1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

My strings seem to "tight"...???

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by BottomFeeder86, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. BottomFeeder86


    Oct 18, 2004
    Ok, i played a few G&L basses at a local music store, and really liked the feel of the steel or nickel or whatever the strings were, they were so easy to play. I got home and started playing on my Elixir Nanowebs, and i noticed how "tight" my strings seemed while in tune, it's was sso much harder to play? i beleive the inotation is set right, along with all the other adjustments on my Warwick corvette proline.

    I'm thinking of getting some regular steel or nickel roundwounds again, because even though the Elixirs are brand new, they still sound different that steel or nickel roundwounds, and i beleive thats why they feel so "tight" to play...

    I'm so lost, i really really would appreciate some advice...
    I'm looking here


    at buying maybe 4 or 5 sets of, what i believe are decent strings, that will probablly go dead like all the other non-coated strings, but since they're cheap on that site, and i can replace them with the sets i buy.

    -I've also heard that FireWire strings are good for that new string sound, and keeping it for a long time.
    -DR High beams (i think i used the low-beams a while ago, and they felt very tight)
    -DR Black Beauties

    PLEASE HELP ME! i just want my bass to play like it used to when i used to use non-coated round wounds, but keep that new string slapping sound as long as i can afford!!! :bawl: :bawl: :bawl:
  2. You haven't mentioned gauge (thickness or diameter of strings)- heavier gauge, or thicker strings will feel tighter due to higher tension. Lighter gauge or thinner strings will feel looser, or more flexible. I f you don't know the gauge , compare them against each other. The difference, if there is any, will be pretty subtle. Of course this is not the only thing that will make two sets of strings feel different.
  3. BottomFeeder86


    Oct 18, 2004
    woops, sorry, i wasn't very specific... The Elixirs i used to swear to, and currently have on my bass are medium gauge, just the standard gauge. I guess i like a light, or medium gauge string. I love the lasting and consistant sound of of the elixirs, because i only buy them about every 2 months, but i just like the initial sound of steel, non-coated strings better. The only coated strings ive player are the Elixir nanoweb (thinner coating), maybe those D'Addario EXP coated strings might solve my "tension" and sound issue..I hope i'm making sense here :meh:

    Any info about FireWire strings, or any of the other ones im too lazy to re-type? i guess the only thing i love about the Elixirs is the lasting tone, but the intitial tone i dont like when compared to those steel non-coated, and so much easier to play strings i played on those G&L basses... :bawl:
  4. I'm a little tired & don't feel like reading your original question, but here goes: DR Black Beauties. Coated stainless steel. Got 'em on my fretless. They're holding up well, but I haven't been playing much since switching from BEADG tuning to EADGC. Yeah, I'm sure I'm no help at all... Oh, yeah: have you ever heard of/played Thomastik-Infelds? I had a set on 6 string- very light gauge(.119 B string), very flexible & low tension. So sorry. Need sleep...

    OK, I just looked at your post & you mentioned Black Beauties. I like them- don't know what to say about tension.
  5. You need to get your action and truss rod adjusted. On your bass, that is. So if you lower your action and let a little tension off your truss rod, you're strings will be looser. Remember: a little goes a long way!
  6. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    Your solution: Rotosound Funkmasters.
  7. BottomFeeder86


    Oct 18, 2004
    alritey, i thought the tension on the strings will always be the same if they're in tune, no matter what generally... would i want to bow the bass in, towards the pickups, our out, away from them?

    yeah, i've heard of those Thomastik strings, maybe those might work...

    I guess i've narrowed it down in my selection...

    --FireWire strings

    --DR LowRiders

    --The cheap strings on the site i posted, and just get 4 or 5 sets at once to compensate for dead string syndrome


    --Rotosound FunkMasters (i thinkthey might be too light, i think the G is .35 or .30?)

    I hate to keep asking the same question, but i just want the best sounding, closest to a regular steel or nickel roundwound that keeps its new string sound as long as possible :hyper: :hyper: :hyper: because i dont like the initial sound of my Elixirs....

    THANKS AGAIN EVERYONE, i really appreciate this help!! :ninja:
  8. BottomFeeder86


    Oct 18, 2004
    I think i might try a big experiment and get one set DR High Beams (Steel, but Taper-core, on the site they said they are brighter than nickel) and get two of those cheap strings off the site i posted, on nickel, and one stainless steel, both medium gauge....

    The only thing i dont get, is there's tite-fit HighBeams, and just HighBeams...???

    heres a link to the regular DR HighBeams
    DR High Beams

    heres a link to the DR HighBeams with "tite-fit" next to them
    DR High Beams "tite-fit" ???

