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Equal String Tension/Guage

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by alexit, Jul 18, 2007.


  1. alexit

    alexit

    Feb 21, 2006
    A bass with all strings the same guage/tension. Just wondered if this has been done. Is it possible to do this and tune the strings via some sort of post-processing, or is there some other way?

    Oh, and don't say "yes, but they'll all be A-strings" ;)
     
  2. Nope. Your strings' thickness are not supposed to be the same, or else the nut won't fit. Unless the nut is made to hold 4 equal strings.
     
  3. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Of course it's possible, but I don't see any real reason for it. I mean, the strings in most sets are already fairly close in tension; I can't imagine that perfectly equal tension would be an advantage.
     
  4. Perhaps if you had some midi program that would transpose all the strings from A to the desired pitch....sure. But....why???? Any time I have messed with transposing software/effects, I have almost always run into some sorts of tracking issues.


    Rob Allen's select blend of LaBella Deep Talkin' Bass Strings are very balanced in terms of tension. I don't know if they're perfectly balanced, but they feel really balanced.

    One advantage of balanced tension is on a Fishman-type piezo. The balanced tension gives a more even response from string to string.
     
  5. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    The Novax fanned fret system employed by Dingwall and others gives you more even string to string tension than a standard bass.
     
  6. The Penguin

    The Penguin duplicate account violation Banned

    Jun 21, 2006
    I'm not pelagic
    The normal Deep Talkin' Bass have a lighter G and much lighter D than average which feels very balanced to me when bending. Looking at the tension charts for D'Adarrio's their D's tend to have the most tension and I think the LaBella DTB fixes that.
     
  7. The Penguin

    The Penguin duplicate account violation Banned

    Jun 21, 2006
    I'm not pelagic
    That's entirely dependent on the gauges chosen and not the scale length.
     
  8. cdef

    cdef

    Jul 18, 2003
    Perhaps this discussion should be moved to the Strings forum.

    For strings to be equal gauge, they'd have to function as mere triggers for some kind of pitch-interpreting software. I think the SynthAxe of yore used this technology, but it had the usual latency problems.

    Alex, the highly contentious luthier at Zachary Guitars, sells r/w as well as f/w sets that are supposed to have equal tension between strings. He is very vociferous on the subject here: http://www.zacharyguitars.com/Strings.htm (do not read if you resent being called an idiot).
     
  9. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    Dingwall
     
  10. I haven't played the normal DTB strings, but I have heard they are fairly wimpy when it comes to tension. The string gauges on the Rob Allen versions seem odd, but work really well.
     
  11. alexit

    alexit

    Feb 21, 2006
    So there's no physical way to do it, then? What would happen if you cut a custom nut and strung a dingwall with all equal gauge strings?
     
  12. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Banned

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    OK let's get this straight... tension is a function of 2 things... scale length of that particular string (taking into account where the saddles sit on each string) and string guage (and of course the open note on that string and string construction... both givens)

    Equal tension does not necessarily mean equal tone. A dingwall has close tone across the strings because of it's differing scale lengths. Now they might actually have more even string tension too but that is not the MAIN reason why the tone seems even across the strings.

    String sets would have to be optimised differently for a fanned fretted neck and a regular neck.
     
  13. But the strings work...they are fantastic, in fact. The even/graduated tension across the strings/fretboard just make the instrument easier to play and it just "works" better. It will require you to resetup your instrument....your action/truss rod/intonation will all need adjusting. I found that my instruments really benefited from using these strings.

    Of course, the even/graduated tension just makes sense from a physics and balance standpoint.

    Just my .02,
    Jay
     
  14. cdef

    cdef

    Jul 18, 2003
    Yes, I fully expect they do. I need to order a set to try out. As you say, it makes a lot of sense, and if Alex didn't have such a short temper I think his ideas would be very much more widely adopted.
     
  15. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Sure, it's possible. But again, the strings in most modern sets are fairly close in tension as it is. I truly doubt you'd notice if all strings were *perfectly* even in tension.




    Forget about "all equal gauge strings", that's irrelevant to the discussion... it's the worst way to achieve equal tension unless you tune all strings to the same note. Doing what you suggest with the Dingwall would worsen the difference in tension between the strings: the E string would be way too floppy and the G string way too tight (no comments, plz... :ninja: )

    When scale length stays the same, tension is determined by two things: gauge and pitch. A fatter string tuned lower (say, E) can have the same tension as a skinny string tuned higher (say, G).
     
  16. If you wanted (can't see why you would however) I'm pretty sure you could get a bass, tune it up with 4 identical strings to identical pitches (say, A for example), fit out the bass with a roland v-bass and program the v-bass to do pitch shifting of each individual string so that it was tuned like a normal bass, or however you wanted it.

    However, for the price of doing that you could probably buy yourself several decent basses... And the v-bass doing tuning of nearly an octave up might sound not so good.

    I would personally suggest just playing regular basses with decent, regular strings.:eyebrow:

    Steve
     
  17. His style definitely requires a reaction....!

    Take care,
    Jay
     
  18. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Maryland
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    The closest I've seen to this is the Chapman Grid Stick. The strings were all the same guage but everything went through a GK pickup and then processed.
     

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