Have a big dilemma...

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Outshined91, Jul 28, 2021.

  1. Leave the light strings on - if it ain't broke, don't fix it

    18 vote(s)
  2. Put the heavy strings on - live a little!

    15 vote(s)
  1. Outshined91

    Outshined91 Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2019
    US of A
    So I currently have a set of GHS Boomers .40-.95 on my fretless right now. Love them. But I could use some more bass in their tone, and would like the flexibility to downtune to DADG, DGDG, and CGCG (I can manage drop D alright with these strings but that's it). So I just bought a set of the Boomers in the heavy gauges .50-.115.
    Hence, my dilemma:
    With light gauges on right now, the setup is perfect, tension/feel are good for my fingers. The heavy gauges will meet those extra bits I described above, BUT more tension, etc. All this is fine, I would be ready to try them but you know how it is... heavier gauge strings mean I will probably need to adjust the truss, etc. and will probably never be able to exactly recreate the really nice setup I have right now.

    Should I make the switch and risk it all?
    JRA likes this.
  2. LP Custom

    LP Custom

    May 30, 2009
    The solution is clear: NEW BASS!
    gg22, One Way, timmo97 and 18 others like this.
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    The force is strong in this one.
  4. Outshined91

    Outshined91 Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2019
    US of A
    Haha I'm all for that... except this *is* the new bass! :cautious:
  5. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Try every set of strings you can. How else will you know what works for you? The answer isn’t here. It’s only subjective. So my vote is always switch strings until you find the set you love.

    Then buy lots of pedals.
    Nuage420, Kukulkan61 and Outshined91 like this.
  6. Jackcrow

    Jackcrow Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2017
    North Dakota
    I don’t think you’re going to get more bass in your tone when going to larger gauge strings.

    If you change tunings a lot and play with pretty low action, you’ll probably need to adjust the truss rod every time you change from standard to D or C anyway.
    Nuage420, JRA, RattleSnack and 3 others like this.
  7. 80jazz


    Jun 28, 2008
    I agree with this, and if you like the setup now you may not get back to it.

    It is your bass of course, but you may be tinkering when you do not need to.

    Good luck.
    Outshined91 likes this.
  8. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Guest

    Nov 22, 2017
    Agree with this. Fat strings = fat sound is a bit of a myth. I play light gauges and I get plenty of bottom end from my basses.

    There may be other reasons you want to change gauges, but that should not be the driving factor. Downtuning might be a better reason but, as others have said, once you change the setup for the strings, you may not like what you have so much.
  9. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I'm a mostly heavy strings kinda guy, but I keep one bass strung light for bendy fun.
  10. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    same as my vote, except that IME, you’ll need to add “rinse and repeat”. I have come full circle several times on string choices. ”THE ONE” set of strings to beat them all, is a fleeting and temporary mental state. If you are as fickle as I am about strings, you will most likely try many before you find your favorite, then after some time, you’ll find a new (but temporary) favorite. So, I strongly agree with the portion of your statement that says “always switch strings”! There is no best out there. Its all just different flavors that will hit your fancy at different times in your string journey.
    Funky40, JRA, LBS-bass and 2 others like this.
  11. coy garcia

    coy garcia

    Jan 18, 2020
    Even tuning to Eb I find a adjustment is needed IMO. I think it's optimal to set up a bass the way it's going to be tuned...or not if your ok with letting the action change as you change tunings.
    Outshined91 and mrcbass like this.
  12. RattleSnack


    Sep 22, 2011
    Like folks already said here, fat strings = more bass is not true. Maybe a bit more volume, but that's not significant on instrument with pickups.
    Look at strings thickness as an ergonomic preference. If you have a heavy hand and slam strings - go for thicker strings.
    If you play lightly, slap, or like bending - go for lighter strings.
    svlilioukalani and Outshined91 like this.
  13. BlackVincent52

    BlackVincent52 Inactive

    May 26, 2021
    Eh, a good setup isn’t wizardry. As long as you’re not going to file the nut slots, I see no reason why this string change can’t be reversed if you don’t like it.
    gg22, Outshined91 and DrThumpenstein like this.
  14. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    lots of us use lighter-gauge strings. none of us lack "bass." i voted "...if it ain't broke, don't fix it." good luck with your fretless! :thumbsup:
    Outshined91, Jackcrow and RattleSnack like this.
  15. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    Agree with most above. I find fundamental is stronger with less tension, harmonics are more pronounced with more tension. Ymmv
  16. RattleSnack


    Sep 22, 2011
    Yup, I use Rotosound RB40 at the moment, but I'll probably go even lighter for my next set, like RB35.
  17. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    :thumbsup: i'm using 35-90 for my 4-string axes (various brands) and they're a pleasure/fun to play! good luck with yours should you try them!
    RattleSnack likes this.
  18. Jazzkuma


    Sep 12, 2008
    Even if your setup is perfect now, the chances that it will remain perfect if you play the bass regularly are very low (even if you keep it in a case inside a closet). So dont fall in love with that specific setup, what you can do however is learn how to get the measurements for this setup, that way you can recreate it yourself again regardless of strings or bass.

    Personal opinion here, but sound is more important than feel or playability of the instrument. If the current strings dont give you the sound you like, then I say try the other strings. If you still cant get the setup right then you can always just go back to the old strings.
    gg22 likes this.
  19. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Inactive

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    This could get really expensive...
  20. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Inactive

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    Excuse my ignorance here but I always thought that Flatwounds were used on Fretless basses, the reason being is the rounds scuff up the fingerboard???
    coy garcia likes this.