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How many 2-wrap .055 strings exist? What brands?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by rzero, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. rzero


    Apr 21, 2014
    Tempe, AZ
    Hello everyone. Long time lurker, not-often poster. I've learned a ton from this forum over the years with the good old Search button, but I need to directly pick the brains of the many string gurus here.

    Lately I've been enjoying heavy, balanced-tension (or close) strings on my old Yamaha 4-string, around .055-.130 (I'm tuning to Eb, please don't judge me ;)). Also in recent months/years, I've become more aware how the number of wraps on a string is a significant (to my ears) factor in tone. The great thing about a .055 G string is the possibility of having a 2-wrap G, which can be much less twangy than a single-wrap G.

    The only .055 2-wrap I own is a Kalium stainless, which sounds great. Right now though, I have been using other brands for the E and A strings, as I'm not a huge fan of tapered strings, and Kalium's .098/.102 ("A" string for me) is 2-wrap, and I prefer the usual 3-wrap design on this gauge to better match my E string.

    Anyway, long question short, what brands have a 2-wrap .055? I mentioned Kalium, and I suspect GHS does on their rounds, as I have a GHS acoustic bass set with a 2-wrap .056. I prefer stainless. And right now, I don't mind the Kalium G and D, and D'Addario/Dunlop/whatever A and E, but I am curious what my other options are.

    Any help is appreciated.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
  2. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    GHS does not. Nearly everything in our stable is a one wrap until you hit around the .060 mark (the exception being the phosphor bronze, precision flatwounds and the Super Steels STB58).
    rzero likes this.
  3. rzero


    Apr 21, 2014
    Tempe, AZ
    Thanks, Jon! Super Steels are certainly an option. I also just remembered I have a Dunlop Heavy Core .120 nickel set with a 2-wrap .055. In fact, last night I threw on some old D'Addario XL .130 and .095 on the E and A and was blown away by the woody, but brutal, if I may say, tone of the XLs at this tension. Also easier on the fingers than stainless of course. I may try the Heavy Core .055 and .075 paired with the XLs or some other nickels, as the Heavy Core .120 string is not quite stiff enough, and the .100 string is a little too stiff.

    So, the list so far:

    Kalium Hybrid, Stainless
    Dunlop Heavy Core
  4. rzero


    Apr 21, 2014
    Tempe, AZ
    I am now tuning to B on this 4-string, so this has eliminated the G-string issue. Going even a little tighter on the strings now by tuning up a half-step (and adding the B). Using D'Addario nickels, with tapers on the E and B. The tone difference between the 2-wrap D and 3-wrap A is less noticeable than the difference between a 2-wrap D and single-wrap G. I have a .170 for the B, which sounds incredible.

    The B is so bassy, though, I bought a compressor to even out the volume with the other strings. At a 9" neck radius, I've been running into this problem with balanced-tension sets because the 4th (and 1st) strings are significantly closer to the soap-bar pickups than the 2nd and 3rd strings. I had my action almost completely flat on the bridge side briefly which took care of the volume imbalance, but made for harder playability, of course. Not willing to give up the tone of this B, the compressor has been the best solution so far.

    D'Addario nickel-plated:
    D - .070 - 2-wrap
    A - .095 - 3-wrap
    E - .130 - 3-wrap
    B - .170 - 3-wrap

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