Looser, tighter

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by fleabass89, Aug 21, 2001.

  1. How do you like your strings? Low tension or high?

    Well, i don't know about the rest of you, but i like my strings high tension. I hate that low tension crap. Fretbuzz, all that clicking and clacking, and they feel like they're gonna come off. The tighter the better, is what i say (to a reasonable extent). Here are the reasons.

    1) Reduced Fretbuzz

    2) Gets you used to them, so if you play a bass with heavy strings, you won't have a hard time.

    3) You can beat the hell out of it when playing with a pick, and no clickety clackety.

    4) tighter low end, more edgy, sharp midrange and highs - fuller sound

    5) You can tune down a half step or tune to Drop D without them being unbearably loose.

    So, tell me what you like!

    EDIT: Uh why didnt the poll work...?
  2. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    Woohhooo the poll didn't work!!!
  3. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    Sorry flea, but I like the lights. They play fast! I never did like a pick and I have a light touch. I don't tune down and a I actually like a little "clicking and clacking."

    To each his own, I guess.
  4. I like mine tighter. I play with a pick. Playing chords is a lot easier with tight strings.
  5. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    I didnt know you could tighten or loosen your strings??? :confused:

    Are you talking about string gauges or what? I had no idea string tension could be adjusted...?!?!??
  6. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    It can't be adjusted. But you can design strings so that they're either tighter and looser. but keep in mind that the bass and especially the neck play an important role how the strings feel. A string will always feel softer on a Fender Jazz (a typical soft neck bass) than on a modern hard neck bass.
  7. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    I tend to like fairly big (.050-.105) hex-core strings. They feel stiff and taut, and seem thumpier on my basses. Ernie Ball Slinkys fit this criteria pretty well. Right now I'm using Ernie Ball flats, which also have a pretty stiff feel.
  8. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    Love tight strings and low action, nothing beats it.
  9. I play medium gauge DR HiBeams and some say they are too floppy, but they feel just right to me. I guess I like low tension, as specially at work....
  10. Loose and low, I like to slink arround I tune down a whole step or two steps on my fives depending on which one, using medium for A and heavy for G. Smooth, low, groovy and fat, I play with my hands (I don't like picks, but pickers are respectable) I don't like that much tension it just feels smoother to me. I use Ernie Ball Slinkies.
  11. smuttley


    Sep 29, 2000
    What do you guys think about string gauges in relation to slap?

    most people say lighter strings are better for it, but
    when i tuned my E to A, it sounded incredibly punchy, much better than the normal A.
  12. I dig on medium gauge strings (105-45) but each to their own here. Your seem to be right about people liking the lighter strings for slapping though. Not me. It sounds to twangy with light stings IMO.

    When you tune up with heavier gauge strings (125 - 60 or about) to "normal" EADG, you should be careful with your neck. It may be too much tension. Most well constructed necks should be able to handle it, but it is something to be aware of.
  13. foolfighter24

    foolfighter24 Guest

    Apr 22, 2000
    Um, Does a Lighter gauge string meaning higher string tension meaning a tight feel, as in great for the pick and playing harder? Or the other way around....? wooo confusion is not good times...
  14. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    Regardless of which lighter/heavier, you always, ALWAYS can adjust the saddles to make your strings tigher/looser.

    Although, heavier gauge string, tighter tension... And about the good for pick? That's obviously subjective. :)
  15. Adjust your saddles for string tension? Never heard that before.


    Apr 13, 2001
    Kent, England.
    Would that not interfere with intonation?
  17. Larzito


    Aug 1, 2000
    Dallas, Texas
    I've not heard about adjusting sting tension with the saddles either- please explain how to do this.

    As to the subject, I prefer tighter tension, it allows me to pull off quicker, snappier licks not possible with lower tension.
  18. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Well lets see, in my band. we are pretty crazy with gauges. i play a 55, i want higher, but i dont want to mess up my bass. the guitarst plays 11's. so, you know what i like. got to get the thump.
  19. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    If you raise your string saddles, it tightens the strings, if you lower them, it loosen's the strings.

    I warn you though, if you're raising them, loosen your strings a bit (detune your bass lower then it is), otherwise you'll risk snapping your strings.

    The only thing you have to make sure about when raising/lowering your string saddles is that they're even.

    About making it go out of intonation by doing this... It really shouldn't go out of intonation, and if it does, it's most likely because you went from extremely low to extremely high, or vice versa.

    The only other real worry you have to take into consideration is that when you raise your string saddles, you're increasing tension, and so fourth, you should adjust your truss rod to match the tension.

    WARNING: If you've never adjusted your truss rod before, I HIGHLY don't suggest doing it. Take it to a tech, and have a tech adjust it.
  20. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    that string saddle thing is not misleading... maybe they feel tighter when the note is fretted.. but they, mathematically cannot be tigher unless they are significantly longer, heavier, or tuned higher than normal.
    The frequency of a vibrating string is determined by its length, its tension, and its mass per length.. this is any string on any instrument.. saddles have nothing to do with the equation, or the tension of the string... and raising the saddle does affect intonation, because you have to press harder to get the string to the fret, thus stretching it, increasing the tension, and making the note sharper than it should be. Even with low action, this is possible, which is why saddle length adjustment can make the string longer, thus lowering the frequency to the correct pitch.