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105s vs 100s

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by cool breeze, Dec 13, 2018.

  1. cool breeze

    cool breeze

    May 13, 2016
    Ok. What kind of tone differences can be expected given you had the same set of strings in 105 gauge then changed to 100 gauge, lets say for the sake of argument EB rounds on a bass and amp using the same exact settings?
  2. cool breeze

    cool breeze

    May 13, 2016
    So I’m responding to my own thread. TBer’s was this a silly question or not? Let me have it! I can take it!
  3. I don't think your question is "silly" as such. I just feel the best person who can answer your question is yourself simply by experimenting with the different gauges you're talking about and hear it for yourself.
    cool breeze likes this.
  4. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Depends if your bass needs a "setup" or not after swapping the strings.

    Without a proper setup, you might experience strings rattling against the frets, or notes playing out of tune.

    But assuming the setup is correct, then in general (and all other things being equal), I find that lighter-gauge strings have a warmer, mellower tone, with less "zing" on the top end.
    cool breeze likes this.
  5. I think if there were a difference to be heard it would be on the G string,.45 vs. 050
  6. cool breeze

    cool breeze

    May 13, 2016
    Do you feel the e would be less boomy?

  7. I personally haven't found it to be.
    cool breeze likes this.
  8. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    We're talking about 5 one-thousanths of an inch, likely imperceptible, but I've found thinner gauges have a little more sustain and a little less thumpiness.
    cool breeze likes this.
  9. In the past I have normally used 45105 sets, but last year I tried a 40100 set, and didn't like them. I wanted a little less tension which I didn't get, but did notice a lot thinner sound - especially the 100 E, and I still have 2 sets laying around that won't get used. Now I'm using balanced tension sets with a 107 E string.
    cool breeze likes this.
  10. Stan_da_man


    Aug 29, 2006
    I've always found the bigger gauge strings have a little higher output but the smaller gauge strings have a little more sustain.
    cool breeze likes this.
  11. J-Mags

    J-Mags Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2018
    Durham NC
    Interesting. I've always found that the 100 E is fine but the 40 G is weak.
    cool breeze likes this.
  12. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    With me the difference between a 100 and a 105 E is virtually nonexistent. However, as others have already mentioned, the real differences are most noticeable with the G. The differences between 40/45/50 are apparent in most string that offer hybrid sets or have different guaged Gs to pick from.
  13. cool breeze

    cool breeze

    May 13, 2016
    Agreed. Thank you all for your input.
    fretlessguy likes this.
  14. rob_thebassman


    Jul 26, 2010
    Normanton, UK
    playing bass since 2005
    In my opinion a 100 has abit more bite, and cuts through better with 2 loud guitarists
    cool breeze likes this.
  15. Skybone


    Jun 20, 2016
    If you're having issues with the E string being boomy, then I would suggest that you need to have a look at your pickup heights rather than changing the string gauge.

    How do the other strings sound when you're playing?

    Do they get lost when you play the E string, or is it pretty even across them?

    I would hazard a guess at the pickup under the E string is higher than under the other strings. Lower the pickups say 1 whole turn, and raise the pickup under the D & G strings by one whole turn.

    Test it again, and keep adjusting until you're happy with the string balance.
    cool breeze likes this.
  16. I’m experimenting with this, and some tunings. I’m a basic-level amateur with a few non-scientific observations, YMMV. I have been tuning D standard with some Fender 34” scale 4-strings.
    1. My starting point, a reference and not what you asked... yet. My old Roto .110 gauge do OK in D-standard, but sometimes I feel like I am taming some high-mids with my current setup, boomy isn’t the right word, but I’m interested in options—seems cleaner 1/2 step below in C# standard, so I’d personally use the .110’s I needed to be in C# long-term. I have a de-tuner, so here’s what I hear in Drop C and Drop B options. When you get to a low C note, the .110 starts to sound slightly thumpy and different than the other strings—that works for the occasional lower note. If in the future I need a low B note for something, I can try the C# tuning with the de-tuner Drop B, perfect for occasional use. So this is my solution for low-B, i.e. Drop B, but I don’t spend much time in Drop tuning (lowest string a whole step lower).
    2. For a .100 set that I am experimenting with, it’s great at E standard and seems OK for E-flat standard. When I get to D standard, I experience some of the more thumpy low string and different than the other 3 strings. Similar to what I described in #1 above. That suggests to me that whatever mystery brand strings these are, while decent overall, probably needs a .105 for D standard to be what I am looking for, and to be consistent with the rest of the strings. It’s fun to play the thinner string set with less tension, but .100 probably isn’t ideal for me for now.
    3. Next stop for me is to try some .105 strings in a few brands. I was checking out setting a bass or two up in E and E flat, but after experimenting a bit, I think I will probably continue to focus on D standard tuning across the board. My impression, just my take on what I expect to find, is that the .110 had a combo of thickness and tension with a tight, solid feel when new, with (as I’ve seen described by some folks elsewhere) a little more mid-emphasis, some folks called it “higher harmonic content”—but now the strings are older and duller and my tastes may be shifting slightly that I’m going to prefer a slightly lighter gauge. I think some .105’s are going to be better for me, a little clearer, with a little less tension and lighter feel, maybe just a little less mid. I suspect that this will bring one particular bass more naturally in line with my other basses and will more naturally lend that bass toward what I have been EQ’ing for, we’ll see shortly.
    4. I did not notice anything in particular with the other 3 higher strings, but I imagine that if I really started checking out the differences, those same considerations would apply to gauge options for all of them to some degree. The low E (D, etc) is where I saw the most difference personally. More things to experiment on...
    5. I’d guess that either the .100 or .105 would be “good” and just a matter of preference for E standard, but if you tune lower you might start seeing some of the above, i.e. so maybe better off with a .105 for D standard, and so on. I’m no expert, but I hope the above is somehow helpful in pointing out things you can experiment with and look for as you do so. I’m curious how this will turn out for you.
    Good luck in your search, and Happy Holidays.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2018
    Jason Hollar and cool breeze like this.
  17. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar It Don’t Mean A Thing... Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    I use Roto 77s - I prefer the 45-105 for blues, swing, reggae, rock ... stuff that I dig into.

    I like 40-100’s for more modern Jazz & Latin, and more for chordal & solo stuff as I find this gauge has better upper register intonation and a little easier bendabilty obviously.

    I’m thinking of trying a heavier set like 50-110 for an Eb or D standard.

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