low tension strings for weak neck

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by jaminjamesp, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. jaminjamesp


    Feb 21, 2016
    So my road worn jazz has always seemed to have a weak neck. It's been in and out of the shop a lot. The only string that didn't bow the neck was the TI Jazz round. I loved the feel, but I like low action and it was a bit buzzy simply because they were so flexy.

    Every time I search I get results for people looking for flexible strings when they reference low tension.

    I'm looking for strings that will put less stress on my neck, and don't have to be super flexible (though I don't like strings that feel super stif.)

    Is there anything besides gauge that is going to determine a lower tension of the string on the neck?
  2. Dunlop Super-Brights are the lowest tension string I've tried.
  3. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    TI jazz rounds. Coincidentally the greatest bass strings there are and very low tension.
    Clutchcargo likes this.
  4. jaminjamesp


    Feb 21, 2016
    That's what's on their now, and the tension is great, just a tad too light and flexy.
  5. GHS Boomers L3045, 40-55-75-95.

    Light-weight tension, nicely balanced, not too weak and floppy thanks to hex core.

    G 040 - 33.6 lbs.
    D 055 - 35.2
    A 075 - 35.9
    E 095 - 36.1

    Total 140.8 lbs.
  6. jaminjamesp


    Feb 21, 2016
    Nice. I'll look in to those. Do the boomers fall on the brighter or mellow side? I'm not a fan of bright at all. I know most think it's heresy, but I rarely change my strings. I don't play live, strictly recording, and "dead" strings sit in a mix a whole lot nicer than bright clanky strings, at least for the records I mostly work on: pop, pop/rock and hip hop. Unless the song calls for it, in those genres the bass is gnerally more felt than heard, in regards to my production style.
  7. The Boomers are all about the low-mid punch and grind. They're not for zing lovers. So, you'll probably like them.

    I like the sound of well-broken-in nickel rounds and the Boomers deliver the goods.
  8. ixlramp

    ixlramp Guest

    Jan 25, 2005
    It's the string mass that determines actual tension, gauge roughly determines the string mass, but the same gauge strings from different manufacturers / string lines do vary a little in string mass, and therefore tension. However within one string line, gauge determines tension.
    That's meaningless if you don't specify the gauges, the tension will depend on the chosen gauges. 40-100 or 45-105? nickelplated or steels?
    Since the OP likes TI Jazz rounds, which have very low gauges and tension, 40-100 is likely too tight.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
    petrus61 and lz4005 like this.
  9. I use 40 - 100 nickel strings & they are the most flexible of any 40 - 100 I've used.
  10. Gord_oh

    Gord_oh Midtown Guitars: Ulyate Pickups & StringJoy Commercial User

    Oct 4, 2008
    I had this problem with a pbass I had. I used GHS Boomers and EB Slinkys both with a .095 or .100 E string and had great results. Made an nearly unplayable bass playable again.
  11. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    The La Bella White Nylon Tapewounds I have on my fretless for the time being are quite low in tension. Almost feel looser than TI Jazz Flats. I generally like higher tension but they feel and sound good.
  12. 74hc


    Nov 19, 2015
    Sunny California
    My findings as well for round wounds. A set of those are very floppy, and more balanced in tension than typical round wounds.

    For a weak neck, I would look for two attributes.... total tension on the neck at standard tuning, and how well the set is balanced. Usual sets can have significantly higher tension on one side of the fretboard which could twist a weak neck slowly over time.
    digmeout likes this.
  13. DavC


    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    i find some 'tension' info on several strings at ' juststrings.com ' , or i look at the manufacture ...

    does that neck have a 1 way or 2 way Truss rod .. ??

    which shouldn't matter , as a 1 way will counter the string pull ...

    and i really don't understand a ' weak neck ' , if the Truss is working .. ??

    if it's a RW fretboard , then i would keep it well oiled ( F-ONE oil fretboard cleaner/conditioner )

    put on the strings that feel best or right to you ... adjust truss and setup to your preferences .. ?

    sometimes it's like trying to adjust a Strat Tremolo after a string gauge change ... takes a few days of small tweaks to get it where you want it ... !

    seems lower tension and floppy kinda go together ... sadly ... maybe getting a string with a Hex core could be found in a lighter , lower tension gauge , but the hex core would still give the string more stiffness .. !!??
    nice_hat likes this.
  14. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
    not germane to your question, but...that bass guitar sounds like a great candidate for a piccolo bass.
  15. I vote super brights. They're low tension and cheap! I actually changed my technique using these string. I play much softer now and let the amp do the work. My fingers don't get tired on these 3 hour gigs.
    fakeneckplate'65 likes this.

  16. Weak neck: You can get a good relief/action with the truss rod, but the strings with too much tension bow the neck forward. You can even "over"tighten the truss rod to an neck backbow, but the high tension strings pull the weak neck forward (the relief (more or less) stays, its the hole neck (around the 15-20 fret)) that is too weak and the string action raise to an unplayable height.

    Had an sensitive one piece '57 ReIssue flat maple neck - that only works with TI Flats. Also the Geddy Lee Basses first series are known for that.
  17. digmeout

    digmeout Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2012
    I have a 66 jazz bass with a finicky neck and these in nickel 40-100 are what I string it with. I've also used GHS Round Core Bass Boomers in 95-40 and they worked pretty well also. I like the Dunlops better though.
  18. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    If you're after low tension, you want rounds - the fact that there is a bit of air (it's not solid like a flatwound) means there's a bit less mass in the same gauge, and therefore less tension to keep them at pitch.

    After that, it's just about gauges - I have a couple basses that I run 35/50/70/95 on. The necks on those are actually super stiff; I do it for the "twang factor" that light gauge strings give you, and to keep carpal tunnel from coming back.

    You can also run at lower tuning, which will dcrease tension quite a bit. For the same tension ballpark as the strings above, on a D standard tuned instrument, I run 45/60/80/110.
  19. bassfreakah


    Mar 26, 2011
    Endorsing Artist Ernie ball strings
    Ernie ball flats group iv 40-95 work great on my MIJ jazz that has truss rod maxed out. my favorite flats anyway. IMO
  20. FirewalZ


    Aug 14, 2014
    S.E. Michigan
    +1 Ive recently tried these as well, first on a P bass, than on my Jazz. They were a much better fit tonally for my Jazz, they have a lighter feel and are fairly low tension.

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