Best string gauge for BEAD tuning?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by HazyMan, Jan 22, 2019.

  1. HazyMan


    Feb 21, 2018
    I have an Ibanez SR500 and i'd like to have it tuned and set up to BEAD, instead of EADG. Will that be fine and playable on my bass or will it cause issues? If so, what would the appropriate string gauge be?
  2. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    Depends on your preference: could be 130-105-85-65, 130-105-80-60, 130-100-80-65, 135-105-85-65, 125-105-85-65, etc. Should be no issue other than the need to file the nut wider to fit these larger diameter strings. Tension wise, the low-B of 130, 135, or 125 isn't likely to have higher tension than a 45 or 40 high G string.
    HazyMan likes this.
  3. What type/gauges of strings do you normally use for the standard tuning?
  4. HazyMan


    Feb 21, 2018
    I've used many different once by mistake. I'm not sure which my preferred one is. For BEAD tuning however, i want to use the LIGHTEST gauge possible that will actually suit the low frequencies of the BEAD tuning..
  5. Then start with something like, 55-75-95-120 or 60-80-100-125.
    stigbeve, BradH and HazyMan like this.
  6. Stan_da_man


    Aug 29, 2006
    Minimum of 120 for that B string.
    JEDI BASS and HazyMan like this.
  7. HazyMan


    Feb 21, 2018
    Question, where can i find such heavy sets? Will i have to go get the actual 5 string sets and just throw away the G string, or are there any 4 string low tuning sets?
  8. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    You might try creating a custom set with similar tensions.
    Some sites sell individual strings to build custom sets.
    I have used BassStringsOnline, StringsandBeyond and JustStrings to make custom sets.

    Balanced sets using the Nickelplated Round Wounds from D'Addario Tension Chart:
    • B: .130 = 34.5 lbs
    • E: .095 = 34.4 lbs
    • A: .070 = 33.7 lbs
    • D: .055 = 35.3 lbs
    • Average: 34.5
    • B: .135 = 36.1 lbs
    • E: .100 = 36.5 lbs
    • A: .075 = 38.0 lbs
    • D: .055 = 35.3 lbs
    • Average: 36.5

    Similar balanced set using Kalium Strings online tension calculator:
    • B: .130 = 35.98 lbs
    • E: .094 = 34.08 lbs
    • A: .070 = 34.02 lbs
    • D: .053 = 35.6 lbs
    • Average: 34.9
    JEDI BASS likes this.
  9. GHS offers a 5-string set of the Boomers, 40-55-75-95-120. You can use the bottom four.

    Here are the tension figures:

    G 040 - 33.6
    D 055 - 35.2
    A 075 - 35.9
    E 095 - 36.1
    B 120 - 31.3

    Not bad for tension balance for a factory set.
    Turbo Sparky likes this.
  10. ixlramp

    ixlramp Guest

    Jan 25, 2005
    Better to use a heavy 4 string set then than waste a string from a 5 string set. Extra light 5 string sets are much rarer than heavy 4 string sets.
    Many brands have extra heavy 4 string sets meant for detuning to C or B standard.
    An extra light 5 string set would be roughly 30 50 70 90 120 so i recommend trying something like 50 70 90 120.
    This is ideal and has equal tensions (which helps acheive minimum tensions) Bass Strings | XL Nickel Round Wound | D'Addario
  11. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    I play really light gauge strings: 35 50 70 95. A 130 B string si about equal tension to those, so that menas you['re looking at 50 70 95 130 for BEAD tuning with tension in the mid/low 30's (pounds)
    pellomoco14 likes this.


    Mar 29, 2006
    Bruiser Stone likes this.
  13. rashrader


    Mar 4, 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    As mentioned in post #2, you will (more than likely) have to get the nut filed to fit those larger gauges....
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
    Maiden Bass likes this.
  14. See post #2.
    rashrader likes this.
  15. rashrader


    Mar 4, 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    Ah, yes. My post has been edited to reflect this....
    michael_t likes this.
  16. Fair Warning

    Fair Warning Deliverin' the Goods!

    I've done many conversions to BEAD. There was only one bass that I can remember that required some extra groove space at the nut. Also, some of the bridge holes were tight getting the B string through. Buy yourself a 5 string set and go for big deal.
  17. digbass

    digbass Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2014
  18. pasi

    pasi Guest

    Jan 6, 2015
  19. Dan_reeves


    Jun 14, 2013
    GHS sells "BEAD" sets of Boomers also. In fact, they are the only company I am aware of that does this as a set. Otherwise as said above, 5 string set and throw out the G or singles.
    hardtop, Cousin Iggy and michael_t like this.
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