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Heavy Strings....Too Heavy?!

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Angus, Jul 28, 2000.


  1. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Ok, well, recently, i decided i wanted to put nickel strings on my Modulus. I was a "religious rotosound user." Id pray to those things...but then i remembered the sound i got out of the original strings on my Modulus (nickels...deepest and brightest strings ive ever tried...i wish i could order more!), and decided to go buy some nickels.

    The problem with the rotos was that they were too thin (.45-.125), and didnt give me the sound i wanted, so i bought some heavy D'addario Nickel XLs (.45-.130) on my bass, and i adore the sound, and especially the feel, as compared to my steel rotos (which are still on my Ibanez and Growler)...BUTTT theyre long scale...and my Modulus requires super long scale strings. They fit, but the winding side is tapered, and it tapers about a half inch from the nut on the B string...which i DONT like. So im going to order a custom set from D'addario. And just recently checked out the set to check to see if i could get the gauges i want.

    Now, getting to the problem. Id like a a NON-taperwound set, gauges .50, .70, .85, .110, .135. I can do all of those in the super long scale, except the B. If i was a super long .135, it has to be tapered. BUT they have a .145. Is that WAY to heavy? Im worried with the 35" scale itll be WAY too tight, and sound muted, or transversely, be floppy and sound like crap, and wont be good. I completely abhor taperwound, because i simply cant stand the feel of them. What should i do? I understand i might have to get the nut filed slightly for the .145, which im willing to do. Is this going to be bad for the neck? I mean, it should balance out, with the heavy bottom, because that should add some tension, but the heavy bottom will relieve some, likely. Is the .145 far to tight for the B? Any help you could give would be great! Thanks!

    [This message has been edited by MegaAngus (edited July 28, 2000).]

    [This message has been edited by MegaAngus (edited July 28, 2000).]
     
  2. Tony746

    Tony746

    Jul 8, 2000
    IMOP, A .50 set is way too heavy for a 35" scale bass. I remember when I changed the stock strings on my Modulus (.100 to .45 with a .130 B) to D'addario .105 to .45 with a .130 B, and how much the string tension increased on the E and A strings. Any "35 scale bass will always have greater string tension than a 34" scale bass because even though your'e tuning to the same pitches, a longer scale length requires greater tension to get up to pitch.
    D'Addario does make strings for 35 and 36
    inch instruments. They're called EXL. I usually go with a 105 to 45 EXL nickel 4 string set, and a single EXL 130 B. The B string is not taperwound. I usually order a few sets as a special order, dealers dont't usually stock them. It's a good Idea to order them from a small store. Your order won't get lost in the shuffle, like it might at GC or Sam Ash.......:rolleyes
    Hope this Helps!
    -T-
     
  3. Tony746

    Tony746

    Jul 8, 2000
    IMOP, A .50 set is way too heavy for a 35" scale bass. I remember when I changed the stock strings on my Modulus (.100 to .45 with a .130 B) to D'addario .105 to .45 with a .130 B, and how much the string tension increased on the E and A strings. Any "35 scale bass will always have greater string tension than a 34" scale bass because even though your'e tuning to the same pitches, a longer scale length requires greater tension to get up to pitch.
    D'Addario does make strings for 35 and 36
    inch instruments. They're called EXL. I usually go with a 105 to 45 EXL nickel 4 string set, and a single EXL 130 B. The B string is not taperwound. I usually order a few sets as a special order, dealers dont't usually stock them. It's a good Idea to order them from a small store. Your order won't get lost in the shuffle, like it might at GC or Sam Ash....... [​IMG]
    Hope this Helps!
    -T-
     
  4. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Well, i know i can order them and i know i can get a .45-.130 set for the 35" scale, AND i know there is added tension with the longer scale. Point being i want a .135 B string, which ISNT available, and thus was wondering about the .145 B, which probably wouldnt add any tension at all, it would be looser than the .130, and would compensate for the heavier top.
     
  5. Williamsburg Jim

    Williamsburg Jim

    Mar 5, 2000
    MA,

    The only comment I could add here is that I think my old RB-5 (which I can't seem to sell and will probably keep) has a B tapered core at the bridge and is 145. I personally tend to like light gauge strings and active electronics and/but I don't think the tension on the 145's were a problem. Although, it was tighter than say the tension of my 99 active J which I think has 135's on it.

    I forget now, but I thought and wanted to confirm that the heavier the string, the more tension required?
     
  6. Tony746

    Tony746

    Jul 8, 2000
    You're in luck. D'addario sells a 5 string set, available in the extra long scale, that
    goes .50 to .135. They also sell the .135 B
    as a single.
     
