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Same tension down a step as in standard tuning

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Atomic Al, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. Atomic Al

    Atomic Al

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    Anyone have an approximate idea? The scale length is 34.
    For years I played with huge strings, then I got a new bass with smaller strings and forgot how much tone smaller strings had.
    Have prosteels on right now and they sound good but the tension is just a bit too loose for my taste but its not horrible.
    I'd just like to stay away from having to put much larger strings on again. My set right now is 110 85 60 45

    Thanks
  2. iiipopes

    iiipopes

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    It's hard to gather from your post exactly what you're trying to achieve. But from the title of the thread, it appears that what you desire is to have the same tension on the E string when you tune it down to D.

    Both Circle K and D'Addario publish tension charts that list the respective tension of their strings at pitch.

    For example: A D'addario nickel 105 E string pulls about 40 pounds of tension on a standard bass. To get the same feel out of a string tuned down a step to D, you cross reference the chart and see that a 120 tuned to D has about the same tension, 40 pounds, for this make and model of bass string.

    So extrapolated, to get a string to feel the same tuned to D as the string you prefer tuned to E, add about 10 to 15 to the string gauge. Since this will result in a larger diameter string, you may need to touch up the nut slot and re-set your bridge saddle compensation as well, due to the larger core causing more string stretch.
  3. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

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    +1 to the Circle K strings.

    I recently switched to one of their balanced tension five-string sets (standard tuning) and I'm lovin' the feel of it.

    They've dug deep into string gauges and tension, and IMO the quality of the string is tops.


    Edit: I'm now using a .142 B string on my Carvin SB5000, and there was no need to alter the nut slot.
  4. Atomic Al

    Atomic Al

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    Sorry for not being more clear
    I'II check out that chart.
    Thanks!
  5. Lemon Of Troy

    Lemon Of Troy

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  6. megafiddle

    megafiddle

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    Pitch is proportional to the square root of the inverse of mass per unit length.
    Since mass per unit length is proportional to the square of the diameter, the pitch
    is proportional to the inverse of the diameter (the square and square root cancel).

    This simply means that if you decrease the pitch by a certain factor, you need to
    increase the diameter by the same factor to maintain the same tension.

    So for a drop in pitch of one whole step, the factor is 1.12 (E divided by 1.12 = D).
    Therefore just multiply the string gauge diameters by 1.12 to maintain tension.
    Keep in mind that different gauges at the same tension can feel different.

    If you like the 110 85 60 45 set at standard tuning, muliply each diameter by 1.12
    and select a set that's the closest.
  7. armybass

    armybass Supporting Member

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    Ding ding ding. We have a winner. In over a decade on internet forums..... That was the best post I have ever read. I feel after just having read it and mighty impressed that I understood it! Bravo! Excellent post!
  8. armybass

    armybass Supporting Member

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    Just had to say it again.
  9. king koeller

    king koeller

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    yeah mega fiddle!!!! way to go!!!!
  10. ixlramp

    ixlramp

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    ^ what megafiddle said. That's a good rough rule to get you close to your ideal gauge. The rule assumes strings have equal density, in reality this changes slightly for wound strings due to string construction, and changes significantly between plain strings and wound strings.

    http://www.daddario.com/upload/tension_chart_13934.pdf
  11. hoketus

    hoketus

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    http://www.bangzero.org/stringtension/

    Love this applet, been using it for years. Enter your current tuning and gauges, and simply recalculate with the new tuning to find the desired tension.
  12. megafiddle

    megafiddle

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    Gee, thanks!

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