favourite brand of strings should be fine though. If you are changing from a lighter gauge of strings tuned to standard then you might need to give your bass a set up for the new tuning. 

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5 hours ago, thodrik said:

D'addario do a balanced tension set of 120 - 90 - 67 -50. I use that generally for D standard and drop C. The tension of a 120 tuned to D is not dissimilar to having a 110 string tuned to E.

 

GHS do a Heavy Boomers set of 50-115 which I rate. There is also a DR DDT set of 55-115 but I find the higher strings to have too much tension at D standard for my personal taste. 

A normal heavy gauge of 50-110 with your favourite brand of strings should be fine though. If you are changing from a lighter gauge of strings tuned to standard then you might need to give your bass a set up for the new tuning. 

I realise the current E string on the bass I will detune is likely to be a 100, it was a bit floppy but not too bad when dropped to D so 105 might be good enough. @Ricky Rioliis going to send me a set he doesn't like to try as he thinks they could work well in D standard. 

 

I'll experiment with a few different gauges but I doubt whether 120 would be needed, I am not likely to need to drop down to C.

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23 minutes ago, BillyBass said:

 @Ricky Rioliis going to send me a set he doesn't like to try as he thinks they could work well in D standard. 

 

Those 45-105 pure nickels will definitely feel firm enough at D standard ..... what you'll think of the sound of them on a Kiloton – and it's a combination my ears are failing to imagine – is another matter..... 😬

 

Perhaps an MFD humbucker in the Stingray spot is exactly what is needed to rouse them.... or perhaps I'll get a stern PM saying, "Did I ask to have the balls cut off my Kiloton? NO." 😅

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Many moons ago - about 35 - the band I was in dropped to D and I used 50 - 110 Roto steels for that. My bass had been strung with  the “standard” 45 - 105s that came with it but they were just too floppy, the music shop recommended the Rotos and they worked fine.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Tuning down to D is roughly the same as going down about 2 gauges (and about 3 gauges for the D) so I would recommend 110-50 or a 115 D if you can find it unless you particularly like very low tension strings

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At the moment I've got a 110 Pro Steel on one bass and a 105 Roto Bass on the other, and surprisingly the 105 Roto Bass is more convincing dropped down to D. The Pro Steel is good enough on the bottom 5 frets, but then loses focus.

 

I'm wondering what the 110 Roto Bass would be like. 

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55 minutes ago, Ricky Rioli said:

At the moment I've got a 110 Pro Steel on one bass and a 105 Roto Bass on the other, and surprisingly the 105 Roto Bass is more convincing dropped down to D. The Pro Steel is good enough on the bottom 5 frets, but then loses focus.

 

I'm wondering what the 110 Roto Bass would be like. 

Tone when detuning is such a strange thing, I tried a 105 Roto bass also and it was ok but there was a definite degradation in the tone compared to my 95-40 Rotos tuned to E, even more oddly the 95 gauge E sounded better in D than the 105 E, the 105 E sounded great in E standard btw.

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