lighter strings - less punch?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Matthias, May 4, 2001.

  1. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    Yesterday I put on new strings on my Stingray5 - Ernie Ball Slinky 45-130 instead of some D'Addario 45-130. Though they are of the same gauge, the Ernie Balls seem to be lighter, I had to loosen the truss rod a bit to get rid of fret buzzing.
    At our rehearsal I had the feeling that I lost a lot of low mid punch and lows compared to the D'Addarios. Can this be possible or am I just dreaming?

    I'm asking this, because until now I never realised any dramatic differences between different string sets (except new vs. old of cause, or flatwound vs. roundwound, oh yes and once I had very bad ones which were dead after a few weeks).

    Hope this makes sense,
  2. theJello


    Apr 12, 2000
    Its been my experience lighter strings are brighter and heavier strings have more lowend. In your case the gauges are the same but the tension is different. Usually less tension = lighter string but not always. The result is the same though. Less tension(or lighter string) = brighter. So your not dreaming! You were asking about punch though. I dont know.
    I guess it depends on the bass. I always percieved really heavy strings as sounding choked where lighter strings seem to "breath" more. But they for sure sound and feel different. I think its just different things to different people.
  3. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    Yeah, I noticed that too. Heavy = tone. I have no fun playing heavy strings, but the lights don't thump. I wound up pushing the "low boost" button on my amp and that seems to have solved the problem for the most part.
  4. cschenk78


    Mar 12, 2000
    Watertown, NY
    I played the heavier guage for 4 years, then I moved to lights, the feel is great and if you have a good rig (bass and amp) the sound is really no different, part of me thinks that it is all in yer heads...or maybe it is in mine.
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - I think the light/heavier thing is debatable, but I think it's far more likely you're just noticing the difference between "good" quality strings and "not so good". I have found that D'Addario strings just sound so much better than most other brands - each time I have bought a new bass recently, I have changed the strings for D'Addarios and noticed a huge improvement in the sound.

    The only other ones that have come close for me are Thomastik Infeld, but for pure tone there's nothing to beat D'Addarios, in my view.
  6. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    Thanks for your comments!
    BTW: the strings I liked best so far: D'Addario Slow Wound...