Down Tuned Fretless Strings Advice

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by sithlordbassist, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. sithlordbassist


    Sep 28, 2009
    Hey guys. So I have a pretty awesome Hamer Cruise 5 string fretless bass. It's wonderful sounding, but sadly I think the strings I got for it are pretty sub par (Rotosound RS885LD Black Nylon Flatwound 5 String), at least for what I want in tone.

    Normally, a thread about what flatwounds are best to use would be sufficient, but I play both of my basses in C# Standard, 3 half steps down from standard. I've been looking around at different string sets, but I am curious if anyone else has experience with down tuning a fretless somewhere similar and what kind of strings would you advise getting. I don't wanna spend a bunch of money on strings I may not like or be able to use in my tuning.

    I'm in a metal band, but I mainly use my fretless for jazz. With that, I also prefer fingerpicking because, let's face it, using a pick on a fretless should be considered a sin. I'm not entirely sure what kind of tone I'm searching for exactly, and my Hamer Cruise can replicate all sorts, but I would like to know what is the best bang for my buck as well as what strings could handle the tension of a C# Standard tuning the best.
  2. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Isn't C# two half steps up from B standard on a 5 string?
  3. sithlordbassist


    Sep 28, 2009
    It's a 5 string so my B string is a G#, E a C#, etc...
    G#, C#, F#, B, E from low to high
  4. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Ok, you tune to G# standard.

    You say you don't know what tone you're searching for, but you don't like what the Roto nylons sound like. What don't you like about the Rotos?
  5. Buchada Azeda

    Buchada Azeda

    Mar 25, 2009
    Look, I tune my fretless Geddy in CGDA (fifths tuning), and a custom set IS the way to go. You want equal tension on all strings to avoid having to pick one string harder than the other. Equal response to your touch is essential, IME/IMO.

    If I had a fiver tuned C#F#BEA, I'd go with CircleK strings. Try .166, .124, .094, .070 and .051. That should give you 41.0 lbs on the C#, 41.4 lbs on F#, 43.0 lbs on B, 42.9 lbs on E and 41.7 on the A string. Go with a .174 gauge C# and a .130 F# if you're worried about not having enough tension on the lowest ones.