Balanced tension - it's for real

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by onda'bass, Aug 22, 2018.


  1. onda'bass

    onda'bass Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Buffalo Ny
    So I have been doing the BT thing for a few years and recently made a deviation to try a brand that was not balanced. Well maybe I'm sensitive, but I noticed big time. Not so much on the left hand but the right was like why are the middle string slightly harder to play that the outer ones. Just my 2 cents on the issue, sorry if this is a repeat thread on the subject. :thumbsup:
     
  2. Here's my take on it as a former "balanced tension enthusiast"...
    • Some factory sets are noticeably uneven to the point I can definitely feel it under the plucking fingers, especially a tight D. I tend to avoid those.
    • Some factory sets are more balanced in terms of the actual playing feel than the tension numbers might suggest.
    • Balanced tension doesn't always guarantee balanced tone.
    • Tension charts are a useful tool in the process of determining what may or may not work for me, but it's only one of the many factors involved, so I try not to get too hung up on the numbers.
    Not Even Tension - Even Tone!
     
    MattZilla, CapnSev and TomB like this.
  3. onda'bass

    onda'bass Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Buffalo Ny
    I agree with most of what your are saying. I know the reason those traditional sets exist and am willing to accept some tonal variance to have even play ability. that being said I don't think its that noticeable
     
  4. I've spent the last five years in my never-ending search for that perfect set of strings. It's a process of trial and error to find just the right blend of balanced tension (how they feel) and balanced tone (how they sound). What works for you may not work for me, or vice versa. String selection is such a personal thing.
     
    JimmyM and onda'bass like this.
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I continue to be a nut about balanced tension. I always hated when the D string (it was always the D for some reason in most sets) was tighter than the others. But now that I use Dunlop Super Bright nickels, they feel balanced to me and I don't have to worry about paying extra to get a balanced tension set like I did with D'addarios.
     
    michael_t and onda'bass like this.
  6. TDS = Tight D Syndrome.

    I, like most people, started out with a "regular light" set of D'A XL Nickels (45-65-80-100), and noticed the tight D right away both for fretting and for plucking. Then started experimenting with 40-60-80-100 and 45-65-85-105 and found them better-balanced overall.

    My "ah ha" moment happened about three years ago, when I discovered the GHS Pressurewound ML7200 (44-58-80-102). I thought to myself, "Now there is a company who thinks like I do!" The rest is history, as they say... ;)
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  7. onda'bass

    onda'bass Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Buffalo Ny
    I have become a BT nut :roflmao:
     
    saabfender likes this.
  8. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Love the BT D'Adaarios. Hate that they dont have 5 string sets. Hope that I can find a place that sells 135T singles not that Jason is closing shop.
     
    Jeff O'Connor likes this.
  9. onda'bass

    onda'bass Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Buffalo Ny
    I have been in touch with string and beyond and they can get singles, and also gonna do bt set of chromes.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
    AdamR likes this.
  10. AdamR likes this.
  11. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    AdamR and onda'bass like this.
  12. Thanks for the word of caution.

    I only posted the link because I knew they carried singles, but I personally have never dealt with Just Strings.
     
  13. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Lakewood, OH
    i am a nut for balanced tension as well. luckily GHS has a set aimed just for that.
     
    onda'bass likes this.
  14. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    How do they compare to the D'Addarios ? I they balanced boomers ? I use to love boomers when I was younger. Restrung my wife bass with a set and hated how stiff they are and they seem pretty scooped in the mids compared the the D'Addarios
     
  15. onda'bass

    onda'bass Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Buffalo Ny
    D'A are brighter and not as stiff with good mids.
     
    AdamR likes this.
  16. Boomers "scooped" compared to D'A? You're kidding, right? ;)
    To my ears, the Boomers are all about the punchy low-mids with grind, while the D'A Nickels provide more of the hi-mid clang.

    Yes, the Boomers are stiffer than the D'A.

    Try the nicely tension-balanced light set:

    G 040 - 33.6 lbs.
    D 055 - 35.2
    A 075 - 35.9
    E 095 - 36.1
     
  17. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT

    So they are scooped in the high mids which is why I like the DA's better. Im running the DA light set. 40-55-70-95 with a 135 for the low B
     
  18. Solude

    Solude

    Sep 16, 2017
    Balanced or bust for me as well. Worse I don't understand why the non balanced sets are tight high and loose low :facepalm:
     
    onda'bass likes this.
  19. onda'bass

    onda'bass Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Buffalo Ny
    If I understand correctly, it comes in part from the radius of old basses, it allowed even output for the middle string which were higher, and thicker to compensate in volume/tone
     
  20. Solude

    Solude

    Sep 16, 2017
    Maybe a non P bass thing then. On a flat pickup the middle height is lower so 'more' mass is needed to balance it out. But on a P the height doesn't have to change so no 'need' to compensate.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
    onda'bass likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jun 19, 2021

Share This Page