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Your got-to gauge, and why?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by St. Louis Scot, Nov 17, 2013.


  1. St. Louis Scot

    St. Louis Scot

    Sep 16, 2013
    Austin, Tx
    What's the gauge that really does the job for you, and why? How many years before you just "knew." Do you use a different gauge for flats vs. round?
     
  2. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    You know, I've been wrestling with this lately because for years I"ve used medium gauge (typically GHS Boomer rounds on some basses, flats on others). Lately, though, due to a change of the type of music I've been playing, I'm wanting to try heavy gauge strings, so that my G is not so "twangy". I'd like it to have a deeper, heavier sound that I can't seem to get simply through adjusting my eq.

    I'm also wanting to change to heavy gauge on my 8 string bass, with heavier octave strings as well, for the same reason.

    What I don't want, however, is my E an A string to feel too big, unruly and/or uncomfortable. I have a concern (fear?) that they may feel too thick.

    What I may end up doing is simply putting a heavier gauge G string on my basses while keeping medium gauge for all the others.

    To answer your second question, I use the same gauge for rounds and flats.
     
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  4. cnltb

    cnltb

    May 28, 2005
    On my 5 string it's 46-126...at the moment.
    It's not the be all and end all however.
     
  5. Savage_Dreams

    Savage_Dreams

    Jan 8, 2007
    custom gauge set. 115, 90, 65, 45
    for me its the most balanced set there can be. i like a tight E string, no loose floppy crap for me. even with the 115 im only tuned down a half step, and occasionally drop D
     
  6. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    I've figured out that it depends largely on the strings in question, but there's no definitive gauge for me. I like TI's which are very light and I like Labella DTF 45-105 which are not. Rounds are a little different and I'll usually go for a 45-100, but that isn't set in stone either. Pretty much any string I can set up with low action and very little buzzing on my P bass is the "right" string. Currently that's a 45-105 set of Labella Deep Talkin.
     
  7. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Seattle
    Disclosures:
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    The moment I had more than one bass I had to ditch the notion of a go-to . . . at least as a universal standard for multiple instruments. Each bass has its own wants and desires. Took me a while to come to that.
     
  8. St. Louis Scot

    St. Louis Scot

    Sep 16, 2013
    Austin, Tx
    I always always always used GHS Boomers .45. I recently put on some Cobalts, but they are so present that I upped to .50 to maintain the deepness.

    Now I am ready to put flats on my Aria ProII with passive split coil. And just don't know what gauge. So I guess I start with .45s and test from there.
     
  9. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Yep. Some basses like different strings indeed.
     
  10. CnB77

    CnB77

    Jan 7, 2011
    NJ
    In my experience heavier strings are twangier
     
  11. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    Really?!?! I'm not knocking what you're saying, but it sounds counter intuitive. I assumed a thicker gauge string would sound "heavier", if that makes sense.
     
  12. Generally 45-100 or 105. It just feels right.
     
  13. onda'bass

    onda'bass Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Buffalo Ny
    Ok, for my go to bass, balanced tension Daddario 130 - 40. I find every bass has different needs string wise.
     
  14. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I have liked Labella Deep Talkin' Flats in light gauge .043-.104 on every bass I've played. It didn't take that long for me to try them and decide I liked them. GHS flats and Chromes are OK with me, too.
     
  15. Very true.I have one bass that plays and sounds way better with low tension strings (35lbs-20lbs), and one that plays and sound better with higher tension strings (45+lbs).
    I built both of those basses and used very different materials.
     
  16. billgwx

    billgwx

    Apr 10, 2009
    Centereach NY
    I use 45-105's these days. I have gone heavier on the P-bass with 55-105 rounds. Think I might go lighter with rounds on my J in the future...40-100 or 40-95.
     
  17. AdamR

    AdamR

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: VF Cables, Dirtbag Clothing
    45-100 for me, tuned Eb
     
  18. Itzayana

    Itzayana

    Aug 15, 2012
    Oakland Ca
    50-65-85-100 SS flats.
     
  19. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    ........and a brand also. I have tried them all, but I keep coming back to D'Addario XL Nickel Mediums. I have bought and played much more expensive strings. I even have a deal with one company that allows me to get strings MUCH cheaper than I can get these. (Kind of a partial endorsement I guess?) But as soon as a put a set of something else on my basses I can't wait to get some XL Nickels back on it. I can live with regular lights, but prefer the mediums. (Full disclosure:I'm a bit heavy-handed)
    http://www.daddario.com/DADProductD...und_5_String_Bass__Medium__50_135__Long_Scale
     
  20. prokfrog

    prokfrog

    Mar 16, 2007
    new jersey
    45;65;80;100;125 Feels right and sounds the most balanced to me
     
  21. I never calculated the perfect set. I tend to average around 90 for a 4 string, having used 85 and 95. Prefer SS rounds. I find the thinner strings easier to play and easier on necks. I really got into them after I bought my first 8 string. It came strung with the cables you see holding up bridges, and the neck looked like you could actually shoot arrows with it. After that, I got used to them. Thick strings feel clumsy and hard to work with.

    I do make an exception for my 5 string, I downtune and use the thickest strings I can find that will fit. With the lower tension they are manageable and as a bonus provide some nice string rattle.
     



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