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Question about string gauges for Mustang Bass

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by vancitybass, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. So recently I bought a Mustang Bass off a guy, and though I'm loving it, I'm switching to the strings to half-rounds. I use GHS brite flats (.049 - .108) on my Jazz, so I wanted to make a similar switch with the mustang.

    I already know about the whole medium scale thing, but my question is will using such a heavy gauge affect my neck? This may seem like a dumb question, but I'm still relatively new to bass and I never really thought about this before. The Mustang came from the factory with .040 - .090, which is considerably thinner than the GHS brite flats.

    Thanks everyone!
  2. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    Is this an original mustang? If not I wouldn't worry about it. If it is an original shouldn't be an issue either.

    La Bella Flatwound Mustang Set is .043 .060 .082 .104 and there are no known issues. I have customers who put on the heavier gauge flats and there have been no issues.
  3. It's an RI, so I should be good.
  4. Pier_


    Dec 22, 2013
    Roma, Italia
    for my experience, it depends on what you want. I don't like the Mustang with strings bigger than 40-95. even a 100 is too big and muddy, for my tastes.

    what kind of sound you'd like to have?
  5. I guess I want something brightish, not quite as bright as roundwound though.
    I also prefer the smooth feeling of a flatwound/halfwound.
    Does the gauge make a huge difference in terms of sound? I thought it had more to do with tension.
  6. Pier_


    Dec 22, 2013
    Roma, Italia
    The gauge influences the sound in a huge way!

    Light strings are brighter on the highs and with more lows, because of the wider vibration.
    Heavy strings are more focused on mids and a tighter sound, due to tension and less vibration.
    That's why heavy strings usually sound "bigger", and light strings sound more "melodically".

    However on a short scale it can be the opposite.

    Many brands choose light gauges for shorts, like Rotosound with a 40-50-75-90, because on a short scale heavy strings can sound too muddy.

    A 100 E on the mustang, for my tastes is unusable, and 45-100 /105 gauge is too wide for the small neck of the bass.

    Choose wisely!
  7. Thanks for the info!
  8. DinoRock


    Mar 26, 2015
    New York State
    I have a bunch of Fender basses. All with different strings to give me different options (studio convenience). I agree with those above who say that a Mustang (I have two) is best served with 90s or 95s. I have found that anything larger will cause a "dirty/raw" sound, which I don't think you are looking for. BTW, I spoke to a very knowledgeable bass player at Fender within the past year and he echoed those recommendations: flat 90s.
  9. Thanks everyone, I'm now looking at Rotosound Jazz Bass 77 flat wounds (40 - 90)
    Anyone have any experience with these? Especially on a Mustang
  10. DinoRock


    Mar 26, 2015
    New York State
    I have 77s on a P-bass (45-105) and have a set of 40-90 on a Mustang. I like them a lot, but I have multiple basses with different strings. The 77s are a slightly brighter flatwound than most traditional flats, which is something to consider. I have DR flats on another and they give a more "classic" sound. all personal taste and preference. Personally, I think it's hard to go wrong with RS 66, 77, or 88 (though I prefer the Labella 750G 105 to the 80s due to guage).
  11. Pier_


    Dec 22, 2013
    Roma, Italia
    I've tried them today (I'm going to review them on the topic I've opened days before), and they were a complete disappointment! dismounted in an hour!

    first of all, they couldn't intonate properly:

    the G string was intonate only in the second octave, but the first octave was always flat (around 20cent).

    the E string couldn't intonate in any way. even with the saddle all the way back, the notes were always sharp, in particular in the first octave.

    plus, the E string had a strange chorus effect both with the open note and the fretted notes. I've tried to dismount it to control if it was twisted or something, but nothing changed. I've tried with witness points and everything, with pickup height, but nothing changed...

    last thing, the E was extremely floppy, like if it needed to be tuned to F# to have a decent tension.

    A and D strings were fine, so I asked the shop, and they are sending me replacement strings. I hope that they were faulty strings...

    right now I'm using Thomastik JF344 on this bass, and they sound gorgeous. the only downside is the E string with less tension and a slightly muted sound compared to the other strings, BUT it can be just a matter of age and conditions, because this set is 4 years old and has been switched between many basses for years (the D broke at the tuning post in a 34" bass, so I recycled the set on the Mustang), and actually it's not that issue playing live or at the reharsals.

    I was thinking of buying the JF324 set with the 106 E string (but the other strings 43-56-70 like the 34" set), but now I'm considering to keep the 344 set... time will tell!
  12. Jeez, that sucks :/ Thanks for letting me know
    Keep me posted on what happens with the replacement strings.
  13. Pier_


    Dec 22, 2013
    Roma, Italia
    I'll probably try them next month, because they are shipping tomorrow, but I'm leaving home for a month, so I can't try them. :(

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