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5 string basses in drop A.

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by anthowl, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. hokay, on a five string the standard low B string guage is around 130, and i wondered what people think regarding it's looseness when you detune it to a dropped A tuning.

    i was thinking of adding a bass xtender for quick detuning.

    but do i need a thicker string for a low A tuning?
    (and if so what heavier gauges exist?)
  2. stitchbass


    May 20, 2006
    Virginia Water
    i play in drop A most of the time with a 130, DR Lo-riders. I find it works fine; but I'm so used to it to let it bother me.
  3. Bass Below

    Bass Below

    Oct 24, 2006
    New York
    I tune to G# (only a half step down from your A), and right now I'm using a .175, but I don't flip flop from B. If I did, I couldn't get away with the .175, I stay at G# all the time.

    IMO a B should be at least .145 anyway, so you may want to consider jumping that .130 up to a .145, you'll have a tighter B and when you drop to A you'll still have adequate tension.

    The thought of a .130 tuned to A brings back bad memories ;)
  4. Tobbo


    Feb 20, 2008
    Rauma, Finland
    "The thought of a .130 tuned to A brings back bad memories"

    mind sharing those, because I got my bass tuned down to A with .130 ^^ and I think it's more comfortable than .135 for example
  5. Muss


    Nov 20, 2007
    try ernie ball's strings with the 135
  6. Bass Below

    Bass Below

    Oct 24, 2006
    New York

    I sort of mentioned my issues with low tension in another thread a few minutes ago, but basically I'm a sloppy player and a .130 at A (actually G# in my case) was a nightmare for me. I give you a lot of credit for being able to play that low on such a light string.
  7. fullrangebass


    May 7, 2005
    If the scale of the bass is 35" (or longer), the experience is less likely to be bad or bitter. I use the detuner on the B-srting of my Dingwalls (37") and I go down to A (or even Ab=G#) and it's not floppy
  8. Tobbo


    Feb 20, 2008
    Rauma, Finland
    That's what you get when u don't read the whole post, well done me :D Yeah, I dunno.. I just like it a better when it has some air to breathe ^^
  9. I once tried getting a 130 to work on a 35" scale bass with no luck. I eventually got the flop under control, but the string lost too much volume when I switched from B to A.

    Now I'm looking at ordering a 37"-33" fanned 7 with a low A. That should work!
  10. Bass Below

    Bass Below

    Oct 24, 2006
    New York
    Nah, get one of these instead!

  11. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    When I started building my own balanced-tension sets I got used to lighter gauges all around; then my B/A Hipshot gauges no longer felt floppy in B, and only marginally so when flipped to A. It's all relative - I could do the same building around heavier gauges as long as they feel matched better than stock sets do. Example: 145-105-80-60-45 or 145 (or more if you can find something)-110-85-65-50. But I've gotten used to considerably lighter and have no problems as long as all the strings have about the same tension.

    A lot of it also is perceptive based on how well one's rig translates the lower pitches into acoustic output. If the low bass is deficient leading down to 55 Hz or so, and/or there's an especially big midbass hump in the cab(s), then some notes are not going to seem as loud and full as others regardless of even tension or not. Another issue is drivers/cabs that run out of excursion when the steam is put to 'em on lower notes.
  12. I have a d-tuner on the B-string of my Ken Lawrence. I use it to drop to A with TI Jazz Rounds, and that's a .118 B-string. Sounds fine for my purposes :)
  13. Roland777


    Jun 1, 2006
    It's all subjective. Some need heavy strings, some can get away with lighter. I personally think that Lokire is clinically insane for using a .118 tuned to A, but that's just me. A good starting gauge (playabilitywise) for a low A is a .145.
  14. I have proof:

  15. Heh, on a 35" scale bass, I use a .110 for dropped D tuning. Not to bash the vid, but it's pretty easy to tell when the guy with the tattoos was playing the dropped A string. I'd think if it weren't a nice bass like a Stambaugh, the results would have been more noticable.
  16. i'm looking at a 34" scale, would that be feesable? i want to attatch a hipshot x-tender on it, so i want a string that can do the A and B thats not too loose of to tight.
    just comfortable, holding tune and tonality.

    to be specific the bass in mind is a Cort Artisan B5. not fanned.

    the b holds it's own fantasticaly.

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