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High F string wound or pure steel?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Ikonoklast, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. So i suppose this question is for any of the 6 or 7 string bass guys who use a high F string.
    Which do you prefer, wound or pure steel?
    What can i expect the tension to be like?
    What gauge to you use?
    Which string companies offer these strings
    Which string company do you use?
    In your opinion does a pure steel string blend better with stainless steel or nickle wound.
    Does it not really matter.

    I won't be doing much tapping.
    I play 80% fingerstyle 10% pick 10% slap.
    I guess i would prefer a string that his durable ie won't break too easily.

    Anyway I'm looking forward to hearing all your opinions and advice.
    Thanks in advance
  2. SpaceCadetVibe

    SpaceCadetVibe Have as many or as few strings as you want. Commercial User

    Apr 14, 2013
    Denver, CO
    Owner/Operator: Bass Extracts Endorsing Artist: Marco Bass Guitars
    Sounds like we have similar playing style. I mostly do finger style as well and tune my basses E-F . I really prefer using a 33 as my C and a 25 (wound) as my F. I have experimented with an unwound 20 but did not like the feel as much. There is not much difference in size between the 25 and 20 but the feel of wound and unwound is really noticeable. Not saying either way is better, because I seem to go back and forth but I use Kalium (formerly Cirkle K) Strings and they have so many sizing options you can really dig in and experiment. Maybe check them out they are great strings and fantastic guys that own the company and they are super knowledageable on the subject if the website is a little overwhelming (there are just a lot of sizes). Good luck if you have any other thing feel free to message me, I know what it is like going through that and trying to get comfortable.
  3. Ok, we got one vote for wound.
    I completely take your point about feel of wound over pure.
    That makes sense.

    I have heard of Circle K so I checked out their website.
    It took me quite a while to get my head around all the options.
    When i looked at their tension chart it all became clear.
    Its all about balancing the tensions from string to string

    It seems like the tension on your wound F is a little on the high side.
    That wouldn't bother me but i think tappers like a lower tension.
    If you wanted a lower tension balanced set you would probably need a pure steel F

    I think I'll email the Circle K guys and see what they think.
    Thanks for the info SpaceCadetVibe

    If anyone else has any opinions on this subject i'd love to hear them.
  4. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Skinny strings are inexpensive. Get several different kinds and try them for yourself. It's the only way to figure out what works best for you.
  5. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    Plain Steel Strings will cost you a couple of bucks each. Cheap enough to buy yourself some spares...

    Wound F-Strings cost 3-4 times as much as plain steels. Pretty much sound the same except they have more string squeak under shifts. Comparing a .020w to .020p the wound will be weaker.

    As far as I know the only companies making WOUND .020 strings are:

    Ken Smith - Stainless or Nickel Plated Steel
    MTD - Stainless or Nickel Plated Steel
    GHS - Nickel Plated Steel

    .022 is available from Dean Markely in the SR2000 product line.
  6. ixlramp


    Jan 25, 2005
    A wound F of .020-.022 will be tight, will have a very thin core (.010-.012) and will break easy, if you want durability use a plain steel of around .018, i find having the plain at a lower tension helps blend and mellow the tone. Plain tone blends better with steel strings.
    Conklin Guitars sell wound .020s designed for high F, mail order from the site.
    gebass6 likes this.
  7. Durability is definitely important to me, so plain steel could be the way to go.
    I should probably mention that I will be tuning the F down a semi-tone to E.
    This should make a higher tension wound string a little more manageable.
    Based on the advice I've got so far I think I'll get a .018 or .020 plain steel and a .025 wound string.
    I can try both and see which I prefer and if I break one I've always got a spare.

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