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Heavy steels in standard tuning?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by FourBanger, Apr 1, 2013.


  1. FourBanger

    FourBanger

    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    Does anyone have experience using heavy steel roundwounds in standard tuning, something thicker than 45-105? If so, does the tonality change at all because of the girth of the strings?
     
  2. tylerwylie

    tylerwylie

    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    The tonal change is probably more apparent to the player than anyone else listening.
     
  3. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I had heavy rotos 66's tuned EADG and they sounded and felt great, except the E didn't fit in the nut slot and I didn't wanna mod anything. 50-110 I think.
     
  4. FourBanger

    FourBanger

    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    Seems I'll have to be the test subject.

    Looks like Dunlop, Rotosound and DR do 50-110 sets in ss rounds, and I've heard of some bloke out west who will let you order singles to make up a set.
     
  5. FourBanger

    FourBanger

    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    Did it cause trouble to the point you could not play them on the bass?
     
  6. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Not at all. It played great, but the E was only in contact with the sides of the nut slot and not the bottom, so it was apparently putting stress on the nut so I replaced it with a single 105. I'm sure slapinfunk will chime in soon enough with a more knowledge-based and useful answer.
     
  7. Ian_Flash

    Ian_Flash

    Jan 17, 2013
    What kind of bass is it? What's the scale length? What's the nut made of?
     
  8. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    The tonality does indeed differ from one gauge of string to another, generally speaking...

    The heavier the gauge, the more attack but less sustain; the more fundamental, but fewer harmonic overtones.

    The lighter the gauge, the less attack but more sustain; the less fundamental, but more harmonic overtones.

    Again in very general terms, heavier strings tend to be more powerful; lighter strings more "musical" - depending a lot on how one happens to define musicality.

    MM
     
  9. FourBanger

    FourBanger

    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    The bass is the VM Precision on it's way from Guitar Center, should be at my door Monday.

    It looks like the first part of this experiment will be simply to try the set of 45-105 ProSteels I picked up at GC for a song (the only steel set they had except DR, and I didn't want to waste DR money on an experiment).

    This way I will learn whether I want to keep with steels or go back to nickels before I buy something possibly heavier and/or more expensive set.
     
  10. Ian_Flash

    Ian_Flash

    Jan 17, 2013
    You can widen your nut with a small file or sandpaper CAREFULLY, just don't deepen it. Also, the difference in tension between a D'Ad ProSteel .105 and their .110 is less than 2lbs. on a 34" scale in standard tuning so you probably won't feel much of a difference BUT... you will get more a bit more BOOM from the .110. You can also get a well balanced set from Circle K Strings which will give you some better incremental diameter/tension options on ALL strings.
     
  11. Duckwater

    Duckwater

    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    In my experience, I have found the exact opposite to be true. The only way to know is to try it out for yourself, everyone is different.

    OP, I have used up to a .118-.49 set tuned to standard and it was fantastic. If I wasn't working on my double thumbing right now I would have a heavy set on as I really prefer them for finger style.
     
  12. I found .110's to be a lot more relaxing on my right hand. I play a lot of traditional & thrash metal so this came as a big relief. As i could play faster longer. My bass guy setup my bass to suit the heavier gauge. I use rotosounds If youre woundering
     
  13. FourBanger

    FourBanger

    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    One advantage of experimenting like this on a P bass is it would be a lot easier to replace the nut if I open it up and later want to go back.

    Try to get a nut for an RBX170 sometime...
     
  14. FourBanger

    FourBanger

    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    According to big D'A the .105 ProSteel is 37.3lbs and the .110 is 44.4lbs (34" scale tuned to E) for an increase of 7.1lbs
     
  15. Ian_Flash

    Ian_Flash

    Jan 17, 2013
    Good news. I know that they redesigned the core/wrap ratio on some of the XL nickels which were about a 2lb difference, apparently the did it on Pro Steels too (I went by an older tension guide). That's a good reason to try a .110 if you want a tighter feel or occasionally drop it to D.
     

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