Different string tensions of different basses.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by kefta4ever, Jul 21, 2020.


  1. kefta4ever

    kefta4ever

    Apr 28, 2020
    Hello, I have 2 basses, an Ibanez and a Gibson. I tried to set them up the same, to my taste. The strings on the Ibanez are so much stiffer and tighter than my Gibson. They are both tuned and intonated properly. Is it the different types of neck or something?
     
  2. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Or something. Different strings require different tension. If you put the same strings on both basses and they are both the same scale. and tuned the same, you should be able to get them pretty close to one another. but a 30" neck and a 34" neck will behave very differently.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
  3. gigetto

    gigetto

    Sep 25, 2019
    Italy
    IF Gibson is a Short Scale the strings are lower tension than 34"
     
  4. dwizum

    dwizum

    Dec 21, 2018
    An identical string on an identical scale length tuned to the same pitch will be at the same tension, regardless of any other factors.

    "Feel" is subjective of course, but unless you've got different strings, are tuning to different pitches, or those two basses are different scale lengths, the tension is exactly the same even if you think it feels different.
     
    CatOnTheBass likes this.
  5. gigetto

    gigetto

    Sep 25, 2019
    Italy
    Tension Depends from gauge. And diapason lenght
     
    Paco Leon likes this.
  6. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Even the hardware can affect your perception.
     
  7. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Let's not confound tension & perceived stiffness.
    A string with the same Mass tuned to the same frequency will have the same Tension, however the break angle after the nut & the bridge will help determine how Stiff the strings feel.

    Ibanez for me feel stiffer, & I do believe it's due to the angled-back headstock, giving a sharper break-angle over the nut:

    4012_3_ver1479370501.gif

    Of course someone will come along & say it's just not so, but they will also not have more than a vague reason why the Gibson feels less stiff than the Ibanez.
     
    Fender4Me and iiipopes like this.
  8. kefta4ever

    kefta4ever

    Apr 28, 2020
    Ill be honest, I dont know what gauge strings I put on either bass. That might be part of it. My Gibson has a maple neck and the Ibanez has a rosewood neck. That may be whats causing the difference. Its not that big a deal , I was just curious. I figure thats why people have more than one bass, because they all feel different when they are played.
     
  9. dwizum

    dwizum

    Dec 21, 2018
    You could make one neck out of glued together twigs and the other out of solid diamond, and the tension on the strings would be the same assuming the gauges, tuning, and scale length were the same. Those are literally the only three factors that impact tension.
     
    CatOnTheBass likes this.
  10. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    What is the scale of each bass? Which models of each?
     
    wcriley likes this.
  11. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    This ^ As set forth above, most Ibanez basses are the "standard" 34-inch scale length. If the Gibson is an EB derivative, then it will most probably have a 30-inch scale length. Tension varies as the square of the scale length, so for the same strings, the Gibson will have about 22% less tension on the strings, even if set up the same.

    If the Gibson is longer scale, and some were and are, then what Killed by Death said about the perceived stiffness from the break angles and other details may explain the difference in feel.
     
  12. kefta4ever

    kefta4ever

    Apr 28, 2020
    I have a Ripper anda Ibanez Gio. They are both 34"
     
  13. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    There are other factors, not just break angle, that will affect perceived stiffness. I did a study of "compliance" a number of years ago, and I would like to apply my findings to the differences found by the OP.
     
    Yakamoga and iiipopes like this.
  14. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jun 13, 2021

Share This Page