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G string gauge - how heavy can I go?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Bass V, Feb 22, 2018.


  1. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    ...after an endlessly unsuccessful search I must ask this basic question knowing all necks are different and some won't like the change, but within ballpark reason what is a normal maximum?
    in my limited mongrel string pile I found another A string and got that tuned up to A in the G position and it sounded terrific plus the stupid classic dead spot was gone, but I was too scared to crank it further yet it convinced me of the potential benefits in finding the right super heavy gauge. the heaviest I have now is a .055. I've got basses with strong necks that will withstand some abuse and I'll try them first, but what risks might the weaker necks face?
     
  2. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    maxresdefault.jpg bass-guitar-with-broken-neck-ERF6H2.jpg broken_bass-472x295.jpg 2013-12-02 01 nut remv-separated.jpg

    just kidding! :laugh:
     
    MattZilla likes this.
  3. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    Zero risk. The string will break before it damages the neck.
     
  4. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    !!!!!?
    lol, I'd be more inclined to go with JRA's assessment.

    just where can you easily select single mega fatties?
    this suggested site seems mercilessly hopeless to navigate expeditiously and find the heavies
    Home page
     
  5. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    Why?

    The core of a string is a thin little piece of metal.

    Your bass neck is a thick piece of wood with a metal truss rod in the middle, that gets adjusted to counter the force of the strings.
    Increasing the tension on one string won't do anything to the structure of the neck. The string will fail before the neck does.
     
  6. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    it's a scary thot!
     
  7. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    oh c'mon, nobody wants to solve this liddle riddle?
     
  8. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    You being scared doesn't change the reality that the string will break before the neck is damaged.
    I suppose it will put added wear on the G tuner as well, but again the string will fail before that is damaged.
    There is no riddle. You are not understanding how strings work.
     
  9. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    coming from a rigging / tug background I'm cable-parting adverse, but your words are encouraging.
     
  10. Just as an experiment, take one of your basses and try tuning the D string up to G, one half step at a time, and see how that feels to play on, provided it doesn't break.
     
    Bass V likes this.
  11. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    well, I just realized I blew my op in calling the D an A so let's reset the whole conversation to reflect reality...
    I kinda did what you're suggesting when I swapped in the mutt D for the G and tuned up to D before getting scared off. that sounded great as I tried to convey, but taking it higher was uncharted territory I wasn't willing to explore on a good bass. if I'd had a slightly smaller string I would have pressed on, but my local string supply is v limited and after all these decades I'm still a rookie at string experimentation and the G is always the hardest to bond with.
     
  12. shoulderpet

    shoulderpet

    Sep 24, 2015
    Well i had a Fender musicmaster a long time ago , i had it tuned EADG with 130,100,80,65 strings, sounded incredible, no chance at all that i would use those gauges nowadays
     
    Bass V likes this.
  13. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Dec 1, 2013
    Italia
    Wow. A .065" tuned to G - on a 30" scale bass - is tight. But your experience confirms it is doable. Extrapolating from the old D'Addario Tension Chart pdf, a nickel-plated string of that gauge and operating condition would pull 71.3 pounds. I've also read about tuning a 60 up to G on a 34" scaler: 76.4lbs according to the same source. For reference, an extra-heavy D, gauge .075", does 67.7#. Aren't double bass strings between, or not much above, 60 and 70 pounds? Scary.

    @Bass V: if your gripe with G's has to do with their tone, check out the new GHS Balanced Nickels, which are said to be very balanced in tension and tone string-to-string: the G is double-wound, they usually have a single wrap.

    I wouldn't go above that .055" myself anyway. (Not out of concerns for the neck but because I hate changing strings, let alone do it when they break. Which they'll do on me from time to time because sweat+laziness=rust.)
    Then again, the Fender Bass V came with flatwound .045" or .046" high C's, which probably meant over 80lbs of tension!
    (^ Part Numbers 85 and 855 respectively.)
    They probably were designed to withstand that tension. Biggest core they managed to stuff in there, I'd bet.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
    Bass V likes this.
  14. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    the original flats are still on my '65 V!
    thanx, I've been checking out Nickels as my next line of focus, they seem to not have inherent 'chime'.
    I need a good source for singles til I zero in on a few faves.
     
    HaphAsSard likes this.
  15. Bass V likes this.
  16. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    High tension on one side of the neck but not the other can lead to a twisted neck. Are you using "normal" gauges for the other strings?
     
  17. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    I disagree there's nothing to worry about, increasing the gauge of a G until it breaks will probably not damage a bass neck but it could, and the tuner may be damaged. Strings can sometimes reach very high tensions before they break.
    Also consider how the tension is balanced across the neck, to avoid twisting risk i guess your other stirngs will be tight also, which further increases the total tension on the neck.
    My first bass was 2nd hand and came accidently tuned EADGC with a .125 .100 .080 .060 .040 set, luckily no damage done but the neck was super-thick and it was a headless bass which probably made it tougher. I wouldn't risk doing that now to any bass i cared about.
     
    Bass V likes this.
  18. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I'm in normal drop D.
    I don't really need to go fatter unless there's a tonemine to be found, but want to know the basic parameters.
    I'll throw this in FINALLY, I tried a fat(ter) G and I like it! but...
     
  19. Bassisteve

    Bassisteve

    Mar 6, 2018
    I use those for standard G...You had that at EADG?
     
  20. shoulderpet

    shoulderpet

    Sep 24, 2015
    Yes EADG tuning, no way i would use those gauges nowadays, im a super lightl gauge person nowadays
     
    Bassisteve likes this.
  21. 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.

     
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