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Gauage increments

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by horseguards, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. horseguards


    Mar 2, 2016
    As a beginner on the bass, I need advice re strings.

    String gauge on D'Addario Pro Steels, for example, have a minimum increment of 5: 40, 45, 50, 55, etc.
    When considering replacing strings what determines the increment used?

    For example, what's the diffrence between an increment of 5 (85, 90, 95, 100) and 10 (or even 15): 85, 100, 115, 130 given that all will be tuned EADG Ignore whether the 130 should be tuned B(?).

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
  3. horseguards


    Mar 2, 2016
    I was thinking in terms of the actual sound. For example, tuning EADG on 5 increment strings compared with the same on 10 or 20 increment strings.
  4. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    Well for starters you should know that the bigger strings deeper sound connection isn't true. Thinner strings will usually give more fundamental while thicker strings will have more harmonic when all else is equal. It is easier for the string under less tension to vibrate at the fundamental whereas the tightness of the thicker gauge tends to pull the waves into the harmonic more.

    However, these differences will be small when compared to the differences between different brands and types of strings. A 50 gauge D'Addario XL Nickel will sound a heck of a lot more like a 45 gauge XL Nickel than it will a 50 gauge GHS Boomer or 50 gauge DR Low-rider Nickel.

    Edit: rereading your original I think even more basic info needs to be shared. You won't find a set meant to be tuned EADG with the strings only 5 or 10 hundredths apart. The increments need to be in the 15-25 range to give each string a similar tension when at correct pitch.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016
  5. ixlramp


    Jan 25, 2005
    See the tension chart, gauges are chosen for similar tension strings, the string-to-string increment does not need to be a fixed value even though it is in 105 85 65 45 and 100 80 60 40 sets. A fixed increment actually creates middle-heavy sets, a set with equal tension strings is actually 105 80 60 45.
    Often also you will see light sets that are 95 75 55 35 or 90 70 50 30 and this at first made me think that a fixed increment is required, not so.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016

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