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B String Gauges

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by seamus, Apr 5, 2002.

  1. .125

    16 vote(s)
  2. .130

    36 vote(s)
  3. Other

    15 vote(s)
  4. What's the difference?

    0 vote(s)
  1. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    Hi all. I think this is my first poll, please be gentle. :p

    I use medium sets of Lo Riders exclusively, which usually contain a .125 B string. I just noticed that they also have a set with a .130 B string, and was considering giving that a try. I figure the Lo Riders are already a high tension string, which is a huge part of the reason why I love them. I like low action with a tight string, a combination that really suits my style.

    What do you prefer, and why?

    - I was curious if the slightly thicker gauge might make the B even a tad tighter? I don't need it to be tighter really, but I figure anything that helps string-to-string balance is a good thing.

    - What advantages have you found with .130 B's?

    - Disadvantages?

    - Might a thicker B be any less articulate than a .125?

    - Or, is the difference barely noticeable?

    I've never tried anything bigger than .125's, and since 5 & 6 string sets don't grow on trees, I thought I would ask for some input on the subject.

    Thanks in advance for any responses! :)
  2. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I say if you like the .125, stick with it. The smaller string will be a little easier to intonate and will probably give you a more focused sound.
    I've only used a .130 Lo-Rider B-string, so I wouldn't be able to comare it to a .125. The .130 will probably feel a little tighter, but IME, lighter guage B-strings will produce a more pleasing sound (as long as they're not floppy, which will not be the case with the Lo-Riders).

    FWIW, the tightest B-string that I have encountered in my 3+ years of playing 5-string bass has been a Pedulla .128 (tighter than a Lo-Rider .130).
  3. I prefer real thick strings.. i had a .140 on my first 5'er , but i couldn't find those strings @ stores anymore :(
  4. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    .135" for the low b on all my basses.
  5. I prefer a .130 B for better string volume balance. However, I use Fodera Diamonds, which have much higher tension than most roundwounds.

    I just put on a set of MTDs, 45-130 with a taper B, and I'm not impressed. I'd imagine that these strings would be great on a 35" scale length, but they just don't work for my FBB.


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    Greetings & Felicitations,

    I am presently using a .168 B on my Zon Legacy (dropped a whole step to "A") and it is BRUTAL! I get my strings from Fodera and they will accomodate any gauge you may need, stainless or nickle. On my Dingwall Prima 5 I currently use a D'Addirio .145T-XLB, which is great with the 37" scale, but I am getting Fodera to make up a custom set for this bass also, maybe a .150-.160 B? Not to change the topic, but Fodera strings (among their bass') are my top choice for quality, sound, feel and of course outstanding customer service!

  7. I use Blue Steels on my 5er, and they have a .130 guage B. My Yammer came with .125 standard, and I didn't like the feel.
  8. Damn straight--I've never played strings that feel as good as Foderas. They don't rip up your fingers, they don't flop, and they have bottom for days.
  9. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    Interesting stuff here, thanks guys. Opens my eyes to more options (and brands) out there.
  10. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I use Pedulla's, which have a .128, LaBella Hard Rockin' Steels, which have a .135, Dean Markley SR2000's with a .128. and Ken Smiths & Peavey Cirrus' with a .127.

    In general, I have found that heavier strings are tighter. I also prefer taperwounds, because the B and E string are much easier to intonate properly, and play more in tune the first 2 or 3 frets with a taperwound string.

    Anyone know a good, really bright, contact core set?
  11. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    The tightest B's by gauge I've encountered are:


    In that order, too. I actually didn't like how tight the Fodera's were, and I tried both they're extra heavy (which sounded GREAT) and medium gauges. Haven't tried the lights yet, but I plan to. Insanely tight compared to most strings though, but they sound great.

    DRs are the best sounding strings, in my opinion. Good tightness to feel ratio (for me), and very tight B. Good stuff.

    LaBella (who makes Pedulla strings, I believe) are pretty tight, and make my favorite taper core strings. The sound, however, REALLY doesn't work on some basses, and that just happens to be all the basses I own now. However, I wouldn't use any other strings on my old 6 string, though I did use Fodera once, because the LaBellas worked well on it. I don't like the feel much anymore, though, after using nickels for so long on all my basses. I'm a nickel person now, I guess, but I like them when using steels.

    BTW, I prefer .130s. I used to .135 until I switched to DR, who don't make them. Fidera's .125 is as tight a DR .130.
  12. If you want bright tapers, the aforementioned MTDs will do the job.

    I find that tapered B-strings' better intonation below the 5th fret is at the expense of intonation above it. Double-beating is a serious problem with every taperwound set I've used; Pedullas were the best, but Lakland, Spector, and Ken Smith tapers all sucked righteously.
  13. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    lol, I didn't even think of the string tree pun

    With all the input so far, it makes me wish I had put more gauge options in the poll. I did not realize so many people would be using gauges thicker than what I am using right now.

    A lot of it has to do with not knowing what sets a lot of these other manufacturers put out. Once I settled on the .125 DR sets, I didn't do too much exploring.

    I will definitely try out a .130 set now though. I will look into some of the brands mentioned too.
  14. I was seriously thinking about putting a set of Foderas in my bass for 2 reasons:

    1) I've heard good things about them
    2) They have the gauges that I want, and I can't always find (45,65,85,110).

    However, I'm worried about the brightness factor (they are stainless, right?)...my bass is an alder-bodied bolt-on, and I don't want to make it too bright...I usually chop nearly all of the highs out and boost the mids, but I'm wondering if even then I will still get a bright sound (which I hate; I'm a warmth-kind of guy :D )

    So if anyone has any information about this, I would appreciate a response.
  15. I ran GHS Progressives on my RB5 with a 0.135 B string. Those gave way to TI Jazz Flats with a 0.136" B string.

    I plan on moving the Jazz Flats to my MIM-P and stringing it as BEAD.
  16. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I've got a set of Fodera 6's on my ModulusQ right now and they're very good. Nice balance through the whole range and good feel, too.
  17. Really? They aren't too bright? I never thought there existed stainless strings that don't rip your fingers to shreds and are way too bright and agressive. I DEFINITELY GOTTA PICK ME UP SOME OF THESE....

    That reminds me of a guitar player I knew, who used STANDARD TUNING (YES, YOU HEARD ME CORRECTLY) and used a custom made 14,18,26w,36w,47w,59w set on a Les Paul. The poor neck just cried for mercy...it doesn't have a graphite neck like the Zon, so I don't know what was in his head when he thought a one-piece mahogany neck with a single truss rod could handle that kind of stress. Not to mention he ruined one of my FAVORITE sounding guitars (it wasn't mine; it has a favorite sound of mine, you get the idea...).

    I cannot believe that you use a .168'' Fodera B....That would be plenty tight tuned down to F#!!!!!! Wow, Devilman, you are my idol now hehehehehe.....:D
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I had a set of Thomstik Infeld Nickels that had a 118 B string and I found this whole set was much much easier to play and made the B less "floppy" but was a compromise on tone. Very fast for finger funk Jaco-style but a bit thin tonally.

    I've just put a set of D'Addario Slowwounds on with a 130 B and I like the tone much more! I also love the tapered B - intonates very well all across the fretboard, but the thicker string is harder to play fast!
  20. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Well, I've never actually found a set of bass strings that were too bright for my taste! These are pretty bright but I don't find they"rip my fingers to shreds" at all. Maybe I'm just used to ss. Nice detail and upper register clarity, though. That's fershure.

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