C# standard tuning string question

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by b-bottom, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. b-bottom


    Dec 18, 2006
    Knoxville TN
    What strings would you recommend for a setup in this tuning? I normally play in standard with Ernie Ball SS mediums and would like the tension to be the same. I also don't want to have to do any adjustments to the nut or saddles.

  2. ixlramp

    ixlramp Guest

    Jan 25, 2005
    Working through the physics (as i have done), for equal tension:
    gauge ratio = frequency ratio.
    Frequency ratio of 3 semitones is (2 ^ 1/12) ^ 3 = 1.19.
    Multiply your favourite gauges for EADG by 1.19.
    You will have to widen the nut slots a little, that's unavoidable if you want to keep the same tension, it's an easy DIY job.
    You will inevitably have to adjust saddle intonation since these strings are thicker, and tune saddle height.
    So what you ask is impossible.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016
  3. You can try the DR DDT: DR DDT Drop-Down Tuning Bass Strings - 4-String Set

    For the C# tuning, the 55-115 set would be ideal, but they may be too large for the nut without any modifications. The 50-110 could possibly fit.
  4. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    It is not possible to have both of those things.
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  5. b-bottom


    Dec 18, 2006
    Knoxville TN
  6. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    ^^This^^ is why. To get the string tension to stay the same - like you want - you will have to use thicker strings. Like the man said; it's physics. Sometimes reality sucks, but there you are. And, since the strings will be thicker, it's most likely you'll have to open up the slots in your nut. You may get away with leaving a couple of them alone - depending on how they were cut in the first place, and what gauge strings you're using now - but I wouldn't hold my breath. Thick strings require wider slots; nasty ol' reality strikes again. And, finally; non-standard tunings (as in, other than BEADG or EADG) can often take the bridge to places it doesn't want to go; and intonation may be difficult/not possible, depending on your bass. Intonation problems are pretty common when stringing a bass BEAD, for example; been there, done that... Once again, reality rears it's ugly head. And, depending on your bass, you may have to recut the saddle slots, too. I would certainly have to, if I were going to do this to my Rick 4003 - ain't gonna happen, though...
    The bottom line is that 99.9% of basses are designed to use the strings they come from the factory with; and the further away from "Stock" you get, the bigger the can of worms you're going to risk opening. Sorry, but that's life...:thumbsup:
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
  7. ixlramp

    ixlramp Guest

    Jan 25, 2005
    Because *universe*.
    Detuning lowers tension, so now you want to raise tension in C# standard.
    Physics shows that for a fixed scale and pitch, tension is determined entirely by string mass, which is mainly determined by gauge.
    Very useful tension document that explains: http://www.daddario.com/upload/tension_chart_13934.pdf
    Intonation will probably be possible, and it's highly unlikely you will need to file your saddles.
    For filing your nut, assuming you have a plastic nut: Buy a cheap 'needle file' from a hardware shop, with one side gently curved.
    File back the upper 2/3rds of the walls of the nut slot using the curved side of the file, don't file the nut slot floor, it's essential to not deepen it or change it's curved shape.
  8. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    When you make drastic changes to tuning and string gauge you have to reintonate.
    You may also need to adjust your truss rod and saddle height, depending on how much difference in tension there is, and how much more excursion the new strings have.

    You may or may not have to fine tune your nut slots, depending on how they are cut and how much thicker the new strings are.
    A .120 size string will not go in a .100 hole.

    That's assuming the nut slots are the proper depth to begin with. Now would be a good time for OP to determine if he would like to lower them.
  9. TyCobb


    Feb 17, 2014
    Folsom, CA
    Only way I see being able to have your cake and eat it too, would be getting a 5 string and slapping a capo on the 2nd fret. Shouldn't need any adjustments, but what strings you hit will change up.
  10. Cracker7

    Cracker7 Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2016
    Lakeland FL
    I have a bass set up for c# and use DR DDT 55-115. Sounds and feels good. I did have to slightly modify the nut though. That being said, I'm taking that same bass and going to drop it to BEAD with Rotosound drop zones. Love that Roto sound.
  11. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

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  12. Kikegg


    Mar 3, 2011
    Madrid, Spain
    He, he, with all respect (physics is physics and I won't refute it) you can use a standard .105 set without worrying too much about tension. I've been playing Black Sabbath songs (C# tuning) for three years with D'Addario's EXLs and EXPs. Honestly I didn't notice them too floppy to worry about...

    Just give 'em a try. If they stand correctly and tension is in your comfort zone, why bother yourself changing the nut or strings?

    I forgot to say that I never had to adjust intonation or perhaps (not really sure) just a bit.
  13. ubernator


    Oct 30, 2004
    lost angels
    I had no problems with .115 guage fitting any of my standard nuts. .125 would need a filing and I assume .120 would as well.

    I used the boomers @Killed_by_Death posted on a drop C gig, the .90 or .95 "a" string was too tight in drop, but would probably be fine for standard. The .50 might be a tad floppy at -3 semitones, a .55 or might be in order.

    Perhaps the DDT set mentioned above is the way to go, otherwise order custom sets.
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  14. Callused Finger

    Callused Finger

    Feb 22, 2007
    New York
    I'd rather play with lower tension than alter the nut and have to replace it when I go back. With that said I've never bothered to go with larger gauge strings to increase tension when playing alternate tunings.
  15. MCS4

    MCS4 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I play CGCF with standard-gauge strings (Medium Boomers). I've also played in that tuning and in C# standard with Heavy Boomers (115s). I don't think I've ever had to modify a nut to accommodate a 115 set, but if I did it was small enough that standard gauge strings will still work perfectly fine.

    If I had to play in C# standard full-time, I'd probably either keep using the Medium Boomers or look for a 110-based set. But then again, I don't mind lower tension.