Long-Scale Strings for String-Thru Fenders: Theory or Practice?
So I've been doing a ton of research on strings, scale lengths, bridge configurations and so forth as I prepare to buy a lefty Fender American Standard Precision Bass. In my past bass playing endeavors, I have very much enjoyed the feel, quality and sound of Ernie Ball Regular Slinky strings.
I have read many times on these forums that regular scale length strings will not work when strung through the body, because the winding when passing over the nut will be too thin (i.e. the full width of the resonating part of the string will not be in the nut notch, but rather the thinner part which winds around the peg).
This makes a lot of sense to me in theory, but I'm just wondering: has anyone really tried using regular strings on a string-thru bridge and had this problem? So that they've actually seen it happen that the fattest part of the string wasn't long enough to stretch from bridge to nut?
If anyone has any experience with that, I would very much appreciate hearing about it. And if long-scale strings truly are required, are there any particular kinds that are nickel, roundwound, long scale, and standard gauge (.105/.85/.65/.45), all at the same time?
Yes, I have strung up many basses here just to see if it'll work, and standard long scale strings (that have a 36.5" winding) will have some of the silked end going over the nut and into the first fret if you string it up through-body.
If you can find a standard long scale string that has a 37" winding length, it will barely clear the nut before the silked end starts. However, barely still works.
The GHS Boomers set M3045X is long scale plus length (38" winding length), rickel roundwounds in standard gauges.
FWIW - you can set your bass up to make use of any string - the nut is no different than the bridge in that regard. So long as its metal resting in the nut slot and not silk it will work.
It's a PITA to set up, but it will work.
Both my basses, which are Fender's are string through only (late 90's American Standards). I've used Ernie Ball strings numerous times in the past and never once had an issue.
It all depends on the strings actual winding length.
"Long Scale" from one manufacturer is different from "Long Scale" from another.
This link has a breakdown of string lengths by manufacturer.
It is best to know the actual measurement of the winding length your instrument requires. This article explains how to find that length:
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