Gauge matterism

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by SLiGhTLy_STooPiD, Dec 15, 2000.

  1. When I got my bass new, the manual deal said it uses 45-100 gauge strings. Ever since, I only used Ernie Ball Super Slinkys 45-100. I think I wanna try those D'Addario XL160 (i think that's correct). They are 50-105 gauge. Can I do this? How will it affect the sound?
  2. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    SLiGhTLy_STooPiD ~ Are you talkin' about your
    Ibanez or Squier? I would think you could go with a
    105 E without trouble. If the nut is plastic though,
    be careful. I've got an inexpensive Yamaha RBX260F and
    tried the Labella "James Jamerson" set. These are big ol'
    "telephone wire" flatwounds with high tension.
    Them dang things cracked the (plastic) nut on the Yamaha!
    On the other hand, I've got Roto-88 tapewounds with a 115 E
    on my Rob Allen and an old Gibson Ripper - no problemo! :)
    The nut on the Rob Allen is ivory and about twice the width of the `260,
    so that may have made a difference. I'm not sure what material
    the nut on the Ripper is.

    I think you run into trouble if you try to do a B-E-A-D setup.
    The quick and dirty way is to put on the bottom four of a five string set.
    The low B is usually 125 to 130. Rotosound makes a super
    heavy 4 string set of Swing Bass 66's with a 130 E !
    In either case, this usually means filing the nut slots.
    Pretty tricky, but it can be done. Stewart-Macdonald sells
    a variety of nut files.

    A lot of guys here swear by the Thomastik-Infeld Jazz series.
    I've got the flats on that old Yamaha I mentioned. They play
    "like buddah". One reason why is that the flats and the rounds
    are wrapped on a round core. As a matter of fact, the roundwound
    set is gauged lighter (43-51-68-89) than the Slinkys but
    they sound like a ton o' thunder. I don't know how they
    do it. Alloys? Aspect ratio? Voodoo? ~ I dunno!
    They are a little more costly than Slinkys but well worth it.

    FYI ~ There are some string reviews here: .
    This may give you some ideas Re the sound you're going for.

    Here's a place you can buy strings online:
    Great selection and service! (I've dropped a small fortune "experimenting").
    About the only thing they don't have are Rotosound nickel 66's.
    Here's a place that does:
  3. Thank you, sir! Exactly what I've always wondered about.
  4. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    De Nada! Happy Hunting :)
    "Sir" ?...Geez. I didn't think I was that old :D

    [Edited by notduane on 12-16-2000 at 09:52 AM]