    I figure this way its still cheap, as the DRs are abuot $23 and i've read that they're very flexible and bright, more than low-riders, and the other sets are $20 for both of them. So for around 40 bucks, almost what Elixirs go for, i can get a bunch of strings, and hopefully find some that keep that new string sound that i wish i couldn't live without...
    Any more comments will be appreciated of course, suggestions... :bag: :bassist: :eyebrow:
  9. Geoff, this is patently false and you should refrain from repeating this wives tale to anyone else. Sorry for the bluntness but this topic has been discussed on these boards for years.. It isn't open to argument - the facts are these:

    There are only 3 things that have an effect on string tension:
    1. String gauge - heavier gauge strings require more tension to come up to pitch when tuned. I will include in this category string composition.

    2. Pitch - At the given proper tuning, a given string will have only ONE tension figure. Raise the tension of the string and you raise the pitch. Lower the pitch and the tension of the string goes down too.

    3. Scale length - A given string, at a given pitch and scale length, will have a higher tension than the same string, tuned to the same pitch but having a shorter scale. This phenomenon seems to remain true for all scale lengths - even up to 36".

    These are the facts and there's no way around them...however, there is another phenomenon that is often mistaken for "tension" but is rather a lack of flexibility. This is called "perceived tension"
    and is how the strings "feel" to the player. This tactile evidence is unrelated to the actual tension of the string. It is more a product of strings that are stiffer. This isn't tension which is measured linearly. For instance flatwound strings have a flat wire outer wrap. When these strings bend, the square shoulders of the wraps jam against each other and limit the amount of deflection from a straight line they can accomplish when plucked. That feels like they are "tight". Roundwound strings, on the other hand, have the round wire outer wrap. The shoulders of these wires roll against each other without hanging up on the adjacent wrap and this keeps them flexible. That flexibility gives the string a looser feel (and certainly looser than the flatwounds) and gives the impression of less tension.

    For more on this subject and discussion with lots of technical evidence - more than enough to make my head spin, do a search for "string tension" and read the discussions. Pay particular attention to responses by PilotJones. He is well versed in the physics of string vibration and has a better vocabulary than I to explain this.
  10. BottomFeeder86


    Oct 18, 2004
    Wow, thanks for the info. I was always curious if adjusting the truss in conjunction with saddle, inotation, and bridge/nut adjustments will make them feel looser. I believe the "tightness" i feel is my lame Elixirs, i also figured out that DR's tite-fit strings, is just a process, its not that they fit tightly.

    So now, i ordered a set of...
    -Nickel roundwounds (.40-.95)
    -a set of Steel roundwounds (.45-.105)
    -a set of med-light DR High Beams (.45-.100)

    The first two i ordered off that site with the cheap, but i guess very nice, lasting sound, strings for $21, and the DRs were $26 with shipping.

    $47 for 3 sets of strings, hopefully this whole thing will end up in me finding the strings i love. I'm going to record each set of strings 3 or 4 time periodically when i replace them with the next, to see closely how they sound....

    I guess this is one way of finding the string i dream of, i'll post back when i get them and give my response on whichever i put on first... Thanks again for the great info!!
  11. i just put a nickel set of elixir nanoweb mediums on my zon BG4. when i took them out of the pack they were somehow all bent so each string had 2 or 3 kinks in it.

    i put the strings on my bass and they are WAY too tight and stiff.
  12. Simply put, some strings, due to tension/construction/core/type of string/ feel 'tighter' and stiffer than other strings.

    Even if you only stuck to say, hexcore roundwounds, you would still find differences between brands and gauges in terms of 'feel' and 'tightness' etc etc.
  13. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    I think you've just discovered the difference between hex core and round core strings. Hex core strings (the Elixers) are (all other things being equal) stiffer than the round core (probably D'Addario) strings you played at the store. Stiffness is not the same thing as tension - but it does feel the same. If you really, really like the Elixers, about the only way to lower the stiffness is to switch to a lighter gauge. And, unfortunately for the hordes of bass players - like yourself - who love that new-string zinginess that comes with a new set of rounds? There really is no way to keep that zinginess for very long - except by putting on new strings. Over and over and over... Sorry, but Life's like that, sometimes...:cool:
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  14. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yep. If you like the strings but not the tension get a lighter guage first.
  15. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    2005 was a good year.
    sikamikanico and michael_t like this.
  16. And so was year 2000. That's two zombies come alive just in the last few days!
  17. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    hogan_facepalm. Well, poopies... Zombie thread got me... AGAIN...:bawl:
  18. i think i bumped them both. because google :)