question on adjusting string tension

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by korchm, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. korchm


    Jul 17, 2003
    toronto, canada
    how do you adjust the string tension on the low B string? my low B is kinda floppy. thanks

  2. With the tuning peg at the top of the bass.

    Sorry, couldn't resist. There's not a whole lot one can do to keep the low B from flopping around, short of buying a bass with a longer neck. If it's clanging on the frets you might try raising the action a tad or playing softer... Maybe buy thicker guage strings next round if you can.
  3. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Thicker gauge strings...

    Try Dr Lo riders. People say they are hi tension strings.
  4. korchm


    Jul 17, 2003
    toronto, canada
    ok thanks. the bass by the way is a toby 6. i did not mind it at first but now i am looking for a tight low B. thanks though!

  5. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    Did you try raising the action a bit first?
  6. Ericman197


    Feb 23, 2004
    Tension is determined by the following factors:

    Frequency: Given, 31Hz.
    String length: Variable. Equal to scale length.
    String density: Variable. Equal to Kg/m^3
    String diameter: Variable. Between .120" and .130" usually.

    Therefore, you have only 3 plausible options:

    1. Buy a bass with a greater scale length. Most basses today are made with a 34" scale length. Some are made with more, and others less. Mine is a 35" and does in fact feel tighter. I someday plan on owning a 38"+ bass, but keep in mind that playability will suffer. Altering the scale length is the best way of increasing or decreasing tension because it does not deduct from the harmonics of the string. Given the same tension, thicker and denser strings tend to have a duller sound. By doubling the scale length of the string, the tension is increased by a factor of 4.

    A string with a length of 1 meter, a diameter of 4mm, a density of 5,000kg/m^3 and a set frequency of 30.87Hz ( B ) will have a tension of 24.41kg. If we are to double the length, the new tension would be 97.641kg. If we are to again double the length, the tension would then be 390.565kg. Realistically, on a bass guitar we can only increase the length from 34" by about 5.8% ( 36" ) without significantly impacting playability, which may or may not be a factor for some. Using our original calculations, the tension would then increase from 24.41kg to 27.324kg; this would be a noticable difference.

    2. Buy thicker strings. A doubling of the string diameter will increase tension by a factor of 4. Using our original tension of 24.41kg, if we were to increase the string diameter from 4mm to 8mm, our new tension would be 97.64kg. Realistically, we can only increase string diameter by about 4%, assuming you use an average B string of .125", and increase to a heavy B string of .130". If we were to increase our original string diameter of 4mm to 4.16mm ( 4% increase ), tension would increase from 24.41kg to 26.402kg.

    3. Buy denser strings. Most manufacturers do not list the density of their strings, but it can be determined by the density of the materials used. To do this at home, you would merely weigh 2 B strings of the same length and diameter. The ends of both would have to be cut off to be fair; we're only concerned with the distance between the contact points at the nut and bridge. The tension of the string is directly proportional to the density of the string; when we double the density, we double the tension.
  7. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    No bass for you!

    Off to Setup.
  8. Finally! THE definitive answer to this question. Bravo Eric :hyper: I love it. Just enough science to convince even the thickest of skulls yet short enough not to bore them.

    How about filling out your personal information so that we can get to know the guy that offers such gems.?