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How much tension does it take to break bass strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by GC34, Nov 25, 2012.


  1. GC34

    GC34

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    I know they have about 40 or more pounds of tension. How much would take to break. I heard the low e and a can go an entire octave.
     
  2. FunkMetalBass

    FunkMetalBass

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    Some fellow user did a test on this with some lab equipment, and I believe he concluded that a .105 E-string can handle about 75 lbs of pressure (you might do a search to see if you can find it). Mind you, this was the tension handling while idle, and not during play, which would knock it down a few pounds.

    The largest determining factor is the size of the core, and since all manufacturers vary in the sizes of cores used their strings, it's hard to give an accurate assessment. For safety, and ease of playing, it's recommended to stay below 55 lbs on your thicker strings, and less as the strings get thinner.
     
  3. GC34

    GC34

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    75 ibs That's a ton of tension. Even my low e on guitar would snap at that tension. How much tension can a.065 d string handle.
     
  4. FunkMetalBass

    FunkMetalBass

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    No idea. Got a spare one? If so, throw it on, plug the bass into a tuner, pluck the string lightly, and slowly uptune until it snaps. Throw the info into a tension calculator and find out where it snaps.
     
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  6. hoketus

    hoketus

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, CA
    Seems like a moot issue, doesn't it? If the tension is anywhere near high enough to snap the string, it's likely causing damage to the instrument.
     
  7. two fingers

    two fingers You tahkin 'uh me? Yeah, you. You tahkin 'uh me? Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern NC USA
    I pop A strings all the time and get an E every now and then. So I guess about a middle finger's worth of tension gets it done.
     
  8. VeganThump

    VeganThump

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    South Jersey
    I would say you probably have an issue with your saddles then, are you using a bad ass bridge?
     
  9. GC34

    GC34

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Can the bass low e and a tune an entire octave without snapping? I got my guitar low e up eight to nine semitones.
     
  10. unclebass

    unclebass

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Location:
    Southwest Louisiana
    I recently got my hands on a bass from a pawn shop and failed to notice that someone had put a set of BEAD strings on it, and I tried to tune it to EADG. Very difficult to turn tuners because of all the tension, and D string popped right when it got to G. I think that is somewhere between 70 and 80lbs of tension. FWIW, all that tension bowed the heck out of the neck, took new strings and alot of truss rod adjustment to correct bow.
     
  11. GC34

    GC34

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Thanks for the info. What was the scale length? Was the d string the same guage as a standard bass? I think it broke between 90 and 100 pounds of tension. Assuming it's a standard .065 and 34 scale you would be between e and f if you where between 70 to 80 pounds of tension. I'm looking at the d addario string tension chart.

    I just checked the guages of a BEAD set and a D is a 65.
     
  12. GC34

    GC34

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    How far are bass strings from failure point from standard? Is a .105 low E and A 25% of breaking tension if tuned to stamdard.
     
  13. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I did some testing with the tensile testing machine in my lab over a year ago and posted the results here. The strings that I tested all had the same diameter core and all broke around 162 lbs +/- 7 lbs IIRC. The wrap around the core had no real influence on the tensile. Another thing to consider is the possibility that a sharp edge on your bridge saddle could contribute to string breakage due to greater stress concentration.
     
  14. GC34

    GC34

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    I think most other string sets have thinner cores. That would mean those strings can go an octave above standard.
     
  15. Billy K

    Billy K

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Location:
    North Bay Marin
    E# and my new Marcus Miller snapped between the nut and the peg closer to the peg. brand new. pissed me off.I e-mailed DR and they blew me off.I would consider buying one string I got To ask Jason at Basstringsonline. E# you kiddin me? F_ _ k!
     
  16. Billy K

    Billy K

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Location:
    North Bay Marin
    well DR is taking care of me on that string it just took longer than I thought for them to get back to me that's why I thought they "blew me off"I have been instructed to pay attention to putting a "crimp" on the round core string.And I will.Well there is a company that backs their product. And I am sorry for my comments I need to wait a bit for e-mail reply's the world does not revolve around me.LOLThere Billy Man ed up.
     
  17. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Yes, you are correct. The outer wrap has little to no influence on the yield and tensile strength. Almost every string that I have looked since the testing has used a similar gauge for the core.
     
  18. GC34

    GC34

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    I had someone test his bass string. He got his bass low e up to B Without breaking. I tested my .053 low e and snapped it around C#. My friend test his medium low e and got to C without snapping. Is the bass low e the same distance from breaking tension as the guitar low E?
     

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