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Bass VI Strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by CliftonBonney, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. LaBella, for a while now, has an option so you custom order Bass VI strings. What I don't understand is that a custom set appears to be cheaper than a regular set, e.g., LaBella Deep Talking bass strings. The Deep Talking set has strings with gauges of 26, 35, 44, 56, 75 and 95. This set, I believe, typically costs around $40.

    A custom set would cost about $13.21. You can't get the gauges of 35' 75, and 95. You would have to substitute those with 36, 76, and 96. But, what am I missing here?

    The Deep Talking strings are advertised as a "balanced set." Is this important? Would just getting the custom set be "unbalanced"?

    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    Deep Talkin' are flats - the customs are likely rounds.

    They don't provide mass data so no way to verify balance, but yes it can make a difference.
  3. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    They also don't mention the word "tension", so they might refer to a balance in tone, string to string. I have no experience with them (yet) so I couldn't tell.
  4. On a Bass VI style instrument I prefer more tension on the lower strings to make them sound more like a bass and less tension on the higher strings to make them sound more like a guitar.
    It depends on your roll are you substituting bass or playing along side one? Solo?
  5. Thanks gang. Jensby, I'm really using it to replace the bass or at least add a unique sound in place of the bass. But, I definitely want it on the bass side.

    LaBella explained that "perfectly balanced" meant as follows:

    Perfectly Balanced is a term used for tension - the pre-packaged sets are balanced in tone/feel/vibrato from set to set.

    So, if I just get custom strings made with gauges similar to the standard set and they are not "perfectly balanced," what noticeable difference would there be?
  6. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    Most Bass VI sets are notoriously too light on the bass side, and middle heavy.

    Have you used a Bass VI before? If it's true to the original it has the strangle switch which it puts you tonally in the bass realm by itself. A lighter set overall will keep the tone darker as well.

    I have a Squire VM - awesome instrument for the price and very true electronically - but it doesn't cop a true bass sound even with flats. No Bass VI will, but it can certainly carry bottom well enough. A well balanced balanced set with a low string in the low to mid .090s works really well.
  7. Thanks. I have a semi-custom Bass VI that I use right now. It's built from the USACG body and neck, but I decided to try TV Jones pickups in the body to make it different. I use LaBellas on that one. Obviously it doesn't get as low as a bass, but sounds pretty good.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/w76fgt5oxbvnqi5/2013-08-20 23.26.23.jpg

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/a49c60v7pr3o09j/2013-08-20 23.26.54.jpg

    The current project has a unique string requirement. Knuckle, I'm not sure if it was you, but I've been in contact with Skip from Circle K. The unique thing about this build is that we want to use the Steinberger gearless tuners. But, the tuners can only take strings with a gauge of around .060 or lower. The standard E and A strings on a Bass VI set are larger than this. So, we need to find a string that tapers down to .060 before it reaches the tuner. The distance from the tremolo plate to the nut is 847mm and the distance from the nut to the first tuner is 37mm. So, if the taper were to start at around 860mm, it should be good.
  8. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    Yup - you've been chatting with me.


    FWIW - for as trick as the Steinberger tuners are there is one (or more) model(s) of Hipshot guitar tuners that can be drilled out to accommodate a .11 string thickness. You can take advantage of stock strings of several sorts with them. I know you have your heart set on the Steinbergers, though.

    You may find customs pricey from me - La Bella does offer big enough guitar style (ball ended) strings to a taper of your choosing. They will cost less than mine.

    You can specify speaking length on their stainless and nickel plate offerings; http://www.labella.com/products/custom-bass-vi-stainless/
  9. Hey Skip. I'm actually in the U.S. Dan, the guy who has helped me with this project and also doing a similar project, is in the U.K. Do you have strings that can work with those dimensions (i.e., 847mm from the tremolo plate to the nut and 37mm from the nut to the first tuner?)
  10. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    I do have strings that will work - and about 10" beyond. The issue is the taper at the tuner. Mine go full thickness further out. It's usually the opposite issue with Bass VI-styled instruments. Hence my concern for you regarding the Steinberger tuners . . .
  11. I have unraveled the outer wrap of strings to get them to fit in the tuner. I don't know if that's a no no but I didn't have any problems.
    I have also drilled out the tuner so that the eyelet was big enough for the string.
    eyelet, is that the right word? well nobody reads my posts anyway
    damn kids and their eyelets
  12. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    Those are the two most common remedies - the second being the better of them if the hardware will let you.
  13. Jensby did you drill out Steinberger gearless tuners? I've read some threads on other boards that says it's not possible. Although you can drill out the hole the string goes through the cavity that clamps the string is still to small. Just what I've read. You've done it though?
  14. No not on a Steinberger gearless, from what I can tell they work on magic and wizardry.
    I prefer Grover full-size Rotomatics 18:1 ratio they're like $50 for set of 6.
  15. ChristoMephisto


    Sep 4, 2011
    Anyone try La Bellas nickel Bass VI strings?
    Seems you would have to order direct from them too