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Low Tension Strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by sarlscharisma, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. sarlscharisma

    sarlscharisma

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    I've been told my Rickenbacker can only take light gauge strings, due to the stress on the neck medium gauge string cause. I have played medium gauges for 25 years and am concerned I might lose out on the low end.

    Can anyone recommend any strings which are medium gauge but with low tension?
  2. Dubista

    Dubista

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    I've got nothing to add to this thread, but I would like to know who told you that you can only use light strings on a Rick? I'm no expert but I'm sure you can use any gauge as long as it was the proper length and you had it set up.

    I'll let the experts chime in though.
  3. sarlscharisma

    sarlscharisma

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    it's a 1978 bass and the truss rods can't take high tension strings - that's my guitar repair man's verdict
  4. Dubista

    Dubista

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    Fair enough, what model is it? I'm just crious ;)

    If you want low tension (IMO) rounds I like D'addario Nickels and Fender Super Bass (though I'm only experienced with the old blend), as for flats TI's have a reputation for being low tension, for flats

    Hope I helped.
  5. mmbongo

    mmbongo Supporting Member

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    Jeez if you think D'Addario's are low tension, you've never played a low tension string! The fact that they have a hex core is a dead giveaway that they are not low tension.

    For low tension strings, you want DR....any of the Beams, or the ExtraLife coated. I use Black Beauties and Sunbeams, they are killer strings. They are all wound on a round core which generally gives you lower tension than a hex core.
  6. Dangit

    Dangit

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    I use 40-95's on my 78 4001 for the same reason and really like the sound I get. Using typical strings (D'Addario, GHS, Ernie Ball, etc) I personally wouldn't feel comfortable doing any higher.

    DR Sunbeams (or even DR's hex core - they're still lower tension than the others) I'd probably go 45-100 without worry. DR's are just good strings anyway.
  7. sarlscharisma

    sarlscharisma

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    sorry, forgot to mention my bass is a Rickenbacker 3001. I'm currently using D'Addario 45-100 roundwounds
  8. telglen

    telglen

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    I just took of some TI round wound, tension was low ,total about 120lbs sounded good bit I am not a round wound person.I have replaced them with a custom set of Daddario half rounds.
  9. ixlramp

    ixlramp

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    Tension is actually mostly determined by gauge, so if you want low tension, just use a lower gauge. I recommend building a set from singles with equal tension on each string for even feel and technique, also the stresses on the instrument will be evenly spread across the neck.

    The gauges for such a tension-balanced set will be 95 70 50 35, I have set up both of my friend's basses with D'Addario roundwounds in these gauges. The tension will be lower but they will not be floppy or lose excellent tone.
  10. Jeff 66

    Jeff 66

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    Low tension rounds: DR Sunbeams

    Low tension flats: TI Jazz Flats
  11. ixlramp

    ixlramp

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    It is possible to keep the same gauges and have a slightly lower tension, this is due to the differences in materials and construction between brands. However the drop in tension will be small. For a significant drop in tension you need to lower your gauges.
  12. Chris K

    Chris K

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    Disclosures:
    Partner: Otentic Guitars
    +1
    Gauge and tension are different features. I just developed a liking for Galli Saturn Steel, that are heavy gauge .50 - .150, at low tension.
  13. TheSuzie

    TheSuzie

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  14. Chris K

    Chris K

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    Disclosures:
    Partner: Otentic Guitars
    TI Jazz Rounds have less tension compared to TI Jazz Flats
  15. ixlramp

    ixlramp

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    Here's D'Addario's own tension data for the 45-100 set ...

    XLB045 G 0.045 42.8 pounds of tension
    XLB065 D 0.065 51.3
    XLB080 A 0.080 42.0
    XLB100 E 0.100 36.5

    ... 15.6 pounds more tension on D G than on E A. Most basses can take this no problem, but if you have a sensitive neck, perhaps equal tension on each string is a good idea ;)
  16. Chrisk-K

    Chrisk-K

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    Hi-Beams. Low tension and explosive low end.
  17. mmbongo

    mmbongo Supporting Member

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    This is why I don't like D'Addario. Can't stand the uneven tension.
  18. ixlramp

    ixlramp

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    That's not what I meant :)

    By 'tension' surely you mean 'stiffness'? By tension I mean the scientific definition.

    Gauge and tension are directly linked, tension at a particular pitch is almost entirely determined by gauge. A heavy gauge .50 to .150 will have high tension. We had this discussion on another thread recently: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=736333
  19. SMILEYSIXX

    SMILEYSIXX

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    Rotosound 66 funkmasters, 30-90. Light enough for ya?
  20. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye

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    Don't know about all that. I got a 74' 4001 that has no problems with medium gauge Blue Steels. Adjust the rods correctly and I think you'll be fine.

    There's a dude named Cassius who hangs here and at the Ric forum. I'd ask him. He knows his ****.

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