.065 D-strings have too much tension!

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Gyoon, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. Gyoon


    Nov 12, 2004
    Toronto, Ontario
    Anybody else notice this? Anytime I get the normal 45-65-85-105 string set, the D-string seems out of whack. It always feels noticeably more difficult to press down.

    Looking at string charts that state the tension of strings, why don't manufacturers make an even tensioned string set? Something approaching 45-60-85-110-135 would be nice. This would put all strings in that 45 lb range.

  2. I know what your talking about, and it is a pain at times.

    They don't make an even tensioned string set so they are all the same tension, while being in the typical 45-60-85-110-135 because if you want them to all be equal tension they would have to change the thickeness. I don't know the exact number, but i'm just going to use variable here.

    If you want a string to be 45 pounds (45p) of tension while being a certain width (x), and still want them to each go up the appropiate pitch, (beadg for example). The b would have to be "this fat" and make a B sound, while the E, if it were the same width, would not create 45 lbs of tension, it would make more.

    Now i think your asking, why don't they figure it all out? Thats a great question... I think there is someone on here who makes strings, (can't remember at the moment) and asking him would be a great idea. But just figuring out the math for this would be hard with out knowing how each thing would be.

    I think that it is because they try to keep the go down .15 every string, which in theory could all keep 45 lbs of tension, but i guess not.
  3. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    Fanned frets will help solve those problems. ; )
  4. Gyoon


    Nov 12, 2004
    Toronto, Ontario
    R. Cocco makes their strings in "Fat Kat" gauges that are pretty similar to those I'm suggesting (44-62-85-110, or close)

    I know it seems petty to complain about this, but it wouldn't take string manufacturers that much effort to change the thickness of the strings that they put into their packs?

  5. santucci218

    santucci218 Guest

    Jan 26, 2007
    buy single strings.

    Make sure your bass is setup totally proper.
  6. Sounds like your nut slot under the D string isn't cut right. You can have the nut re-cut to compensate for the lack of balance in the string.
  7. Gyoon


    Nov 12, 2004
    Toronto, Ontario
    What I'm talking about doesn't have to do with the nut slot height. A /065 D-string has more tension than the 105-85-45 strings that are normally found in the same pack. The thicker the string, atbe, the more tension there is. I'm suggesting that string companies make string packs 45-60-85-110 to make the strings more even in tension.

    Here's some links to the D'Addario website to give you an idea of what I'm talking about. Notice the lbs. of string tension on the right side.



  8. Thanks for the clarification. I'm still confused and pulled out my Sray5 fretless, Jazz Bass and MTD 6 fretless and don't see a massive difference that would affect playing?

    Perhaps because on my 5 string I'm using EXL-220-5 set... On the Jazz the D is a 75, and on the 6 my d string is a 60

    Have you tried altering the saddle angle on the D string?

    You know, come to think of it, back when I had a Charvel P-Bass copy I remember having some sort of problem with the D string... It never got resolved... The D string felt different no matter what brand I bought...

    Is that it?
  9. D'Addario has a couple of formulas there too, to allow you to figure tension. So I did the math, creating a D string with 45lbs. tension.
    And the math says the string would need to be .047". Nature of the beast I'm afraid.
  10. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    I build for myself what are closer to balanced-tension sets. I like the more uniform feel. Regardless of how heavy or light I am currently favoring, I can do this for various tunings. I've also done it for multiscale/fanned instruments and different scale lengths.

    See sig for downloadable spreadsheet calculator to be used in conjunction with D'Addario tension pdf.

    For a standard five-string tuning based on nickel rounds starting with a .045 I might go:

    G - .045 - 42.8 pounds
    D - .060 - 42.9 pounds
    A - .080 - 42.0 pounds
    E - .105 - 40.3 pounds
    B - .135 - 36.1 pounds

    Some basses because of body and neck resonances, setup, pickup response and radius, might want adjusted gauges on some strings to compensate for the irregularities. Also, as strings become thicker they become less flexible, so I allow for that especially on low B, and to an extent, E.


    Oct 10, 2008
    Custom sets are the way to go if you want balanced.