La Bella "Original 1954" 760M for BEAD Tuning

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Desuh, Aug 22, 2017.


  1. Desuh

    Desuh

    May 28, 2011
    Michigan
    Im going to have a bass dedicated to BEAD tuning with flatwounds and i would prefer to not have to use a 5 string set, which would require me to file the nut and maybe even my bridge hole slot.

    lb_1954original_thumbnail.jpg

    As the title implies, I'm looking to try the La Bella Original 54s, also called the Jamersons set for this tuning. I've read these have remarkably high tension, and the gauge looks thick while not being a 5 string bumped set. It sounds like these strings could be lowered a 4th and still have playable tension. I don't mind low tension; I love TI's tension but I'd rather not have to bump down a set for my 4 string.

    Has anyone on here tried this? I've searched all over the forum and other bass forums, to no avail on this matter. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017
  2. Don't know, but I use 760 FM. They're the next set down. I can't compare the tension, but the FMs are heavy tension as well. If I dropped my E string to a B, it would be way floppy.
     
    Desuh likes this.
  3. Desuh

    Desuh

    May 28, 2011
    Michigan
    Hmm like unplayable floppy or floppier than average?
     
  4. Tried it last night before bed. It's kind of playable, but way floppier than TIs while still being stiff. Felt more flubby if that makes sense. I wouldn't do it, but everyone is different. Maybe if I setup my bass to play with that tension, it would be play a little better.
     
    HaphAsSard likes this.
  5. Desuh

    Desuh

    May 28, 2011
    Michigan
    Oh I think I know exactly what you mean. Yeah that doesn't sound like anything I want haha. Maybe I should just bite the bullet and file the nut a 5 string set minus the g
     
  6. GunsandGuitars

    GunsandGuitars Commercial User

    Aug 1, 2017
    Youtube.com/gunsandguitars
    I play BEAD exclusively these days. I use a 5 string set, never had to file the nut or the bridge on any of my basses, though I do use a taperwound B string which helps with the bridge. Just try an extra light gauge 5 string set, you might get lucky an not have to worry about the nut. With the extra tension of heavier gauges you will need to tweak your setup to play well.
     
  7. GunsandGuitars

    GunsandGuitars Commercial User

    Aug 1, 2017
    Youtube.com/gunsandguitars
    Also, you could pop out your nut and replace it with a cheaper one to experiment with, since you seem to like your nut, then you could go back to it whenever you want
     
  8. Desuh

    Desuh

    May 28, 2011
    Michigan
    I'll give this a shot then, thank you!
     
  9. GunsandGuitars

    GunsandGuitars Commercial User

    Aug 1, 2017
    Youtube.com/gunsandguitars
    No problem! And welcome to the world of BEAD! It's where bass players who actually play "bass" live. None of this lead guitar wannabe junk haha
     
  10. Nev375

    Nev375

    Nov 2, 2010
    Missouri
    I recommend a .140ish for a low B at 34" scale.
    A .110 is way too floppy to use IMO.
     
  11. Desuh

    Desuh

    May 28, 2011
    Michigan
    Thanks for the advice! Any Flatwounds set you recommend the low b on? Uncharted territory for me
     
  12. Nev375

    Nev375

    Nov 2, 2010
    Missouri

    Good question. I don't really use flats so I can't give you an informed opinion on them.

    A .140 is going to be tricky to find as almost every string set out there use B strings that are way lighter in tension than the rest of the set. The closest you might reasonably find is a .135 which would probably be close enough if you aren't too picky about tension or if you favor lighter to medium gauges overall.

    I recommend you take a look on bassstringsonline.com which will let you order a custom gauged set of single strings out of nearly any brand you want. See which brands will get you closest to the .140. I would lean toward those.
     
    Desuh likes this.
  13. Desuh

    Desuh

    May 28, 2011
    Michigan
    I do like lighter gauges! I usually use TI's or other low tension flats, so .135 should be good! Thanks!
     
  14. Pier_

    Pier_

    Dec 22, 2013
    Roma, Italia
    go with the TI, then :p

    I've had them on a Yamaha BB415 years ago, best 5-string set I've ever had! the B was perfect, and made a dark bass like the Yamaha sound defined and clear (not bright, obviously! but we are talking about flats, 100% fundamental and few "lost-in-the-mix" harmonics).

    by the way, I use the Jamerson set on my Jazz Bass, 4 strings, and they are not "that" heavy in tension. in my opinion it's just a legend related to the fact that most bass players usually play with 45-105 or smaller gauges, so once they get to a set of 50-100 strings they find them hard and heavy.

    for example, yesterday I was trying a spare set of Jamersons on my new Gibson Tbird; I came from a set of Rotosound Swing 45-105, and had to set the action and the truss rod.
    I used them a bit, recorded a couple of samples and then pur on my beloved set of Ernie Ball nickel rounds 50-105, and I didn't have to set the truss rod.
    since yesterday afternoon the bass still has the same straight neck and action, I only had to set the intonation right.

    on my Jazz happened almost the same thing in December, when I put on the Labella for the first time: I was using the 50-105 Ernie Balls, nickel rounds, and I didn't have to set the neck relief in any way, only the bridge height on the D and A strings (which are the bigger in the set, 73 and 95. usually in a set of 50-110 you have a 90 A string and a 70 D string. Jamersons are 52-73-95-110, it seemsabit odd on the chart).

    the Jazz with Jamerson it's still my most comfortable bass, though not a "slapping-bending-tapping" bass, for that I have a Warwick Streamer with 45-100 rounds :p

    however, I just tried the 110 lowered to B, and it's NOT good. it's floppy and doesn't have enough tension. it's even hard to tune to B.
     
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  15. Desuh

    Desuh

    May 28, 2011
    Michigan
    Thank you for such an in depth response! I appreciate it.
     
    Pier_ likes this.
  16. Pier_

    Pier_

    Dec 22, 2013
    Roma, Italia
    it's always a pleasure to share our experiences :)
     
    Desuh likes this.
  17. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Also, I've filed out nuts for BEAD and later switched back to EADG using the same nut with no problems.
     
    Desuh likes this.
  18. Desuh

    Desuh

    May 28, 2011
    Michigan
    That is very good to know! Perhaps i should buy a strong nut for my jazz bass because the slots will be wider/closer together so there will be less material between each string?
     
  19. Nashrakh

    Nashrakh

    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I've used La Bella flats in 105 (one step lighter than the 54ers I think) for a few years in BEAD tuning.

    I thought, for what it's worth, that they were perfectly playable like that if, and that's a big if, you can handle the lighter tension. I would not consider them loose feeling or anything, the strings themselves are quite stiff, but the tension may feel weird to you.

    I've since switched to TI flats for BEAD (the five string set though), but I was happy enough with the downtuned La Bellas that I recorded a full length album with it.
     
    Desuh likes this.
  20. Linnin

    Linnin

    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    It's obvious that you've never custom slotted nor installed a nut before, and have neither the skills nor the specialized tools required. Take your bass and a new set of strings of your choice to a competent luthier or technician for installation & setup. You'll be glad you did and $$ ahead.
     
    Desuh likes this.
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