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My issues with balanced tension...

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by madbassplaya, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    I have had two basses recently that I strung with GHS Pressurewound strings. They feel very balanced from string to string to me and I really dig them. One was a 4 string and the other a 5 string strung E-C. I'm getting a Valenti 35 inch scale 5er and I was going to go with a balanced tension set of nickel rounds. Here's the problem; I don't like the gauges. If I go with a somewhat normal size B string (.130 or less) I have to go with pretty tiny strings for the E-G. If I go with a normal for the E-G (45-105) I have to get a HUGE B string.

    I tried a balanced set of the D'Addario's by making custom singles and I just didn't like the feel of the smaller strings being so slim.
  2. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    That is one of the concerns with bass sets, the physical feel of the size of the strings. At the same time it is just something that one would need to get used to.

    You would feel the same way playing a set of Black Nylon Tapewounds from some manufacturers compared to others.

    When you go from those Pressure Wounds back to Rounds, you feel just as weird I am sure!
  3. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Well it's definitely not for everybody.

    I personally think a .135 is the perfect B string for 35" scale. Anything less is just flop city, sounds muddy, and I can't slap it.

    I also have realized that I can't stand anything bigger than a .60 D string or .80 A string, especially on a 35" scale. I run a custom D'Addario 42/55/75/105 set on my 34's. On my 35's, I run almost the same but sometimes prefer a less taught .100 E string. I love the snap and punch you get from smaller A/D/G strings, but oddly enough I found the bigger .105 E to have the same 'sound' as those smaller strings. I don't know if my set is 'balanced' tension or not, but they feel great and the main thing I wanted was no difference in the sound...all strings are the same volume and all have the same amount of snap. Jason at BassStringsOnline was a great help!
  4. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    And what mmbongo just reminded me of, when choosing a balanced set you should choose it based on your favorite string.

    IE he likes a .135 B string, if you like a .130 then put together a set based on that string size / tension.
  5. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    That puts all of the other strings at a gauge smaller than I'd like. The smallest A I would like is a .80. I really like a .85.
  6. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    And nothing is wrong with that. The great thing about being a bass player is you can do what you want, create your own voice, do what you like, and play what you like.

    I have seen people order some string sets that I personally would never like to play but they love them.

    There is nothing you can do wrong here :D
  7. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    But I want balanced tension. Lol
  8. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    then play it for a month till you are used to it.

    some get used to change quicker than others.
  9. tylerwylie


    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    What I discovered with 'more balanced' tension is that I really prefer the lighter ADG strings. Trying out balanced tension sets really got me digging lighter tension overall. I play .125 .100 .080 .060 .040 .030 at the moment.
  10. El-Bob

    El-Bob Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    Hamilton, ON
    You'll get used to the bigger B. You'll realize that the difference from E to B is actually about the same as from A to E... and everything is proportional. Give it time, and it will feel right. I believe that the problem you are having is simply not being used to the strings feeling so consistent.
  11. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007

    What were you playing before?

    I think I'd rather go lighter than bigger.
  12. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com

    It is only a 1.6lbs difference between the .135 and .130, so use the .130 along with the EXL220BT and call it a day.

    EXL220BT w/ .130 = .040 .055 .070 .095 .130

    Or the Circle K set = .039 .055 .073 .098 .130
  13. tylerwylie


    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    Both .125 .105 .085 .065 .045 .030 and .130 .105 .085 .065 .045 .030
  14. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    I just want to chime in that I love balanced tension and can't imagine ever going back to "normal" tension. The ease of playing and expression with balanced tension is fantastic. Give it time.
  15. G On Bass

    G On Bass Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2007
    Ventura County, CA
    I've used Circle K balanced exclusively (for roundwounds) for the last couple of years and here's what I've found:

    Pre-Circle K, I liked the tension of hex core medium strings, usually with a .130 B, though occasionally with a .135. Fodera, MTD, Lo-Rider, etc...

    With Circle K balanced, I've found that the .136 balanced set is perfect for my 34" basses. The .130 was too little tension (for me) and the .142 was too much.

    But the .142 was great for my 1 35" bass. For whatever reason, I noticed the fatter B string far more on the other sets that I do with the Circle K's. It seem disproportionally big, but it just seems to work on the Circle K set.
  16. ixlramp


    Jan 25, 2005
    Heh, making the change may require willpower. In a way you have to decide to get used to it, it may take a couple of months. I had a similar problem switching to fifths tuning, the large jumps in gauge and tonal character between adjacent strings bothered me. So i rapidly went back and forth for several years, eventually realising the lure of fifths wasn't going away i decided this was my intuitive direction and decided to get used to it. In the end i realised the tonal jumps were not a problem, it was just a case of 'getting used to it'. Looking back i wish i had just persevered with fifths right at the beginning.

    So perhaps Argh is the way forward for you :)
  17. Stephent28

    Stephent28 Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    C470, CO
    Circle K
    Check out their site as they have a ton of options for balanced sets and they have an even bigger selection if you choose the custom set singles route.
  18. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    I would love to try Circle K, but I only buy strings from Jason and http://www.bassstringsonline.com. The dude has been that good to me! I hope that he will eventually be able to carry Circle K!

    With that being said, I'm ordering a medium balanced set for a 4 string and a medium balanced set with a high C for a 5 string I have.

    My new 5er will get a set with a low B when it gets here.
  19. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011

    I can see why some folks might like a set with heavier B and lighter G compared to a regular set, but does the tension have to be balanced? What difference does that make in playability or sound?
  20. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    You should try a set that has very close tension string to string.

    Hard to explain, but the whole set feels smoother and easier to play. It's subtle, but it's there.

    For me, it's that D string that is way out there in feel.