Piccolo Wound G String

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by vultan, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. vultan

    vultan Guest

    Jul 2, 2017
    I'm driving myself nuts with string tension calculators. And I haven't been able to find exactly what I'm looking for using the search function, so hopefully you guys can help me out.

    I'm looking to string a Fender Mustang (30" scale) as a piccolo bass. The problem? I'm set on using all wound strings. So, this rules out all prepackaged piccolo string sets, which all include a plain steel G string.

    Solution? Buy a single 0.020w to go with a prepackaged set. HOWEVER, I've read some comments on this forum that suggest that a string with such a thin core might not be able to withstand the tension needed for a G (~27 lbs). Can anyone confirm this to be true?

    Workaround? Buy the 0.020w and tune it down to an F (for DGCF tuning). A 0.020w tuned to F produces a much more manageable ~21 lbs of tension. HOWEVER, I'm afraid with such low tension, it will throw off the tension distribution of the bass. For example, if I use this 0.020 F as part of a progressive tension scheme (with a 0.065 D (~37 lbs), a 0.045 G (~32 lbs), and a 0.032 C (~30 lbs), am I risking damage to my bass? The last thing I want is a warped neck.

    Another workaround? Buy a single 0.025w and string it as an F. A 0.025w tuned to F produces ~33 lbs of tension. This tension makes it much easier to build a string set with either traditional or balanced tension. HOWEVER, can a 0.025w withstand 33 lbs of tension?

    So, based on your expertise and experience, what's the best course of action? 0.020w as a G string? 0.020w as an F string? 0.025w as an F string?

    I realize I could just buy a bunch of single strings and figure it out on my own. However, I'd rather not buy strings just to have them break on me right away--especially if someone here has already been through this.

    Anyway, thanks for reading my memoirs. And thanks in advance for any help. It's very much appreciated.
  2. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Inactive Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    On a short scale tuned to G that should be fine. However it sounds just as tinny as a plain steel but you will now have finger squeak when you shift.
  3. vultan

    vultan Guest

    Jul 2, 2017
    Cool. Thanks for the input. The tinny sound doesn't sound too appealing. Maybe downtuning to an F is the better option afterall.
  4. ixlramp

    ixlramp Guest

    Jan 25, 2005
    I disagree a wound .020 would sound like a plain .020, i find wounds are more flexible and have a sweeter more harmonic tone, a plain of .020 will be stiff so have a 'stiff' inharmonic tone. Both will sound 'thin' of course but 'tinny' makes them seem worse than they are.
    Piccolo sets have plain Gs because reaching G on 34" is difficult with a wound.
    Wounds are near their limit at F on 34", which is equivalent tension to G on 30", but there are wounds designed for high tension and designed for F on 34", they are ones made for 7 string basses, you can buy .020w and .022w here by mail order (i've used these myself) Conklin Guitars Snakeskins Extended-Range Bass Strings
    For cheap experimentation you could try a guitar wound .020 with a bass ball-end threaded onto it, but be warned guitar wounds are designed for lower tensions so may break, don't let that put you off a dedicated bass high F.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
  5. vultan

    vultan Guest

    Jul 2, 2017
    Thanks for the input. I've looked into Conklin strings; however, since I'm outside of the US, the shipping costs make the price pretty unreasonable. But both Ken Smith and MTD make 0.020w strings, which I can obtain for much less money.