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Low tension strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by PlanetariumERB, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. PlanetariumERB


    Dec 10, 2010
    So I have two basses and ernie ball music man stingray4 and an mtd kz6. Both strung with regular light gauge daddario xl nickel wound. I love them on the mtd they feel amazing and sound great. They dont have a lot of tension and have a nice give and play in them. However on the ray they feel stiff and resistive and nothing like they do on my mtd. So i tried to go get a lower tension set of strings for the ray and got a set of DR sunbeams on recommendation but they feel even stiffer than the Daddarios did. So I've been thinking about springing for a set of TI JR344? Any other brand I should try or should I try going to a lighter gauge?
  2. Huh .... interesting. I'm new to string experimentation but plan on diving headlong into it soon in support of some extensive research I'm doing with my own setup (see sig).

    I wonder how it is that two basses with the (presumably) same scale length can have two different feels with the same strings and (presumably) the same tunings?

    I'll be interested to follow this thread, hopefully you'll get some participation.

  3. PlanetariumERB


    Dec 10, 2010
    Its funny the mtd is a 35in scale and the ray is a 34 so I would assume the mtd would feel as if it has more tension but the ray actually does instead. They are both tuned standard. I am also curious why the strings feel so different on both instruments.
  4. Lemon Of Troy

    Lemon Of Troy Banned

    Nov 6, 2012
    Palmetto State
    High action and too much relief can sometimes make the strings feel stiffer.
  5. Yea, I suppose that makes sense. :)
  6. ursusaltered


    Feb 23, 2009
    Madison WI
    Flux is absolutely correct. Action and neck relief play a vital role in tension. Another thing to look at is your bridge. If it is slight crooked, that can also play a major role in string tension. It sounds a bit screwy, but even if it is slightly asque, that can do it.


    Feb 6, 2008
    Circle K Strings.com have some interesting things to offer
  8. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    If you like what you have but just want lighter tension, get lighter tension strings of what you like!
  9. I'm just a big wuss, I tune down a minor 3rd (C#-F#-B-E), retweak the bass setup to suit the new tuning/tension, and just stand there playin' being a big wuss.
  10. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    Tuning like that I assume you use one of the heavier sets? 50-105 / 55-110 ?
  11. u84six

    u84six Nobody panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    Actually, it's just the opposite, because you're exposing the thickest part of the string with the shorter scale (i.e. the thinnest part of the string is wrapped around the peg). With longer scale, the string is more tapered (the thinnest part is exposed), so there's more wobble, less tension.
  12. nicopiano

    nicopiano Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Levis, Quebec, Canada
  13. PlanetariumERB


    Dec 10, 2010
    Thanks for the responses. I don't think its the action or relief I have the bass set up according to the recommended settings by ernie ball. If the bridge is slightly crooked how should I check that? Just eyeballing it looks ok to me

    SLaPiNFuNK-so you think I should just go to a lighter gauge string of the same brand if I like them other than the tension of the gauge Im currently using?

    u84six-Thats really interesting I never thought of it like that but it makes a lot of sense.
  14. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com

    If you like what you have stick with it!

    If you let me know what you are currently using I can specifically tell you the strings you should get.
  15. Wait a minute. I'm not so sure I buy into this idea. To achieve the same pitch with more scale length the string requires more mechanical tension to tune to the same pitch as a shorter scaled bass. This is sortof a known thing.

    I don't see anywhere in this thread where it says that the strings the OP is using have more exposed string taper on the longer scaled bass. How is it that you know this? That seems like a total assumption to me. Kinda like saying that since there's no footprints on this beach it must mean noone has ever walked on it.

    I'll be the first one to admit that there is much I do not know, but this idea seems based on something other than solid fact. I'm not buying it until more facts are presented.

    It's a pretty well known thing that longer scaled basses usually have higher string tension when tuned to the same pitch and the same strings are used.

    There is most likely something else in play with the OP's situation. But I really don't think it has anything to do with more exposed string taper, that notion has not been substantiated by the OP.
  16. And there it is.
  17. PlanetariumERB


    Dec 10, 2010
    Flux Jetson- The strings do have a tapper for where they are supposed to wrap around the tuning pegs. So the explanation seemed reasonable to me but I agree I had always thought that higher scale length corresponded to higher tension.

    SLaPiNFuNK- Im currently using daddario xl nickel wound regular light gauge .045-.065.-080-.100
  18. Thanks for adding that bit of info. Even so, I'm still not convinced that is the cause at this point. I obviously have NO clue what the cause actually is, but that taper thing isn't ringing right in my wooden head just yet. I'm open to it being the reason, but not until other things not yet discussed have been dismissed as invalid and/or ruled out. :)
  19. PlanetariumERB


    Dec 10, 2010
    Yeah I'm still interested to see what other possible reasons it could be.