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Low B String Gauge Options

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Thumpinshelton, Apr 28, 2015.


  1. So, I have been on a string quest and have found that a 95,75,60,32 works good, but thinking about trying a 90,70,50,32 set. Now, my issue has been finding a B string that would compliment this. I have a 125 on now and have a 120 on order. My question is have any experimented with lower than a 120 low B? What about a 110? Just curious to what you have tried for the low B.
     
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    You can try anything you want, but anything below .125 is useless as a B, in my opinion. Unless perhaps you've got fanned frets? (I expected you to be asking about the other end of the scale, I've recently been enjoying the .145 DR DDT I put on my Sire V7 - best B I've tried yet.)

    But if it works for you, go for it!
     
  3. I have used a Labella Slapper .118. It was not bad, actually quite good, but I think .125 is the best compromise between light gauge, tone, flexibility, feel, and still having decent tension.
     
  4. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    I regularly use a 120 and there are no issues with it at all in tone, definition or matching with my set (using a 40-55-75-95 with a 30 for the C when on a 6 string). You definitely have to adjust your fingering technique, but it's great for me.

    Depending on the core diameter in the 115, it may or may not be good for your ultra-light set you're using.
     
  5. stigbeve

    stigbeve

    Sep 24, 2014
    I've used the DR DDT-55 (55,75,95,115) on an old GSR200 tuned BEAD and they sounded pretty good actually.
    Definitely less tension than a 4 string with 45,65,85,105 but still playable
     
  6. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    In MY opion, everything below .135 is a worthless low B. That's why I go for a .145 :p
     
    EMoneySC2, MoeTown1986 and bholder like this.
  7. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    If you have a .90 E string, the tension matched B string would be a .125 so I personally wouldn't go any smaller than that.
     
  8. klokker

    klokker

    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    I tried a TI Powerbass .119 for a low B. No problems.
     
  9. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    Man, I dunno how you guys do it. I've never been satisfied with a B smaller than .135. I used .130 for a while cause it was the standard. Tried .120 and .125 once and they were both almost useless. What's the trick?
     
  10. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    A light gauge set across the entire fretboard, a good setup and adjusting your finger technique to adjust for the looser feel of the strings.
     
  11. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    The trick is going heavier :)

     
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  12. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    Oh, I know. It just feels/sounds better IMO.
     
    Thomas Kievit likes this.
  13. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    For my taste, everything below .140 doesn't feel good for the low B.

     
  14. spanndrew

    spanndrew

    Oct 14, 2013
    Atlanta, Ga
    Wow, I use a 120 B and love it. It solved some noise issues I had one my Ibby BTB
     
  15. Low End Bottom

    Low End Bottom

    Aug 31, 2013
    130 for me, its sound just blends with the other strings. I have yet to try anything above it though.

    Edit: thought id add some more info to help ya out.

    I have a regular slinky 5 string set on my classic stingray. I believe its the stock strings that come with the bass. Its slightly floppier feeling compared to my other bass but the sound is perfect, thunderous and righteous. It blends with the other strings in the set in tone.

    My other bass is a Marcus Miller jazz V, its strung with dr lo riders. I was expecting it to sound better than my stingray on the B department since it has a higher tension. It sounds ok but i can say its not 100% blending well witht the other strings like the stingray.

    Id say try a .125 and up until your happy with your sound. I started at 120 until i found that 130 was a sweet spot for me. Your bass guitar will play a factor, as evidenced by my experience.

    HTH
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
    Thomas Kievit likes this.
  16. KickingBass

    KickingBass Look into it

    No tricks! Tricks are kids! That's how I feel about anything over .130, tried them and don't understand how people can use them.. It's been a while though, maybe I should try .130 again. .125 is good for me even though I often play drop tuned metal.
     
  17. klokker

    klokker

    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    ???? Maybe it's your bass.
     
  18. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    I don't think so. I think it's just me. I don't like low tension at all. I like a solid, snappy, tight string.
     
    Thomas Kievit likes this.
  19. klokker

    klokker

    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    OK. I guess "tension" is more than gauge though isn't it? Some strings have higher tension than others of the same gauge. I didn't think my .119 was any floppier than a .130. If anything, it was clearer and cleaner. And I've played basses with .130's on them where the B flopped like a dying fish.

    I"m back with a .130 now, but only because it's tapered.
     
  20. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    On a 4 string bass, I prefer .110 - .055

     

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