Lighter gauge strings = more balance?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Garagiste, Dec 25, 2014.

  1. Garagiste


    Feb 16, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    Question for you all: I just bought a '79 MM Stingray that has very light gauge and seemingly low tension strings on it and the balance from string to string is pretty amazing. Specifically, the notes above C on the E string (which usually get kind of boomy) are very nicely balanced with their sibling notes on other strings. Is this a function of the lighter gauge or perhaps the active pickup? This is my first foray into Stingray basses and also active pickups. I can't get this kind of balance on my passive Fenders without a compressor. The seller I got the bass from could not remember the make or model of the strings.
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Could be a balanced tension string set from Circle K, or a regular set of DR, Fodera, or Dunlop Super Brights which are not balanced by gauge, but I've found these to be the most balanced sets by sound. I have a hunch they are probably DR's just because they are the most widely availabe of these. Any silks or anything on the strings?
  3. Garagiste


    Feb 16, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY

    Red silks and the metal is a shade darker than the usual nickel strings I use from D'Addario. image.jpg
  4. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    those are definitely none of the ones that I mentioned:laugh:

    Those look like Rotosound 66 steels.
    Klonk and Roland GR 88 like this.
  5. GHS Boomers have red silks as well. But Rotosounds do use a darker metal, can't tell. The Boomers are a bit coarse feeling if that helps.
  6. Levin


    Oct 30, 2012
    I always thought so too to my ears anyway with lighter strings, but I guess it's a lot of factors.
  7. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    look at the way the silks are stair-stepped instead of tapered, and the strings are grey, not shiny: Roto 66.
    Freez likes this.
  8. Pier_


    Dec 22, 2013
    Roma, Italia
    100% Rotosound swing 66! Great strings.

    However, the pickup on the Stingray is not active, is a passive pickup on an active electronic.

    I prefer light gauges due to clarity, agility in sound and a more precise tone.
    I used for months the 30-90 gauge, and it was wonderful in particular on the high register.

    A 40-100 set is usually the right compromise in both feel and tone.
    jallenbass likes this.
  9. Garagiste


    Feb 16, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    All very helpful information. Thanks folks.
  10. davy4575


    Nov 4, 2009
    Denver, CO
    hmm. I switched to a slightly heavier guage for better ballance, but not string to string, was between the E and G string. I found that the G string was out of context with the other strings for as bright and articulate as I like the E through D string. It helped to some degree.
  11. jbl71004


    Jul 28, 2006
    Charleston, WV
    I've never had better balance than with my Labella Jamerson flats, which are pretty heavy gauge strings. Never have luck with lighter gauge. Likely my technique.
  12. ixlramp

    ixlramp Guest

    Jan 25, 2005
    Lighter gauges help with tonal balance because the E string is thinner, therefore more flexible and clearer when played up the neck (more like the usual A string) it has more harmonicity = harmonics in tune with fundamental.
  13. Ric5

    Ric5 Inactive

    Jan 29, 2008
    I like 5, 8, 10, and 12 string basses
    This is even more important with a 5 string bass. I am converting all of my basses to have the D-Addario EXL220-5 sets of strings. 125-95-75-60-40 These strings bring out the mids on the bass and keep it from have a boomy E and B string.

    Less is more

    Skinnier strings sound better than fatter strings.
  14. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    Light Rotos on an old two band StingRay is a classic combination. Pino Palladino and John Denman come to mind.
  15. redhed


    Oct 25, 2009
    Look like Boomers to me....
  16. Pier_


    Dec 22, 2013
    Roma, Italia
    Boomers have a darker red silk, no silk at the bridge, and being nickel, they are silvery in color.

    Rotosound has that light red silk on both end, and being stainless steel, the color is darker.

    No way the one in the picture are GHS. I am a long time user of both swing 66 and boomers.
  17. redhed


    Oct 25, 2009
    Boomers are all I use, LOL! But you might be right....
  18. Garagiste


    Feb 16, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    Hey, not sure I understand the difference. What is "a passive pickup on an active electronic"?
  19. Pier_


    Dec 22, 2013
    Roma, Italia
    you can have:

    - passive pickups with passive electronic (cut only, like the classic "tone" control), no battery needed.

    - passive pickup with active electronic, it means that if you want to bypass the eq section, you can do it. for example, the new Fender American Deluxe series, or the Marcus Miller, the G&L L2000/L1500, or the Ibanez SR and Cort Artisan series can be played avoiding the electronic, without the battery.

    you could do the same with the Stingray, adding a switch. with the basses I mentioned you can take the battery out and still play the bass like a passive one. simply the active electronic is bypassed.

    - active pickups with passive elecrtronic, like the EMG: the pickups need a 9v battery, even if the controls are passive volume and tone. they simply are pickups with a preamp inside, and it's what makes them active, needing the battery.

    - active pickups with active electronic: active pickups wired on an active electronic, nothing more.
  20. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Maybe it's just a better bass.