# A standard tuning string gauge

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by BonyLindsey, May 14, 2019.

1. ### BonyLindseyGuest

Jun 9, 2017
So I'm looking to drop my 5 string to A standard (A-D-G-C-F) for a new project. Anyone have any guidance on which string gauges would be best?

2. ### Arie X

Oct 19, 2015
as far as i know, rule of thumb is one gage up for every whole step down.

3. ### SlaterLeave that thing alone.

Apr 17, 2000
The Great Lakes State
If you have a preferred 5-string set for standard (BEADG) tuning, add .005 to the gauges of that set and give it a go.

4. ### BonyLindseyGuest

Jun 9, 2017
Thanks!

Slater likes this.
5. ### ixlrampGuest

Jan 25, 2005
This won't result in equivalent tension, only for the G string.
Roughly, for 2 semitones down, the necessary gauge increase varies from .015 for B to .005 for G.

Most brands use of gauge steps of .005 is contrary to logic and physics. Gauge steps should ideally decrease smoothly for smaller gauges (only Kalium Strings do this).
.005 is a huge (far too big) change for a .045 G but a small change for a .130 B.

The more accurate rough rule derived from physics is multiply gauge by the frequency multiplier, which for 2 semitones is 2 ^ (2 / 12) = 1.122.
For example:
.130 * 1.122 = .146
.100 * 1.122 = .112
...
.045 * 1.122 = .051

What brand/string line and gauges do you like for BEADG?
If D'Addario, GHS or Kalium use their tension charts / calculators to match to the tensions you like.

Last edited: May 14, 2019
6. ### Gigglingbuns

Aug 26, 2017
maybe to add to this do you know companies that sell 5 string sets closer to those gauges above that are cheaper than \$30?

7. ### ixlrampGuest

Jan 25, 2005
Very few of the larger companies sell pre-packaged sets with a .145 because demand is too low.
You can buy singles, or, buy a heavy 4 string set plus a single .145, or, buy from a mail order company that has no pre-packaged sets and puts sets together to order from singles (like Kalium).

Nowhereboy8 likes this.
8. ### Gigglingbuns

Aug 26, 2017
a .145 is very uncommon i understand what about .135?

9. ### ixlrampGuest

Jan 25, 2005
There are some heavy 5 string sets with .135, but they tend to be very top-heavy with excessively and unnecessarily high tension on the higher strings.

10. ### Gigglingbuns

Aug 26, 2017
I think I'll stick with the .65 .45 for tuning down to A