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Is higher tension on the E string better for drop D?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Lebowsky, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. Lebowsky

    Lebowsky Effects Forum Resident Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2007
    Lausanne, Switzerland
    I'm guessing this has been asked numerous time already, but the first threads that popped up in a search didn't really answer my question.

    I have been playing 45-65-85-105 forever. Feels perfect when tuned EADG. However, I play more and more in drop D (about half our set is tuned this way). When dropped to D, the 105 string feels a bit loose and flappy. The open D is much less "round and open" than the open E (sorry for the poor description, english is not my native language).

    Should I try replacing the lowest string with a 110 or a 115 string?

    What would the effect be when playing while tuned E? Am I risking to get the opposite effect?

    FWIW, I'm playing a Gibson Ripper.
  2. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    110 string for the E is pretty good for drop D tuning. I use the Rotosound Billy Sheehan signature set which are 43-65-80-110. They feel nicely balanced and not too dissimilar to a set of standard 45's

    Also, have a look at the hipshot D-tuner. If you're regularly switching tuning for half your set, this little device is invaluable.
  3. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    Drop D is always going to make the string a bit floppy. That's just what happens. A heavy string might help, but going from a .105 to .110 is a very, very small difference. I don't think it will be noticeable.
  4. I have found that a more flexible string will have less change in tone when drop tuned.
    If you think about it a flexible string has more movement. When it is loosened it flexes with the tone, not flopping against it.
    I suggest balancing the string tension as much as you can as if your bass was tuned D#ADG and getting flexible (not loose) strings.
    I use http://www.circlekstrings.com/store/ they have a great tension chart as well http://circlekstrings.com/CKSIMAGES/CircleKtensionChart130105.pdf