Hollow body short scale bass and string gauge

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by knight of ni, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. I bought an Ibanez AFB200, a full hollow body short scale bass. It came with roundwound strings which I changed for flat wounds 45-100 which I already had. I realized in the process that the original strings were 50-105 which is kind of equivalent tension wise to 45-100 for long scale basses. I loosened the truss rod a bit and had to raise the action by 0.5 mm approx. otherwise there would be quite a bit of fret buzz in the higher part of the neck.

    I have no problem playing the bass with 45-100 strings but I wonder if the sound is better with 50-105, if I should put 50-105 to lower the action, to avoid fret buzz when playing near the neck, etc. Any advice or opinion ?
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    You can play whatever strings you like as long as they're the proper scale length for the bass and then adjust the setup accordingly.
  3. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    Depends on your technique, where on the neck you most likely are going to be playing, and whether or not you like the sound and tension of the lighter gauge.

    If they sound good to you and you're comfortable with the action where it is, I'd be inclined to just leave them on for the time being. They won't do any harm. And I personally think you get better snap and bottom with lighter strings because there's greater excursion with lighter string gauges. It's not the thickness of the strings so much as it's the vibration and motion that the pickup senses. More motion usually generates more sound information. It's not a hard fast rule with every string out there. But I seem to have noticed a .100 E has a lot more punch the way I play than a heavier .105 or .110 has.

    But like everything bass, YMMV. Just go with what your ears are telling - you rather than what somebody tells you - and you'll do fine. :thumbsup:
  4. Thanks for the advice. After playing for some days (and waiting for the neck to stabilise) I've actually no real reason to move back to the heavier default gauges other than, well, them being the default. This settles the question !
    40Hz likes this.
  5. If they are working and you like the tone, feel, and sound, then leave them be. Oh, I like the Monty Python/ Holy Grail references by the way. My fav comedy movie of all time. :D