  7. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Jim, thanks for the info! And no, "the heavier the string, the more tension" is not true. The lighter the string, the less tension, and the heavier the string, the less tension. It peaks on the D string. Any lighter, and there is less tension. Any heavier, and theres less.

    And tony, no, they dont. The do in Long scale, but i require extra long scale. The .135 they have in super long is tapered, which i dont want. And im looking at XL's, to make sure were on the same page.
     
  8. MrGump

    MrGump

    Apr 20, 2000
    What about a different brand?Someone must make a 135.I remember reading about crazy string gauges and their effects,in a thread with John Turner.I dont have any experience with a 145,but I would think you would have a playability problem,it might require more neck curve,and is very mismatched to the rest of the set.I always played 50-110 or even 55-115,on my 4 strings,when I played really alot, and had excellent hand strength.They really add tone!I never understood using waay light strings,on a bass.IMO.
     
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    D'Addario definitely do have a Super Long Scale 5-string set - I have bought several of these. But I don't know if the XL range has this - the ones I bought are SlowWounds, which I consider to be the best bass strings I've ever tried.

    try :
    www.sheetmusicplus.com
     
  10. membranophone

    membranophone

    Mar 19, 2000
    Madison, WI
    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by MegaAngus:
    Jim, thanks for the info! And no, "the heavier the string, the more tension" is not true. The lighter the string, the less tension, and the heavier the string, the less tension. It peaks on the D string. Any lighter, and there is less tension. Any heavier, and theres less.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If you were to compare two strings (identical except for string gauge), stretched over the same scale and tuned to the same pitch, you would find that the heavier one had more tension. In the quote above, you are comparing different gauges tuned to different pitches. Two variables exist. In order to truly compare the tension of two strings, you must isolate just one variable (the gauge), and keep all others constant. You must tune the two strings to the same pitch.
     
  11. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Yeah, i realized that i was thinking heavier and NOT tuned to correct pitch. But yeah, i know that...i just didnt care to edit because i was too lazy, and it wasnt really a big point. The Modulus's neck CAN handle the extra tension, and even if i really wanted to, i could set the "truss rod like thing" to backbow, and then it would balance out. I just wonder if the .145 is so big it would snap...any thoughts? Ive heard of people using a .145 B string before, but i dont remember who, so i cant ask them what i was like. Help please!

    ------------------
    "Watch out, im gonna throw another duck at you!"

    ~Prez. Biski

     
  12. membranophone

    membranophone

    Mar 19, 2000
    Madison, WI
    i know john turner uses a .150 gauge string, but he tunes that string a fifth lower than B, low F#. maybe he has somethng to say.
     
  13. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    This is true (although some may erroneously jump to the opposite conclusion -- kind of like which way to turn your wheels when you skid on ice).

    Now, for a follow-up: The heavier strings would probably increase your neck relief. After readjusting the bass to the exact same setup specs, which guage strings would offer less fret buzz? The lighter ones because they're floppier, or the heavier ones because they're "bigger"?

    This isn't a quiz. I really want to know. I've experimented with lots of strings over the years, but never in a truly scientific manner.

    Thanks,

    Bob

    [Edited by Bob C on 11-27-2000 at 04:35 PM]
     
  14. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Hhhhmmm...i think the lighter strings seem to buzz more, especially because they tend to be looser and lower on the frets. I just put a set of LaBella Hard Rockin Steels (my main strings now) on my Modulus, 45-135, and they sound great! No adjustment needed, because of the graphite neck.

    Sounds pretty damn good to me!
     
  15. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    That's what I thought too. I'm using the med-light nickel Carvin strings that came with my Carvin bass (not the original set).

    I think I want a change. I like nickel strings, but these are a little flimsy and tinny. I'm not sure whether to switch guages, or brands, or both. I'm thinking about DR Sunbeams or Elixirs.

    Here's another question: What's the (signigicant) difference between hex core and round core?

     
  16. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Try some LaBella Hard Rockin Steels...these strings kick more ass than any string ever! :D

    I believe hex cores are supposed to be a bit brighter and last longer...but i dont remember exactly. Dont worry to much about it, as youll probably never notice it!
     
  17. membranophone

    membranophone

    Mar 19, 2000
    Madison, WI
    I agree. I just slapped some LaBella supersteps on my 6 string. these are the same as the hard rockin steels, but the core is exposed over the saddle. i like em so far.
     
  18. Tell that to my truss rod, MAngus. :D


     
  19. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    That was a while ago, and read what i said after. I was thinking string to string, not heavier string same pitch. ;)