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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. Register_To_Disable

  4. 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
  5. .
    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
  6. 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.