1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

I did use the search: Worth it to change gauge?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by HereIGoAgain, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. Ain't broke? Then don't fix it. If it feels/sounds good, keep the lights.

    4 vote(s)
  2. Go up to "regular" or "medium" for better tone.

    2 vote(s)
  3. Try "heavies" or a custom set.

    1 vote(s)
  4. Other components will have a greater effect on tone (bridge, etc.).

    1 vote(s)
  5. Another brand of the light gauge might sound better.

    0 vote(s)
  1. HereIGoAgain


    Oct 16, 2011
    Currently, my Jazz bass has D'Addario nickel round wounds in "light" gauge. (0.045-.100) The feel is good, but I wonder if a change is worth it.

    My gauge of strings on my electric has crept up (I'm now using Ernie Ball Power Slinkies (0.011-0.048) on my Les Paul. On acoustics, I try to stick with what the manufacturer puts on it.

    Bass... Does string gauge make as much difference in the sound as it does with guitar? My bass has EMG-JX pickups. I'm looking for a fatter sound. (Yes, I know that it'll still be a jazz bass no matter what. :D)

    I know a lot of basses come with 0.050-0.105s, and my local dealer has some Ernie Ball Power slinkies with the E string at 0.110.

    I'm also thinking about a bone nut and a high-mass bridge.

    So, what would you do if you were contemplating changing something for a better sound?
  2. matante


    Nov 3, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Yes. Gauge does make a difference but not as much as you might think unless you make a drastic change.

    What do you mean by FATTER sound?

    Thinner strings will give you slightly less highs and slightly less sustain, but you might not even notice.
  3. HereIGoAgain


    Oct 16, 2011
    The example of what I'm really looking for in bass tone would be John McVie in this video:

    I know that a Jazz bass will always be a jazz bass with a jazz bass tone, and I'm good with this. I just want as good of a sound as I can get. :D
  4. .
    I think McVie is using flatwounds. He seems to be palm-muting at the beginning of the song. Sort of gets a bit buried from there, I can't hear him clearly.
    (My hearing has been damaged by years in heavy industry mind you.)

    The other guy sounds like he's using flats to me too, along with maybe a flange effect.

    So, in summary, maybe consider a set of heavier gauge, non-bright flats (eg. forget Chromes!) and turn your tone down a little. I'd be finger-plucking between the pickups on your Jazz with both volume controls wide open.

    There are guys on here who are infinately better at analysing bass sounds than me. Hopefully a few will chime in without flaming me! :D
  5. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    The first thing to try is lowering your pickups - because it's free! You'll lose a little volume and brightness, but you have an amp to compensate for the volume. If your nut is cut for the gauge you have on, I would try a flat wound in that same gauge. If your nut can take a heavier gauge, try that. I would sort out the strings before moving onto a new bridge. I wouldn't bother changing the nut at all.