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Tensions and balancing a set.

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Boleyn1895, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. Boleyn1895

    Boleyn1895

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    Hi all.

    I’m a recent convert to balanced strings thanks to posters here but the current set I have are round wound D'Addario EXL170BT 45, 60, 80, 107 and I have discovered I really don’t like them, too thin, twangy and noisy but I love the balancing.

    On my second bass I have some Rotosound RS77LE flats and I love them, nice and thick but perhaps a little too rigid unfortunately they are nowhere near balanced and I would like them to be a little brighter.

    So I was wondering if anyone could suggest an alternative?

    I’ve looked at D'Addario Half Rounds & Chromes and sorted out a set using the tension chart but the problem with them is that the 110 determines the tension and that gives you 45, 60, 80, 110 with a balanced range of 2.5 lbs for half rounds and 2.3 lbs for Chromes.

    Compare that to the RS77LE at 50, 75, 95, 110 and I’m concerned that the 15 gauge difference for the A & D strings will be too big a difference and too similar to the rounds above.

    Ideally I think a set of 50, 70, 90, 110 would suit me better but the 70 comes in at 60.2 lbs and I have been told to never exceed 60 lbs as that’s the tensile limit also the balanced range is 17.4 lbs for half rounds & 14.2 lbs for Chromes a bit too much and defeats the purpose of a balanced set.

    I could go 50, 65, 90, 110 and that would come out as 9.1 lbs for half rounds & 9 lbs for Chromes.

    Is a 9 lbs difference for a balanced set acceptable?

    Also for a brighter flat is Half round the way to go or are Chromes brighter than RS77LE’s and I should stick with Chromes?

    Thanks for your thought.
  2. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Gold Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    It isnt really going to be a "Balanced" tension set then, but it will be a set that you feel you like.

    There are people who like 50 70 90 110 sets (usually they tune down a half step or a whole step though), and they are not balanced and they are perfectly happy with them.

    If you want a set of strings and 50 65 90 110 feels like you want your bass to feel like then go for it!

    If someone else played it they may say your A string feels too tight compared to the others but that is their opinion, if you like it go for it!
  3. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head

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    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    Until manufacturers offer gauges that step outside the "every .005 rule" you aren't going to be able to balance a set well.
  4. Boleyn1895

    Boleyn1895

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    Thanks, I'll look into a bit more.

    I do have a question though.

    Looking at the ENR72 here: http://www.daddario.com/DADProductD..._Half_Rounds_Bass__Medium__50_105__Long_Scale it states the NHR050 tuned to G comes in at 55.210 lbs but the tension chart pdf says it comes in at 53.9 lbs

    Not a huge difference granted but it makes trying to figure out a balanced set much harder.

    So which is right or am I reading it all wrong?

    Thanks guys.
  5. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much Supporting Member

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    That's the biggest factor. It's more difficult (not impossible) to balance sets with single strings that were designed to be matched in even size increments, not even tension.

    For exampl, D'Addario Pro Steels: .040 is 31.66lbs, .045 is 41.52. Not ideal if you're trying to balance a set around a .105.
  6. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

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    The .pdf is a couple years old; tensions as listed on the website should be more accurate. However, I've recently noticed that tension figures for nylon tapewounds, as currently listed, differ from how I had them noted down in a text file a couple months ago. Make of that what you will: they might either be tweaking the products and updating the info accordingly, or correcting previous mistakes in published data on the site.
  7. ga_edwards

    ga_edwards

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    I've no idea what the tension is, but the Roto Billy Sheehan 43 65 80 110 signature set works nicely for me. Nice heavy and solid bottom, strong middle and flexible but strong top. They don't sound or feel too twangy or thin at all IMO, so might be worth checking out.
  8. Boleyn1895

    Boleyn1895

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    I decided to try and make a set using the current weights used on D’Addario’s website and discovered something strange.

    Looking at the 4 Long scale Half wound sets ENR70, 71, 72 & 73 the 4 G strings weights go up with the gauge 0.0400=36 lbs, 0.0450=49 lbs, 0.0500=55 lbs & 0.0550=62 lbs, the same with the D string 39 lbs, 48 lbs, 49 lbs & 57 lbs but the A goes 32, 41, 39, 56 and the E goes 31, 38.690, 38.430 & 46.

    So either that’s a misprint or more likely I don’t fully understand strings and their tensile strengths, can anyone explain it for me?

    But if those numbers are correct then a set of G 45 or 50, D 65 or 70, A 80 or 90 & E 110 keeping all strings under 60 lbs & within 8 or 9 lbs of each other

    Basically a balanced set is impossible. An 8 or 9 lbs difference is the best I can hope for.

    Thanks everyone.
  9. ixlramp

    ixlramp

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    Those are values published on the website? Those seem in error, best use the original tension chart for now.
    However, apparently it is possible to wind a .085 to be lighter than a .080, just unlikely.

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