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Decent strings for DCFG tuning

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by jcburn, Oct 6, 2009.


  1. Hey all - did some searching and couldn't really find the answers I'm after. Lately my band has made the decision to tune DCGF (down a whole step). Usually use D'Addario XL's (100 to 45 I think), but for a little extra tension I tried some EB Power Slinkies (110 to 50). I'm not real keen on the tone of the EB's - what I'm after is a set of strings that are bright, can handle the tuning we are using and have the best tension.
     
  2. ehque

    ehque

    Jan 8, 2006
    Singapore
    DCFG? DGCF you mean?

    Any heavy set will do, if set up properly.
     
  3. Oops - yeah thats what I meant. Looking maybe at DR Hi Beams or Lo Riders 110-50. but a bit worried about my frets. Never used stainless strings before.
     
  4. What about using the bottom 4 strings of a light 5 gauge set? Does a 120 B exist - I suppose I should just go and search eh?
    :bassist:
     
  5. Thegian

    Thegian

    Aug 14, 2008
    105 or 110 will be fine, 115 is pushing it and anything above that is gonna have too much tension imo.

    I dont think stainless really wear down frets as much as they are reputed to do ... but i'm a nickel guy myself so i dunno.
     
  6. MooseLumps

    MooseLumps Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2007
    Portland
    I'm selling some 120's
     
  7. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    .110 , .090, .070, .050

    Those gauges in the D'addario Pro Steels handle Eb tuning (1/2 step down on all strings) and should be able to handle another half step with no issue.

    As for Stainless steel eating frets, well, maybe it does, but I honestly could care less. If the string sounds good, keep playing it!. I have always used stainless steel and I have not noticed anything bad on the frets of my basses.
     
  8. rhapbus

    rhapbus

    Feb 28, 2009
    Rotosound 66 strings are pretty bright, and they are what i use in .110-.50 gauge. I highly recommend them but they are very rough on your fingers.
     
  9. One thing I haven't mentioned yet is that for the odd 1 or 2 songs we drop D (making the lowest note C). This is why I thought the 5 string set might be in order. I currently am strung with 110 - 50 and would like a little more tension. Fender do a 115(7250-5L) and DR do a 120 B. The Fender set would be good I think - would feel very much like being concert pitch tension. They are nickels - I've never used stainless before and while I realise they will be nice and bright I dont like the idea of them being harsh on fingers and frets.
     
  10. I am digging this one out but I was learning songs for a female fronted pop metal band I am auditioning for tomorrow. Nightwish, The Gathering, Epica, etc... and all that stuff is DGCF.

    I do a lot of drop D in my other band, a Godsmack/Nickelback cover band, and Drop D is absolutely different. These songs are totally written for drop D.

    Anyway, I tried it on my basses, and my jazz has a .95 / .40 D'Addario XL 220 set and it works awkwardly well.

    The Rotosound 66 on my Foundation works fine as well, but I was surprised to see the medium set do do well.

    My theory is that since my Jazz was set up for the medium light strings, going down a full step does not change much proportionally.

    I also happened to have just released the tension on the neck as the weather is getting rainy and humidity is going up and I was getting a bit of buzz.
     
  11. XXL

    XXL calm seas dont make skilled sailors

    Jun 14, 2007
    Lo Riders 110-50 on my Jazz work well with this tuning. I had no problems setting the bass up to my specs or with tension.
     
  12. I use a custom gauge set 50 / 70 / 90 / 110 of SIT Powerwounds for DGCF on my SR4. I wouldn't want any larger as the tension would be too tight.

    If you want real bright try ProSteels like someone else said in 50 -110.
     
  13. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    I see that a lot of people are suggesting .110 sets. If you are going to DGCF and no lower, you can use a .110 set with a round core, but wouldn't suggest a hex core set because then it would be too stiff; a full step down isn't really that low. Personally I prefer a regular D'Addario .105 set or a nickle Lo-Rider set so you have more tension from the hex core and the nickle helps keep down excess finger, pick, or fret noise. I'm actaully running a super long (35") scale set of D'Addario 105, 85, 70, 50 on my ESP TA-600 tuned to C#F#BE and I like the way it works. The extra mass of the .110 or .115 (GHS) just sounds like its eating up some of the attack of the string to me
     
  14. As a follow-up: initially I was happy with the Fender Jazz and it's 95-40 set, but I realized than I would have to reset my neck due to the lesser amount of tension.

    Currently, I am trying a 105-45 Roto 66 set on a Foundation that was set with low action and it works quite a lot better.
     
  15. troll

    troll

    Aug 31, 2000
    Chicago area
    If you're like me and prefer to be able to dig in and not have notes dying because you're pushing the string into a pickup or clacking it against the fretboard, thicker gauges are the only way to go.

    I'm using a .125 for C# and tune it up to Eb often without trouble. A .110 would be pretty good for D as others have suggested.

    I also use .90 .70 and .50 for only half step down, but I like tension. A lot of it is up to the instrument and how it responds to string tension. I've used my prefered gauges on another bass and hated it. A little experimentation goes a long way. Expensive, sure, but worth it in the long run.

    I was originally using D'addario pro steels but they discontinued several of the sizes. So I switched to SIT since they were the only others offering anything over .145 for my low G# :) I almost like the SIT's better and they stay zingy longer, and have a much nicer inherent growl down low.
     
  16. ^ Yeah I really like SIT Powerwounds too - warm, bright, and inexpensive.

    SIT will assemble "custom gauge" sets for the same price of a standard set at customers request through your local SIT dealer.
     
  17. troll

    troll

    Aug 31, 2000
    Chicago area
    That'd be amazing, but somehow I think they will exclude the $26 .165 I include in my current setup :(
     
  18. THSL

    THSL

    Jun 3, 2007
    New York, NY
  19. Yeah - I think it applies to string gauges relatively close in gauge to standard sets.
     
  20. TortillaChip520

    TortillaChip520

    Jun 3, 2008
    AZ
    my band tunes CGCF and i use a set of 110's and they work great. I plan on going back to 105's though because i play at church in standard tuning, and the D string of the 110 set is too big for my nut. 105's work good for the downtuning, but if you plan to stay in D standard all the time, then just go with the 110's. They just feel powerful :)
     

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