1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

12 string full fifths tuning - gauges?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Corey Y, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. Corey Y

    Corey Y Guest

    Jun 3, 2010
    Does anyone have experience with using full fifths tuning on a 12 string?


    beE eaA adD dgG

    Any advice on what gauges to use for the fifth up strings using a D'Addario 12 string set for reference? I'm thinking it will work to go to the next lightest gauge octave string and tune up slightly. I probably won't end up doing this on a full set if I do it, just planning ahead so I don't end up buying a bunch of 12 string sets and singles. Makes my checking account cramp up just thinking about it.
  2. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    Finding thin strings long enough to fit a 12-string bass might not be the easiest. I'd probably buy Circle K strings in the following sets

    EADG: .106 - .079 - .059 - .043 (106 set)
    eadg: .047 - .033 - .020 - .014 (047 set)
    bead: .029 - .018 - .012 - .008 (singles)
  3. Corey Y

    Corey Y Guest

    Jun 3, 2010
    Thanks for the suggestion.
  4. Bredian


    Apr 22, 2011
    Nothing to help you with, but for my benefit.

    12 string - do tell.... Brand? What music are you playing with it? Currently looking at 8s on the market.

    Are you currently tuning each string with octaves? looking to move one to 5ths? Clarify.
  5. ixlramp


    Jan 25, 2005
    So each of EADG has an octave up string and an octave-plus-fifth up string? Harmonics 2 and 3 ... nice idea.
    The tensions published for the D'Addario set D'Addario Strings : XL Nickel Round Wound : EXL170-12 Nickel Wound 12-String Bass, Light, 18-45 shows the octave up strings have roughly 30 pounds tension.
    The Circle K Strings tension chart http://circlekstrings.com/CKSIMAGES/CircleKtensionChart.pdf is useful for choosing high pitched strings.
    The highest string D of dgG will be so thin it can't take 30 pounds tension, in fact that D is the highest possible pitch possible on a 34" scale using mainstream plain strings, it will have to be around .008 or .009.
    The A of adD, being around .013 also may not take 30 pounds. So using the CKS tension chart i chose the tension to fall steadily from 29 to 15 / 19 pounds across BEAD:
    B .028 29.4 pounds tension
    E .019p 26.1
    A .013p 21.8
    D .008p 14.7 or .009p 18.6
    Hey look similar to FunkMetalBass's suggestion :)
    Thin strings for bass sold here Circle K Strings - Single Strings - All tensions,scales, gauges
    Also you can use guitar plain strings (if they're long enough to reach the tuner post) by threading old bass ball-ends onto them, a good way to experiment cheaply.

    Oh and ... i don't have this exact experience but have experimented with very high strings :)
  6. Corey Y

    Corey Y Guest

    Jun 3, 2010
    Thanks for the added feedback ixlramp, much appreciated. I don't think I will run into problems with the thinnest gauge strings, as I'm probably not going to execute this idea with a full 12 string set. Although if I like the way it turns out I may want to though, so it's good to consider.

    I'll check out the Circle K website a bit before moving forward, still need to get some hardware issues ironed out first anyway.
  7. Corey Y

    Corey Y Guest

    Jun 3, 2010

    Right now I just have an 8 string, a Dean Rhapsody 8, standard tuning. I've been looking for a 12 for a long time, the timing and prices haven't worked out yet though. I'm working on a mod project that's going to use dual octave courses like a 12 string and yeah, I was playing around with the idea of doing one of the octave strings a fifth up. If I like the way it works out with the project I might try it out on a full 12 string once I finally get one, though probably just on the E and A sets.

Share This Page