.110 E String - Unhealthy?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Outshined91, Jul 28, 2020.


  1. Outshined91

    Outshined91 Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2019
    Connecticut
    So I'm looking at getting a set from StringJoy for my short scale Mustang - I am currently running .45-.100 D'addario Half-Rounds and would like something heavier just on the bottom, while keeping the top .45 and .60 - with the hopes of being able to have better results in drop D. I did the personal recommendation and a representative recommended that if I mainly play in Drop D, I should go with a .110 E, and a .105 if I mainly play in standard but I would like a second opinion. If I could get better Drop D results, I would probably be doing 50/50. That being said, if I went with the .110 on the bottom, how bad would it be tuned to E? And is it worse than a .105 tuned to D?
     
  2. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

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  3. StevieMac

    StevieMac

    Mar 17, 2005
    Vancouver, BC
    I use a .110 string for standard tuning and drop D. Works great for me on 34" scale.
     
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  4. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    The recommendation of thicker strings for lower tunings is based primarily on string tension. You can use either size string (.110 & .105) for standard or drop D tuning and shouldn't have a problem going back and forth. A short scale tends to be lighter tension anyway so I'd probably go with the thicker strings if it were my bass. Any significant change in string sizes may well require a neck adjustment and some bridge tweaks to set it up to your liking. I hope this helps :thumbsup:
     
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  5. Outshined91

    Outshined91 Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2019
    Connecticut
    Thanks, but I'm on a shorty! The only stock offering for me with these very similar gauges are GHS Balanced Nickels and they're not the tone or feel I'm going for. ;)
     
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  6. Outshined91

    Outshined91 Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2019
    Connecticut
    Thanks - I did figure that a .100 to .110 would be a big jump for my neck but thought that with my current low setup the tension would be perfect in drop D and reasonably good in standard. I was leaning towards the .110 until the rep I was talking to from StringJoy suggested a .105 for standard. Thanks again though - suppose I'll get out my hex tools if I get the .110! :)
     
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  7. Pure nickel half-rounds (D'A) vs. pure nickel roundwound (GHS) - the difference between the two in tone wouldn't be night-and-day.

    Or, if you want to stick with half-rounds, you can try the GHS Brite Flats (Alloy 52 half-rounds), which come in "short scale" 49-62-84-108.
     
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  8. Outshined91

    Outshined91 Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2019
    Connecticut
    Thanks! You always seem to chime in and help with all my string conundrums :D. Forgot to mention that I'm looking for something a little brighter - though I think the Balanced Nickels would be a lot more appealing (and already purchased) if the tension wasn't soooo high and requiring me to redo my entire setup. I did check out those Brite Flats on the GHS website but the gauges were too heavy on top - I play mainly pickstyle with a lot of double-stop/chord-oriented grooves so would like it brighter on top. Yeah, yeah I know I'm picky... :whistle:
     
  9. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Dec 1, 2013
    Italia
    Have you ever played a 065 ("high") D on a 34" scale? Did you find it tolerable? Well, you could use a 130 tuned to low E on your Mustang and not (or barely) reach the same tension of that D; a 110 E on a 30" scale bass has about the same tension as a 100 on a 34" instrument; a 105 tuned to low D on a shortie is, well, quite low-tension (about the same as a short-scale 90 E, or a long-scale 80~85 E). Which is not to say one can't get used to, or even like that. It really is a matter of trying things and finding out what works best for you.

    Above comparisons as per the Stringjoy string tension calculator:
    Stringjoy Guitar String Tension Calculator
     
  10. D'A Half-Rounds Short Scale:

    G 045 - 38.6 lbs.
    D 065 - 38.1
    A 080 - 32.0
    E 100 - 30.1 (138.8)

    GHS Balanced Nickels Short Scale:

    G 044 - 37.0 lbs.
    D 060 - 35.8
    A 080 - 35.6
    E 106 - 34.9 (143.3)

    D 106 - 27.7 lbs.

    The GHS BNs are actually only 4.5 lbs. more than the D'A HRs in total tension only because of a larger E, which you do want.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
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  11. Paulabass

    Paulabass

    Sep 18, 2017
    I think both tunings will work great with that gauge on a shorty. File out the nut slot, cause that's enough difference to crack the nut.
     
  12. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    I have a bass with a Hipshot D-tuner. That is exactly what I do: 110 or 115 instead of a 105. Tension varies as the square of the mass, which on an E string differing only 5 or 10 thou is pretty small, bordering on negligible.
     
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  13. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    I use .50 - .105 strings. On everything
     
    Outshined91 likes this.
  14. Years ago on my first bass, a $100 used Jay Turser, purchased with orange, furry strings and a pick guard that was so warped it touched the strings, I ended up running 5 string sets minus the G. E was .130". I filed the nut and made accommodation with the truss rod. The sustain was great. Tone was great. It felt like playing train tracks, which strangely enough, I liked. About 200 gigs (a year and a half) later, the neck started to bucket unevenly around the 7th and the G string broke twice at a 90 minute wedding gig. I went back to my Ernie Ball's at $14/set and played it for another year before finally upgrading. After a few years on a Gould GGi-5, I don't look back, but I do fondly remember those train tracks. They were smooth.
     
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  15. Outshined91

    Outshined91 Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2019
    Connecticut
    Wait... thanks for that actually! For some reason, I had the number as 163 for the tension of the GHS set - which is why I said what I said. So, these are sold if I decide on a .105. It seems like you all are pushing me towards the heavier E though, so I am leaning towards that. I think my nut should be fine, so it's just a "question of truss" (Depeche Mode pun not intended :whistle::rolleyes:).
     
  16. Outshined91

    Outshined91 Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2019
    Connecticut
    Thanks for all the input - I feel more comfortable about going with the .110 now guys! :bassist:
     
  17. Outshined91

    Outshined91 Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2019
    Connecticut
    I did have a .65 D on my old 5 string Warwick, and it was okay. I get your logic but am not too keen on a .130 E - seems awfully thick for me and my 1.38 mm pick... :cautious: Thanks though - if the .110 doesn't work out, I'll look more into this!
     
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  18. Outshined91

    Outshined91 Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2019
    Connecticut
    I measured my E slot and it seems to be just shy of ~3 mm (around .115"). Should I still file it? Thanks!
     
  19. Never tried it with a pick. I don't touch that stuff.
     
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  20. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Dec 1, 2013
    Italia
    Oh, gosh, I wasn't suggesting you use a 130 as an E on your Mustang! (I mean, you could, but it comes with its own potential drawbacks regarding fretting and picking feel, as you pointed out, as well as inharmonicity - chorusy tone, due to stiffness - past a certain fret. One puts up with them on a fiver or a four-string tuned BEAD, if extended range is needed, and some may accept the tradeoffs if in need of high tension - not super-high, as we've seen - and other benefits, as @Discount Bassy said, on a short-scale bass, but there definitely is no free lunch here as anywhere in life.)
    It was just meant to reassure you as to the tension you'd get out of the 110, i.e. nothing outside of the ordinary.
     
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