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Help with string lengths

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by bassdude, May 22, 2000.


  1. I just bought a 1/2 size bass (I think). String catalogs list strings as 3/4, 1/2 and 1/4. My new bass has a scale length of 38" is this half size. I will use this bass for loud gigs and remove the pickups from my other basses.

    ------------------
    Carl
     
  2. Why take a chance on what you hear in a forum? It's your money being spent. I'd call the company that makes the string, or a major distributor like Lemur
     
  3. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    I think that 38" is indeed 1/2 size.
    You'd better get half-size strings, or you'll loose too much tension with regular strings.
    Call Lemur Music (1-800-248-BASS) they stock about every bass string available.
    Do you play jazz pizz, or arco?


    ------------------
    François Blais
    Ville de Québec


     
  4. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    > Call Lemur Music (1-800-248-BASS) they > stock about every bass string available.

    Ooops! The phone number is 1-800-246-BASS



    ------------------
    François Blais
    Ville de Québec


     
  5. Thank you Francios: While I do play with a bow I won't use a bow on this bass. My other basses are 3/4 and 7/8 size. The terminoligy for string instruments dates back hundreds of years. I have been e-mailing string companys to figure the terminoligy for these jr sized basses. Thanks for the good advice fron every one and I will report when it is ready to Play

    ------------------
    Carl
     
  6. I the absence of argument from a physicist, I believe that two strings of the same make and same thickness, stretched to reach the same pitch over the same distance from bridge to nut, or from tuner to tailpiece, will have the same tension, regardless of the original length of the string. What length string you buy is a matter of convenience, i.e., how much extra string you will tolerate in the peg box. My luthier simply cuts off any annoying excess, with no effect on the tension
     
  7. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Don,
    you're right, but the point here is that Carl has a bass with a shorter string vibrating lenght (38").
    So a regular string will be stretched at a lower tension value, for the same pitch, in comparison to a 41" scale lenght, for instance.

    ------------------
    François Blais
    Ville de Québec


     
  8. If the 1/2 string is the same diameter as the "regular" string, whatever that is, the tension will be identical.
     
  9. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    With all due respect:

    You were right as far as you went -- "if the string is the same diameter" -- but strings for differing scales are built with DIFFERING diameters to achieve indentical tensions. That is, to achive 30 lb tension, a 3/4 string would be a smaller diameter than a 1/2 string. So if you put strings designed for a certain tension ON A CERTAIN SCALE-- light, medium, heavy, whatever -- on a bass of a different scale length, you will not get the tension you expect.

    And don't forget, it's the CORE diameter (which none of the mfr's advertise) that produces the tension, not the total diameter with the windings (which they do).

    Perhaps we have to ask the mfr's to list string tensions in pounds, eh? [​IMG]
     
  10. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Some manufacturers are now giving the tension figures. (in both pounds and kilograms... [​IMG]
    I think of Thomastik and D'Addario.


    ------------------
    François Blais
    Ville de Québec

     
  11. "With all due respect"? "WITH ALL DUE RESPECT" ??????? All right, who's the wise guy that put my age on the Internet? Very interesting, and it raises a question: Is there some standard that different manufacturers agree to when they describe the tension of their own string as low/high ? And it stands to reason that if they know the exact measurement, they could tell it to the buyers. Arguing with myself, though, I'm not sure that total specificity is necessary. I play on two, sometimes three basses throughout each week, with different string types, tensions, and lengths, and I don't find adjustment that difficult.
    Francois - Do you have an Azola?
    P.S. One day, a friend and I measured the diameters of our strings with a micrometer. A total of 3 different manufacturers between us. E for E, A for A, etc. the diameter was the same.

    [This message has been edited by Don Higdon (edited July 24, 2000).]
     
  12. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    I'm on the edge of selling my BugBass, why do you ask?
     
  13. Oh, nothing, It's just that I posted a thread just for you in Basses DB on June 30 and never heard a word.
     
  14. richhansen

    richhansen

    Oct 2, 2006
    Utah
    Endorser of the KSM Foundation Bridge.
    I have a new 7/8 bass that I want to put dominants on, which has a 43.5" string length. From what I have seen on the Thomastik-Infeld web site, the longest dominants they make are for 3/4" Does anyone know if these would be long enough for a bass with a 43.5" vibrating string length?

    Thanks
     
  15. I think that should be possible, but you will have a very strong tension, not that nice for your fingers / hands
     
  16. richhansen

    richhansen

    Oct 2, 2006
    Utah
    Endorser of the KSM Foundation Bridge.
    I am thinking that dominant solos would be a great match for this bass, and since I prefer lightr tension strings anyway ( I currently use spirocores weichs), this further convinces me of this. What do you think, and are dominant 3/4 solos the same length as regular dominant?

    Thanks
     
  17. I don't see any reason why the string lengths should differ for orchestral or solo strings. You usually put them on the same instrument for orchestral or solo work.

    But maybe a user of both kinds can give you a better reply.
     
  18. eerbrev

    eerbrev

    Dec 6, 2009
    Ottawa, ON, CAN
    3/4 strings are 3/4 strings, no matter the tension in the Thomastik catalogue. They might make you some longer strings if you find the 3/4s don't work, they're relatively amicable for things like that.

    eerbrev