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How far can I tune up from low F# without something bad happening?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by topo morto, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    I have strung a 35" scale bass with Warwick dark lord strings (085-105-135-175) and a random D string.

    Tuned F# B E A D it's OK.

    Tuned up a half step it's significantly more fun - better tension, better sound.

    How far can I go? would a whole step be crazy? I don't want to lose an eye.
  2. EricssonB


    Apr 5, 2011
    CoSpgs, CO.
  3. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    Thanks, appreciate the help! :rolleyes:
  4. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    .135 is a heavy B on a 34". 35", I wouldn't tune up more than a half step from where you're at without going to a lighter gauge.
  5. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    No more than a whole step.... You will be pushing upwards of 45lbs of tension on the .135... However the biggest problem is going to be your A string... if you tune that to B it will be at 60lbs...

    What you should be doing is tuning something like GBEAD or G#BEAD
  6. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    Thanks guys.

    Seems like a 5 string neck is usually handling about 200lbs of tension.... roughly speaking, how much extra tension do you think would be overdoing it?
  7. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    Personally I would try to keep the total tension close to the same as it was with the stock strings. Truss rod adjustments can deal with a small increase in total tension but I have no idea what the limits might be. If you look at the string by string tension on a standard string set you will often find that some strings are pretty loose while others are quite tight. You can usually build a custom set that will tighten the loose strings, loosen the tight strings, and still keep the total tension about the same. In fact some folks prefer to run the low strings at higher tension than the high strings, just opposite of how standard sets often come out, and you can do that too while keeping the total the same.

    Not saying this is always the case but the one time I tried to tune a G string up to A# it snapped somewhere between A and A#....

  8. ixlramp


    Jan 25, 2005
    Your gauges are a traditional unbalanced set with tension rising significantly from low to high, so while your lower strings can safely take a whole step the highest strings will be dangerously tight. The optimum way to get maximum tension is to build a custom set with equal tension strings.

    Use this http://circlekstrings.com/CKSIMAGES/CircleKtensionChart.pdf to design your set and then round to the nearest .005 to choose gauges in a brand of your choice. Circle K Strings also sell balanced tension sets for any possible detuned tuning.

    For example if you want to keep using the Warwick .175 then match the higher strings to it's tension: .175 .130 .095 .070 .050, this could be tuned up to G# standard easily.
  9. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    Sounds like a plan. Thanks for the help.