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String gauge drop / Lighter gauge strings


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Decided to try dropping down a string gauge from 45-105 to 45-100 as I recall using them before and it offers a less boomy fundamental on the E string 

Anyone using light gauge strings ? 

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I used to have 45-100s on my Precisions and found them to be pretty much ideal, much better balance across the strings and less low end flub on the E string (I find mainly the G is the note that booms).

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49 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

I used to have 45-100s on my Precisions and found them to be pretty much ideal, much better balance across the strings and less low end flub on the E string (I find mainly the G is the note that booms).

Yep exactly .. the E string as 105 is a tad boomy so I’m thinking a 100 may help. I have tried it before but I can’t recall the outcome but it wasn’t bad I’m sure so maybe for convenience I went back to 45-105 ? 

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For regular tuning I prefer a balanced tension gauge .095 - .075 - .055 - .040 set of roundwound strings.

 

And I use this both for regular scale basses and short scale basses.

 

You get a richer and clearer tone, with improved definition and more harmonic content, thanks to the lower gauge.

 

Improved sustain as well, as the strings will be able to vibrate more freely, due to the lower tension, which will also feel nicer for the fretting hand. .

 

I suppose if you are a very heavy plucker such a set of strings might be too floppy for you, but personally I pluck the strings relatively lightly, using just the outmost tip of my fingers/nails (the latter cut so that they are pretty much flush with the finger tips), and more so stroke the strings in a slight inward light slapping motion, rather than really strike, pluck or pull the strings.

 

Edited by Baloney Balderdash
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1 hour ago, Baloney Balderdash said:

For regular tuning I prefer a balanced tension gauge .095 - .075 - .055 - .040 set of roundwound strings.

 

And I use this both for regular scale basses and short scale basses.

 

You get a richer and clearer tone, with more harmonic content and definition, thanks to the lower gauge.

 

Improved sustain as well, as the strings will be able to vibrate more freely, due to the lower tension, which will also feel nicer for the fretting hand. .

 

I suppose if you are a very heavy plucker such a set of strings might be too floppy for you, but personally I pluck the strings relatively lightly, using just the outmost tip of my fingers/nails (the latter cut so that they are pretty much flush with the finger tips), and more so stroke the strings in a slight inward light slapping motion, rather than really strike, pluck or pull the strings.

 

What brand does 95,75,55,40 ?? 

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On 10/07/2024 at 22:24, BassAdder60 said:

What brand does 95,75,55,40 ?? 

Most does if you buy single strings, rather than sets.

 

Personally I tend to use D'Addario.

 

Can recommend Newtone too though, who do just about any custom gauge you wish: https://newtonestrings.com/shop/custom-bass-string-configurator/

 

Edited by Baloney Balderdash
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I bought a Precision bass with 45-100 Elixirs and they sounded great, so bought a set for my Jazz. The lower gauge than standard means it's slightly easier to play as well, as I feel there's less tension in the string. No loss in heft either, I definitely haven't turned into a twang monster.

Edited by gjones
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Balanced tension is a weird thing because it most definitely isn't equal tension.

 

I suspect it's designed as a compromise between tension and compliance and is supposed to make all the strings feel as though they have the same amount of stiffness. However because it is impossible to know how a particular bass will affect the compliance of a string, it only really works on Fender-style basses where the break-angles over the nut vary depending on how far away the machine heads are and where the string retainer for the D and G strings is placed. Any variation on this will change the compliance of the string, rendering the balanced set "unbalanced".

 

Also who gets to decide what is balanced? For me balanced would mean that the strings feel stiffer from G (least stiff) to E or B (most stiff). I have yet to come across a set that manages that.

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I like equal bendiness / resistance feel under the right hand.

 

So for years I used to do something like 40-60-85-105 as I felt the E and to a smaller extent the A to feel a bit too bendy under the right hand.

I'm sure the tension of a set like that is very different across the board, but the feel was more balanced.

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5 hours ago, Supernaut said:

Balanced tension strings may give you balanced tension but IME, the strings suffer and you end up with unbalanced volumes between each string. 

Not in my experience.

 

Quite on the contrary.

 

4 hours ago, BigRedX said:

Balanced tension is a weird thing because it most definitely isn't equal tension.

 

I suspect it's designed as a compromise between tension and compliance and is supposed to make all the strings feel as though they have the same amount of stiffness. However because it is impossible to know how a particular bass will affect the compliance of a string, it only really works on Fender-style basses where the break-angles over the nut vary depending on how far away the machine heads are and where the string retainer for the D and G strings is placed. Any variation on this will change the compliance of the string, rendering the balanced set "unbalanced".

 

Also who gets to decide what is balanced? For me balanced would mean that the strings feel stiffer from G (least stiff) to E or B (most stiff). I have yet to come across a set that manages that.

 

And not if you use a string tension calculator and put together you own set based on it, as I do.

 

Edited by Baloney Balderdash
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IME using a string tension calculator is no better than picking gauges through trial and error. 

 

String tension calculators are only accurate for the brand and type of strings they have been designed for. They may be close for the same gauge from another brand but if you are going for that kind of accuracy you really need the correct figures or you might as well do it by feel. String tension figures alone tell you nothing about the compliance of a string when fitted to a particular bass, so they won't tell you how stiff a string feels in comparison to the others when things like different break angles over the bridge and nut are taken into account.

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2 hours ago, Supernaut said:

I thought you were walking away from playing with bands?! 

That was nearly what happened but got talked into a new band again and it’s worked out well so far 

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