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Do light flats play sound wise the same as heavier?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by jessicabass, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. jessicabass


    Dec 22, 2009
    Interested in trying some light strings.
    If say my 50-70-85-105 were replaced with
    40-60-75-95 strings would i get the same sound through my amp?
    Or would i lose my beefy sound.
  2. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    I went from 105 to 95 Chromes on my fretless acoustic a few years ago. The sound changed a little, but not a whole lot.

    It depends on how your bass is set up, what kind of pickups and electronics, how you play, what kind of amp, etc. There's no way to know for sure without trying.
  3. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    The feel changes more than the sound.
  4. donn


    Mar 28, 2011
    I bet you'd notice more if you play with a pick, or if you work at getting a strong attack kind of like that with your fingers.
  5. Yes, feel changes somewhat. Also lighter stings are more fexible and produce more high mids, so they sound brighter. But no sacrifice on the bass end as far as I can hear.

    My experience matches this clip:

  6. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    Yes you'll notice some difference. I noticed it with rounds too going back to standard gauge from light on my G&L, the heavier strings had a wee more substance in the notes. Maybe it's the tension.
  7. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    Heavier gauges have more complexity, lighter gauges have more fundamental due mostly to the differences in tension.
  8. hotbass57


    Nov 27, 2011
    I just put lite gauge Chromes on my pbass. The tension is awesome and the tone and balance is perfect. Don't really hear any low end loss.
  9. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    If your a finger style player probably not, if you use a pick you will probably notice a diffrence
  10. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'll give $50 to anyone who can reliably guess what string gauges the bassist used on recordings.
  11. donn


    Mar 28, 2011
    Sure, but by that standard, any strings are just about the same as any other. Depending on the recordings, and your expectations for "reliably" ... who's going to say for sure they didn't use piano wire on those old recordings?

    Not that we should kid ourselves about this stuff, but ... like, visit the recent what-strings-for-rickenbacker thread, and listen to the youtube video linked a couple days ago from a Japanese student of the Beatles (might have to follow an extra link or two, the original video was pulled when I looked.) Strings are La Bella 760FX, the extra light set, played with a pick. I have the extra heavy 760M set, and it couldn't sound more different - sure, very different bass, but the strings too. If you're looking for that sound (and it's not a bad choice), heavy strings aren't going to help!
  12. jessicabass


    Dec 22, 2009
    Has anyone had problems setting up for lower action with the light gauge flats?
    I know with the heavier it just happens but is there a few pointers for low action with light strings?
  13. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    They might need slightly higher action due to less tension, more flexibility.

    Make sure to push on both side of nut and both side of bridge saddle at first tune.

    I personally raise the saddles til I stop clanging with normal attack
  14. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
  15. 760FX start out super twangy and go deader than dead. Too dead for me. I'd rather control decay with my hands.