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. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    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. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    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
    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.