# Low B tension question

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by krovx, Dec 12, 2013.

1. ### krovxSupporting Member

Mar 11, 2003
Michigan, USA
I have a 35" MTD and the low B is down a half step and sounds superb. The strings are Daddario Chromes with said string being a .132. Switching to a 34", how much tension would I lose? I know there are guitar tension calculators, but I can't find one for bass.

2. ### bass12Fueled by chocolateSupporting Member

Jun 8, 2008
You could always call up Mike Tobias and ask him - I'm sure he'd be pleased to talk with you about it.

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4. ### KingRazor

Jun 4, 2010
Beaverton, Oregon USA
For 35" scale:
T (Tension) = (.00314193 x (2 x 35 x 29.14)^2) / 386.4

For 34" scale:
T (Tension) = (.00314193 x (2 x 34 x 29.14)^2) / 386.4

You have about 33.83 pounds of tension now, you'd have about 31.93 pounds of tension switching to 34".

5. ### Brams77

Jun 30, 2009
Where does the gauge come into pay here?... I think it's much more a matter of feel... How much the string moves/vibrates if you want the same sort of feel to the string on a 34' tention wise you could go for one step thicker gauge, that way you'll get close. Altho I have a mtd 535 24 and a tobias signature 5 I use the same strings on both
To me it doesnt make that much of a difference...

6. ### KingRazor

Jun 4, 2010
Beaverton, Oregon USA
He's playing D'Addario chromes with a .132 gauge low b string, which is the heaviest gauge they make in chromes. He can't go one higher...

7. ### krovxSupporting Member

Mar 11, 2003
Michigan, USA
This. Thanks again King for the calculation. I want to purchase the four string version of my MTD and wanted to know the impact of the scale difference.

8. ### mmbongoChicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!!Supporting Member

I believe MTD offers 35" scale 4 strings.

9. ### Jay2UNot as bad as he lóòks

Dec 7, 2010
23 ft below sea level
10. ### krovxSupporting Member

Mar 11, 2003
Michigan, USA
Yes. Not in the Kingston series though, which is my price range.

11. ### Jensby design

May 22, 2008
Hastings, NE
I like math but just
Take what ever the tension is multiply that by 0.94387431268 that will give you the answer.
Yes, I am serious and yes, I know I am a nerd

12. ### KingRazor

Jun 4, 2010
Beaverton, Oregon USA
I just copied and pasted from the D'Addario string tension pdf.

13. ### iiipopes

May 4, 2009
You really don't want any larger diameter, anyway, because any larger diameter and the mass of the string will lose overtones.

OK, since we're all getting that way, I gotta say it: with the offset of the bridge for intonation compensation, it will be a tad longer than 34 inches, so the tension will be about 32 pounds.

Bottom line: you won't feel much difference, if any.

Jul 30, 2002
Seattle
Disclosures:
Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
Question for you; how many different string designs have you had the opportunity to try? I am not talking brands - I mean tapered vs full thickness vs bare core etc.

15. ### Jensby design

May 22, 2008
Hastings, NE
So you gain fundamentals
That sounds like a terrible idea

16. ### fnordlyoneSupporting Member

Jun 12, 2013
south Louisiana
The answer to what? I thought the question was in regards to figuring out the tension I'm lost here
fnord!

17. ### Jensby design

May 22, 2008
Hastings, NE
did that guy just quote himself ?

18. ### iiipopes

May 4, 2009
Since 1976; I've lost count.

It's easier to tell you what I have not tried over the last 38 years: I haven't tried EB Cobalts yet; I haven't tried the new "flexible" D'Addario steels, as they are brand new. I haven't tried Pyramid flats.

That leaves just about everything else, including strings that have been discontinued for years, including original Fender nylon sleeves and some other esoterica, like Gibson bass strings. Yes, they did make them, or at least contracted them out, at one time many years ago.

I have even had the pleasure of playing original Maxima flats all those years ago. They left my fingers black.

Original Reds were better than the new Reds, which sound damped to me because of the coating. But yes, they would turn brown very quickly. But I never had a set of strings that sounded better for electric bass in college jazz band.

I played Progressives when they were the "new" string. They taper.

I keep several small allen wrenches and my #1 Phillips screwdriver handy in my gig box so I can try new strings, tapered or not, and adjust my bridge saddle accordingly as I am installing them.

Most B strings of a gauge of .130 or less benefit from being tuned to C, or up a fret, to balance the feel of the E string while retaining the consistency of tone. It take a while to get used to, but after I did, it was great. I mean, low B is nice, but how often does a person, unless they just really focus on the genres that use them, need a note lower than the C, which being the sub octave is the same lowest note on the pedals of church pipe organ, and the lowest C on a piano keyboard?

19. ### MR PC

Dec 1, 2007
I have a lot of popcorn.

20. ### fnordlyoneSupporting Member

Jun 12, 2013
south Louisiana
Needless to say, that was no clarification.
In order to figure out the tension, I first must know the tension and multiply it by your magic number and then I get?
I must have missed the first step. Really trying to learn, here, just confused.

fnord!

21. ### KingRazor

Jun 4, 2010
Beaverton, Oregon USA
He was telling you how if you know the tension of a string on a 35" scale, that you could multiply it by that number to find out the tension of the same string at 34" scale.