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B string gauge question

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Uncajohnny, Nov 8, 2012.


  1. Uncajohnny

    Uncajohnny

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    Location:
    Idaho
    Tried a search for this info, but couldn't seem to find this particular info. Have (2) 34" 5-string basses, one a Ibanez Soundgear 405 & the other a Chinese 'BTB' replica (only 34" scale) Both seem to suffer the same problem, ie; the B sting seems 'floppy' when tuned. Thought to cure the problem with some R-Cocco light gauge (40-120) strings, but the B still seem kinda 'loose'. Was thinking some custom size DR-Low Riders (40-60-80-100-115) or CircleK (112 .082 .061 .045 .031) or (118 .090 .067 .049 .035) might make a difference. My question is: will a smaller gauge have slightly more tension when tuned to B or am I not getting the relationship between Gauge size & string tension?
    Thanks,
    j
     
  2. KingRazor

    KingRazor

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    Location:
    Beaverton, Oregon USA
    Smaller gauge will have less tension at a given pitch.

    Try a circle K .136 gauge B.
     
  3. Lemon Of Troy

    Lemon Of Troy Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Location:
    Palmetto State
  4. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    Very common complaint, and yet almost all string sets still have the B much looser than the rest. So if you buy a mainstream set with a .135, such as 135 105 85 70 50, the high strings will then be extremely tight.
    You may prefer to design and build a custom set of singles with equal tensions. Or, buy a 'balanced tension' set from Circle K Strings such as the .142 set.
    Tension charts:
    http://www.daddario.com/upload/tension_chart_13934.pdf
    http://circlekstrings.com/CKSIMAGES/CircleKtensionChart.pdf
     
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  6. awilkie84

    awilkie84

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2011
    Location:
    Nanaimo, BC, Canada
    Be wary of .142...a lot of bridges won't take that string gauge without drilling it out.

    Sidenote: Has anyone tried GHS Precision Flats on a 34" Fender 5 string? It's a .125 B string. I currently have a .130 round and am wondering if the .125 will be too floppy.
     
  7. Duckwater

    Duckwater

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    USA, Washington
    I use a .118 tuned to E sometimes. Personally, I would want at least a .135 for a B.

    BTW- I'm pretty sure GHS Precision flats have a round core, which results in lower tension. I think you can order a custom set from Bassstringsonline with a .128.
     
  8. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    I went up to a D'Addario steel .135 on my SRA-305 over the stock strings, with great improvement in tone and feel, and the next time I change I'll probably use, due to the mahogany body, GHS steels in 45-60-80-106-138 as a custom set from basstringsonline.
     
  9. wrench45us

    wrench45us

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    I have double ball status graphite half wounds on my Steinberger Spirit
    45 65 85 105 130
    and have never understood talk about about a floppy B
     
  10. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Location:
    22 ft below sea level
    On my BEAD tuned bass I use .130, .105, .080 and .060 Ernie Ball flatwounds. E, A and D pull about 50 pounds. B does 43 pounds. For me this is enough. If the B is too tight, it produces more highs and less bottom end. I want this booming B, so .130 is a good compromise for me.
     
  11. Randyt

    Randyt

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Location:
    Barrie, Canada
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Adult Pampers
    i use the 0.118" gauge on my B on my 6xers...totally dig the Circle K strings...The B is solid..not floppy at all.
     

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