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increasing string tension

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by jnotes, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. I am designing a tailpiece that will extend the overall length of bass strings - particularly relative to the winding post positions at the headstock. Example: Fender basses - length of the G string is about 6" longer than the E string. After playing short scale and long scale basses, it seems intuitive that longer strings produce (or require) more tension for the same tuning. Of course the gauge is also a consideration as well as overall stiffness/method of string construction. I think the string length between the winding post and the tailstock has a great deal to do with string tension and changing (increasing) this should not effect the tuning or fret intonation since this is controlled by the distance from the nut to the bridge.
    Any thoughts or comments?
  2. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Search for "string tension scale length" and you will find many threads on this topic in the Luthier's Corner. Actual tension will not change when the string length beyond the speaking length is increased, though some argue that perceived tension does.
  3. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Banned

    From the nut to the bridge saddle is the only length that matters for string tension. The only thing a longer length between the saddle and tailpiece will do is cause you to need harder-to-find extra long scale strings.
  4. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    If you were to increase the tension on a string, the pitch would go up. It's physics. It's reality.

    The extra string length beyond the bridge or nut has no effect on resting string tension, even if it were to stretch from LA to the Brooklyn Bridge.

    Extra length beyond nut or bridge, if allowed to slip over the nut or bridge during plucking, would serve to make the string feel less stiff, by reducing the required force to achieve a given sideways deflection. That is to say, as one plucks sideways, the tension rises; a supply of extra string spilling over the dam during plucking reduces this rise in tension, which makes the string feel looser.

    OK, now that that's done, can we not hear this for the rest of 2012? :)
  5. giacomini


    Dec 14, 2008
    Florianopolis - Brazil
    Endorsing: Copetti Guitars
  6. Johnny Fila

    Johnny Fila Formerly "The Crusader" Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Elmont, NY (near NYC)
    ad nauseum for the last 8 years, at least.
  7. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Troll. One post, joined yesterday.
  8. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Happy New Year Pete, you already get to explain string tension, probably an omen for the rest of the year......LOL. I am sure a solidbody tonewood thread is in the works soon....LMAO :p
  9. devo_stevo


    Aug 2, 2006
    Northern Utah
    Builder: Brumbaugh Guitarworks
    I'm cooking up a fake username to post under for that one as we speak.

    You'll hear from me shortly. ;):D
  10. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Next, you'll be telling me a pound of feathers doesn't weigh less than a pound of lead, Munji! ;)
  11. Hmmm, I have something cooking up in my head...

  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    No, but either is heavier than a pound of gold.

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