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Contact Core Bass Strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by CheshireCatFun, Mar 9, 2013.


  1. CheshireCatFun

    CheshireCatFun

    Mar 9, 2013
    I'm working on a ERB Bass project of the Touch Guitar variety (think Warr Guitar, Megatar, and so on), and I wanted to know about Contact Core strings, since I had heard that their windings start a few inches from the ball end, and finish just before the end of the string. This would hopefully mean that a Schaller guitar tuning machine might be able to take, for instance, a 105 or a 130 string if it's just receiving the core, and not the whole diameter of the string, windings and all.

    Any ideas?

    C.
     
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    The tuner end really depends on the string. The contact core is at the bridge end, the tuner end is usually no different.

    Here are GHS Progressives on my Brubaker:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. CheshireCatFun

    CheshireCatFun

    Mar 9, 2013
    Hmmmmm, I wonder if that would fit into a Schaller? Possibly, but that's a good question. Are there strings that have an exposed core on the string end as well?

    C.
     
  4. CheshireCatFun

    CheshireCatFun

    Mar 9, 2013
    And, speaking of which, who would know definitively about that?

    C.
     
  5. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    I think those might fit, they are probably some of the better ones to try, anyway becuase when they taper it's just the core with just a thin wrap. The .085 might be the problem since it's not tapered and stays .085 the whole way. The ones above it look to have a smaller taper. The silks add a little bit, too.
     
  6. Ian_Flash

    Ian_Flash

    Jan 17, 2013
    What's the Scale Length? (34"? 35"? more?/less?) I use LaBella Super Steps (The only TRUE Contact Core besides Fodera AJ Sigs and Roto Piano Design) and they come in different lengths to allow different Scale Lengths to clear the nut and saddles. If you get the proper length, the tuners should be no problem.
     
  7. Typically the contact/exposed core strings are identical to regular strings at the tuner end, I've never seen exposed cores at the tuner end.

    --Silvie
     
  8. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    By 'true contact core' do you mean that there is no thin wrap layer around the core? If so, SIT Taper Wounds are also fully exposed core.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. CheshireCatFun

    CheshireCatFun

    Mar 9, 2013
    Excellent, tho I notice that the bit that goes in the tuner (also in frame) is wound to the end. Was that where you cut it off, and was the core exposed there, too, or am I seeing a trend of cores completely wound off on contact core strings?

    C.
     
  10. CheshireCatFun

    CheshireCatFun

    Mar 9, 2013
    And also, how do all these tappers do it, like Warr and Chapman? They always seem to have what looks like guitar tuners holding some pretty big strings.

    C.
     
  11. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    I definitely cut it, and for a string through bass so if there was any core left sticking out, it would be waaaay down the line. You'd probably have 3 layers of wrap around the tuner before you got to it?
     
  12. Ian_Flash

    Ian_Flash

    Jan 17, 2013
    My last look at SIT Tapers showed that the G string was NOT exposed core. Have they changed the design? If so, good for them... they make nice strings. I like the Super Steps because ALL the strings are bare core over the saddles, regardless of the diameter (Same with Fodera A.J. sigs) BUT.... I wish LaBella would do that with a Nickel set. "Slappers" (Old name) were tapered (singe wind over saddle) but not the G.:meh:
     
  13. CheshireCatFun

    CheshireCatFun

    Mar 9, 2013
    It's thru-body, 34" scale-length, and at least 8 inches from the nut to the tuning machines.

    C.
     
  14. Ian_Flash

    Ian_Flash

    Jan 17, 2013
    So far, the only strings that will give a contact (bare) core long enough to reach the saddles of a thru-body stringing would be the RotoSounds (Piano wire design) as these give you the ability to select WHERE on the bridge end you put the ball (or "bullet")
    end of the string. LaBella S.Steps won't clear the extra Thru-body length. The tuner end is only a problem if the bass scale is longer (35")... some strings will not allow the outer wrap or the silks to clear the NUT, even if they say "Long Scale". LaBella, Ken Smith, Circle K and some others will give you options fo longer windings AND will specify the length so you can check before you buy.
     
  15. CheshireCatFun

    CheshireCatFun

    Mar 9, 2013
    Well, I have a Gotoh and a West German Schaller (some 25ish years old), with the Gotoh taking an 85ish gauge A string I had on hand (with red thread wrap) and the Schaller taking an 85 gauge Ernie Ball with no thread wrap.

    I'm thinking that the Gotoh's might be the ticket, especially if I can get them locking, assuming I can make a 105 and a 130 work for the E and the Low A.

    What can you tell me about LaBella and Ken Smith? I know Circle K has something called hybrids, which I've been reading up on. How do I learn more about the longer windings and specifying the length?

    Also, because I'm making the instrument, I can shorten the thru-body distance on those particular strings.

    C.
     
  16. .
    mmbongo,

    I'm curious about these SITs.

    Could you please do me a favour and measure the length from the centre of the brass end connection to the beginning of the winding?
    I want to see how they measure up against one of my basses.

    Thanks in advance,
    Greg
     
  17. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    I can do that when I get home tonight!
     
  18. Ian_Flash

    Ian_Flash

    Jan 17, 2013
    I can tell you from experience that both Ken Smith AND LaBella offer strings in various wind lengths to accommodate Top-load and String through basses. They also offer sets in "Custom Balanced" gauges AND are available as individual strings through Just Strings. You may want a .083 A rather than a .085 or a .061 D rather than .065 so you have many options. Their best strings IMO are Stainless Steel but each offers both SS and Nickel. Smith has Silk on the ends (Purple, Red or Blue) ... LaBella just changed their packaging and the new stock no longer has silked ends, but old stock will be silked. Again, LaBella Super Steps are BARE CORE, but only made in standard gauges. Smith offers Taper Wounds in both standard and custom gauges. This info pertains mainly to their RoundWounds which I use almost exclusively. I only use LaBella Ken Smith or Fodera strings on my basses.
     
  19. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    I got my SIT singles from www.bassstringsonline.com because they have a better selection, and they don't rape you on shipping :)
     
  20. +1
     

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