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Low action, what gauge?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by jenderfazz, Aug 15, 2003.

  1. I've heard everything on this subject using the search function, so I thought I'd ask and find out once and for all. I'm looking to lower my action, but I get awful buzzes (and they're not even that low). My strings, GHS Boomers, 45-105s, are pretty heavy, at least compared to my old D'Addario 40-95s. I'll need some new strings soon, so what should I get? For low action, is a heavier gauge better, or vice-versa? I'm mostly looking to reduce buzzes. Thanks.
  2. My tech who does set-ups on my basses likes to use tapor cores for low action set-ups. It makes sense because their is a little more room to work with at the bridge. I myself am in the same situation right now as well. I have a Zon, which doesn't have a trussrod, and I'd like to get the action much lower. I think that a light set of taporcore strings will probobly do the trick. As far as tension goes, normally the heavier guages will have more tension and will not be as slinky. I like using 45-100's most of the time because that just feels right, but dropping down to a lighter string guage will normally cause me to to have to alter my technique because of the lower tension. It's all trade offs.
  3. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    i use medium gauge and no buzzes on any of my stuff.
  4. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Funnily enough, the heavier the gauge, the lower you can go without buzzing. If you have the right technique though, you can go very low with light gauge strings, it's all about how you pluck.

  5. BoogieNight


    Jun 15, 2001
    I agree that heavier gauges tend to be tighter, so you can have a lower action, assuming you didn't change your pluck effort.

    But don't forget that different brands of strings with exactly the same gauge may vary in stiffness and the action you can get.

    I think when you alter string brand or gauge it's expected to have to setup the bass again for best results and a fair comparison.
  6. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Bear in mind that one of the keys to a low and quiet setup is the fret job. The proper not and saddle setup, a ramp-free neck, and the right strings help but if you have a high fret or uneven frets then you can forget about a low and quiet setup.

    One of the local setup guys has what he calls the "stick of truth" and it is a 24" machinists straightedge. Inspection of the frets against a known straight reference will expose a host of problems.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Don't say that to Gary Willis!! ;)
  8. i tune to b, and use heavy guage thru .115.

    better than using the actual guages from a 5 string pack. easier to play, and slap.