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4/4 size strings on a 3/4 size bass

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by JAS, Jun 15, 2003.

  1. JAS


    Jul 3, 2001
    How common is it for people to put 4/4 size strings on a 3/4 size bass? What exactly does this do to the feel and sound of the bass?
  2. Many bass strings are made for 4/4 basses; regular Thomastiks (they also make fractional sets but they stamped "3/4" or "1/2", etc. on the pouches); Jargars; Pirastro steels. (although nowadays Pirastro's are made in 7/8 lenght instead).
    Putting a 4/4 size string on a 3/4 size instrument means less tension.
    It's easier to play.
    The instrument itself may react positively to the decreased tension, but it's not a rule of thumb. Some instruments like more tension.
  3. lin fung

    lin fung Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2002
    Taipei, Taiwan
    Francois, I'd like to make sure I understand your previous comment that putting 4\4 strings on a 3\4 bass will be lower tension (tuned to EADG) relative to 3\4 strings on a 3\4 bass. Someone recently told me that 4\4 strings are simply longer and that there is no difference using them on a 3\4 bass other than that bare wire may be getting wrapped around the tuning peg.
    Are you sure that they would in fact be lower tension? What you say seems reasonable. I just want to be sure.
  4. You'd be best asking the company if their 4/4 bass strings is only longer than their 3/4s or also thinner.
    Maybe some companies only change the lenght.
    I can't help with that.
    But in the case of Pirastro and Thomastik, they adapt both the lenght and the diameter in fractionals, like they should.
    (I had a set of 1/2 Flexocors once and they were indeed slightly thicker than regulars)
    However, with very short scales, like 1/8 or 1/10, the design may be completely different (other materials and construction) so the comparison is impossible)
  5. jonas


    Dec 9, 2003
    Frankfurt am Main/Germany
    Kontrabass-Atelier, Lando Music (Germany)
    These measurements can be found at the Thomastik website:

    Thomastik Spirocore weich (=soft)
    4/4=110cm string length: G=27,0; D=29,0; A1=30,0;*E1=31,0 kp
    3/4=104-106cm string length: G=27,5; D=28,0; A1=29,0;*E1=30,0 kp

    So, a 4/4 Spirocore string used as 104 cm string length has obviously a (slightly?) lower tension than a 3/4 string.


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